You are here

Spark Grants - Cultural Enrichment

Culture enrichment describes an activity or action that enhances one's awareness of different cultural practices, attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is enriched when it is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next as expressed through the arts, music, festivals, history, and more.

Such activity has a long history of bringing people together across boundaries -- increasing understandings across disparate and historically unequal groups, and supporting the agency of underrepresented communities to create, maintain and share their own stories. 

Integrating the arts and cultural dimension more fully into our lives enriches each of us, and because engaging in these activities brings individuals together, it fosters community.


HOW CAN YOU HELP?

GIVE TO THE CAUSE. CULTURAL ENRICHMENT

Help us give more to this issue and raise awareness in 2017 by making a tax-deductible gift with our PayPal account. LVCF donor-advised funds can provide support with a simple email request.


GET INFORMED

Learn more about cultural enrichment initiatives by viewing the five finalist videos for LVCF Spark Grants and the Making the Case stats below.

 

Congratulations to our Cultural Enrichment Spark Grant Recipents

Mikayla's Voice received $15,000 for their "Our Friend Brady" program. An acronym for the Voice Of Inclusion for Children Everywhere, Mikayla’s Voice inspires kids of all abilities to share the message of inclusion. The grant will enable the organization to produce a book on what it is like to be friends with someone with a disability (no big deal!) and serve as a springboard for further discussion. Brady, a student at Spring Garden Elementary School, and his friends will tell their story of friendship. The book will be printed and donated to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

State Theatre Center for the Arts, Inc., received $12,500 for their Spark the Arts initiative. The grant will underwrite the cost of tickets for select FREDDY student populations (and other students) as well for local veterans to certain Broadway and other performances at the State Theatre during the 2017-2018 show season.

Three organizations received grants of $7,500 each to kick-start or enhance programs:

ArtsQuest, Inc.’s ArtSparks project will support new initiatives that highlight the rich and diverse cultures that make up the Greater Lehigh Valley through the presentation of arts and culture programs at SteelStacks and the Banana Factory.  

The National Museum of Industrial History will embark on The Cabinet of Curiosity, an interactive exhibit in the Museum's Iron & Steel Gallery focusing on the individuals, families and communities drawn to South Bethlehem to work at the Bethlehem Steel plant from fifty foreign countries. 

A grant to Performing Arts Live., Inc. will help support the 2017 edition of Allentown JazzFest that will take place from May 3 through May 7, 2017.


Thank you

Thank you to those who attended the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation discussion on the role of the arts in economic development on Tuesday, April 25 and to distinguished speakers Roland Kushner, Associate Professor, Business, Muhlenberg College; and Jeffrey A. Parks, Chair, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. And a big LVCF thank you to Crayola....inspiring artistic creativity in children for more than 100 years—Crayola was our Spark Sponsor for LVCF's Cultural Enrichment event. 


Artwork by Freedom High School teachers and studentsMaking The Case | Cultural Enrichment

Integrating the arts and cultural dimension more fully into our lives enriches each of us, and because engaging in these activities brings individuals together, it fosters community. As a result, we welcome new ideas and different ways of looking at cultural enrichment.

  • It is estimated that by the end of 2017 more than 25% of public high schools will have eliminated art programs.
  • In the Lehigh Valley, public school administrators reported having a budget of $500 or less to support arts programs.
  • The arts have a long history of bringing people together across boundaries -- increasing understandings across disparate and historically unequal groups, and supporting the agency of underrepresented communities to create, maintain and share their own stories.
  • The Lehigh Valley welcomed more than 14,000 residents over the past five years, including more than 12,000 immigrants, making it imperative to institute cultural enrichment and arts programs to promote inclusion.
  • It was reported that in the Lehigh Valley 45% of public school districts do not take annual arts related field trips.
  • Only 69% of school districts attend artistic performances and only 47.6% collaborate across curricula to incorporate art into teaching.