Philadelphia, November 12, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter attended an Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy’s (OACCE) Town Hall Meeting Exploring Philadelphia’s Cultural Ecology. With a new Chief Cultural Officer, Helen Haynes, and a renewed vision for a Creative Philadelphia, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy invited the arts and culture community to join a conversation exploring Philadelphia’s cultural ecology.

“Philadelphia has an incredible network of arts and culture organizations. The kind of innovative and collaborative ideas that come from group conversations like the town hall are extremely valuable to the creative economy of our great city,” said Mayor Nutter. “The thriving and inclusive spirit of the arts and culture sector is a major attraction for visitors and new residents. I am proud that Helen Haynes has joined in the efforts of the Administration to sustain and strengthen the arts community in Philadelphia by working to find effective models for partnership.”

Chief Cultural Officer Helen Haynes said, “This town hall was organized to help people fully understand our office, or Creative Philadelphia, and the role we play in guiding public policy. We want to connect the artistic community to city resources and build stronger relationships between arts and culture organizations in the city.  We also introduced our organizational theme over the next year of “The Cultural Ecology” working towards sustainability across all strata of that ecosystem with an emphasis on neighborhood institutions. The arts and culture scene in Philadelphia supports community development and promotes civic involvement, education and cultural understanding.”


The evening began with a presentation by the OACCE staff on the latest news about the office and the resources that it offers to the Philadelphia arts community. After the panel discussion, University of Pennsylvania Professor and Co-Director of the Urban Studies Program Mark J. Stern, Principal Investigator of Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP), delivered a keynote speech based on the conclusions and implications of the recent research paper he co-authored, Cultural Ecology, Neighborhood Vitality and Social Wellbeing – A Philadelphia Project.


The paper, by Susan C. Seifert, Director of SIAP, and Stern looked at the important role that neighborhood cultural organizations play in the “well-being” of Philadelphia communities, the report also addressed the current state of these institutions and the implications for the future.


After the formal speaking program, attendees explored the opportunities related to The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, creative community development options, arts practice possibilities and available shared resources and participated in a Q&A with Mark Stern, Susan Seifert and Ira Goldstein, President of The Reinvestment Fund Policy Solutions.

The panel was made up of community cultural leaders and the discussion, moderated by Helen Haynes, focused on “Sustaining the Legacy.” Panelists were Valerie Gay, Executive Director of Art Sanctuary; Laurel Raczka, Executive Director of the Painted Bride Art Center; Lisa Nelson-Haynes, Associate Director of the Painted Bride art Center; Gayle Isa, Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative; Elizabeth Grimaldi, Executive Director of Fleisher Art Memorial; and Veronica Castillo-Perez, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Consultant.

Philly CAM will provide a live stream of the Town Hall at




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 Arts & Culture, Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release, Topics
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