Peer Panelists

Peer Panelists

About the Peer Panel Process

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s peer panel process annually convenes over 100 volunteers representing the region’s arts and culture community for our two grant programs: the Art & Culture Grants and the Youth Arts Enrichment Grants. Panelists contribute artistic, administrative, educational, assessment, and operational perspectives in the evaluation of grant applications. Members of the Greater Philadelphia arts and culture community are encouraged to apply.

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is committed to diversity both in our grantees and our panelists. We invite prospective panelists of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and artistic disciplines to apply.

Art & Culture Grants Peer Review Process

The Art & Culture Grant is the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s primary program. Approximately $2.6 million in general operating and program funds are distributed annually to over 300 arts and culture organizations and programs through a multi-disciplinary peer review process organized by grant category (Established or New & Emerging organizations) and by application type (General Operating Grant or Program Grant).

Peer panelists for the Art & Culture Grant program are members of the Greater Philadelphia arts and culture sector. For the 2019 peer review process 116 volunteer panelists provided their unique insights to the review process as: artists, administrators, advocates, educators, board members, consultants, employees of arts organizations, fundraisers, graduate students, and volunteer staff members of arts organizations. Panel service requires: the reading of orientation materials; reading and scoring approximately 8 to 15 grant applications; conducting the minimum of one or the maximum of two site visit interviews; and one all-day, in-person panel meeting with fellow panelists and Cultural Fund staff in December. Participants in the peer review process report that panel service, on average, requires a commitment of about 20 total hours over several weeks between October and December.

Art & Culture Grant Program Scope:

  • Eligible applicant organizations must:
    • have arts and culture as the primary focus of their mission and/or select programming
    • have legal residence and provide the majority of their programming in the City of Philadelphia
    • be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in good standing OR be contracted with a Fiscal Sponsor/Parent Organization that has been pre-approved by the Cultural Fund
  • have demonstrated at least one year of public programming
  • Applications are filled out and submitted online
  • Applicants are required to undergo a site visit interview and their application is evaluated and scored through a peer panel review
  • Grant amounts are determined through the use of a funding formula; applicants do not request a specific grant amount.

The 2020 Art & Culture Grant Program Eligibility and Guidelines are provided here for reference.

2019 Art & Culture Grants Peer Panelists

Aisha KhanKayla Anthony
Alan PowellKeila Cordova
Alexia ChororosKim Jordan
Alice YorkeKristina Dugan
Allie VanyurLara Sinangil
Allison HeishmanLauren Garnese
Allison KelseyLaurie Rothenberg 
Andrew HurwitzLea Deutsch
Andy ThieraufLillian Dunn
Ann MintzLisa Jo Epstein 
Ashley ThomasLisa Miller
Ava LouiseLisa Sonneborn
Beth JamiesonLise Funderburg
Brandi LevineLiz McClearn
Brittany  WebbMads Le
Cara ScharfManuela Coppola
Cari Feiler BenderMaria Morales
Carly Rapaport-SteinMarla Soffer
Catherine Marie CharltonMatt Kalasky 
Catherine RossMax Vasapoli
Charles WolfeM’Balia Singley
Christa LoffelmanMegan Becker
Clint WalkerMichael Adler
Diane FeisselMichael Madeja
Dominic CalvareseMichael Nelson Rizzo
Donielle TurnerMichele Walls
Donna Ann Harris Mignon Verdell
Dyymond Whipper-YoungMira Treatman
E. Maude Haak-FrendschoMonica Cawvey Gallagher
Ebony Malaika CollierNadav Carmel
Elena Grace SmithNicholas Masters
Elizabeth BeattyPatrick Jefferys
Elizabeth Class-MaldonadoPolly Edelstein 
Elizabeth ThompsonRae Pagliarulo
Eric HungRaechel Hammer
Eva SteinmetzRebecca Daniels
Filiz LeighRenee Schacht
Fred Kaplan-MayerRonaldo Ribeiro
Gigi NaglakSarah Bishop-Stone
Greg StuartSekou Campbell
Heather Karasow SmithSharon Place
Imani RoachShavon McGee
Ivan CarterSherman Fleming
Jacqueline WongShivon Love
Janine SpruillShoshanna Wiesner
Jay PennieStephanie Fuentes
Jeanine CampbellSteve Wasserleben
Jeannette R.GeterSuhee You
Jenni DrozdekSusan Guggenheim
Jennifer-Navva MillikenSusan LaPalombara
John PaulasSusan Shifrin
Jonathan BurtonSusan Stromquist
jumatatu poeTaja Jones 
Karen LewisTara Pearson
Kate FoxTeresa Miller
Kate LombardiTina Barber
Katherine BlodgettTom Bonner
Kathryn McCumberTory Ragsdale


