Announcing our 2021 Organizational Grantees!

We are thrilled to announced that the Bartol Foundation has distributed $155,000 in grants of $6,000-7,500 each to 24 Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations. This represents an increase of 25% over 2020 in the dollars distributed.  The Foundation supports organizations in a range of artistic disciplines with an emphasis on arts education and community-based arts programs. A complete list with information on each grantee is available here.

The 2021 roster of grantees reflects the Bartol Foundation’s commitment to supporting cultural organizations that provide exceptional, sustained arts experiences to children, teens and adults throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Bartol Foundation prioritizes community-based organizations which authentically connect to and represent the people they serve, in which demographics of the staff, board and teaching artists align with the community served.

These awards include 8 first-time grantees representing a third of all grants.  Four organizations operate through fiscal sponsors, enabling organizations which do not hold non-profit status to receive support.   Of the 24 grants, 21 organizations requested and received general operating support. 

“The Bartol Foundation continues to prioritize ways to support organizations which are embedded in their communities and to work to remove barriers to receiving grants,” said Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Bartol Foundation. “A third of our new grantees have budgets under $100,000 and the smallest has a budget under $20,000. Providing general operating support is the lifeline of essential day-to-day dollars to keep these small organizations going.”

“Adding new grantees recognizes that even while philanthropy is targeting support during COVID to organizations with which they have an institutional relationship, it’s important to also open the doors to others who do not yet have access to these relationships,” added Sannii Crespina-flores, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Founder of the Un-Inhibited Muse Film Festival, the global youth initiative Do Remember Me and the art collaborative Yram Collective. “Providing arts education programs give creative voice to communities which have been marginalized or silenced. These voices are even more important as we process our experiences in the past year of the pandemic and continued racial injustices.”

The $5,000 George Bartol Arts Education Award, given annually to an organization that exemplifies the Foundation’s priorities, will be announced later this summer. 

Updated guidelines and applications for the next round of grants will be available in the winter of 2022 on our website here with an application deadline of May 2, 2022.

Who We Are: Welcoming Our New Board Members and Officers

C:\Documents and Settings\Joan\Desktop\bartol-logo.JPG

Who We Are

Welcoming Our New Board Members and Officers

Each member of the Bartol board brings their unique perspective to our conversation, perspectives that are embedded in the work we do and the people we serve.  Our focus on diverse voices has always been present on the board.  Today we are especially focused on adding board members who will activate new networks so that more people know about what Bartol does and the resources they can access.

Here’s a cool infographic that shows you more about the board’s demographics.  Since we ask our grantees to do this, it seems fitting that we will also be transparent in sharing our story.  You can read about all of our board members here.

The Class of 2021

This year’s class includes two dancers, a musician and a theatre artist.  But being true creatives, they all juggle multiple day jobs.

  • Betsaleel Charmelus is a program director for the anti-violence, music based non-profit Beyond the Bars, facilitates as a music instructor for survivors of sexual trauma with JJPI’s B.O.S.S Program, and member of the nationally acclaimed, all-black rock band ill Fated Natives.
  • Cat Ramirez is a Philly-based director and producer.  They currently serve as the Creative Director for Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists and the Interim Line Producer at The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
  • Iquail Shaheed is the executive artistic director of Dance Iquail, a Philadelphia-based dance company working at the intersection of dance and social justice.  He is on the Faculty of Goucher College and is pursuing his Ph. D.
  • Sinta Penyami Storms Through her work to preserve the traditional Indonesian culture, Sinta founded Modero & Company.  She is also the Events and Operations Manager at Philadelphia Folklore Project. 

Most importantly, each of these new board members are passionate about the role that the arts play in activating social justice and in amplifying voices that have been silenced.   

And Our New Officers

We also welcome two new officers to our Executive Committee.

  • Wit López (Secretary) is a visual artist, performer, and arts administrator. They are the Artistic Director of Till Arts Project, an arts-services organization serving LGBTQI+ artists in the Greater Philly area.
  • Hannah Gillean (Treasurer) is a Director, Cobalt LP at Hamilton Lane.  Hannah is a finance professional who is passionate about supporting Philadelphia and the arts outside of her day-to-day job.

We can’t wait until the city reopens and we can be out meeting you again! 

2021 Bartol Foundation Application Now Open

Ahora podrá aplicar a la beca de la Fundación Bartol en Español.

