Contact City Council! Sign The Petition!
No To Zero For The Arts! Save Arts and Culture Funding in Philadelphia!
Philadelphia Has Proposed Eliminating Arts & Culture Funding From the 2021 Budget

*Edit (5/21/20): Artists in the Vox Populi Collective have launched No To Zero For The Arts, a platform simultaneously calling for a Philly People’s Bailout and restoration of funds for arts and culture in Philadelphia – learn more: NoToZero.Art

To Our Friends + Supporters:

On Friday, May 1, 2020, Philadelphia announced a 2021 budget that would eliminate The Office of Arts, Culture & Creative Economy and de-fund The Philadelphia Cultural Fund. City Council has about six-weeks from the date it was announced to approve or reject the budget, so we must act quick to oppose this plan!

Help us oppose the elimination of these vital organizations by signing and sharing this petition and contacting your district’s City Council representative, as well as representatives at large! To make that easier for you, we have shared City Council member information and a sample letter below!

Desktop Users: CLICK HERE to copy the letter below into your email and send to City Council Members!
Cell Users: If the link doesn’t work for your email service, you can copy + paste the letter below!

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund distributed $4M in support to arts and culture organizations this year, a number that represents just half of one-percent of the deficit projected in 2021. The elimination of this support will disproportionately affect grassroots and small-scale community arts organizations whose impact and importance can not be described in economic terms alone. The Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy offers meaningful grants and opportunities to local artists and community organizations producing public artworks, performances and neighborhood activities that enrich our city!

As Barbara Silzle, Executive Director of The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, states: “The Philadelphia Cultural Fund is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to provide funds to enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. Nearly 100% of our funding comes from the City of Philadelphia in order to distribute general operating support to more than 340 organizations in almost every neighborhood in the city. Therefore, eliminating our funding will eliminate the Cultural Fund completely.”

Desktop Users: CLICK HERE to copy the letter below into your email and send to City Council Members!
Cell Users: If the link doesn’t work for your email service, you can copy + paste the letter below!

*Vox Populi is located in District 1 of Philadelphia, represented by Mark Squilla. The email linked-to above auto-populates with his email address and that of all Council Members At-Large.

Sample Letter

Dear Council Member,

I’m writing to urge that you reject the closing of The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and the defunding of The Philadelphia Cultural Fund as part of Mayor Kenney’s 2021 proposed budget.

Philadelphia’s arts and culture are the way back for our city and its economy. One of the reasons that Philadelphia has been growing and thriving over the past 20 years is the growth in the arts. Hundreds of arts organizations all over the city make Philadelphia a great place to live and a cultural center and destination in the region. Today I am disappointed to be in a city that would rather declare the arts expendable than develop a solution for the arts and culture sector, which already receives so little budget ($4M, or half of one-percent of the deficit).

Many of Philadelphia’s smaller arts and culture organizations are vital service organizations, caring for and attending to our most vulnerable populations in ways that data demonstrate can decrease medical and emotional crises that tax our economy.

The arts are also one of the most vulnerable sectors of the economy. The defunding of The Philadelphia Cultural Fund will disproportionately affect small organizations–many of these are run by marginalized artists: people of color, women, and the LGBTQI+ community. These neighborhood-focused, grassroots, growing organizations don’t qualify for private funding aimed at major institutions.

Without the support of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, many will never reopen.

*Your name*

City Council Contact Info:
District 1: Mark Squilla
(215) 686-3458, (215) 686-3459

District 2: Kenyatta Johnson
(215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3413

District 3: Jamie Gauthier
(215) 686-0459, 215-686-0460

District 4: Curtis Jones, Jr.
(215) 686-3416, (215) 686-3417

District 5: Darrell Clarke (Council President)
(215) 686-3412, (215) 686-3443

District 6: Bobby Henon
(215) 686-3444, (215) 686-3445

District 7: Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez
(215) 686-3448, (215) 686-3449

District 8: Cindy Bass
(215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425

District 9: Cherelle Parker
(215) 686-3454, (215) 686-3455

District 10: Brian O’Neill
(215) 686-3422, (215) 686-3423

Kendra Brooks
(215) 686-0461 (215) 686-0462

Allan Domb
(215) 686-3414, (215) 686-3415

Derek S. Green
(215) 686-3450, (215) 686-3451

Katherine Gilmore Richardson
(215) 686-0454, (215) 686-0455

Helen Gym
(215) 686-3420, (215) 686-3421

David Oh
(215) 686-3452 (215) 686-3453

Isaiah Thomas
(215) 686-3446, (215) 686-3447

posted: May 7, 2020 topics: