William Penn Foundation Gives $2.5 Million to Help Launch Regional Arts Relief Fund

Creative Communities

William Penn Foundation Gives $2.5 Million to Help Launch Regional Arts Relief Fund

Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Source: William Penn Foundation


To our grantees and partners:

In its third special board meeting in three weeks, the William Penn Foundation’s board of directors approved a lead grant of $2.5 million to help launch the new COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL.

Details of the new arts fund are below as well as information on government resources available for nonprofits.


PHL Arts COVID-19 Regional Relief Fund

Today we are pleased to join with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, as well as seven other funders to announce the new COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL, which will support individual artists and help ensure Philadelphia arts organizations that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are able to sustain their business operations. We are pleased to collaborate with several key arts funders, including Barra Foundation, Connelly Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Independence Foundation, Lenfest Foundation, and Wyncote Foundation to create this new resource for the arts and culture sector.

Regional nonprofit arts and cultural organizations have experienced early, deep and widespread impacts as a result of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This is an important moment for arts funders to come together to show their support for a sector that provides so much to our city.

The PHL Arts COVID-19 Regional Relief Fund will focus on the sector’s small to mid-sized organizations. Tight margins and limited or nonexistent endowments put such organizations in particularly perilous circumstances in terms of ability to resume operations over time.

Funds will support individual artists as well as organizations' needs related to staffing and operational costs, and other direct expenses required for providing remote programming and the delivery of programs and services in the current COVID-19 environment.

The fund will be managed by the Cultural Alliance with financial administration by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. To learn more, donors or those wishing to apply for support can visit donate.artsaidphl.org.


Additional Information on Government Resources

Many of you have asked us for information about government resources available for nonprofits. Our team compiled a list of federal, state and local resources and expanded our FAQ to include appropriate links; information on government resources can be found HERE.

We have heard from many of you over the last several weeks and are in awe of your strength and determination during this challenging time. As always, we are here to support you and encourage you to keep reaching out as this situation continues to unfold.



Janet Haas, M.D.                    Shawn McCaney

Board Chair                            Executive Director