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Drew Murray

In 2011, Murray became a Board Member of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, as well as the President of the Friends of Coxe Park. As a Board Member, Murray helped start an annual school fair whose purpose is to demonstrate to young parents that there are numerous educational opportunities available to young children in the City of Philadelphia. From 2015 to 2019, Murray served as President of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. Murray serves as Chair of the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, is a Board Member of the Center City District, is a member of the Finance Council of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and is the leader of Philadelphia's 15th Ward. (

How will your office support arts and culture organizations as well as artists in Philadelphia?

Arts and culture in Philadelphia are paramount to the success of the city on so many levels. To that end, I will always advocate and fight for the betterment of arts and culture. When people think of Philadelphia, they think of arts and culture. Whether it is the plethora of museums on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (with Calder on the way), the museums and historic buildings on and near Independence Hall, or the Avenue of the Arts, Philly is arts and culture. Arts and culture are vital to our city’s identity, character and economic prosperity. My office will advocate and always back initiatives that support arts and culture. I will work closely with organizations like Visit Philadelphia to promote activities and events that celebrate the arts. I will push for arts and culture in our schools. Children need to know and be taught the arts in order to thrive and to grow an appreciation of the arts.

What strategies will you support and what partnerships will you leverage to support the financial well-being of the artists and arts organizations who comprise the lifeblood of Philadelphia's creative sector?

There are funds available for cultural institutions, but some, especially smaller organizations, are not always aware. I will work closely with organizations like the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance to ensure that organizations know of these grant opportunities and have the resources and knowledge to develop comprehensive plans and grant applications. I will also work closely with organizations like the Philadelphia Mural Arts Programs, that has brought hundreds of murals to Philadelphia, and have programs that give the unhoused population an opportunity to participate in the arts.

What will you do to ensure more equity in the way the City funds arts organizations?

To ensure equity in the arts, it starts with the education of our children. Arts and culture must be available in every elementary school. We need to introduce children to the arts, so they learn an appreciation of the arts at a young age. If we do not start young, trying to capture that equity and interest later is an extreme challenge. In addition, we must make certain that all Philadelphians know of the institutions that offer affordable and sometimes free events. The Rodin Museum is an example of a “pay as you wish” institution that is available to all.

Can you please provide specific examples of how you feel the creative and performing arts can influence positive outcomes for some of the major issues in the city?

One look at the Cultural Alliance web site demonstrates the economic impact of arts and culture: “The Cultural Alliance leads, strengthens and amplifies the voices of more than 400 member organizations who generate over $4.1 billion in economic impact for the region.” Philadelphia relies heavily on taxation for revenues. In order to attract more businesses, Philadelphia must look to revamp their tax structure and realize revenues through other sources. Arts and culture are the perfect example of capturing revenue outside of income and real estate taxes. When arts and culture thrive, more people come to the city and spend money. This money leads to additional sales tax revenue and increased jobs. More job opportunities will be an increase in population, which of course leads to higher revenue. Arts and culture are vital to the economic success of the City of Philadelphia.

Visitors will be coming to Philadelphia in 2026, for the World Cup, MLB All-Star game, and America’s 250th Anniversary. What will you do in January 2024, the first month of the new legislative session, to begin planning and coordination for residents and future travelers?

There may be no better time to live and/or visit the City of Philadelphia than 2026. Philadelphia knows how to host big events. The NFL Draft, political conventions, 4th of July and Made in America are all proof that we can host big events successfully. I am certain entities like Visit Philadelphia and The Managing Director’s Office are already planning for 2026. The key to success in 2026 is to make certain Philadelphia agencies are coordinating with each other. Philly knows big events, but has never had a year like 2026. It is up to City Council and the Mayor’s office to ensure that we are ready. In January 2024, one of my priorities will be to make sure that a plan is the making. As a city, we must make certain that we are ready from an operational standpoint. We must have a plan to market Philadelphia as the best place to be in the world in 2026. Council and the Mayor’s Office also needs to ensure that there is a safety plan in place so residents and visitors feel secure when traversing our city. Lastly, it is up to the government to ensure that communities where events will take place are informed of timing, street closures, cleanup efforts, etc. This task can be accomplished by working closely with RCOs.