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For Immediate Release
More than 20 organizations received grant funding to increase access to their art programs for diverse, new audiences in both virtual and in-person settings
PHILADELPHIA, PA (November 21, 2022) — PECO announced today a total of nearly $250,000 in grant funding to more than 20 community arts programs through its recently launched competitive grants program, PECO Powering the Arts. The initiative is designed to support small and mid-sized community-based arts organizations in reaching new and diverse audiences with arts and culture programming and reducing barriers to their participation.
"Education, engagement, and participation in the arts helps to enhance the human experience, celebrate our differences, and create a powerful connection between individuals," said Romona Riscoe Benson, Director, Corporate and Community Impact, PECO. "Community-based arts groups have no lack of imagination or aspiration but need resources and funding to expand their reach. This investment will support projects that are exposing arts programs as broadly as possible to new and diverse audiences."
PECO and regional arts and culture organizations have a shared vision to increase access to the arts, particularly in underrepresented communities. According to a recent survey by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, PA Humanities, and PA Museums, 86% of the arts and culture organizations in Southeastern PA have acknowledged efforts to develop and increase engagement with diverse groups including BIPOC, AAPI, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, immigrants, and aging or returning citizens.
Access to the arts took on an additional meaning following the COVID-19 pandemic, when many arts organizations moved to a more remote or hybrid program environment. Even when arts venues re-opened, many did not abandon the virtual stage, breaking geographic boundaries and redefining audience participation. Powering the Arts helps to enhance virtual platforms, create new platforms, or otherwise boost technology use, especially to audiences who may have rarely participated.
This year's grantees include 22 arts organizations across the Greater Philadelphia region:
For more information about PECO's commitment to arts and culture, visit https://www.peco.com/SafetyCommunity/Community/Pages/ArtsCulture.aspx.
PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania's largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to nearly 1.7 million electric customers and more than 545,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company's 2,800 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the largest fully regulated utility company in the nation with more than 10 million customers. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.