Like all of you, we at the Bartol Foundation have been navigating the weight and sadness of the past year.  We appreciate your patience as we thought about how to adjust our grant process and application to make it more equitable and streamlined.  The application is now open for our upcoming deadline on Monday, May 3 at 5:00pm.

Eligibility:  Our eligibility requirements remain the same.  You must be:

  • A non-profit organization with a current 501(c)(3) status or have an affiliation with a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
  • Presenting programs focused on community-based, hands-on, in-depth arts education.
  • Presenting programs within the City of Philadelphia.

Check out additional requirements here first before you start the application process. 

What’s the Same? What’s Different?

Mandatory Check-In/Virtual Site Visit:  Anyone applying for a grant at this deadline needs to arrange a mandatory check-in call or virtual site visit by going on this form by Friday, April 2.  The check-in must be completed by May 1, 2021.  You can read more about this here.

Apply in Spanish:  You are now able to apply in Spanish. While we haven’t been able to translate our entire website yet, you will see the option of applying in English or Spanish when you get ready to access the online application.  If you have questions, you can email and to be connected with a Bartol board member who can answer your questions in Spanish.

Ahora podrá aplicar a la beca de la Fundación Bartol en Español. Para más información presione aqui. ¿Preguntas? Envíenos un correo a

What Can You Apply For? We encourage you to apply for general operating support.  This year we have two categories.  If all of your programs focus on arts education, you can apply for regular general operating support.  If arts education programs are one component of your organization (for example, you also present performances or exhibitions), you can now apply for general operating support for your arts education programs. This will enable you to outline your general arts education programs if you are unsure of specifics for 2021-22 due to ongoing COVID restrictions. You can also still apply for a specific project.

Application Questions:  We have revised the application to take into account that the last year has been unprecedented and the coming year is still uncertain.  We want to hear about how your programs have adapted to COVID restrictions and what you project to do in the coming year based on what you know now.  We are open to hearing what you think you might do if your programs remain virtual, resume in person, or are presented in a hybrid of both. 

What if our program changes after we apply? Do your best to project what your programs will look like and if you receive a grant, we remain open to adapting our funds to your needs as the year unfolds.  Applying for general operating support will give you the most flexibility but we will also be ready to hear if your project changes as the year evolves.

A reminder that the application is due Monday, May 3, 2021 by 5 pm.


As always, reach out with any questions to

Thank you for all you do.

Site Visits in a Pandemic?

2021 Guidelines Part I: Site Visits in a Pandemic?

Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director

Site visits are the best.  We love traveling around the city to see programs that Bartol funded and to meet new people whose work we may not be familiar with yet. 

We use these visits to connect with you beyond the written proposal to see your work in action.  Often, I find there are commonalities among those we are visiting that we can help address through workshops or shared networking.  These site visits are mandatory so there is a level playing field for all who apply.  In one year, the Board and staff of Bartol can visit 60 organizations.

But we are all learning to adjust during the pandemic.  Our funding priorities will stay the same in 2021 but we will be looking at our application

So what does a site visit look like during a pandemic?  This is something we have been wrangling with over the past few months.

Here is our plan for our Monday, May 3, 2021 grant deadline.

  • Is the site visit still mandatory? Yes!  We still want to hear how you are doing and make sure your proposal would be eligible for funding.  You can do these check-ins two ways:
    • Schedule a phone call or Zoom meeting with me or a board member.  OR
    • Invite us to a site visit to a program you are presenting virtually.
    • Note: We will not be making any site visits or meetings in person.
  • How we will use your site visit?  We will use this only as a check-in, not to make an assessment of the quality of your programs. We realize that not all of you are currently teaching virtually.  And for those who are, there is too much beyond your control to make any kind of judgment about the strength of your program.   We know you are all doing your best.
  • How do I schedule my site visit?  First, check your eligibility here. Then, you can use the form at the end of this page to schedule your call or virtual visit beginning March 1, 2021.  We will confirm back once we have scheduled Beth or a Board member for your check-in.
  • Is there a deadline?  Yes!  We would love to check in as soon as you are ready, but you must request your check-in through our online form by Friday, April 2, 2021 and we need to do our check in by April 26, 2021.

