By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A million dollars in grant money has been awarded to 25 area arts organizations, to continue free public programs and innovative audience engagement projects.

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Among those receiving funding from the PNC “Arts Alive” initiative was the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.   The group received a $25,000 grant to support the chorus’ “Big Sing” community series.

And for a second year a row, Fleisher Art Memorial is getting funding — this year, $35,000 for its “Color Wheels” program.

“The first year of funding PNC Arts Alive allowed us to purchase a vehicle that we are turning into a mobile arts studio,” says Matt Braun, executive director of Fleisher.  “And this years PNC’s Arts Alive grant is going to enable us to do programming with the van, out in neighborhoods and community sites in Southeast Philadelphia.”

Color Wheels rolls into neighborhoods next month.

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PNC regional president Bill Mills says the Arts Alive initiative has given a million dollars to area arts organizations for each of the past four years.

“And although a million dollars sounds like a lot,” Mills says, “we had something like 100 people apply for the grants and we could only give 25.  But it’s very difficult, and we need more help from the corporate community.”



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