PHC Announces Heart & Soul Opportunity for Beaver County

July 30, 2019

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council invites communities in Beaver County to apply to become a PA Heart & Soul™ Community.  Selected communities will receive up to $50,000 over a two year period from PHC and funding partners like the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.  In addition, selected communities will be matched with a Heart & Soul Coach who will deliver trainings and provide technical assistance valued at over $50,000 per year.  

Applications will be due September 30.  Selected communities will get underway in early 2020. 

Upcoming Beaver County Heart & Soul workshop:

August 15, 2019

9:00-11:30 am

New Brighton Borough Building, Council Chambers

610 3rd Ave, New Brighton, PA  15066

How does Community Heart & Soul work?

Community Heart & Soul is a four-phase, step-by-step process developed and field-tested by Orton Family Foundation in partnership with small cities and towns across the country. In the spirit of the humanities, Community Heart & Soul focuses residents on the power of stories, reflection, and relationships.  The principles for success are: 

  • Involve Everyone: Hearing stories from all residents, especially those whose voices are often missing or overlooked in community conversations, is a priority. 
  • Focus on What Matters: When residents share what they love about where they live and identify their hopes for the future, common themes emerge. These are the things that matter most to residents and become the foundation for sound decision-making. 
  • Play the Long Game: Community Heart & Soul is just the beginning. Residents finish with action plans to move forward and get things done. They are equipped with the skills and tools to continue working together to shape their community’s future.

What are Pennsylvania Heart & Soul Communities?

Pennsylvania Humanities Council believes people can shape the future of their communities through the power of stories and strong relationships. In 2015, PHC joined forces with the Orton Family Foundation because they share an approach of putting people first and investing in resident-driven actions that honor the unique character and vision of each community. To date PHC has created and funded Heart & Soul Communities with residents in Carlisle, Meadville, Williamsport, and more recently in Cameron County and Upper Chichester.

At the core of the approach is story gathering and community engagement in many forms, from notes on a chalkboard to in-depth interviews. It all comes together to paint a picture of what matters most to residents. Carrying out these activities builds relationships and encourages leadership and volunteerism. 

Why do this in Beaver County?

Beaver County is the proud home of many communities eager to celebrate their unique histories and futures.  Heart & Soul communities in Pennsylvania and nationally have seen the process build leadership, boost volunteerism, bridge divides, create partnerships, preserve historical sites, and strengthen economies. Because this work is organized and carried out by the people who live, work and invest in the community—the people with an emotional attachment to the place they call home—it leads to actions that bring about change. 

How can I learn more?

Pennsylvania Humanities Council is organizing mandatory information sessions in collaboration with Beaver County Office of Planning and Development  in August to provide details about the opportunity and the application.  Please notify Lance Grable if you are interested in attending an information session. For more information, please contact:

Lance Grable

Director, Beaver County Office of Planning and Redevelopment

Executive Director, Redevelopment Authority of Beaver County


Telephone: 724-770-4422

Explore the Pennsylvania Humanities Council website to learn about current Heart & Soul Communities across the state:

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