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Knight Cities Challenge finalists announced, including 20 from Philadelphia

The Knight Cities Challenge has announced its finalists, including a healthy list from Philadelphia.

How do you choose 126 good ideas for cities from the more than 7,000 proposals submitted to the first Knight Cities Challenge?
It wasn’t easy.  But, as of today, we’ve asked 126 happy finalists to submit final applications in three weeks with more details about their ideas.

It’s an exciting time for them but also for us at Knight Foundation. It is a privilege to meet so many people who are passionate about their communities and who are working to make them better. Soon, we’ll have plans and budgets and bios that we and our reviewers will pore over to make the even tougher decision about which applicants become Knight Cities Challenge winners...

We identified the biggest category of finalists as projects that sought to bring public life back to public spaces with almost 24 percent of the total. That was followed by supporting a changing urban economy, 20 percent; promoting a robust civic life, 17 percent; building connections between diverse communities, 11 percent; changing the stories communities tell about themselves, 11 percent; reimagining civic assets, such as libraries, parks, trails and school grounds, 10 percent; and retaining talent, 7 percent. Seeing these themes emerge, we are so excited to learn more about what the challenge finalists are planning...

In three weeks the final applications will be in, and we will announce the winners, who will receive a share of $5 million, before April 1. 

Source: The Knight Foundation
Check out the complete list here.

Philadelphia Museum of Art receives major gift of contemporary works

Keith L. Sachs, the former chief executive of Saxco International, and his wife, Katherine are giving a major gift to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from their contemporary collection.

The couple are also major buyers of contemporary art, working closely with museum curators to amass a top-flight collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the 1950s to the present. This week, the museum announced that it had been promised a lion’s share of the Sachs holdings. Included in the gift are 97 works by contemporary masters like Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden and Gerhard Richter, worth nearly $70 million, according to auction house experts asked for their assessment. Timothy Rub, the museum’s director, said it was one of the most important gifts of contemporary art in the institution’s 138-year history.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the compelete story here.

Drake building recording studio at Strawberry Mansion High

The recording artist (and notable Canadian) Drake has committed to funding the construction of a recording studio at Strawberry Mansion High.

The rapper and singer said that after watching a Diane Sawyer special about the school which ran last May, he wanted to help: "by the end of it I was so heavily affected that at the end I started questioning like major aspects of my life."

Drake surprised students at Strawberry mansion high during a taping of a follow-up to the original ABC special. He told them that "over the next few months," he would build a recording studio there. He said, "This about you. This about your principal. This about your future. I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed."

Original source: Curbed Philly
Read the complete story here.

Local nonprofit music program Rock to the Future featured in the New York Times

Rock to the Future, a local nonprofit after-school music program for underprivileged children, was recently profiled in the New York Times as part of a trend piece on "giving cirles."

[Rock to the Future] received start-up financing of $15,000 in 2010 from Women for Social Innovation, a nonprofit philanthropic "giving circle" with a membership of around 20 women, providing seed money to social innovators seeking to help women, girls and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Such giving circles are on the rise. Members pool their money to make grants to local nonprofit groups, realizing that one hefty contribution can have an immediate influence in a community. Rock to the Future, for example, has expanded to 35 after-school students from 13. It expects to work with 300 students this year via additional weekends, summer workshops and a pilot mobile unit, with an operating budget of $204,980.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Mighty Writers moves into Hawthorne Hall on Lancaster Avenue

Curbed Philly reports on an exciting development: Mighty Writers is moving into Hawthorne Hall on Lancaster Avenue.

While Hawthorne Hall patiently awaits its anchor tenant, a surge of youthful creativity is bursting forth just a few doors down.

On the western edge of the building cluster is the former home of Truelight Missionary Baptist Church, where its once-abandoned pews have been replaced with collaborative workspaces, a small performance area, and the seasoned influential voice of Annette John-Hall, Director of Mighty Writers West Philadelphia campus at 3861 Lancaster Avenue.

Founded in 2009 by former Philadelphia Weekly editor Tim Whitaker, Mighty Writers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers SAT prep courses, homework help, mentorships, and writing workshops to Philadelphia students between the ages of 7-17. The volunteer-rich organization has been a tremendous benefactor of academic growth in the wake of massive budget cuts to Philadelphia schools in recent years.

Original source: Curbed Philly
Read the complete story here.

Komen cancels races; Philadelphia event remains

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been forced to cancel half of its three-day races, still reeling from last year's Planned Parenthood defunding disaster. The Philadelphia race will go on as planned.

Citing the economy and concerns about meeting fund-raising and volunteer participation goals in seven cities, Komen, the nation’s largest breast cancer advocacy organization, canceled its 2014 races in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington.

It will continue to hold races in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle.

After Komen announced its Planned Parenthood decision last year, many longtime supporters took their anger to social media platforms, leading Komen to restore the funds. The foundation, based in Dallas, has struggled to regain those supporters.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here

Young Visionaries: United By Blue's organic apparel and accessories

Entrepeneur's Young Visionaries series pays a visit to Philadelphia's United By Blue, an organic apparel and accessories company with a heavy social mission.
His vision provides for the removal of one pound of garbage from the nation's waterways through the sale of each item on the site. Each cleanup involves thousands of volunteers and has resulted in the removal of many thousands of pounds of garbage.
Original source: Entrepreneur
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Quadruple bottom line? How BLab's ratings help investors

Barron's writes about Berwyn-based B-Lab's impact on investing.

