PHC Announces 47 Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers Recipients

May 7, 2020

The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) is pleased to announce the recipients of their Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers, a new rapid relief program created in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The recipients represent arts groups, museums, historical societies, libraries, and cultural institutions from across Pennsylvania. 

Social distancing measures have caused the closure of museums and libraries and the cancelation of in-person programs, historical tours, festivals, and other major events that bring people together and support local economies. Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers provide up to $2,000 to help arts and cultural organizations adapt by supporting events, programs, and projects delivered through virtual or other forms of distance-based engagement with the public.

“These are challenging times but Pennsylvania’s cultural sector is creative and resilient,” said Laurie Zierer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. “These pop-up grants will directly support cultural programming that builds community and inspires hope and humanity at a time when we need it most.”

PHC received applications from hundreds of affected nonprofit organizations and secured funding to support 47 of them. Among the projects are:

  • Ogun & the People Project, a series of facilitated online discussions centered on the Afro-Cuban pataki, or sacred parable, Ogun & the People, facilitated by the Kule Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble (Philadelphia);
  • Our Food, Ourselves, a virtual exploration of how food writing and nonfiction storytelling open windows into larger aspects of the human experiences, hosted by the Creative Nonfiction Foundation and featuring scholars and food writers (Pittsburgh);
  • Going Viral, a series of conversations and creative workshops for young people at the Lower Macungie Library that includes “Pandemic Packs” with history books and supplies (Macungie);
  • Revival! (Social Distancing Edition), a virtual dance party and live performance, hosted by the BlackStar Film Festival, celebrating the visual and sonic frequencies contained within Black spiritual and ecstatic experience (Philadelphia);
  • Talking Portraits, an interactive website from the Lackawanna Historical Society where visitors can meet animated, Harry Potter style portraits to learn about local history and participate in discussions with historians (Scranton).

All of PHC’s grants and programs generate avenues for civic involvement and community development. These creative pop-up projects build on this work while also addressing the immediate relief needs of cultural organizations and those they serve.

The full list of Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers recipients is as follows:

3 Dots Downtown

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Ars Nova Workshop

Arts without Boundaries

Barrio Alegria

Belle Vernon Public Library

Beyond the Bars

Black Lily, Inc dba BlackStar Film Festival 

Bosler Memorial Library

Boyertown Community Library

Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center

Cliveden of the National Trust

Creative Nonfiction Foundation

Delaware County Historical Society

Elkland Area Community Library

Erie Center for Arts & Technology

Fairmount Park Conservancy

First Person Arts, Inc.

Friends of Hershey Public Library

Harmony Image Productions & S.I.F.T.Media (Sisters in Film and Television)

Higher Grounds Music

Highland Community Library

Hill Dance Academy Theatre

Jamaaladeen Tacuma Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival

Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

Johnstown Area Heritage Association

Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble

Lackawanna HIstorical Society

Lehigh University

Lower Macungie Library

Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village

Nichole Canuso Dance Company

Nueva Esperanza, Inc.

Office of Public Art, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac

Painted Bride Art Center

Performing Artists Collective Alliance

Philadelphia Folksong Society

South Philly Acoustic Jam

Taller Puertorriqueno

The Colored Girls Museum

The Rosenbach

The Soapbox Community Print Shop & Zine Library

Tiny Farm Wagon of CultureTrust of Greater Philadelphia

Ujamaa Collective

World Cafe Live

York County History Center

The Pop-Up Grants for Cultural Producers program is made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, individual donors to PHC, and an anonymous donor who offered additional funds for Philadelphia-based projects serving artists and small arts organizations. This grant program is not part of the CARES Act, which allocated federal funding to be distributed by state and territorial councils through the National Endowment for the Humanities. PHC will provide more information about its CARES Act opportunity soon.

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