What is The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and what do you do?

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center), established in 2005, is a multidisciplinary grant-maker, dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the Greater Philadelphia region. The Center funds in three categories—Performance, Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, and Pew Fellowships—supporting area artists and organizations whose work is distinguished by excellence, imagination, and courage. In addition to its grant making, the Center organizes lectures, symposia, master classes, and workshops, and commissions scholarship to explore critical issues in the fields we serve. Our website houses information about Center-funded events and our grantees, and documents a range of vital content culled from past endeavors.

How is the Center associated with The Pew Charitable Trusts?

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and is at the heart of its ongoing support for culture in this region.

How is the Center associated with The University of the Arts?

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is administered through The University of the Arts.

Art handlers install Philippe Parreno’s marquee at the entrance of Dancing around the Bride at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Constance Mensh, courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

What kinds of grants do you award? Do you have grants for individuals?

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage makes awards to both organizations and individuals. Each of our three funding programs has a set of annual guidelines detailing the types of grants available and eligibility criteria. Our grant types include project grants, Discovery grants (formerly “planning grants”), Advancement grants, and Pew Fellowships (for individual artists, conducted by a nomination process). To find out if you or your organization is eligible for funding through The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, please visit our Apply page or contact staff directly. Center staff members are always available to answer your questions.

Can an organization or individual apply for multiple Project grants in different categories?

Organizations and individuals can simultaneously apply for grants in both the Exhibitions & Public Interpretation and Performance areas if they meet eligibility requirements and have completed all prior reporting requirements on previous Center-funded projects. If your proposed project has elements of both performance and exhibition/public interpretation, Center staff will be happy to work with you to decide which grant category best fits your application.

What is an Advancement grant, as opposed to a project or Discovery grant?

Advancement grants are available to organizations with a proven track record of success in receiving Center project grants and/or support from the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program. These are large grants, designed to support a multi-year line of work. They enable organizations to respond to current challenges and to make crucial changes to ensure their future viability and vitality. Advancement grant applications are reviewed by senior staff at the Center and The Pew Charitable Trusts as well as evaluated by outside experts in organizational development. Final funding decisions are made by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Board of Directors. Advancement grants are a new grant type, available beginning with the 2014 grant cycle in October 2013. An organization’s capacity, financial and otherwise, to successfully undertake the work of an Advancement grant will be considered as a qualifying factor. Education and service organizations, science museums, natural history museums, and arboreta are all eligible for Advancement grants, provided they meet the basic threshold criteria for application.

How did these new funding categories come about?

In March 2013, the Pew Board approved a major restructuring of their support for culture, placing The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage at the heart of its support for culture in this region. These changes were implemented to streamline administrative structure, reduce overhead costs, and result in greater resources going directly to the cultural community. Through these changes, the Center’s annual grants budget has increased from $8 million to $10 million. For this restructuring old programs and funding categories have been consolidated into the new categories Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation. All changes go into effect in October 2013, and they will affect the 2014 cycle of grant making. Visit our Apply page for detailed guidelines.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Body Against Body. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

What will happen to my outstanding Center Project grant?

The Center will honor all Project grants made in 2013 under our past structure, and all of our present and ongoing commitments.

How are grant decisions made at the Center?

Grants are made annually through rigorous peer-review panels composed of a rotating group of distinguished, internationally-recognized experts (Advancement grants are not panel adjudicated; see above for more information). These panelists come from outside the region and bring both general and specific areas of disciplinary expertise to the process. Capacity-building grants are made at the discretion of Center directors in consultation with The Pew Charitable Trusts or other field experts, as appropriate.

How many grants did the Center make last year?

In 2015, the Center awarded over $9.6 million in grants to 49 grantees. Since 1989, the Center has provided over $108 million in project support and fellowships to artists and arts and culture organizations in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area.

How do I apply for a grant?

Guidelines and eligibility criteria for our grants can be found on the Center website, along with a calendar of application due dates and deadlines. Pew Fellowship applicants are determined by a nomination process. Please visit the Apply page for more information, or contact an appropriate Center staff member directly.

Where can I find a full list of Pew Fellows?

Our full list of Pew Fellows, ranging from 1992 to the present, can be found by clicking here.

Pig Iron Theatre Company’s Zero Cost House, 2012. Photo courtesy of Pig Iron Theatre Company.

What is the history and background of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage?

The Center was established in 2005 to house seven funding programs of The Pew Charitable Trusts. These programs have since merged to form a single entity that awards grants throughout Greater Philadelphia. In 2013, the Center merged its Project grant programs to create two new funding categories: Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation. Our timeline below provides a look into our history and the culmination of the Center as it exists today.

  • 1989: Philadelphia Music Project
  • 1991: Pew Fellowships in the Arts
  • 1993: Dance Advance
  • 1995: Philadelphia Theatre Initiative
  • 1997: Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative
  • 1998: Heritage Philadelphia Program
  • 2001: Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative
  • 2005: Programs brought together as the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage
  • 2008: Center renamed The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
  • 2013: Center moves from seven to three funding areas: Performance, Exhibitions & Public Interpretation, and Pew Fellowships

I love your facilities and the artwork. Who are the designers and artists represented?

The Center’s offices were designed by BluPath Design, Philadelphia. All of the artwork in our office, including text excerpts, has been created by Pew Fellowships in the Arts recipients. For details about individual works of art in the space, download the Center’s Art Notes PDF.

Can we hold a meeting in your space?

Our facilities are primarily reserved for the Center’s work; however, when space is available, we do allow constituents and their organizations to host meetings in our space. For more information, please contact Ellen Maher at emaher [at] pcah [dot] us.

Can we visit your library?

Our library is made available to constituents upon request. Please contact Gianna Delluomo, Executive Assistant, at gdelluomo [at] pcah [dot] us, to request more information and to schedule an appointment.

Where is the Center located and where can I park when I visit?

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is located on the 18th floor of 1608 Walnut Street, between 16th and 17th Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, near Rittenhouse Square. Limited street parking is available, and there is a parking garage on Chancellor Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, within convenient walking distance.