Philadelphia Folklore Project

  • PA


735 S. 50th Street
United States

About Us

The Philadelphia Folklore Project (PFP) is committed to sustaining vital and diverse living cultural heritage in communities in our region, building critical folk cultural knowledge, and creating equitable processes and practices for nurturing local grassroots arts and humanities. A 24-year-old public interest folklife agency, we do this through a range of offerings: public programs (exhibitions, concerts, education, residencies, workshops), research and documentation (publications, media, an archive) and through extensive technical assistance services.

PFP works for cultural equity and community vitality by supporting people's efforts in folk arts and social change. We identify local folk artists and support their artistic growth; produce public programs advancing folk artists and traditions significant to Philadelphia communities; develop education programs benefiting children and adults; and document outstanding practitioners and practices. Since our founding in 1987, we have undertaken hundreds of long-term collaborative projects with grassroots community groups, reinvesting in community infrastructure and making local folk artists more visible and viable in the very communities where they live and work. Overall, we have produced 391+ events, exhibitions and residencies. Our technical assistance and advocacy efforts have returned more than $3.2 million dollars to grassroots groups and traditional artists. (See for details.)

PFP founded, with Asian Americans United, the Folk Arts- Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) a public K-8 school with folk arts and cultural heritage at its core, and a multicultural anti-racist vision. Our work in critical folk arts education links social justice practice with folk arts.

Our award-winning documentaries and books (41 magazine issues, 15 videos, 24 print publications and archive of 64,000+ items) challenge and widen the record, validating/strengthening community-based experience and expression.

We currently provide, annually:

- free folk arts education programs reaching 450 students (90% low-income, 60% immigrant);

- free technical assistance to 136+ artists and grassroots groups (including workshops and community-based folklife documentation trainings);

- well-attended/sold-out events, artist residencies and exhibitions (45+ annually) reaching more than 900 culturally/economically diverse people (52% AFAM, 30% APA, 3% Latino, 48% immigrant, 37% women)

- 1-3 original publications (a magazine, DVDs) reaching 30,000+.

Awards (12+) have recognized PFP’s "excellence,” “commitment,” and ”impact” locally and nationally (American Folklore Society, Kulu Mele African Dance Ensemble, Cultural Fund, Bartol Arts Education Award, Asian Americans United, ODUNDE, Bread and Roses, etc.)