Press Release

PAFA Receives $350,000 Gift For Community Education Center

PAFA Receives $350,000 Gift For Community Education Center

Naming gift from Connelly Foundation ensures PAFA’s ongoing commitment to educational outreach for children, families, and their communities

PHILADELPHIA (January 23, 2017) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is thrilled to announce a $350,000 grant from the Connelly Foundation for advancing the museum's community educational outreach.

The new Connelly Foundation Community Education Center, located in the Historic Landmark Building at 118 N. Broad Street, hosts many of PAFA's ongoing programs for pre-K-through-12 students, educators, families, and adult audiences. The Center is also used for rotating exhibitions of community artwork, giving PAFA's diverse audiences a voice within the museum.

"The Community Education Center's mission perfectly aligns with the Connelly Foundation's long-standing support of educational programs, and builds on the Foundation's generous past support of such programs at PAFA," said David R. Brigham, PAFA President, CEO and Acting Museum Director. "Their gift allows us to provide and expand upon our family, children's, and school and teacher programs, exhibitions that highlight these programs, and resources for families exploring our museum."

This grant is the second part of an incremental gift to be added to the Foundation's generous grant of $150,000 during PAFA's last capital campaign.

Thomas Riley, the Connelly Foundation's Vice President for Planning, said, "The Connelly Foundation is particularly interested in improving the quality of life in the Philadelphia area through education, and PAFA has done such a marvelous job not just of educating its own students but offering educational opportunities to populations in our community who might not otherwise feel as connected to our wonderful city as they should."

The robust programming of the Connelly Foundation Community Education Center is inspired by PAFA's exhibitions, history, and collection, including Homeschool Workshops for families and school groups; lectures, symposia, and conversations for general audiences featuring an array of speakers from the cultural, curatorial, academic, and scientific communities; and Observe and Create workshops with innovative hands-on art making projects for all audiences.

Upcoming Homeschool Workshops include: "Illustration Nation" (February 3), with storytelling and illustration activities based on the exhibition A Big Story; "Mixed Media Masterpieces" (March 3), with art making inspired by the mixed media paintings on view in Anne Minich: Boat Series; and "Aerial Photography/Collage" (April 7), with instruction in watercolor collage influenced by aerial images in World War I and American Art.

Upcoming Observe and Create events include: "Stamp, Stencil and Paint" (March 18), where participants will examine political posters in the World War I and American Art exhibition and create their own mixed media artwork; and "Exclamation!" (April 8), where participants will discuss design principles in illustration and make work that incorporates text and other elements. 


About PAFA
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school and museum of fine arts. 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 Connelly Foundation
The Connelly Foundation  seeks to foster learning and to improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area.  The Foundation supports local non-profit organizations in the fields of education, health and human services, arts and culture and civic enterprise.
Last Updated
January 23, 2017 - 9:59 AM

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.