Can Philadelphia bring home the vote and with it $50,000?May 10th, 2011 | By Steven Weisz | Category: The Creative Economy
For over thirty years, the Community Education Center (or as known by its fans as the CEC) located 3500 Lancaster Avenue, has served Powelton Village, West Philadelphia and for that matter, pretty much most of Philadelphia, as a community based arts and education center whose mission is to strengthen the sense of shared community among people of different backgrounds and cultures through the arts.
And now a simple vote by members of the community can help the CEC receive the $50,000 grant it needs to make necessary renovations and repairs to an aging building. The CEC was selected to participate in the Drops of Good Program, a partnership of Maxwell House, Rebuilding Together and actress Julie Bowen. Drops of Good aims to help the 43 million Americans living below the poverty line by awarding the $50,000 grant to five out of the ten community’s centers selected.
For many, the CEC is their only exposure or access to art programming, dance, theater and music. To build well rounded, creative, positive individuals, and stronger communities, access and engagement to the arts is critical. CEC is poised to make greater and more meaningful contributions to the community, yet is limited by financial resources. This project would help lessen some of those limitations so they could continue to impact the surrounding community and the lives of those who use the center.
And for the artists, this community education center has been a long standing incubator of creativity, opening its doors to anyone wishing to share or display their talents. Training in dance, music, theater, assistance with production, promotional support, arts training, rehearsal space, artist in residence program, youth training and support programs are just a few of the many ways they have fostered the arts. Their alumni read like a veritable who’s who of talent in Philadelphia, many of whom come back again and again to perform, teach and share.
Theresa Shockley, Executive Director of the CEC goes on to add, “The arts really can transform the community; I want to keep it going. I want to do more.” While the prospect of bring home this grant has created a buzz in the community, the CEC remains hopeful that enough people will vote each and every day to allow them to continue to be a place that supports and nurtures aspiring artists while serving a diverse community.
HOW TO VOTE
While you can only vote once a day, you can vote every day until the contest closes on June 17th, 2011.
To watch a online video about the CEC and to cast your vote, go to: