Fully Restore The Philadelphia Cultural Fund!
Time is of the essence. The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is taking a stand with the hundreds of arts organizations, their staff, collaborating artists, stakeholders and supporters across the city in appealing to the City of Philadelphia to fully restore funding to the Cultural Fund in FY22. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused extraordinary physical, emotional and financial pain across our city, the nation and the world. It has triggered a sustained, unprecedented financial crisis for the arts. If the city is to recover from the pandemic, the arts must be here. The city must support the arts through a fully restored Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
Mayor Kenney has proposed $2 million in his FY22 budget for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, an increase from the $1 million we received this year but still well below the pre-pandemic allocation of $3.14 million.
All of us felt the repercussions of COVID-19, but the 68% reduction in funding this year has had a profound impact on the Cultural Fund, and the nearly 350 nonprofit arts organizations across the city that received a grant in 2020. That severe reduction resulted in the elimination of funding to over 140 arts organizations, drastically reduced the grant amount to the 205 organizations that did receive a grant this spring and significantly impacted the everyday operational abilities of the Cultural Fund.
The cultural sector is vital to the fabric of our city, and its recovery. Despite extraordinary financial stress, the creators, art educators and thousands of other culture workers employed by our grantees are still finding ways to educate, entertain and uplift Philadelphians. When this pandemic is behind us, it will be our grantees that provide Philadelphians with the essential outlets and tools for creative self-expression, reflection, activism, celebration and community-building necessary for a thriving metropolis. It will be our grantees that help Philadelphia once again attract visitors, and their tax dollars back into our city.
Please take a moment now to send city councilmembers a letter asking them to fully restore funding to the Cultural Fund in the FY22 budget. Click here for a template letter provided by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance that can be personalized and quickly sent to your district Councilmember and the seven at-large Councilmembers. We must fully restore funding to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund in the FY22 budget so we can return to fully funding the arts and culture organizations across the City. City Council will approve a budget by June 30, 2021 so now is the time to have your voice heard.
IN THE NEWS
A Need for Creativity – The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 4, 2021
Next Five Months are Urgent for Arts and Culture Organizations Trying to Stay Afloat – Generocity Philly, May 5, 2021
Parsing the Mayor’s Arts Budget – The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 16, 2021
City Council’s Surprising New Support for Arts and Culture Deserves Applause — & Some Questions – The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 18, 2021
Click here to listen to Executive Director Barbara Silzle’s interview with iHeart Radio’s Loraine Ballard Morrill about Philadelphia’s art & culture sector during this crucial time.