Arts + Business Council to Launch Digital Drawingboard; Transition Business and Technology Volunteer Program to Philadelphia Foundation

ABC Media Contact:
Liz Ferry: 215.356.8252 or

Philadelphia Foundation Contact:
Melissa Fordyce: 215-863-8126 or

PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 17, 2020 — For more than 35 years, The Arts + Business Council (ABC) has operated programs that connect business and technology volunteers with arts organizations. As a result of these programs, volunteers helped hundreds of arts organizations build new online apps, undergo strategic planning processes and launch marketing strategies, among other projects.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, ABC sees a continuing need for arts organizations to connect with business and technology volunteers, but also a new urgent need for arts organizations to learn technology tools and tactics to transform their programs and operations to be more virtual and equitable.

To most effectively serve the arts community, and develop a new partnership that benefits the sector, ABC will transition its business and technology volunteerism efforts to the Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub. “We’re thrilled to develop this partnership with the Philadelphia Foundation that will be a boon for arts organizations and volunteers,” said Diana Lind, Executive Director for the Arts and Business Council for Greater Philadelphia. “At the same time, we’re excited to launch a new program that will integrate with the Key Skills Hub and further connect the creative and business communities.”

The Hub served over $2.2 million in services to 226 NGOs across the region in 2019. With the onset of COVID-19 between March and August 1st this year, over $1 million in services have been provided to 120 organizations by 346 volunteers.

“The Arts community enriches the vibrancy of our neighborhoods,” said Diane Melley, Executive Director of Second Century Initiatives and Corporate Partnerships for Philadelphia Foundation. “Collaborating with ABC to unleash the skills and talents of volunteers through the Key Skills Hub at scale, will enable our communities to effectively and creatively rebuild.”

In bolstering the Key Skills Hub, this partnership will enable not only ABC’s existing community to take advantage of the Philadelphia Foundation’s capacity and digital platform, but will also allow ABC to direct new incoming requests from arts organizations and volunteers to the Foundation in a more timely fashion.

ABC will also launch a new 5-week professional development program, Digital Drawingboard, which will provide approximately 30 leaders in the creative economy with the resources and skills needed to enhance their organization’s digital presence and reimagine their offerings for virtual engagement. At the same time, this program will share tactics and techniques from Philadelphia’s diverse arts leaders, and specifically explore how to develop virtual programs and operations that engage and amplify the region’s people of color. Following Digital Drawingboard, organizations can request help on the Philadelphia Foundation’s Key Skills Hub from tech volunteers to implement what they’ve learned during the program. Assets created in the Digital Drawingboard program will be shared with all Key Skills Hub participants to leverage the work and scale it.

Over a five-week period, participants will work alongside a cohort of creative professionals, as well as leaders from Comcast, Pariveda, Your Part Time Controller and other technology companies, to discover how to leverage technology to effectively adapt to the future of online arts and culture. The curriculum will give participants insight into how to transition to virtual programs, utilize web design and social media to tell their organization’s story, understand and monetize your audience, build data literacy, and more.

Through these two efforts, ABC will strengthen the connection between the technology and arts communities, help bolster the arts community in these difficult times and engage these communities in important discussions about access, equity and social justice.

The new Digital Drawingboard program is made possible with support from the Comcast Foundation, Philadelphia Foundation, CapTech Consulting, Pariveda Solutions and Your Part-Time Controller.

The Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia

The mission of the Arts + Business Council is to foster collaboration and exchange between the creative and business communities for the social and economic benefit of the Greater Philadelphia region.

About Philadelphia Foundation
Founded in 1918, Philadelphia Foundation strengthens the economic, social and civic vitality of Greater Philadelphia. Philadelphia Foundation grows effective philanthropic investment, connects individuals and institutions across sectors and geography, and advances civic initiatives through partnerships and collaboration. A publicly supported foundation, the Philadelphia Foundation manages more than 1,000 charitable funds established by its donors and makes over 1,000 grants and scholarship awards each year. To learn more information visit