Arts leadership changes, Pew grant awards announced, and open call opportunity!

This year saw leadership changes announced at several Philadelphia arts organizations, including Brandywine Workshop and Archives (BWA) and the Association for Public Art (aPA). After extensive searches, BWA and aPA have announced their new leaders. Read on for more. And, we're always happy to pass along the Pew grants list and congratulate everyone. And don't miss a great open cal opportunity at iMPeRFeCT gallery. I hope you're enjoying the recent change in weather. Enjoy the news!


Leadership change at Brandywine Museum and Archives

A Black woman wearing a cream colored suit jacket and complementary blouse stands in from tof a light grey wall. She is smiling broadly. She just because the Director of the Brandywine Museum and Archives
Michele A. Parchment, new Executive Director of Brandywine Workshop and Archives.

The Brandywine Workshop and Archives (BWA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Michele A. Parchment as the next Executive Director. Ms. Parchment succeeds the founding Executive Director Allan L. Edmunds, who retired in 2022 and has served as Board Advisor during a national search process.

Jean Woodley, Chairperson of the BWA said, “We are proud of Brandywine’s past accomplishments under Allan’s strong direction and now we are very excited that BWA’s future will be shaped by Michele’s dynamic leadership; Brandywine shines bright!”

Ms. Parchment is a highly accomplished professional who has served in various administrative roles in the various stages of the development of several cultural institutions, including The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, NC; and the Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota, FL, among others. Parchment earned her Master of Arts degree in History at American Public University, Charlestown, West Virginia, and a Bachelor of Arts at Excelsior College of Liberal Arts, Albany, New York. In addition to positions of leadership in management and program development, especially art education, Ms. Parchment has a vast network of art professionals developed over a 30-year career. Ms. Parchment arrives in Philadelphia from her most recent position as Consultant/Registrar for Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) in Miami, FL.

Michele Parchment’s professional philosophy is to provide an innovative approach to developing collaborative, engaging thought leadership regarding trends that utilizes current strengths as a springboard to build strategic planning, team development, and alliance building to cultivate sustainable growth and mission-driven outcomes.

In its 50+ year history, the new Executive Director starts her tenure at a time when BWA is at its strongest position financially and programmatically. A five-year grant of $2.5 million from the Mellon Foundation will provide significant operational support and stability for BWA’s core programs.

Leadership change at Association for Public Art

A white woman is standing outside surrounded by grass and trees. She smiles widely and her bright pink shirt stands out like a flower surrounded by all the greenery. She is taking over leadership of a large, respected arts organization.
Charlotte Cohen, the new Executive Director of the Association for Public Art. Photo courtesy of aPA

The Board of Trustees of Association for Public Art (aPA) in Philadelphia is pleased to announce the selection of Charlotte Cohen, a nationally recognized leader in the arts, as its new Executive Director.

An accomplished organization leader and coalition builder, Cohen takes the helm of the nation’s first organization devoted to public art at a time of sweeping change in the field. She is the second professional executive director in aPA’s 150-year history, succeeding the former director’s forty year tenure. Prior to that, aPA was led by its civic minded board who helped to build the collection of public art enjoyed by Philadelphians to this day.

The aPA is unique as a private, nonprofit organization that not only commissions new art, both permanent and temporary, but also preserves historic works and interprets a vast permanent collection. Barbara B. Aronson, President of the Board of Trustees, shares “We are thrilled that Charlotte is coming aboard to lead aPA. After undertaking an extensive search, we found her expertise in public art to be the right fit to help lead aPA in the 21st Century. Her belief in the role that artists play in strengthening the bonds that connect us as a community as well as to our city and
our nation will serve us well.”

“This challenging new position is a perfect fit. It draws on so many of my professional experiences and lifelong passions.” Says Cohen, “and in coming to Philadelphia, I’m returning to the city where I spent formative years of my childhood and where, in visits to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Fairmount Park, I was first struck by the impact that public art has on the vitality of urban life.”

“Leading aPA will allow me to collaborate with others to do what I love best—empower artists to realize their visions, create new opportunities for them in new contexts, and connect their work to the public.”

