Blog Posts for Pennsylvania

The Case for Culture in the Promise Zone: Connecting Federal Initiatives with Place-Based Culture

Posted by Lindsay Tucker So, Aug 19, 2015 0 comments

Philadelphia is known for a lot of things: Rocky, Will Smith, dedicated sports fans, cheesesteaks…

We’re also a city where:

  • Approximately 3 out of every 10 residents are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • 18% did not graduate high school
  • 7.8% are unemployed (well above the national, state, and regional levels)
  • We have the 6th highest homicide rate among nation’s 10 largest cities

 (Pew State of the City 2015)

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The Creative Economy: How a Chamber of Commerce and Arts & Business Council Are Changing the Conversation

Posted by Rob Wonderling, Jul 23, 2015 0 comments

For nearly 35 years, the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (A&BC Philadelphia) has been engaging with business, legal, and technology professionals to strengthen our region’s cultural sectors. A&BC Philadelphia continues to support the business aspect of our arts community through volunteer consulting projects, board governance, leadership development programs, and pro bono legal services. 

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Privilege, Access, and the Arts

Posted by Adil Mansoor, Jul 22, 2015 0 comments

This past June, I had the opportunity to present at the first Cultural Equity Preconference at the 2015 American for the Arts (AFTA) gathering in Chicago, IL. Over 100 people spent three rigorous days thinking about art, diversity, and their own communities. Each presentation created space for me to consider, reflect, and question. From chats over lunch about gay zombie theater to bus rides investigating the urgent need to include dialogue about ability and accessibility in social justice movements, every interaction was steeped in expansive conversations.

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Designing Better Leaders through Cross-Sector Collaboration

Posted by Anna Stokes, Tommy Butler, Apr 15, 2015 0 comments

There’s absolutely nothing revolutionary about leadership development. All across the country (and the world) opportunities to enhance and develop one’s professional skills seem to be popping up in every corner. But when the Arts + Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC) won a challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we chose to take leadership development in a direction that encouraged arts administrators to not just think about themselves as nonprofit leaders but as Leaders, with a capital “L”.

According to Americans for the Art’s latest Creative Industries Report, the City of Philadelphia has the fifth highest percentage of arts-related jobs in a comparison of the 100 largest cities in nation (4.94%, including both for-profit and nonprofit creative industries). At number five, our creative community is both ahead of the pack and has room to grow, and what better way to grow this sector than to invest in its leaders.

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Seven Key Principles for Curating a Cultural District

Posted by J. Kevin McMahon, Feb 04, 2015 0 comments

Numerous editorials have covered the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s work in overseeing Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations—turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of the 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, which attracts over two million visitors annually. The organization has grown from a $170k budget in 1984 to a $53M budget today. Most importantly, 90% of the annual budget is allocated to the mission and programs and the organization has maintained a balanced budget year to year.

Below are seven key principles that informed the development of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

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The Best Seat in the House: Where Skills-Based Volunteers Meet the Arts

Posted by Eileen Cunniffe, Oct 23, 2014 0 comments

Eileen Cunniffe Eileen Cunniffe

For nearly eight years, I’ve had the privilege of managing skills-based volunteer programs for the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. Which means I’ve got the best seat in the house when it comes to observing what happens when business and technology professionals take on pro bono capacity-building projects with nonprofit arts organizations.

I’m the director—or as I like to say, the “matchmaker”—for both Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) and Technology Connectors (TC). Once I’ve met with an arts client and defined the type of project support they are looking for, I carefully curate a volunteer match and make the introductions, then step back and watch while our arts clients and our volunteers work their magic on each other. That’s right—on each other. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned after matching volunteers on about 250 consulting projects, it’s that the volunteer consultants almost always benefit at least as much as the arts organizations do. It’s a special kind of alchemy, and it’s fun to watch it unfold.

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