Apply to be an Art & Culture Peer Panelist

The Art & Culture Grant applicants and peer view panels are evaluated and organized into multi-disciplinary cohorts. Panel assignments are driven by the number and disciplines of the Art & Culture Grant applicants that have been qualified for peer review. If selected for panel service Cultural Fund staff cannot guarantee that a peer panelist will be assigned a site visit interview with an organization that falls into their artistic discipline.

Peer panel recruitment is ongoing, occurring primarily in the summer and early fall each year. To be considered for peer panel service for the 2020 Art & Culture Grant cycle, complete the Peer Panelist Application and send your current CV or resume to info@philaculturalfund.org. Questions, call Michelle Currica, Program Manager, at 267.419.7641.

Peer Panelist Resources

8 Budget Questions Funders Will Ask (The Nonprofit Times)

A Guide to Nonprofit Budgeting: Get Your Basics Right + Free Template (Donorbox Nonprofit Blog)

Budgeting for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits, some links may no longer be active)

Financial Report Red Flags (Your Part-Time Controller)

In-Kind Knowledge Article (SMU|DataArts)

Twelve Golden Rules for Nonprofit Finance (Propel Nonprofits)



Youth Arts Enrichment Grant Peer Review Process

Peer panelists selected to read and score the Youth Arts Enrichment (YAE) Grant applications are a cohort of Philadelphia arts and culture community professionals with strong backgrounds in youth arts education, youth-centered program creation, development and/or evaluation who represent a variety of expertise, perspectives, and disciplines.

For the 2019 YAE Grant cycle all applicants were Established organizations (organizations over 5 years old) that qualified and were awarded a 2019 Art & Culture general operating grant.

YAE Grant Program Scope:

  • YAE grants support specific programming that uses the arts to enrich the lives of young people, aged 5 to 18, in and out of school.
  • The goal of the grant program is to provide high-quality arts instruction, training, and participatory experiences to young people (aged 5 to 18) who are most unlikely to access cultural enrichment through other avenues. This includes programming in Philadelphia’s most underserved, impoverished communities.
  • YAE Peer panel service is completed virtually. Site visit interviews and in-person panel meetings are not included in this panel process. All scoring is completed online through Zengine, the Cultural Fund’s new grant management platform.
  • YAE applications are scored by two groups of panelists; some are assigned to Round #1 and some to Round #2.
  • Application deadline is in March; application review process is March-May; grants are awarded in June.
  • The 2019 Youth Arts Enrichment Grant Guidelines are provided here for reference


2019 Youth Arts Enrichment Grants Peer Panelists

Ah-Keisha McGantsJerome Lang
Ami YaresJessica Craft
Anthony PhillipsJoyce Drayton
Brittany BrewerKatie Moore
Carla WashingtonLeah Falk
Chloe PiñeroLindsay Sparagana
Daniel KentMatt Kalasky
David Herman JrNadia Koltsoon
Donielle TurnerNatalie Tahsler
Elizabeth Class-MaldonadoNick Spuhler
Ellen ReynoldsRashni Stanford
Gianna Tripodi-BhiseShivon Love
Heather GiampapaStefanie Wakeman
Heather SmithSteven Wittenberg
James KlebachaSusan LaPalombara
Jay PennieTaurell Butts
Jennifer Heitler-KlevansTerrell Green


Peer panel recruitment for the 2020 Youth Arts Enrichment Grant Panel service will begin in late February 2020. Interested individuals must email a current resume to, Michelle Currica, michelle@philaculturalfund.org.


We are grateful for the commitment of time, service and insight contributed by the 2019 Peer Panelists for both the Art & Culture and Youth Arts Enrichment Grant programs.

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is a non-profit corporation established by Philadelphia’s Mayor and City Council in 1991 to support and enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. The Fund promotes art and culture as engines of social, educational and economic development in the Philadelphia region. Grants are made from the City budget allocation to the Cultural Fund for operating support of Philadelphia-based arts and cultural organizations.

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