Letter to the Arts community regarding funding priorities

To:  The Philadelphia Arts Community

For many years, Independence Foundation supported the arts in Philadelphia across multiple disciplines and has both learned from and benefited from the experience and the relationships we cultivated. We have provided general operating, project and capital grants to a wide variety of arts groups.  Continuation of this comprehensive arts funding is no longer possible.  We believe that sustained investments in specific artistic endeavors have a significant impact and therefore we have refocused our arts funding.  With this perspective, three years ago Independence Foundation decided to concentrate on strategic investments in area theatre groups.  In addition to making general operating grants, we launched our New Theatre Works Initiative, to encourage the development and production of new theatrical work in the Philadelphia region.

Independence Foundation has continued to support many of the larger cultural institutions in the region, such as the Free Library, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Mural Arts Program, as well as multidisciplinary performing arts presenters such as the Mann Center and the Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.  These organizations have contributed to both the economy and the cultural vibrancy of the Philadelphia area.

We also believe that the well being of our entire community is broadened by supporting a variety of opportunities for all people to experience the arts.  Programs that support the arts and artists, such as the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and ArtReach will continue to be of special interest to Independence Foundation.

As part of our commitment to recognize and support work by artists across the Philadelphia region, we continue to fund individual artists in both the performing and visual arts through our Fellowships in the Arts program.  Many of you have graciously helped us over the past decade to make this program an enormous success, and we sincerely hope that you will continue to assist us by nominating artists for fellowships.

Therefore, we will not fund community-based arts groups, including community arts centers; dance companies; music organizations; media arts/broadcasting agencies; museums and historical societies.

We continue to believe that art plays a transformative role in society – one that enhances community and connects individuals. We value the work of all Philadelphia’s artists and arts organizations, in particular our current and past grantees, and know that it is your passion, talent, and energy that bring about transformation.

We are deeply grateful to you for your invaluable contributions to our stellar artistic community.  Thank you very much for all you have done.  Best wishes for your continued success.