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Cultural Alliance Roadmap for 2017-19


Our Strategic Plan is a roadmap for the next three years. We want to be at the forefront of innovation in Advocacy and Audience Engagement, as well as a force for greater equity in the cultural sector.

Strategic Plan for 2017-2019

For the past year, the Alliance staff and board have been studying how change in our society, technology, funding and philanthropy, and competition from other leisure choices are affecting arts and culture. We know that arts nonprofits need help – and it’s our mission to provide it. Yet, like many of our members and other nonprofits, the Alliance also wrestles with new realities.

Our Strategic Plan for 2017-2019 is the result of a lot of careful thinking about what will make conditions better and where the Alliance can have the greatest impact. That is why we are now focused upon Advocacy and Audience Engagement.


In Advocacy, the Alliance builds upon its reputation as the region’s foremost advocate for arts and culture. One of our strategies is to broaden the case for support for arts and culture to include many areas of social impact. Over the next three years, each year we will focus upon a different theme, sharing key findings from research on the subject and featuring the work being done in that area by cultural organizations in Greater Philadelphia.

In 2017, our theme is Pre-K, connecting arts and culture to early childhood development. Over the three years, the Alliance will build a “toolkit” of case statements that show the benefits of arts and culture in unexpected and compelling ways. Each theme will have a publication and a comprehensive communications plan to deliver the message to people who care about those issues – and will appreciate the role of arts. These, combined with our traditional economic impact statement, will build a powerful case for arts and culture.

Advocacy isn’t just for public support: we are also expanding to look at trends in individual giving, to seek ways to more successfully engage donors, and to help nonprofits to build up their base of donors.

Audience Engagement

In Audience Engagement, we will continue our successful Phillyfunguide and Funsavers services, listing over 12,000 arts and culture events and programs each year, viewed by over a million people each year. However, to keep pace with technology and changing market trends, we also plan to conduct research in marketing and to seek ways to create better ways to learn about and to monitor audience trends. This spring, our annual Techniculture event will focus upon the use of data and social media for marketing.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

An area close to my heart is diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is important for so many reasons – for the future health of our field, to attract talented cultureworkers, to increase equity amongst cultural organizations, to promote social justice, and to create greater empathy in our world. But we know that we have to start humbly.

In 2017, we are conducting an Implicit Bias Scan, a study of all of our programs – marketing, research, professional development, our website, staff and board – to evaluate where we have strengths and where the Alliance needs to do some work to be more inclusive and equitable. We always strive to model best practices.

The findings of this scan, and the advice of our growing DEI Affinity Group, will guide our next steps. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is part of both our Advocacy and Audience Engagement agendas. This is the start of a long term commitment.

Cultural Alliance Mission Statement

Our Strategic Plan is a roadmap for the next three years. We want to be at the forefront of innovation in Advocacy and Audience Engagement, as well as a force for greater equity in the cultural sector. I want to thank our board, staff, and also you, our member organizations and supporters, for the support that has brought us to this plan and which is essential to making this work successful. Let me close with our new, slightly revised mission statement:

We lead, strengthen and amplify the voices of a cultural community that ignites creativity, inspires people and is essential for a healthy region.

This is what the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is all about.

Maud Lyon, President