PIDC Clients and Partners Receive William Penn Foundation Creative Communities Grants

The William Penn Foundation Board of Directors met virtually for its planned quarterly meeting in late July and awarded 15 Creative Communities grants, totaling more than $4.7 million. The Creative Communities program supports artistic and cultural expression that stimulates new viewpoints and helps create places and spaces where new cultural experiences and perspectives can be encountered and shared. The grants awarded in July continue those efforts, while pivoting as necessary to better understand and respond to the extraordinary impacts of COVID-19 on the arts and culture and public space sectors. The new projects awarded were in development before the onset of the pandemic, and in most cases, have evolved in real-time to fit this new, ever-changing context.

Congratulations to the PIDC clients and partners below that received grants.

Arts Education

Pennsylvania Ballet Association

Pennsylvania Ballet Association was awarded funds for its Dance Chance dance partnership program.

Rock School for Dance

Rock School for Dance Education was awarded funds for RockReach, a dance instruction partnership program.

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Inc.

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, Inc. was awarded funds for its Community Partnerships in the Arts in-school program at schools within its South Philadelphia neighborhood.

Wilma Theater, Inc.

Wilma Theater, Inc. was awarded funds to support its Wilmagination theater arts residency to work in high schools across Philadelphia.

WPF Fund (COVID-19 Projects)

Barnes Foundation

Barnes Foundation was awarded funds to support a collaboration with People’s Emergency Center (PEC) to embed arts-based public programs at PEC’s community space, “The Bank” on Lancaster Avenue. In the neighborhood space, COVID-19-related services are offered to West Philadelphia community members experiencing negative impacts from both the coronavirus pandemic as well as recent civil unrest.

Wilma Theater, Inc.

Wilma Theater, Inc. was awarded funds to fund expansion and adaptation of its “Portable Studio” program to deliver remote, theater-based arts and culture programming to communities particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 (i.e. older adults). The program is designed to adhere to public health requirements while also addressing the negative consequence of the necessary social distancing, such as isolation and decreased human interactions that can be detrimental to mental health.

Great Public Spaces

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation was awarded funds to support public space and community resilience planning and engagement. PCDC will implement priority recommendations from its WPF-supported Equity Lab, completed jointly with PolicyLink in fall 2019, to support equitable development in the neighborhood.

People’s Emergency Center

People’s Emergency Center was awarded funds to assist in partnering with The Philadelphia Masjid and affiliated Sister Clara Muhammad CDC to activate the former Catholic school complex to be used for flexible community space, quality pre-K, workforce development programs, and mixed-income, multi-generational housing.