Which Philanthropy Powerhouse is Celebrating LGBT Rights in Philly?

The Pew name is well known all over Philadelphia, but not often connected to LGBT causes. A recent $300,000 grant has brought Pew’s LGBT support into the spotlight, which deserves a closer examination.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is a global, public policy-oriented NGO (Read: Pew Charitable Trusts: Philadelphia Grants), but there’s a more specialized and localized Pew entity that Philadelphia organizations should get familiar with. It’s called the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, and it’s a multidisciplinary grantmaker that funds local performance art, exhibitions, public interpretations, fellowships, and advancement organizational grants.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage recently announced a $300,000 grant to produce a LGBT 50th Anniversary documentary as part of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration from July 2 to 5. The money is going to Philadelphia’s Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC), and the documentary will be called “Gay Pioneers at 50.”

The purpose of this film is to highlight the 50-year history of the LGBT civil rights movement, including a reenactment of the demonstrations at Independence Hall between 1965 and 1969. IVCC is the official visitor’s center for the entire Philadelphia region, so its involvement with this film is a big deal for the local LGBT community. The city has strong ties to LBGT activism, dating back to 1965 when 40 activists picketed in front of Independence Hall. Back then, this was the largest gay rights demonstration in world history.

Over the years, Pew hasn’t made LGBT funding a huge priority, and this support is technically categorized as an art grant. So with that said, what other kinds of Philadelphia organizations is this Pew entity supporting these days?

The funder recently released the names of its 2015 grantees, which marks its 10th year of grantmaking. This year, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has committed over $9.6 million across 34 project grants, three advancement grants, and 12 fellowships.

“Our 2015 grantees exemplify the diverse and dynamic cultural life of our region,” said Paula Marincola, the executive director. “As we reflect on the past 10 years of grantmaking in this vibrant community, we also look forward to the extraordinary cultural experiences this talented and ambitious group of artists and organizations will bring to Greater Philadelphia’s audiences.”

Select $300,000 Project Grant Grantees

  • Mann Center for the Performing Arts
  • Drexel University’s Westphal College
  • Cliveden of the National Trust for Historical Preservation
  • Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
  • Jungwoong Kim, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

$500,000 Advancement Grant Grantees

  • Curtis Institute of Music
  • Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

So as you can see, Pew spreads its giving across lots of art-related disciplines, including opera, dance, puppetry, music, photography, historical building preservation, and the occasional LGBT film. Lately, however, the largest grants have gone to music and art from diverse cultures.

To learn more about Pew Center for Arts & Heritage local grantmaking, check out the guidelines on the funder’s Apply page or email info@pcah.us with general inquiries.