About Charlotte Cohen
For nearly 20 years, Cohen’s professional focus was almost entirely public art related.
In 1996, she became the Director of New York City’s Percent for Art Program, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). There she commissioned dozens of artists—including Alison Saar, whose Swing Low, a memorial to Harriet Tubman in Harlem was the first public monument to a Black woman in New York City, and worked with Mierle Laderman Ukeles on the master plan for Fresh Kills Landfill. She also was responsible for developing policy and planning in partnership with many city agencies.
Later, as Fine Arts Officer and Urban Development Manager for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Cohen managed projects in the New York City metropolitan region, the Caribbean, and elsewhere, including Robert Mangold’s large-scale stained-glass window project for the U.S. Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse in Buffalo, New York. In addition to her work with living artists, she also oversaw the care of the Fine Arts Collection.

From these public art assignments, Cohen went on to become Executive Director of Brooklyn Arts Council, where she designed and implemented the agenda and vision of Brooklyn’s foremost nonprofit cultural organization supporting artists. She energized the organization’s commitment to equity and diversity in all aspects of programming and staffing and ensured the advancement of forward movement during COVID. Most recently, as Interim Executive Director at City of Asylum in Pittsburgh, Cohen worked with writers exiled from their countries of origin and managed the organization’s performing arts programs and a bookstore dedicated to translated and international authors. Cohen helped ensure that financial, medical, and housing support for writers and their families continued uninterrupted during the nonprofit’s international leadership search.

Leadership change – Lynn Marsden-Atlass retires from Arthur Ross Gallery

A white woman wearing a white plaid jacket and black pants smiles broadly. She is standing in front of large sculptures in an indoor gallery space. She just retired from duties at the gallery.
Lynn Marsden-Atlass, who retired at the end of August as Executive Director of the Arthur Ross Gallery.

Lynn started her tenure here at the Arthur Ross Gallery in 2008. Since her arrival, the Gallery has seen incredible growth. Under Lynn’s guidance, the Gallery has expanded partnerships with communities across Philadelphia and beyond, as well as within the University of Pennsylvania, collaborating with the University Art Collection, Penn faculty, and students from various Departments and Centers.

“It has been an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the Arthur Ross Gallery for 15 years and the University Art Curator. During my tenure, the Gallery has presented 52 exhibitions and hundreds of related programs. Penn’s exceptional faculty and staff have regularly joined us as interdisciplinary partners. The Gallery’s attendance has doubled, and our outreach program serving Philadelphia school children, Engaging Minds through Art, has flourished. Grants have expanded the Gallery’s community engagement and access.

I want to sincerely thank the Arthur Ross Gallery Advisory Board for their generous support; my talented staff – Elizabeth McClafferty, Sara Stewart, and Emily Zimmerman as well as Lynn Dolby at the Penn Art Collection, and many Penn friends. My future plans include writing, consulting, and lots of travel.”

We look forward to continuing the mission of the Arthur Ross Gallery and we wish Lynn the absolute best for the future.

$9 Million From The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Supports 28 Philadelphia Organizations and 12 Artist Fellowships

See a full list of grantees on the Pew website. Congratulations, all!
Pew Center for Arts & Heritage (the Center) announced today that it has awarded 40 grants and fellowships totaling $9 million in support of Philadelphia-area cultural organizations and artists. The grants will fund public events and programs that celebrate the diverse and creative contributions of local artists and tell personal stories of prominent Philadelphians. Several projects highlight the role of the arts in grappling with illness, healing, and caretaking—especially since the pandemic—while others focus on contemporary expressions of cultural identity.

The Center’s 2023 awards include $8.1 million to 28 local arts and heritage organizations for project funding, $1.3 million of which is provided as unrestricted general operating support. Plus, $900,000 in unrestricted funds will go to 12 Philadelphia-area artists as Pew Fellowships in the Arts.

“Our newest grants illustrate the arts’ contributions to understanding and reflecting on salient issues of the moment,” says Paula Marincola, executive director of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. “From contemplating experiences of living through a pandemic to interpreting multifaceted cultural identities, the funded projects and artists will offer programs and creative works that will be meaningful to a wide range of audiences and invigorate civic and artistic life in the Philadelphia region.”


Open Call – iMPeRFeCT Gallery – Drop off dates EXTENDED TO Sept. 22 and Sept. 23
Open Call -iMPeRFeCT Gallery is calling for artists for its non-curated, non-juried, 11th Annual Germantown show – What’s on the mind of artists these days? Show us!
Drop off work Thursday and Friday. “No pre-registration required. Just read the instructions at the website and bring your art on drop off dates.”