Questions about your eligibility or your site visit? Reach out to Beth Feldman Brandt at

Back and full of gratitude.

by Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director

What a roller coaster of events and emotions we have had since I left on sabbatical in August.  I am so grateful to the Bartol team for continuing to  support you, our community of teaching artists and partners, while I was away. 
It was not the sabbatical I expected when I first made plans last October.  But I was able to revive my creative poetry life and my bass guitar practicing. I  was also  the Program Volunteer for #VoteThatJawn, working with amazing high school and college students to get out the vote in Philly.  My projects included collaborating with Bartol grantee Spiral Q for events that included creating the dancing mailboxes and with Big Picture Alliance to create this short film about the youth vote.
I was inspired by the young people, many of whom were not even old enough to vote, who worked so hard to engage people to make their voices heard.  Often they were driven to vote for those who can’t.  They were driven by issues like climate change and police reform.  They leveraged TikTok and Instagram and Saturday registration drives at Shop-Rite.  COVID didn’t stop them from making change happen.  
It was powerful to be reminded of the ways that the arts can amplify organizing and activism efforts.  How poets and musicians can articulate and heal what ails us.  I am coming back to Bartol Foundation ready to integrate all the worlds I inhabited while I was away – creativity, activism, organizing and true community engagement, into how we serve you. 
I know it is a challenging time to move forward when everything ahead is so uncertain.  But we can give ourselves permission to pivot and change as we go.  And to extend grace to ourselves and others as we navigate this world.
Photo Credit: Beth with her wife, Karen, getting out the vote at Overbook Elementary School.

Bartol Foundation Announces 2019 Grantees!

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation announced today that it will distribute $95,000 in grants to 18 Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations. The Foundation supports organizations in a range of artistic disciplines with an emphasis on arts education and community-based arts programs. A complete list with information on each grantee is available here.

The 2019 roster of grantees reflects the Bartol Foundation’s commitment to supporting cultural organizations that provide exceptional, sustained arts experiences to children, teens and adults throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Bartol Foundation supports diverse organizations from large to small, established and emerging. The Foundation made 16 grants of $5,000 each.  Two grants of $7,500 each were made to:

  • Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) for their Latin music and culture programs; and,
  • Centro Nueva Creación for their Bomba dance program.

Four first-time grantees bring new perspectives and audiences to the roster of grantees:

  • Danse4Nia for its multicultural, contemporary modern dance company;
  • Portside Arts Center for its after-school visual arts program;
  • Project 440 for Doing Good, its social entrepreneurship program for high school musicians; and,
  • Theatre Exile, Paper Wings, its in-school playwriting program.

“The Bartol Foundation is committed to supporting organizations working at the intersection of arts, education and community,” said Jeri Johnson, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Founder of Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra.  “In this current climate, it is urgent that all of our creative voices have the chance to be heard.  These organizations create safe spaces to learn, share, and connect.”

“This year’s roster of grantees reflects our focus on smaller organizations which are embedded in the communities they serve. Thirteen organizations have budgets under $500,000 and the smallest organization has a budget of $35,000,” added Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Foundation. “These organizations often don’t have access to the same resources as larger organizations and Bartol can step in to begin to fill that gap.”

The $5,000 George Bartol Arts Education Award, given annually to an organization that exemplifies the Foundation’s priorities, will be announced in the fall of 2019.

For more information, contact Beth Feldman Brandt.

Photo credit: First-time grantee Danse4Nia full company.

“When we’re writing a letter to our father, we’re really writing a letter to ourselves.” An Interview with Teaching Artist Tina Smith-Brown

As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Tina Smith-Brown is a Philadelphia-based writer and teaching artist. For over a decade, she has presented her Letter to My Father workshop to audiences of all ages, which explores the impact of one’s relationship (or lack of a relationship) with their father.

Can you tell me a bit about your work as a writer and teaching artist?

Anytime I write, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it’s very important to me that I’m always trying to share something new or teach something to the reader that they might not have known.My purpose in doing that is to teach African-American history subjects that people have long forgotten about or kids may not have known about. For example, Atlantic City was segregated in the 1950s and 60s, and one section was nicknamed by Caucasians as “Chicken Bone Beach.” All the African-Americans would come to the beach, and since they couldn’t buy food they would all pack fried chicken in baskets, so at the end of the day there would be all these bones left on the beach. I think that’s a great piece of history that our kids don’t know anything about, so that’s one of these short stories. So, I always try to write to entertain, but also to teach.

