PAEP Receives The NEA Art Works Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairperson Joan Shigekawa announced that we are one of 895 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. We have been recommended for a $25,000 grant to support SmART Readers: An After School Arts and Literacy Program in Libraries.

PAEP, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the School District of Philadelphia are partnering together to create an after school program at eight different libraries around the city. The program aims to build skill and knowledge in the visual arts while also reinforcing grade level literacy/language arts skills for kids in grades 2-5. Based on projects, SmART Readers will promote experiential learning in the arts, develop critical thinking skills, and will include research and writing skills in each arts unit of study. Our students will be able to transform libraries into art galleries, allowing all families of the students to view their work. The students will be also taken to the Philadelphia Art Museum where they can experience major art works representative of the project they will engage in during the course of the program.

Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place through the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experience for the public to engage with the arts.”

Pearl Schaeffer, PAEP’s Chief Executive Officer also commented, “PAEP is delighted to accept this prestigious award presented through The National Endowment for the Arts. By utilizing the arts and partnering with key stakeholders in Philadelphia’s community, PAEP continues to strive to expand its work in after school time and provide students with more quality art experiences.

Art Works grants support the creation of art that exhibits excellence through: public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancing the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,528 eligible Art Works applications, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 895 are recommended for grants for a total of $23.4 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at

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