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PNC extends Arts Alive grants for a year

Tuesday, August 6, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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 Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer


By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer  |  August 05, 2013

PNC has extended its successful Arts Alive grant-making program, designed to help cultural organizations expand and diversify their audiences, for another year by allocating an additional $1 million.

PNC initially planned to spent $1 million a year for five years ending in 2013, but officials at the financial-services company said the program's success warranted at least another year.

"Over the past five years, we have seen Arts Alive enable more access to programs, create jobs, and generate additional revenue for arts organizations," Bill Mills, PNC regional president, said in a statement.

Mills said the program had spurred significant growth, "which is precisely the impact we sought when the program launched, and now it can expand even further."

The money is distributed through the PNC Foundation, the company's charitable arm.

Over the five years of the program, Arts Alive has supported more than 120 arts programs and 55 organizations throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

In an analysis of 21 grants distributed during the program's second year, PNC found that 95 percent of the projects reported an increase in their total audience, attracting an estimated 131,000 new members, officials said.

All the projects reported success in attracting new audience members targeted by their grants, and 90 percent identified some level of funding to help sustain their efforts by the end of the grant period.

Michael Norris, interim executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, said the grants had supported arts activities aimed at "revitalizing our communities, educating our youth, and improving the quality of life for the residents of our region."

This year, for instance, grants helped the Philadelphia Museum of Art fill its Perelman Building with summer-long family-oriented exhibitions and activities, collectively called Art Splash; allowed the Mann Center for the Performing Arts to mount an evening of the Philadelphia Orchestra with giant LED screens flashing sports imagery; and enabled the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, N.J., a center for craft exhibitions, demonstrations, and artist residencies, to offer free admission six days a week throughout July.

In all, 21 organizations received Arts Alive grants in 2013.

Contact Stephan Salisbury at 215-854-5594,, or follow @SPSalisbury on Twitter