Press Release

Community Leaders Convene at PAFA on April 6 to Advocate for Federal Support for the Arts and Humanities

Community Leaders Convene at PAFA on April 6 to Advocate for Federal Support for the Arts and Humanities

Local Arts, Business, Cultural, and Political Leaders Join Together to Address Threatened Federal Budget Cuts to Arts, Humanities, Museums and Libraries

PHILADELPHIA (March 31, 2017) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance present a community briefing and press availability to discuss the threatened elimination of federal funding for all facets of arts and culture.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 6, at PAFA, 118 North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Community and media members are invited to arrive at 8 a.m. Remarks will take place from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m., and speakers will be available afterward to provide additional comments and answer media questions.

The briefing has two key purposes: first, to show what Greater Philadelphia – and America – stands to lose if federal cultural funding is eliminated; and second, to advocate for federal funding for arts and culture and demonstrate unity – the collective commitment of government officials, civic leaders, business leaders, educators from our public schools to our universities and colleges, all defending arts and humanities as essential to our well-being.

Speakers will include David Brigham, PAFA President, CEO and Acting Museum Director; Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; Patricia Wilson Aden, President and CEO of The African American Museum in Philadelphia; Karin Copeland, Vice President, Member Engagement, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia; Carmen Febo San Miguel, Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño; Kenyatta Johnson, Member of Philadelphia City Council; Stephen P. Mullin, President and Principal of Econsult Solutions; Jeffrey Parks, Chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Timothy Rub, Director and CEO at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Al Taubenberger, Member of Philadelphia City Council.

The briefing will spell out unequivocally why federal funding is essential for the arts, humanities, and sciences: to foster knowledge, creativity, and innovation; to enable all audiences to have access to arts and culture programs that can transform lives; to continue the economic prosperity generated by arts nonprofits ($3.3 billion annually in Greater Philadelphia alone); and to preserve jobs in all sectors of the arts -- from curators to costumers, stagehands to security officers.

“We are engaged in a critical battle for the soul of our nation.” Maud Lyon states. “This proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP) and 49 national historic sites, and to sharply reduce support for scientific research is an assault upon the values we hold dear: artistic expression, history and heritage, and the importance of an educated, informed and thoughtful citizenry.”

David Brigham notes, “Much of the cultural landscape in Philadelphia, and across the nation, would be devastated without the support we receive from these agencies. These proposed measures not only would harm institutions large and small, but would diminish our ability to provide programming and outreach to schools and other organizations in some of Philadelphia’s most underserved communities.”

The Cultural Alliance has valuable information regarding what is at stake if the funding cuts are implemented, what citizens can do to express their support for continued arts and culture funding, and much more at

Additional information, including speaker bios, data on the scope and impact of federal funding for cultural organizations, and more will be available at the briefing.


About PAFA
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school of fine arts and museum. A recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Arts, PAFA is a recognized leader in fine arts education with a world-class permanent collection of American art.

About the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and amplify the voices of a cultural community that ignites creativity, inspires people and is essential for a healthy region.”

Last Updated
March 31, 2017 - 3:19 PM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.