In the first phase of a planned ten-year project, Philadelphia Contemporary will work with five Philadelphia organizations to instill empathetic listening practices within those organizations’ existing operations. Listening expert and professional storyteller Saundra Gilliard Davis will guide five “listening facilitators” who will work with the selected organizations to develop listening methodologies designed to meet their communities’ needs. Supporting collateral such as brochures and posters will help participating organizations communicate to the public their commitment and approach to listening. This first phase of work will inform a second phase of the project, in which 100 people will be selected and trained in empathetic listening skills and paired with a stranger to actively perform listening annually over the next ten years. A website and culminating library will document these sessions.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.