Arts Education and Community Arts Emerge as Top Causes for this Philadelphia Funder

Last fall, we touched on a few key groups that the Philadelphia-based Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation supported around town. If you recall, this is the only private foundation that exclusively funds arts organizations in the city of Philadelphia. And requests from organizations outside the five-county Philadelphia area aren’t even considered. Diverse dance groups, youth playwriting, social purpose art, and small arts groups had been receiving the bulk of this funder’s attention at that time.

Related: What Types of Arts Groups Are Catching the Bartol Foundation’s Attention in Philadelphia?

But a new grant announcement just came out, and there are a couple of new priorities in focus: arts education and community-based arts. Bartol announced $125,000 in new arts grants to 24 local nonprofits in Philadelphia.

Arts Education

This is a big topic in Philadelphia right now, and Bartol has really been targeting local youth with its program grants. Arts education grantees this year include 1812 Productions for theater residencies, Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture for a cross-cultural arts exchange program, and Taller Puertorriqueño for arts and Cultural Education Programs.

Community Arts

However, Bartol understands that the arts have the potential to benefit much more than just the city’s young residents. That’s where its dedication to community-based arts comes in. This year, Bartol has funded arts programs that promise greater community benefits to groups like Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (general operating support), Center in the Park (a tile mural with older adults), and University City Arts League (general operating support).

Philadelphia Teens

Two local groups, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and Philly Youth Poetry Movement, received $7,500 grants from Bartol in this recent grant round. Meanwhile, the other 22 grantees received $5,000 each. Something that these top two earners have in common is that they both target teens. The photo center is using the funds for an after-school photography program for teens, and the poetry group is using Bartol money to fund free weekly poetry workshops for teens.

In general, arts groups eligible for consideration include organizations for dance, film, museums, performing arts, theater, visual arts, music and literature. And Bartol targets children, teens and adults with its arts grantmaking. Although it has traditionally favored small arts groups that are at least somewhat established, it’s taking a broader approach and looking at larger organizations and emerging ones these days, too. Bartol supported four first-time grantees in this current round, which are Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, Center in the Park, PhillyCAM, and Sister Cities Girlchoir.

Beth Feldman Brandt, Bartol executive director shared:

New and emerging organizations have an important role in the cultural ecosystem when they reach a previously under-served community or bring new knowledge to our work. Combined with grants to exceptional leaders in the field, the Foundation supports a wide range of arts education opportunities from creating tile murals for older adults at the Center in the Park to preserving traditional culture at the Cambodian Association to bridging the digital divide at PhillyCAM.  The dedication and energy of our grantees is remarkable.

A full list of 2016 Bartol grantees can be found on the funder’s website.

Stay tuned to learn about the guidelines and application requirements for the next round of Bartol grants in the winter of 2017. But you still have some time, because the next application deadline is set for May 1, 2017. Before then, take a look at the Bartol blog post, 8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Proposal, for some funder-specific insights.