About ArtsRising

ArtsRising is a community-wide effort to improve and expand equitable access to high quality arts education opportunities for children in the Greater Philadelphia Region so that youth are better engaged in learning and find multiple pathways to success in school and in their community. Reaching all children and youth in the region is central to our mission.

ArtsRising functions as a builder, broker and bridge of arts educational opportunities. Its leadership organizations are the Philadelphia Education Fund, Public Citizens for Children and Youth and Fleisher Art Memorial.  This leadership entity provides the initiative with the human, social and intellectual capital to fulfill ArtsRising’s mission, ensuring a more coordinated and equitable system of delivery.

Why ArtsRising, Why Now?

The Philadelphia region is rich with arts and cultural resources, yet access to these opportunities is inequitable; many young people and families, and many schools do not know about, or do not know how to access these offerings.  Arts and cultural organizations, recognizing the increased demand for high quality arts opportunities, are seeking sustained partnerships with schools but often find navigating school systems difficult.  We know that the arts can create a love of learning that can lead to student success and, yet, Philadelphia has not been able to bridge the rich cultural landscape and the needs of our struggling at-risk youth.

ArtsRising was founded to meet this need by reaching all children and youth through the creation of a Zone model that spreads broadly across the city and the region. ArtsZones are being built as incubators and catalysts for broader and systemic change in arts education. ArtsRising is quickly moving to scale up the initiative by executing a five-year plan for replication of ArtsZones so that fifteen zones blanket the city with increased and better quality arts opportunities for children and youth. 

ArtsRising is Unique

ArtsRising, in its role as the bridge between the arts and education communities, is committed to elevating the field of arts education in Philadelphia and to establishing itself as central to the national dialogue on quality education inclusive of the arts. We are not duplicating existing efforts; we are brokering multiple avenues through which every child can experience the arts. We have defined four key areas of work that, together, will leverage the existing assets and strengths of Philadelphia’s rich arts and cultural community to build and broker a coordinated system for high quality arts education opportunities.  ArtsRising will reach children and youth in the Philadelphia region by:

  • Building, expanding, and replicating the ArtsZone model in schools and communities across the City of Philadelphia and the region;
  • Providing professional development and other supports for principals and administrators, teachers, and teaching artists to improve coordination and quality across the education, out-of-school time, and the arts and cultural sectors;
  • Supporting state and school district-level policy changes for increased support and funding for arts education;
  • Increasing communications, community engagement and awareness in support of arts education.

While ArtsRising measures its impact in Philadelphia, the initiative will begin to expand its scope to the surrounding four counties. Our goals are to establish best practices and shared definitions of quality in arts education, to build and sustain advocacy efforts by making quality arts education a regional issue, not just a Philadelphia issue, and to affect larger region-wide policy changes in arts education.