Fairmount Park Conservancy Awarded $3 Million Arts Grant from the White House

It's one of only six organizations nationwide to get the award.

FAIRMOUNT-PARK-KELLY-DRIVE-CYCLIST JEFF FUSCO

Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Conservancy (FPC) is in the national spotlight this week after President Obama announced that it, along with only five other organizations nationwide, will receive a $3 million grant from ArtPlace America. The award, which will be doled out over the next three years, is meant to help the park “incorporate arts and cultural strategies into its core work.” The Conservancy is one of 227 projects that ArtPlace America has invested in from its start in 2011. In total, they’ve provided more than $67 million in funds to 43 states.

FPC says it’s too early to know exactly how the funds will be used. To start, Executive Director Kathryn Ott says FPC will utilize a “cultural asset mapping process” to help them figure out what kinds of arts and cultural organizations are working in communities, then they’ll begin outreach to local arts-based institutions to see who’s interested in working with them. “We want to find out what they are doing and how we can learn from them,” she says. “Then we can put together a plan of ways to incorporate arts and art strategies into the work we’re doing. The sky’s the limit.”

It will be exciting to see how FPC adds to its already bustling arts and events scene. Currently the organization, which overlooks 10,000 acres of parkland throughout the city, hosts everything from kayaking trips on the Schuylkyll and live-music nights to activities at summertime staple Eakins Oval on the Parkway.

FPC will host a community forum on October 22nd for anyone wanting to learn more about their plans for the grant. It’s taking place at the Please Touch Museum at 4 pm.

For a list of other 2015 ArtPlace America grantees, go here.

Reporting by Josh Middleton