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April 7, 2015: Take Action to #SavePHLArts on Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day

Mayor Nutter's proposed FY16 budget cuts funding for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, appropriating only $1.84 million. This represents an almost 40% decrease from the Cultural Fund's FY15 budget, slashing the PCF budget by $1.3 million, back to the level arts & culture advocates successfully restored it from last year. On April 7, Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day, we need your support in asking City Council to make sure this drastic cut does not make the final budget.

This affects arts and culture organizations in every neighborhood across the city! We need you to speak up and take action so we don't lose this vital funding. Here are ways you can get involved:


Send an email to City Council. Click here for a pre-written message from GroundSwell, which you can customize with your own thoughts on how arts and culture impacts Philadelphia neighborhoods. 

Don't live in Philadelphia? Send your own email to Council President Clarke and let him know the arts are what bring you (and your dollars!) into the city.

On April 7, Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day, we will ascend on City Hall and fill the halls and courtyard with arts and culture. We want to get as many emails in as possible ahead of Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day, so please take action today and also share this movement with your friends and colleagues.


1. Join us in taking over the City Hall courtyard at Noon for a demonstration to let City Council know we need to #SavePHLArts! Click here for details and to let friends know you're coming on Facebook.

2. Use hashtag #SavePHLArts to tweet messages of support and let City Council and Council President Darrell Clarke know why arts and culture are important for Philadelphia. Let's flood Twitter with arts advocacy messages on April 7 and make #SavePHLArts trend! 

Here are some sample tweets you can use:

Help save funding for @PhilaCulturFund in FY16! Tweet & email @PHLCouncil to #SavePHLArts:

#Arts are essential for our economy, schools, communities. @Darrell_Clarke @PHLCouncil must #SavePHLArts in FY16 budget 

I believe in the power of arts & culture. @PHLCouncil @Darrell_Clarke please make sure @PhilaCulturFund is fully funded! #SavePHLArts

Last yr @PHLCouncil restored @PhilaCulturFund. This yr, @Michael_Nutter's budget slashes it. #SavePHLArts! Details:

You can also tweet directly at the City Council member who represents your district. Subscribe to GroundSwell's Philadelphia City Council Twitter List to find your Council member on Twitter.

The budget process is just beginning, and our work won't be done after Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day is over. Be sure to subscribe to GroundSwell emails for updates on the budget process and more ways to take action before City Council passes its budget in June.

More on why we're doing this:

Arts and culture supporters have fought hard for years to restore funding for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, since the budget was slashed to $1.84 million in 2010—and last year, we won. But the cuts proposed in this year's budget threaten to undo all of that progress.

In 2014, arts supporters from across the region came together to urge Philadelphia City Council to restore funding to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. After a two-month campaign, City Council passed their FY 2015 budget, which included an additional $1.3 million for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (increasing its budget from $1.84 million to $3.14 million). This restored funding allowed PCF to give out larger grants in 2015, and also to reinstate the Youth Arts Enrichment grants, which provide project support for arts education programs serving K-12 students in the Philadelphia School District.

Despite our great success last year, we find ourselves again in the same position. Mayor Michael Nutter's proposed FY 2016 budget only allocates $1.84 million to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. We must again call on City Council to include an additional $1.3 million in the FY 2016 budget which Council will pass in June.

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund provides crucial general operating support to almost 300 cultural organizations in the City of Philadelphia. These grantees range in budget sizes, from the very large to the very small, and they operate in almost every neighborhood in the city. These organizations have a tremendous economic and social impact on the city, its residents and its students. If we want to continue to reap the benefits these organizations provide, we must ensure that the city provides adequate funding to support their work!