Forman Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Foundation Launch Art Works, a New Grant Program to Support Arts and Culture in Greater Philadelphia

Art Works is the inaugural program from the Forman Arts Initiative.

Forman Arts Initiative Media Contact:
Kate Wilhelm, Ceisler Media; or 856-304-7232

Philadelphia Foundation Media Contact:
Melissa Fordyce; or 856-430-4661

PHILADELPHIA, PA (3/25/ 2021) – Forman Arts Initiative (FAI) and Philadelphia Foundation are launching Art Works, a new $3 million grant program for community-based organizations and emerging artists. Art Works is designed to support arts, culture and creativity working in partnership with Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and other under-served communities. This is the inaugural program from the Forman Arts Initiative and will provide direct grants to regional artists and organizations that are critical to Greater Philadelphia’s rich diversity.

Art Works was designed to support the arts and culture community, which experienced extraordinary setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new program will select four organizations annually to receive two-year, unrestricted grants of up to $200,000 per year. Four emerging artists will receive two- year grants of $10,000 per year. The program is open to both visual and performing artists. Art Works creators should aspire to influence Greater Philadelphia’s civic identity and have deep roots in its communities.

“We’re looking to create long-term partnerships with artists and arts organizations whose work reflects the region’s diversity,” said Pedro Ramos, President and CEO of Philadelphia Foundation. “Art can be the lens through which people view equity within the world, and we hope that this program gives grantees an opportunity to develop works that help others challenge their own perspectives.”

Art Works investments will fund organizations and individual artists whose work is equitable and community-focused. Art Works will place a premium on work that is designed to connect, build and transform spaces and narratives to break down barriers through open access and inclusion.

Organizations must demonstrate how they are using the arts as an engine to transform their communities and create safe space for active civic participation.

“Philadelphia is a wonderful city with great organizations and artists. Our goal in creating the Forman Arts Initiative is to stimulate our region’s creative and arts communities through ongoing programming and advocacy,” said Michael Forman, co-founder of the Forman Arts Initiative. “Through FAI’s first initiative, developed in partnership with the Philadelphia Foundation, we expect to invest in artists and arts organizations that actively work with communities to make Greater Philadelphia a better place at a time when the region needs them most. When their work is further supported, the result for communities can be impactful – and we would like to offer our help in that process.”

The Forman Arts Initiative will also provide grantees with access to host co-operative education students from Drexel University to enhance their organizational effectiveness. These placements, administered by Drexel’s Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, provide meaningful work experience in the arts and culture sector.

Grantees will be selected by a nine-member committee composed of community advisors and FAI and Philadelphia Foundation principals and staff. Local nonprofit (or fiscally sponsored) organizations with budgets between $250,000 and $5 million are eligible to apply. They must demonstrate their deep connection to and their track records of working with BIPOC and other under-resourced communities. Individual applicants should be visual or performing artists with fewer than 10 years of professional experience. All applicants should be able to demonstrate a commitment to incorporating community perspectives into their work.

Applications are available at, and submissions are due April 23, 2021.

About Forman Arts Initiative:

The Forman Arts Initiative (FAI), founded by Michael Forman and Jennifer Rice, is a new organization dedicated to supporting community-based arts and creativity in Philadelphia through programming, convening and advocacy. Over the coming years, FAI will serve as a platform to connect, mentor and support artists and organizations around Philadelphia to deepen and to grow the rich cultural heritage of Philadelphia’s communities. More FAI initiatives for the city will unfold in the coming months and years. For more information visit

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 visit