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The Philadelphia Orchestra Announces Creativity Connects Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

December 22, 2016


Arts and Non-Arts Sectors Unite in NEA’s Creativity Connects Projects

(Philadelphia, December 22 2016)—The Philadelphia Orchestra has been awarded a Creativity Connects grant of $75,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support its work with Broad Street Ministry. There at the spiritual center of the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia, the Orchestra’s musicians, in partnership with Temple University’s Music Therapy Department, create a weekly songwriting improvisation and listening class for Broad Street Ministry guests, particularly for those undergoing trauma. The program is part of the Orchestra’s HEAR initiative (Health, Education, Access, and Research), designed to connect musicians and music with its neighbors and all neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

Creativity Connects is the signature leadership initiative of NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu, growing out of her desire to support partnerships between arts organizations and organizations from non-arts sectors, such as healthcare, nutrition, juvenile justice, science, and technology, among many other types of human services. In making the announcement, Chairman Chu said, “The NEA is proud to support these Creativity Connects projects, such as the support The Philadelphia Orchestra provides to Broad Street Ministry guests, connecting the arts and non-arts sectors in creative ways to produce something truly innovative.”

“The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Collaborative Learning programs are remarkably important to the people we serve,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “Our engagement with neighbors through music transforms lives in powerful ways that lift spirits. This recognition of the Orchestra’s work is both heartening and affirming. One of the leading organizations in the field of the performing arts has recognized our unflagging commitment to serving all Philadelphians. This grant helps affirm that news of our local work is reaching beyond our city, and that our success is respected and shared.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s work with Broad Street Ministry, along with other aspects of the HEAR initiative, has been recognized by numerous civic-minded organizations in Philadelphia and beyond as being of great benefit to the city’s populace.

“Each week, the talented and caring professionals from The Philadelphia Orchestra and Temple create the opportunity for our guests to lift up their eyes from their lives on the streets and experience the inspirational and healing power of the arts,” said Mike Dahl, executive director of Broad Street Ministry. “We are so grateful to the NEA for recognizing just how important this work is and how impactful it is for those living with scarcity.”

Broad Street Ministry

Broad Street Ministry seeks to break down barriers to affect a positive impact on Philadelphia’s social fabric. Broad Street Ministry began as a broad-minded faith community and over time expanded into an organization that helps Philadelphians living in deep poverty stabilize their lives through a unique offering of meals and social services that is welcoming to everyone, and seeks to be life changing.

Begun in 2008 the Ministry’s Hospitality Collaborative incorporates stabilizing services that not only meet basic human needs, but also strive to move lives forward. Along with nutritious meals, guests can benefit from a mailing address, change of clothes, and personal care items. The Ministry partners with other nonprofit organizations to offer medical and behavioral health care, legal assistance, and assistance with housing, public benefits, and personal identification. Broad Street Ministry’s Faith Community offers worship services, faith programming, and pastoral care in the Christian tradition to everyone—regardless of where they are on their faith journey or if they feel like they do not belong anywhere else. For more information on Broad Street Ministry visit broadstreetministry.org and broadstreethospitality.org.

The National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about the NEA.

About The Philadelphia Orchestra


Jay Nachman

phone: 215.893.3136

e-mail: jnachman@philorch.org

Patricia O’Kelly

phone: 202.999.9806

e-mail: pokelly@philorch.org


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