The Office Of Arts, Culture And The Creative Economy Celebrates A+ Art Exhibit

Blick Art Materials donates $15,000 in gift certificates to 23 participating schools

Philadelphia, September 18, 2014 – The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (OACCE), in partnership with the Philadelphia School District, presented its fall exhibition A+ Art in the Art Gallery at City Hall. Each year, the OACCE partners with the Philadelphia School District’s Office of Academic Enrichment and Support to select 100 of the best art projects from its end-of-year Young Artists exhibit at the Philadelphia School District headquarters to be displayed at the A+ Art exhibit.

Additionally, the City announced that Blick Art Materials donated $15,000 worth of gift cards to the 23 participating schools to purchase materials for their art classes. OACCE will distribute the gift cards, worth $650 each, directly to the art teachers. Blick Art Supplies also gave gift bags with samples of art supplies for the students who attended the gallery reception today.

“The A+ Art exhibit recognizes that the arts are an important part of a well-rounded, high-quality education. It highlights the extraordinary artwork created by aspiring young artists and is a testament to the many dedicated art teachers, parents and administrators who passionately support these young artists and children across the city,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I want to thank Bob Buchsbaum for the $15,000 contribution from Blick Art Materials. This generous donation will help ensure that teachers can provide the art education that our children deserve.”

This year was the School District’s 58th annual city-wide Young Artists exhibit and it featured more than 1,500 works of art from approximately 150 schools. For the A+ Art exhibit, OACCE chose a representative sample of Philadelphia K –12 students from 23 schools across the city. The selected works chosen reflect an array of perspectives, cultural influences and artistic techniques. Each student artist in the A+ Art exhibit will be honored with a Mayoral Certificate of Artistic Excellence.

“Having artwork created by students of the School District of Philadelphia on display in the City Hall’s Art Gallery is an incredible opportunity to showcase their amazing talents. Art supplies need to be replenished frequently, unlike textbooks that can be used for several years before replacing,” said Deborah Klose, Director of Arts Education for the Philadelphia School District’s Office of Academic Enrichment and Support. “We cannot afford to lose the important lessons the arts teach – creativity, artistic expression and problem solving skills. We are most grateful to Bob Buchsbaum for his generous gift of art materials so we are able to continue cultivating our Young Artists exhibit.”

Bob Buchsbaum, CEO of Dick Blick Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Blick Art Materials, said, “Blick has been a long-time supporter and advocate for the arts. We continue to be involved in many national and local initiatives to support art and offset budget constrictions in schools and communities. Through our support of the A+ Art exhibit, we are proud to be able to give back to the Philadelphia community, helping students and teachers drive creativity in the classroom and beyond.”

David Brigham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), connected the office of OACCE with Bob Buchsbaum. David Brigham said, “Like the City, PAFA is committed to providing arts education for students in Philadelphia and is pleased to support this effort by helping to identify donors to provide art supplies for children in the public schools.”

Helen Haynes, Chief Cultural Officer, added, “Art teachers need our support so they can help children learn to express themselves in a healthy, productive way. The OACCE is trying to connect schools and teachers directly to resources beyond the school district’s limited budget, like Blick Art Supplies’ donation. Its generosity is a perfect example of how we can collaborate with outside partners to obtain resources that benefit the entire community. Also, I want to personally thank David Brigham and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for their help in securing this gift.”

The participating schools for A+ Art 2014 are:

Elementary and Middle Schools

  • Alexander McClure Elementary
  • Allan M. Stearne School
  • Amy Northwest
  • Baldi Middle School
  • Ellwood School
  • Amedee Bregy Elementary
  • Greenfield Elementary
  • Anna L. Lingelbach Elementary
  • Vare-Washington Elementary
  • Watson Comly School
  • William C. Bryant Promise Academy

High Schools

  • Abraham Lincoln High School
  • Academy at Palumbo
  • Benjamin Franklin High School
  • Central High School
  • Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Frankford High School
  • Franklin Learning Center
  • George Washington High School
  • High School of the Future
  • Horace Furness High School
  • Julia R. Masterman High School
  • Philadelphia High School for Girls


For more information on A+ Art, visit:

For additional information on Art In City Hall, visit:

The mission of the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is to support and promote arts, culture and the creative industries; and to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts that weave arts, culture and creativity into the economic and social fabric of the City. For more information on the OACCE, visit: and on Twitter @creativephl.

Posted in Press Release
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