Philly artists perform for more funding at City Hall [video]
Arts organizations from across Philadelphia performed at City Hall on Tuesday to garner support for restoring arts funding in the city.
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, representatives of arts groups, and Michael Norris, executive director of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, met with City Council on Tuesday evening to testify about the value of the arts to Philadelphia.
Julie Hawkins, president of Philadelphia Cultural Fund, directed all genres of artists through City Hall — an Indian dance troupe, a storyteller and students studying classical music, among others, all recipients of Cultural Fund grants.
"Our goal was to animate the building," said Hawkins of the groups that came to create art in the hallways. "These organizations work very hard and care very much, not just about their own work, but the success of Philadelphia."
About four years ago, the Cultural Fund lost 42 percent of its funding because of cuts from city and state government and a decrease in private giving. Hawkins and the artists hope to restore arts funding to the 2010 level of $3.2 million so organizations can continue to do work in schools and neighborhoods.
As City Hall employees left the building Tuesday, the West Powelton Drumline called attention to a giant check symbolizing restored funding and a woman dancing in a City Hall puppet costume.
Tracy Broyles, executive director of Spiral Q Puppet Theater, an arts organization that engages communities to participate in the arts and work towards social justice, said that since the funding cuts, they are serving only half as many youth in the schools.