Good Feeling

We’re so thankful — and excited about new content we can fund now. 

Councilmembers Thomas and Gilmore Richardson, we owe you a drink. Or multiple drinks – and numerous toasts to you both (and to the city’s Cultural Task Force). Cheers for the generous Illuminate the Arts (ITA) grant we’ve been awarded at The NW Local! The money provides a great boost to keep us recovering from the pandemic drag and helps us expand our grassroots coverage of neighborhoods in the northwest and across the city.

The ITA grant was announced in February by Isaiah Thomas and Katherine Gilmore Richardson as part of City Council’s New Normal Budget Act to provide “an overdue lifeline to the arts community” according to Thomas. For Gilmore Richardson, it was a way to “invest directly in arts and culture.”

We heard about the grant in May, during a professional development meeting with WHYY’s News and Information Community Exchange partners. Isaiah Thomas’s communications director, Max Weisman, presented to about a dozen local grassroots content creators. He stressed that awards would not be made on a first-come-first-served basis, but rather given to applicants who demonstrate the most need in providing for underserved communities.

In total, $1 million was distributed, about $600,000 of that was given away in $1,000 grants to almost 600 individual artists. The NW Local was one of 55 small-to-medium sized arts/culture organizations who received from $2,800 to $10,000 (you can look everything up here). Btw, we’re happy to share! This funding will help us pay writers/artists/photographers – anyone with a story to tell in our pages. Even just “regular people” with neighborly info to share!

A free paper is a special kind of public space, where all different voices come together. In a city where high percentages of residents are without high-speed internet access, free community newspapers can be lifelines for neighbors, providing info about COVID, the Census, voter rights, affordable housing, plus announcements and events for civic empowerment. Neighbors can stop by our office at Chelten & Pulaski to learn about and apply for all kinds of resources: food, clothing, rent rebates, utility assistance, public pools, and more.

We’re so proud to have been selected to receive this wonderful gift, and grateful to our non-profit sponsor CultureWorks of Greater Philadelphia for being here for us as we grow. Huge thanks to the businesses and organizations who’ve supported us all these years – and special mention for the ones who put our stacks out so people can find us.

To all our readers and followers: we appreciate every page-turn, every click, every comment. Keep your feedback coming! Call us 267-428-3520 or email editor@nwlocalpaper.com or DM us on Facebook or Insta.

Meanwhile, we’re sure we speak for lots of grassroots creators when we say here’s to you Councilmembers! Next round’s on us.

The Illuminate the Arts Grant was administered by the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy

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