NASAA Notes: February 2020

February 6, 2020

Pennsylvania: Creative Communities Program

(Left to right) Whole Life Services CEO Cindy Vogan, Pennsylvania Sen. Michele Brooks, Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Longietti, Director of Gannon University SBDC Maggie Horn and representatives from Rep. Mike Kelly’s office at the Sharon Community announcement. Photo by Sarah Merritt, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is using a new Pennsylvania Creative Communities program to spur community-driven, arts based projects that inspire livability, economic development, and community connectedness. Among the initiative’s goals are to build strong and resilient Pennsylvania communities; to foster local partnerships; and to advance diversity, equity and inclusion as a part of civic practice.

Developed in conjunction with the release of the agency’s new strategic plan, the Pennsylvania Creative Communities program launched in summer 2019. After a statewide call to invite letters of interest and grant applications, the agency ultimately awarded funds to four sites in different regions of the state. Grantees were approved for as much as $25,000 per year for up to four years. To leverage local support, each site was required to secure a local (city or county) government resolution supporting the project along with a pledge of at least 10% of matching funds.

The first round of awardees was announced on December 23, 2019. Activities to take place range from activation and programming of a vacant space to community-led public art and cultural programming. This inaugural FY2020 round of awards will serve as a pilot program that the agency will use to shape future investments and community development services. For more information, contact PCA Director of Pennsylvania Creative Communities Sarah Merritt, 717-787-1521.

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