July 16, 2015 |
Pedro A. Ramos, a lawyer and former chief of the School Reform Commission, has been named the next president and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, which awards grants and scholarships to nonprofit organizations. Ramos, 50, is a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, and previously chaired the Philadelphia school board in addition to his role at the SRC. He also served in city government as both managing director and city solicitor. The first Latino to hold the position, Ramos will assume the post in August.
July 7, 2015 |
As part of its push to get all kids reading on grade-level by fourth grade, the Philadelphia School District yesterday announced plans to spend $30 million on literacy, including $10.5 million in donations from the William Penn and Lenfest foundations. The money, which includes about $12.7 million from the district, will go towards teacher training, literacy coaches and in-classroom libraries for all 150 district elementary schools over the next three years, impacting about 48,000 students, officials said.
April 24, 2015 |
ROBERT NOTTINGHAM has lived in North Central Philadelphia for more than 25 years. When Nottingham moved from South Philly to the North Philly home that his late uncle had owned, the neighborhood was overcome by troubles. There were blocks of decaying houses - some were drug dens for people who had fallen into the zombie-world of the crack epidemic of the 1980s. "Before the [August 1964 race] riots, things were really good," Nottingham said. "We used to have really nice bars, shoe stores, clothing stores and furniture stores.
February 9, 2015 |
A new William Penn Foundation-commissioned study paints a portrait of the Philadelphia arts scene as rife with both promise and peril. The report, which examines more than 160 groups, says some are coming up with innovative ways to adjust to changing demographics and ticket-buying patterns, but it also finds that 70 percent are in poor financial health, undercapitalized, and unable to withstand financial stress or to fund new ideas. And while there is a promising new generation of philanthropists in the area, they have not been persuaded by arts groups to loosen their purse strings.
December 19, 2014 |
To help connect the region's bicycle and pedestrian paths, the William Penn Foundation has given $8.6 million for a planned 750-mile trail network. The money will be funneled to local governments and nonprofit organizations to design, plan, and build trails, with an emphasis on urban corridors, Andrew Johnson, director of the foundation's watershed-protection program, said Wednesday. The foundation gave $7 million to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to award for trail projects over the next three years.
December 17, 2014 |
In the wake of leadership changes and the loss of funding from a major supporter, the Philadelphia Singers has decided to cease operations. The city's pioneering professional chorus will sing its last notes at a May concert, and then the organization will dissolve. The chorus was founded in 1972. The Philadelphia Singers' board voted to shut down after learning in November that the William Penn Foundation had turned down a request for a three-year grant for general support; after its executive director resigned; and in view of $125,000 in debt, said Michael Martin Mills, board vice president.
December 15, 2014 |
The William Penn Foundation has decided to provide short-term funding for Dance USA/Philadelphia, the service organization whose grant application was unexpectedly denied by the foundation last month after many years of support. The grant denial sent shock waves through the local dance community, which relied on the organization, commonly known as Dance/UP, for a wide variety of services - from an e-newsletter, packed with grant-deadline information, to a robust program of subsidized performance venues for the region's burgeoning number of troupes and choreographers.
December 8, 2014 |
Waves of dismay are rolling through the region's dance community in the wake of an abrupt decision by the William Penn Foundation to cease funding Dance/UP, a branch of Washington-based Dance/USA and the sole organization serving the entire community. The foundation, which provided the funding in 2006 to launch Dance/UP and has supported it ever since, gave no notice that it would not renew that support, said dance officials, nor did it offer to finance a transition period for Dance/UP (formerly called Dance USA/Philadelphia)
September 12, 2014 |
The William Penn Foundation is extending its longtime role as primary benefactor of the Free Library of Philadelphia by awarding the library the biggest grant in the history of either institution. The Free Library will receive $25 million from William Penn over three years, helping to pay for renovations at the Central Library downtown, plus the renovation and expansion of five neighborhood branches in South Philadelphia, central North Philadelphia, Logan, Tacony, and Mount Airy.