PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL TO INVEST OVER $3 MILLION IN LOCAL ARTS COMMUNITY

In Cindy Bass, Council News, Derek Green, Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Mark Squilla, News by PHL Council

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A combined 6 investments totaling $3.25M will reprioritize the creative economy

Philadelphia, PA. – Philadelphia City Council has announced a $3.25 Million investment in the local arts and culture community. This funding is a combination of an allocation from the New Normal Budget Act and additional advocacy in a recent budget transfer ordinance. Councilmembers Thomas, Gilmore Richardson, Green, Squilla and Bass circulated a memo to Council leadership advocating for the financial prioritization of arts. Councilmembers Thomas, Gilmore Richardson, Green and a representative of Councilmember Bass’ office gathered at Kings Gallery PHL in Germantown to announce this historic investment.

“We’ve been saying ‘illuminate the arts’ because we need to better prioritize Philadelphia arts and culture by highlighting and investing in this community,” said Councilmember Isaiah Thomas. “We are gathered at this Black-owned art gallery in Germantown because we have to value all types of art in every neighborhood. Today, City Council is announcing an investment of over $3 million in arts across Philadelphia. We’re announcing another round of Illuminate the Arts Grants, significant funding to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and investments in several arts and cultural entities that will bring economic resurgence, create jobs and heighten the social fabric of our city.”

In addition to money allocated in the traditional budget process, the following investments were announced today:

  • $1,500,000 for another round of Illuminate the Arts Grants (through OACCE)

  • $1,000,000 to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund

  • $450,000 for Mural Arts Philadelphia

  • $150,000 for the Mann Center

  • $100,000 for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office

  • $50,000 for the National Marian Anderson Museum and Historical Society

“This additional funding to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund is vitally important to hundreds of nonprofit arts organizations located throughout our city and is a significant investment in the health and vitality of the city itself,” said Barbara Silzle, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. “COVID has had a devastating impact on Philadelphia’s artists and arts organizations. As Philadelphia strives to recover from the pandemic, the arts will play a central role in the recovery of the city and its people.”

Through the New Normal Budget Act, City Council set aside $3 million for arts and culture. Today’s announcement allocated $3 million to Illuminate the Arts Grants, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Mural Arts and the National Marian Anderson Museum and Historical Society. A recent Appropriation Hearing regarding a budget transfer ordinance added investments to the Mann Center and Greater Philadelphia Film Office.

“With enormous thanks to Councilwoman Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Councilmembers Isaiah Thomas, and Councilmember Derek Green, and all members of City Council, I thank you,” said Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. “The Greater Philadelphia Film Office, established in 1992, has impacted the City of Philadelphia with an economic impact of more than $6 billion and catapulted Philadelphia’s reputation not only in the US, but around the world, through our film and television industry.  The film and television industry touches every type of business in Philadelphia and provides countless employment opportunities in the creative economy.  We thank you for welcoming GPFO as a Member of Philadelphia’s Illuminate the Arts family with this grant of $100,000.”

This announcement comes a week after Councilmember Thomas held a hearing with the Arts and Culture Task Force to discuss the work that has been done and the work that lies ahead.

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