Community Engagement Strategies: First Research, Now Action

Fleisher Art Memorial is implementing new communication strategies meant to bridge the gap between its artistic programming and the rapidly evolving South Philadelphia community in which it is located. Fleisher attracts participants who reside mainly outside its neighborhood, and its offerings largely remain invisible to the organization’s surrounding communities, which include Latinos, Southeast Asians, and African-Americans. Multicultural specialist Donna Walker-Kuhne—author of Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to Arts, Culture, and Community, and a noted expert on audience diversification—is working with Fleisher to develop relationships with these growing communities, in order to inform and enhance Fleisher’s artistic programming. At the core of the project is a group of trained community liaisons called “FAMbassadors,” who advise Fleisher on the creative needs of local residents. Fleisher uses the FAMbassadors’ feedback to develop workshops rooted in culturally specific art forms and Web materials that serve as entry points for potential program participants, including an online video course catalog. This project is providing new opportunities for interaction with South Philadelphia communities, and is transforming Fleisher into a more welcoming and accessible space for its neighbors.1

Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded through 2013 following which a new funding category, Advancement grants, was introduced to support substantial long-term organizational development. Learn more>>.
Grants & Grantees

An outgrowth of the anti-graffiti network, Mural Arts Philadelphia has produced over 3,600 murals since 1984, making it the largest public art program in the United States and earning Philadelphia the nickname “City of Murals.”

People’s Light & Theatre Company undertook a long-range plan to align future programming with its mission of integrating art and education.

The major repository of the art of three generations of Wyeths (H.C, Andy, and Jamie), and steward of hundreds of acres of land where the artists worked, the Brandywine Museum is a national treasure.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Since 1992, Kip Lornell has taught courses in American music and ethnomusicology at George Washington University, and has served on the university’s Africana Studies program committee.

WXPN is a public radio station operated by the University of Pennsylvania, best known for its World Cafe music program, distributed by National Public Radio.

Collaborators & Colleagues

John Killacky is executive director of Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, and on the board of the Vermont Community Foundation.

Collaborators & Colleagues

José Luis Bustamante is the former artistic director of Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks.

Grants & Grantees

This project allowed Cliveden to adaptively re-use Upsala (a historic home on the site of Cliveden) for office space and community programming.

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia, a Center-supported public art and urban research project, continues in the courtyard of Philadelphia’s City Hall through this Sunday, June 7.

Grants & Grantees

Musicopia brings music education into schools throughout the Philadelphia region, with over 100 teaching artists presenting over 700 programs each year.

The Barnes Foundation presents a series of artist-led walking tours in various Philadelphia neighborhoods that invite audiences to become contemporary flâneurs.

In the third and final segment of our three-part conversation with Center Visiting Artist Ain Gordon, he gives us a glimpse of how he has entered into conversations at the Center and proposed alternative possibilities for our approach to our work.