I always say God lets you do some things, and some things you’re just meant to do—it’s your job. And Letter to My Father is my job. I consider it something that I was supposed to do, I was placed here to do. And that started simply with doing workshops for women, giving them opportunities to write a letter to their father and to express some stuff. I realized that we carry things around that we never got off our chest, whether it’s positive or negative. When we’re writing a letter to our father, we’re really writing a letter to ourselves about where we’re at, why we’re at this place in time. And then I realized by talking to so many women who were older—30, 40, 50, 60—that a lot of women were still living their life by situations that had occurred or didn’t occur in that relationship with their father. So, I considered what if we could start doing this earlier, if kids started addressing some of this stuff? And you find out that it’s okay to talk about this relationship. It’s okay to feel good about it, feel bad about it. It’s okay to express how you feel in your life, if you’re happy, if you’re sad. It’s okay to open that door. And so, then I developed Letter to My Father for kids, and I started doing workshops for kids,

What attracted you to becoming involved with the Bartol Foundation as a workshop leader?

Bartol is just a fabulous organization for teaching artists, especially teaching artists that are just starting out. When you’re just starting out, you don’t really know how do I go about this, or what should I charge, or who is my workshop really for? And they help you to narrow down those very important essentials. I take a lot of their courses that have taught me how to market my workshop, how you should set up for your workshop, how to figure out who your audience is, how much to charge for a workshop. I love having Bartol in my life personally, but I also love that they are opening the door to help so many other people. You can come in for advice if you need it, you can come in for conversation—they really lift up the teaching artists. And I am extremely grateful for that.

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with the Bartol Foundation?

Learning how to make my marketing package [for Letter to My Father]. Because in order to do that, you have to narrow down who you’re advertising to, your audience. And once you’re able to do that, that’s half of the battle. Every workshop is not for everybody. I offer Letter to My Father to adults and kids, but I have a specific workshop for each one. So, when they helped me narrow it down, I realized that I needed two separate workshops, that I needed to look at it in two different ways. I think that was the most powerful workshop I ever attended with them.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think that it’s important that teaching artists apply for grant money, not just for the monetary help, but for the shot in the arm that it gives you. Once I received those grants [from the Leeway Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts], I felt like I was truly recognized. I felt like I was legitimate—like somebody believes enough in me to put money behind me. That just made a huge difference in my life. So, I always like to encourage teaching artists not to give up. If there’s a grant and they think that they can qualify for it, apply for it.

To learn more about Tina’s work, visit

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity


“A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle” — Interview with Teaching Artist and Bartol Board Member Jeannine Osayande


As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Jeannine Osayande is a teaching artist, choreographer, and performer of West African dance (Mali Empire) for 35 years. She is founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company, specializing in Art in Education programs, commissioned choreographic works, lecture demonstrations, and Art for Social Change projects. She is currently in her fourth year as a Bartol Foundation board member.

Can you tell me a bit about your work at Dunya Performing Arts Company?

I’ve been involved in the arts for over 35 years; I’ve done a lot of stage work, stage performance, all of that. One of the things that’s most important for me is a focus on having community right inside of dance and dance inside of community. If you’re looking at West African drum and dance culture, dance is about life itself. It’s not just happening on stage, but showing up where life is happening—funerals, weddings, etc. I like bringing dance into those places so that people know where it’s from.

My work at Dunya has evolved and changed, sometimes based on what the community is asking for, and other times based on where my life is. For example, when I started out years ago, we were more focused on performance. In the last 15 years, the focus has been through two different paths—one of them has been having a choreographic voice, and the other has been through being a teaching artist. Most of our focus has been the teaching artist model where we go into schools and do residencies, typically six weeks. At the end of that residency, the students that we work with—mostly third graders—do a performance alongside the curriculum that we’re working with.

What attracted you to becoming involved with the Bartol Foundation as a board member and workshop leader?

Just to be able to do more as an artist, as a person who’s an educator and an artist. Bartol, as a board, is a community of people who are able to come together and do good on both a very large level and small level. That’s what was attractive to me, that I could be sitting there with this board, making decisions on where money could go to supporting the arts in Philadelphia.

How Bartol makes the selection for organizations that receive funding is so thorough and well-thought-out. That also really stood out to me. This is an organization that I want to be with because they’re so thorough and mindful of what they’re doing—and I could maybe learn something, too.

