BACKGROUND AND MISSION
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF) was established in 1991 when Philadelphia’s Mayor and City Council authorized creation of an independent nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation whose mission is to provide funds to enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. PCF is managed by a professional philanthropy staff, with governance provided by a board comprised of arts leaders, community members and representatives named by the Mayor and City Council President. Grant applications are reviewed through a transparent and robust process that includes site visits and peer panels.
This operational structure enhances the integrity of the grant-making process and ensures continuity across mayoral administrations in terms of PCF-grantee relationships and funding practices. Grants are made from a City budget allocation to PCF and provide operating support for Philadelphia-based arts and culture organizations dedicated to creating, preserving and/or exhibiting visual, literary and performing arts, architecture, science, history and the humanities.
Among the overall goals of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund are:
- to provide general operating support to Philadelphia-based arts and cultural organizations
- to advocate for the value of the arts in daily life and their importance to the growth and future of the community
- to promote arts and culture as engines of social, educational and economic development in Philadelphia
- to recognize the contributions of Philadelphia-based organizations, both emerging and established, that have a demonstrated track record of service, and the financial management and programming capacity to continue providing service
- to recognize and nurture artistic quality
- to encourage and increase opportunities for involvement and participation in arts and cultural activities by culturally diverse constituencies
- to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of Philadelphia and encourage a sense of pride and commitment in the city
- to provide accountability and transparency in how PCF funds are managed, adhering to federal and state requirements as well as evolving best practices in grantmaking