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Statement On City of Philadelphia’s Midyear Transfer

Today is a banner day for our arts and culture community in the City of Philadelphia. Mayor Kenney proposed and City Council increased and approved over $21 million new dollars for arts and culture in the 2022 Mid-Year Transfer Ordinance. The ordinance moved unanimously from the Appropriations Committee, chaired by Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr, and received first reading at today’s Council session. It is poised to receive final consideration on Thursday, December 1. 

This unprecedented investment of public dollars is an acknowledgement of arts and culture as an essential economic driver for this city – and it is a recognition of the power of our collective voice.

Since 2020, GPCA’s advocacy has focused on a consistent and powerful call for the City to invest in the Philadelphia Cultural Fund more deeply.  In addition, we have called on the City to live up to its responsibility of supporting City-owned arts and cultural institutions, especially those that reside in and serve Black and Brown communities.

Today, through the Mid-Year Transfer, the City took an important step in doing exactly that.

  • The Philadelphia Cultural Fund will be funded at $5.5 million, benefitting hundreds of arts organizations across the City and in our neighborhoods.

  • City institutions including the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Mural Arts Philadelphia, the Please Touch Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute, and The Dell Music Center will all receive infusions of significant support.

  • Visionary projects like Calder Gardens will also be boosted by significant support in the Mid-Year Transfer.

This victory comes on the heels of several innovative and brave breakthroughs that promise to change Philadelphia’s cultural landscape for future generations of new audiences and patrons.

  • The Philadelphia Ballet has broken ground on a new $35 million dollar expansion that will quadruple its size.

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia will be moving to the Parkway in five years, reflecting its essentiality to the fabric and story of this city.

  •  Taller Puertorriqueño announced a partnership with the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. 

And we know there is so much more on the horizon.

So, on this day of unmatched success for the arts and culture community, I say, let’s lean into our activism. Let’s continue to make our voices heard. Let’s build on this extraordinary momentum by demonstrating the vital nature of our sector to this City and region in all that we do. United, we stand.

Patricia Wilson Aden
President & CEO
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance