PAFA First is the ambitious capital campaign to implement a comprehensive and transformative Campus Master Plan, designed by award-winning architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky. By expanding and modernizing PAFA's campus and programs, the Campaign and Campus Master Plan will ensure that PAFA remains at the forefront of American Art for years to come. This strategic plan, completed in 2013, aims to achieve six key goals:
Increasing Our Commitment to Contemporary Art and Art-Making
For more than two centuries, PAFA has played a pivotal role in defining the future of American art. To reaffirm our commitment to the art of today–and the art of the future–PAFA has established a new endowed fine art acquisition fund, half of which will be used to support the acquisition of works from early and mid-career artists.
A new Post-WWII Art Collection Vault will accommodate these new acquisitions, in addition to ensuring the continued care of the museum's existing collection. This new facility will increase PAFA's overall art storage capacity by 80%. The additional storage space will also allow PAFA to relocate works to vaults in the building in which they are most likely to be exhibited.
Promoting Innovation in Art Education
Throughout its history, PAFA's curriculum has evolved to reflect the art of its time and to shape the art of the future. In keeping with this tradition of innovation, PAFA has launched two new degree programs and transformed 25,000 square feet on the fifth floor of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building to accomodate the classroom spaces, technology, and faculty to support them.
PAFA's new Fine Arts Illustration undergraduate program builds off the institution's rigorous fine arts training and storied history of alumnae/i illustrators, providing graduates with the tools to launch careers in fields such as animation, book and magazine illustration, poster and storyboard art, and more. New classrooms to support the program feature professional-quality drawing tables and digital resources to ensure that students have advance access to professional-level instruction and facilities early in their artistic careers.
On the fifth floor of the Hamilton Building, a new Digital Media Laboratory, Multi-Purpose Media Studio, and Printing Laboratory are now available for all PAFA students. These state-of-the-art resources are of critical importance to students in the Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts program. The curriculum of this innovative program is built around distance learning and virtual classroom technology, allowing MFA students to maintain full-time jobs and remote residencies while also advancing their training as fine artists.
Expanding Our Reach and Accessibility
In the fall of 2017, PAFA will break ground on a new Arts Center in the lower level of the Hamilton Building. At the Art Center's core will be a 275-seat auditorium—two-thirds larger than our current facility—equipped with state-of-the-art technology for the exhibition of film, performance, art, lectures, and public programs. By collaborating with partners throughout the city—including FringeArts, 900AM-WURD, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, the Mural Arts Program, New Freedom Theatre, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society—we will attract new audiences while expanding and diversifying the cultural offerings available at PAFA and in Philadelphia at large.
Visitors attending programs in the Arts Center will convene in a new Student Art Gallery and Concourse. This space will feature exhibitions of work by current PAFA students, curated by faculty and the students themselves. The Student Art Gallery and Concourse will expose visitors to cutting-edge student work and put PAFA’s expanded curriculum on display.
Writing the Future of American Art History
The history of American art was not and could not be taught without PAFA. Our priceless collection of archives preserves the stories and successes of the institution's key leaders, alumni, teachers, and artists, many of whom are iconic figures in American art history. With the establishment of the Center for the Study of the American Artist, PAFA has made these countless documents, sketchbooks, photographs, records, works of art on paper, and published volumes accessible to students and scholars of American art, as well as to the general public. The Center consolidates our unique archives, fine arts library, works on paper collection, and rare books on the refurbished fifth floor of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, and features a Works on Paper Study Room, conservation facility, and a climate-controlled storage vault.
Preserving the Historic Landmark Building
PAFA’s iconic Historic Landmark Building was the first major commission of Frank Furness, arguably Philadelphia’s most important architect. Today, the HLB contains most of PAFA's world-class art collection, both in the building's galleries and in its vaults. The Campus Master Plan addresses critical improvements and repairs to the building’s HVAC systems, roof, skylights, electrical system, elevators, windows, plumbing, masonry, and accessibility to ensure that this important piece of architectural history continues to inspire visitors and the next generation of great American artists.
Revitalizing North Broad Street
The redevelopment of North Broad Street is progressing rapidly with new investments in real estate and the establishment of a civic organization which focuses on the evolution of the corridor. PAFA is an anchor of this cultural and commercial revitalization. To increase its visibility and attract a larger audience during this critical moment of development, PAFA will create new exterior lighting and signage for the Historic Landmark Building and the Hamilton Building, hang bold new branding banners, build coordinated paving on Broad Street linked to Lenfest Plaza, and install transparent glass on the first two floors of the Hamilton Building windows. Tableau, the new café in the Hamilton Building, features outdoor seating on Lenfest Plaza and provides a gathering space for students, museum visitors, and the public. The Broad Street Studio, completed in the Fall of 2016, places art-making on public display at street-level in the Hamilton Building, allowing visitors to interact with PAFA students and see contemporary art in action.
Through the Campaign and Campus Master Plan, PAFA will dramatically improve its facilities, curriculum, and collection. In doing so, it will transform the past, present, and future of American art. We are grateful to the generous donors who have made a commitment to PAFA's future by supporting the Campaign: it is only together that we can make PAFA First: For the Future of American Art.
Support the PAFA First Campaign today! Your gift of any amount is fully tax deductible. For more information regarding the Campaign, contact Zac Joseph, Campaign Manager, at 215-972-2005 or email@example.com.