Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Awards $72K Discovery Grant to Pennsylvania Humanities Council for 'Chester Cultural Corridor' Project

Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Awards $72K Discovery Grant to Pennsylvania Humanities Council for 'Chester Cultural Corridor' Project

Philadelphia, PA -- The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) has been awarded a $72,000 Discovery Grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (The Center) for the Chester Cultural Corridor (C3) Project. PHCis partnering with the City of Chester, Widener University, and Chester Arts Alive! to launch this model civic engagement project that uses innovative theatre techniques to create identity, inspire innovative problem solving, and revitalize a city on the move.

"We are thrilled that The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is supporting PHC's plan to work with the C3 partners and national theater experts to engage diverse groups of Chester residents in revitalization decision-making through the use of the humanities and community conversations," said Laurie Zierer, PHC executive director.

C3 is the focus of a proposed Chester Arts and Culture District. This one-mile corridor extends from Widener University to the City's Central Business District, with historic Deshong Park and its shuttered art museum at its center. Central to the project is an innovative vision of creative placemaking that will integrate design, economic development, civic engagement, and the arts to bring diverse people together to be inspired by arts and the humanities.

The project aligns with PHC's mission to lead a vibrant network of individuals, organizations, and communities that champion the humanities and empowers Pennsylvanians to think critically, grow and engage in their communities.

"PHC is passionate about using the power of ideas of storytelling, dialoguing and creative problem-solving to open minds and build a better future for all Pennsylvanians," add Zierer.

The Center's Discovery Grant will enable PHC to bring nationally-known theater artist Bob Leonard and Jon Catherwood-Ginn from Virginia Tech to Chester to work with Chester Arts Alive! and its partner Gas & Electric Arts to use grassroots interactive theater to expand community engagement with Chester business owners, seniors, youth, artist and preservationist, and Widener University.

In addition, the Animating Democracy Project at Americans for the Arts will be studying the impact of our engagement process. This case study will help us raise the profile of PHC's new mission and program directions to build a vibrant network that champions the humanities and empowers local communities to develop creative solutions to their biggest challenges.

To read The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grants announcement visit

About PHC
The Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) is a non-profit organization and a federal-state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities for the last 40 years. PHC champions the humanities through original programming, advocacy, and humanities grants throughout the Commonwealth.

About the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center), established in 2005, is dedicated to stimulating a vibrant cultural community in the greater Philadelphia region. The Center makes project grants in two areas, Performance and Exhibition & Public Interpretation, as well as awarding grants to individual artists through our Pew Fellowships. The Center also makes Advancement grants, substantial awards to high-performing organizations seeking to make lasting improvements to their programming, audience engagement, and financial health. Each year, Center funding makes possible numerous performing arts events, as well as history and visual arts exhibitions and other public programs for audiences in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. The Center is also a hub for research and knowledge-sharing on issues critical to cultural practice.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Humanities Council