Uniontown Receives Community Heart & Soul Planning Grant

July 18, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, July 10, 2017—The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) has partnered with the Orton Family Foundation to support the city of Uniontown as it incorporates a humanities-based approach to community development.

Uniontown has been awarded a $1,000 grant from PHC along with training support valued at $7,500 provided by the Orton Family Foundation to help the city prepare for a Community Heart & Soul® project.

PHC and Orton are working together to bring Community Heart & Soul, a community development model pioneered by Orton, to small cities and towns across Pennsylvania. Uniontown will be the fifth Pennsylvania community currently participating in the program, joining Carlisle, Easton, Meadville and Williamsport.

“We believe the humanities can provide a path to action and long-term positive change in Pennsylvania,” said Laurie Zierer, PHC’s executive director. “With story-gathering at the heart of planning and development, local voices become the foundation for building stronger communities and a better future.”

In 2015, to achieve the greatest impact and broadest reach through humanities-based community development, PHC partnered with Orton to bring Community Heart & Soul to Pennsylvania communities in a unique blending of the humanities with resident-driven community development. Community Heart & Soul actively seeks the collective wisdom of all residents, including those whose voices are often missing, and brings people together to build stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant communities.

The grant and training are for preparing Uniontown residents for a successful Heart & Soul project. Support will primarily target project personnel and communications, as well as any additional measures to ensure community readiness for Heart & Soul. As the fiscal sponsor of this development grant, The Redstone Foundation will utilize these funds to assist the efforts of community leaders who want to use the Heart & Soul model to engage and involve the entire community in development efforts.

About the Pennsylvania Humanities Council

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) puts the humanities in action to create positive change. PHC programs and grants bring Pennsylvanians together to build avenues for civic involvement and community development, and for youth and adult learners to strengthen skills for school, work, and personal improvement. An independent partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, PHC is part of a network of 56 state humanities councils that spans the nation and U.S. jurisdictions. Learn more at pahumanities.org

About the Orton Family Foundation and Community Heart & Soul

The Orton Family Foundation is focused on building stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant small cities and towns across America. Founded in Vermont in 1995, the foundation devoted more than a decade to working with small towns to create a community development model that helps build trust and empowers residents to shape the future of their communities. Community Heart & Soul® projects are underway across the country creating positive change that is resident-driven and recognizes the value in the unique character of each place and the deep emotional connection of the people who live there.

For more information visit orton.org


Mary Ellen Burd

Director of Communications

Pennsylvania Humanities Council

215.925.1005 ext. 121


Leslie Wright

Senior Associate of Marketing and Communications

Orton Family Foundation



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