Tuesday, April 22 marked the first Philadelphia Arts Advocacy Day taking place at historic City Hall. IJ was one of the many arts groups that descended on City Hall for an hour of impromptu arts concerts. Our collective goal was to remind Philadelphia City Council that not only are the arts everywhere, but that organizations like IJ contribute to the city's overall vitality.
IJ is one of the many organizations that receives general operating support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF), the city's public arts funding. Funding from PCF provides city arts and culture organizations with much-needed general operating funds. PCF allocations from City Council reached a high of $3.2 million in 2009. Since 2010 however, PCF funds have fallen to $1.84 million, which is not nearly enough for the nearly 273 organizations that receive grants each year.
IJ's own Hanna Khoury performed on the fifth floor of City Hall, just down the hall from fellow Philadelphia Cultural Fund grantees Project Capoeira, Sounds of Liberty Barbershop Quartet, and AMLA (Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos). Hanna performed for both arts supporters and many fascinated government employees.
There was even a jam session between Hanna and young violin students with Musicopia, a city arts education organization.
The following video, created by NewsWorks, features a portion of Hanna Khoury's special performance and shows many other performances and artists who were with us at City Hall.