As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, arts institutions are particularly vulnerable to extraordinary financial fallout and face potentially permanent closures as a result. The emergency grants from Mellon and William Penn in combination, ranging from $50,000 to $400,000, will support organizations at the heart of the Philadelphia arts ecosystem with 12 months of immediate funding as they adapt to unprecedented obstacles posed by this worldwide health crisis.
Philadelphia, the sixth-largest city in the United States, has an internationally admired heritage of arts and culture. Both Mellon and William Penn have long supported arts and culture organizations in the city. The William Penn Foundation is the largest funder of the sector and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the second-largest funder of Philadelphia arts, and both organizations’ support for the arts is often closely aligned.
As a companion to grants recently made by the William Penn Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has committed $4 million in matching funds. This joint funding infusion marks the first time the two foundations have collaborated and comes at a moment when new COVID-19 restrictions have been placed on Philadelphia museums, requiring them to close until January 1, 2021.