The process has cred. Yale School of Management now forgives student loans of M.B.A.s who work for a B Corp after graduation. Working with corporate-law firms, B Lab has also drafted legislation that would establish a "Benefit Corporation," a legal entity in which directors are held accountable for their treatment of people and the planet alongside their responsibilities to maximize shareholder profits.

Source: Barron's
Read the full story here.

Philadelphia leaders take to Toronto to share and 'steal'

Greater Philadelphia Economy League Executive Director Steve Wray talkes to Flying Kite sister publication Yonge Street about his organization's Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange, which visits Toronto this week.
One the focuses of the Economy League is what it means to be a world-class region and what it would take for Greater Philadelphia to attain status as a world-class region. As we select places to go, we look for regions that are world class or striving to be world class. Clearly Toronto has attained the status in the global community as a city and region on the rise, as a global financial capital and as an international city. We thought there were a lot of lessons we could bring back to Philadelphia from Toronto that would serve us well.
Original source: Yonge Street
Read the full story here.

American Revolution Center's "historical" design plans draw mixed reviews

Art Info weighs in on plans to overhaul the American Revolution Center's Museum of the American Revolution at Third and Chestnut.
Saffron is one of several critics and locals who see Stern's conservative Georgian reproduction to be a lost opportunity for Philadelphia. Her criticism comes up against the cheers of neo-traditionalist advocates, who argue that a "historical" style is appropriate for a building that will not only house historical artifacts but also abut landmarks dating back one, even two centuries. However, as Hidden City Philadelphia writer Nathaniel Popkin points out, the Revolution museum's surroundings are sprinkled with buildings from various time periods: the neighboring First Bank of the United States boasts a grand neoclassical façade, and the Merchant Exchange Building is likewise a tribute to white stone and Renaissance-era tectonics. Also nearby are twinned cast-iron high-rises and other buildings that visibly embrace the advent of glass-and-steel construction.
Original source: Art Info
Read the full story here.

Introducing the Academy of Natural Sciences' museum exhibition and book

The exhibition, which opened last weekend, takes visitors along with academy scientists as they search for new species and study humanity’s collective impact on the environment. The book embraces a larger agenda.
To wander through "A Glorious Enterprise: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the Making of American Science" is to absorb the 19th century's passion for botany and zoology; the 20th century's mania for exploration of distant, difficult or desolate places; and present-day preoccupations, particularly environmental issues like water quality.
Original source: Academy of Natural Sciences
Read the full story here.

United By Blue's marriage of mission with money

Inc. magazine dives into Philadelphia-based, organic apparel company United By Blue and the success of its mission-oriented approach.
Linton graduated from Temple University with two passions: entrepreneurship and water conservation. He was appalled by the fact that an estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into oceans annually. So when he founded United By Blue in 2010, he was determined to use the business to make a difference by connecting every sale to a cleanup project. It would be good for the environment -- and for marketing.
He designed a line of T-shirts, found a manufacturer in India, and began cold calling retailers. A year later, the shirts were in 175 stores, including six Whole Foods and 20 Urban Outfitters locations.
Original source: Inc. Magazine
Read the full story here.

Vote expected this week on 40-foot sculpture for new Barnes

The New York Times teases the Philadelphia Art Commission's expected Wednesday vote to approve plans for a 40-foot high stainless steel sculpture at the new Barnes Foundation site on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The sculpture, called “The Barnes Totem,’’ was designed to echo the vertical forms of the red maple trees lining a path to the museum’s entrance. Mr. Kelly selected the site in collaboration with the landscape architect Laurie Olin and architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Original source: The New York Times
Read the full story here.

Soup's on: PhilaSoup promotes innovative education projects

Philadelphia sisters Claire and Nikka Landau and friend Jason Tucker have established PhilaSoup as a monthly dinner bringing together dynamic educators to fund the most ambitious and innovative projects, reports NPR.

On a recent Sunday night, the trio of friends welcomed about 45 teachers and other members of the local education community to a cozy gathering at the University Barge Club, a 19th-century boathouse on the banks of the Schuylkill River. As folks walked in, they were asked to fill out name tags -- with their names and the names of their favorite children's books.

"Teachers all over Philadelphia are doing terrific projects," Claire said. "It's really exciting to gather and break bread with teachers from across the city doing exciting things."

Original source: NPR
Read the full story here.

Berwyn's B Lab leading Benefit Corporation legislation in Oregon

Berwyn-based B Lab is leading the push for Benefit Corporation legislation in Oregon, reports Sustainable Business Oregon.

The legislation would provide a legal framework for companies to register as a company dedicated to providing a public benefit. The designation would be available as an option alongside C Corporation or S Corporation.

Similar legislation has been passed in California, Vermont, Hawaii, New York, Maryland and New Jersey and is pending in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and the District of Columbia.

Original source: Sustainable Business Oregon
Read the full story here.
24 Philanthropy Articles | Page: | Show All
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