Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund was in jeopardy of having its funding cut by 40 percent for FY2016. However, yesterday, June 18, City Council approved an amended budget that maintains the Cultural Fund budget at $3.14 million. Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to sign the budget into law next week.
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is a nonprofit 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.
“It’s wonderful to see that City Council will continue to value the social, educational and economic impact of the arts and maintain PCF funding for another fiscal year,” said Maud Lyon, president of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, in a press release. “We’d like to particularly thank Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who led the way by issuing a strong letter of support that influenced the majority of her fellow Councilmembers to vote in favor of maintaining the budget.”
According to the Cultural Alliance’s website, GroundSwell (the advocacy arm of the Cultural Alliance) and the Cultural Fund worked throughout the spring to organize behind-the-scenes and public advocacy action campaigns to protect the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s budget allocation, including holding the second annual Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day on April 7.
The two organizations also helped organize pop-up acts of arts & culture in City Hall ahead of the public budget testimonies. In addition, GroundSwell helped push online advocacy efforts, including calling on supporters to email their City Council members and tweet using hashtag #SavePHLArts.
“We want to thank everyone who participated in this campaign,” said Lois Welk, Interim Executive Director of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. “This isn’t just a win for PCF; it’s good news for the entire cultural sector, and for Philadelphia as a whole. Cultural Fund grants go to groups all over the city, including small and volunteer-run organizations that provide essential services to their communities.”-30-
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