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with the Bartol Foundation?

The diversity of the board is something that stood out to me. One of the first “wows” was when I had my first board meeting, as the different women were coming into the room and I had the opportunity to meet them. I soon discovered that with the diversity of the women on the board, a lot of work was able to get done, a lot of voices were heard, a lot of discussions were being had—which, I felt, improved all of us as who we were, and added value to the work that we do. And I feel smarter because of it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I always have my little proverbs. There’s this one African proverb that goes something like “a single bracelet does not jingle.” That’s when I’m thinking about the board and thinking about the Bartol Foundation and the mission that Mr. Bartol had, and moving this mission forward. We’re having all these bracelets added to the wrist; otherwise, the work that we do couldn’t be done so well.

To learn more about Jeannine’s work, visit

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity

Ideas! Collaboration! Community experience!

Bartol’s 2017 TA Survey (Part II)

Here is what Teaching Artists are saying about our free professional development workshops. And what we have planned for the coming year.

Bartol workshops are hands-on and taught by your peers. Our Teaching Artist Play Dates are 90-minutes of activities in a specific art form, designed for artists to cross disciplines, adapt and share.

  • “I literally copied the entire lesson plan from the recent workshop…with great success.”
  • “I translated the construct that the teaching artist showed for creating their own choreography to music composition. Love learning from other art forms!”

Bartol’s Resource Field Trips connect you with free or low-cost resources to supplement your teaching.

  • “When I attend workshops, I always take away a strategy or approach that I can implement in my teaching practice.”

Bartol’s Marketing Workshops help you develop concrete materials for getting the gig and making sure it is profitable for you and productive for your participants.

  • “I must say the work you and Bartol does is a godsend! I am negotiating this contract and while I bit at the initial happiness of what I thought was a great offer, I would end up losing money on this project. It literally is a classic textbook example of one of your case studies from the financial workshops.”

Bartol tackles the tough issues, including learning more about related fields such as trauma-informed practice and thinking about issues of race. 

  • “I talked with my kindergarten–second grade students about race after the race training [workshop].  I would have otherwise thought them too young.”
  • “I used a lot of the self-care and student-care techniques from the workshop about trauma-informed teaching.”

Bartol workshops are about building connections and community in this profession we call teaching artistry.

  • “Every Bartol workshop I attend leaves me feeling inspired and energized. It makes me feel like I am not alone in the work I do.”

Join us in the coming year. Workshops will be posted up soon.  Click to get on our mailing list to be among the first to hear about new sessions!

In Praise of Teaching Artists

Bartol’s 2017 TA Survey (Part I)

I am grateful every day for teaching artists.

At the Bartol Foundation, our mission is to get the best arts education to as many people in Philadelphia as possible. In schools. At senior centers. In prisons or shelters. Art, everywhere.

The only way we can accomplish this is through teaching artists—those of you who work for cultural organizations and those who are making their own opportunities to share their talents as artists, teachers, activists, neighbors and citizens.  Teaching artists who engage with people and make art in every form imaginable. Every day.

Each year, we survey teaching artists to find out who you are, where you work and what you need from us to do your work better.  Thanks to the 150+ Philadelphia-area teaching artists who participated. From this survey, we design our free professional development programs.

 The Five Top Things We Learned About Teaching Artists This Summer

  1. You teach people of all ages. While the vast majority (75%) of you are teaching K-12, a smaller group is teaching everyone from pre-schoolers ((27%) to seniors (23%.)
  2. You teach in all kinds of places. While 65% of you are doing multiple-visit programs at schools, 40% are doing multiple-visit programs at cultural organizations and another 40% are doing multi-visit programs at other nonprofits that are not cultural organizations.
  3. You are entrepreneurs. More than half of you are securing work on your own. You also work for cultural organizations as an employee (36%) and as a contractor (51%).
  4. You want to keep learning. Three-quarters of you participated in professional development opportunities in the past year (about 40% through Bartol’s Teaching Artists Workshops).
  5. You connect! Of the approximately 50 survey respondents who painstakingly told us where they worked last year, you worked for almost 100 organizations and in 80+ schools from Adair to West Philadelphia High School.  Multiply that by almost 2000 people on our teaching artist list and your impact is extraordinary!

We are in praise of teaching artists. We want to help you do your work better and smarter.  Stay tuned for our fall workshops, which are coming soon!