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The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Rallies Philadelphia’s Arts and Culture Industry, Calling for $6.2 Million in Additional Funding in the FY2023 City Budget

May 11, 2022 (PHILADELPHIA, PA) – Today, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (“Cultural Alliance”), which represents 348 arts and culture organizations in the City of Philadelphia, rallied artists, creative entrepreneurs, arts educators, organizational leaders, and arts and culture allies at Philadelphia’s City Hall to call for greater and necessary public investment in the City’s creative economy, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2021, the Cultural Alliance reported that the local industry was still down by 8,400 jobs, organizational revenue remained down by 26 percent, and 81 percent of all organizations were only working at a reduced or modified capacity. Both nationally and locally, arts and culture continues to be one of the industries slowest to rebound to pre-pandemic audience and revenue levels.

The #FundPHLArts Rally sought to highlight the city’s vibrant and diverse arts and culture industry, its essentiality to the local economy, and its critical role in supporting violence prevention initiatives, workforce development and creative entrepreneurship in Black and Brown communities. It also specifically called for the City of Philadelphia to increase its total budget support for arts and culture in FY2023 by $6.2 million, which would bring total City support for the industry to $14.7 million or .26 percent of the proposed $5.61 billion budget. The #FundPHLArts rally specifically called for the following:

+ $1.0M:  Allocate $3.5 million total to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF) to maintain its FY22 budget from the Mayor’s Budget ($2.5 million) and City Council allocation ($1 million).
+ $4.0M:  Live up to the responsibility of supporting City of Philadelphia-owned Arts and Cultural Institutions and Programs, especially those that reside in and serve Black and Brown communities ($10 million total; Operational Not Capital Expenses)
+ $1.2M:  Invest $1.2 million total in established Arts & Culture projects/programs that align with the City of Philadelphia’s critical priorities: Violence Prevention, Entrepreneurship in Black and Brown communities, and Workforce Development.

  • Expand Anti-Violence Community Grants to award more to arts-based organizations
  • Enhance the Business Security Camera Program to include community based cultural assets
  • Supplement successful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania arts and culture grant programs


“After three straight budget cycles, which have seen the Creative Economy treated as an afterthought in Philadelphia’s COVID-19 economic recovery, today’s rally was about raising our collective voice and demanding not just more – but better – for our vibrant industry,” said Patricia Wilson Aden, President and CEO, of the Cultural Alliance. “This administration continues to view arts and culture as a ‘nice to have’ amenity rather than a crucial catalyst to solve the real challenges we face as a city. As City Council engages in hearings on the FY2023 Budget, we need them to hear this truth: \The Creative Economy is at the nexus of the livability of our neighborhoods, hospitality, tourism, social impact programs, education, workforce development, and more. Without it, Philadelphia not only puts at risk a critical revenue driver and its international reputation, but also, the well-being of its residents – all of which is inextricably tied to the diversity and vibrancy of this community.”

Speakers at the #FundPHLArts Rally included (In alphabetical order by last name):


In powerful remarks to the crowd gathered on the North Apron of City Hall, Ami Yares of Buildabridge International, said, “Imagination and creativity are indispensable to our lives and for whatever reason, the steady flow of the arts we receive as children dwindles as we age. We need to keep the intrinsic and therapeutic value of art-making alive and thriving in every Philadelphian. It’s what makes us most human. Money, social status, neighborhood, gender identity, race, ethnicity and ableness should not be factors to access the arts. If we want to see a safer, more loving, and cohesive Philadelphia; the arts are the thread, the glue, the life force that will help see policy and program through to the equitable Philadelphia that we need.”

Representatives from arts and culture organizations across the city attended today’s rally with others contributing through performances and on-site activations, including:

  • Cambodian American Girls Empowering (CAGE)
  • Circadium
  • Denice Frohman, Poet
  • DJ C-Rob
  • Kendrah Butler-Waters, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts
  • KyoDaiko
  • Mural Arts Philadelphia
  • The Franklin Institute
  • Universal Dance Ensemble Stiltwalker & Drummer

For more information regarding the Cultural Alliance and its advocacy initiatives, visit

About Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research, and marketing organization. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and amplify the voices of a cultural community that ignites creativity, inspires people and is essential for a healthy region.” Our membership includes more than 450 organizations ranging from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles and zoos. For more information on the Cultural Alliance, please visit