Since its founding in 1987, Philadelphia Folklore Project has documented, supported, and presented Philadelphia-area folk arts and culture to sustain living cultural heritage in communities. Annually, the Folklore Project offers exhibitions, concerts, and workshops to artists and communities. The organization conducts ongoing field research into community-based local arts, history, and culture, and preserves a record of Philadelphia's folklife in its archive. Projects that Center funding has supported include Dance Happens Here, which presented dancers who share their cultural lineage through movement; a community documentation training program; and the development of the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, which addresses urgent issues of violence against women in Philadelphia’s growing Liberian community through performances. In 2017, the Folklore Project received Center funding to present Soul Songs: Inspiring Women of Klezmer, a concert of new compositions, written and performed by three generations of women who bring contemporary meaning to klezmer music. In 2021, the organization received a Re:imagining Recovery grant to strengthen Philadelphia Folklore Project’s mission to sustain the vitality of folklife and living cultural heritage through collaborative community archives and multimedia storytelling projects through reorganized staff structures, upgraded digital tools, and a newly envisioned folk art and social change fellowship.
The Philadelphia Folklore Project (PFP) will undergo a major organizational restructuring and, in an effort to galvanize staff collaboration, will launch the Folklore Congress, an annual event that serves over 300 members of the folk arts community. Over the course of two years, PFP will transition to its new leadership and bolster its existing staff with additional hires meant to strengthen program impact: an education director, to work with teaching artists and develop education strategies across PFP's many programs; and a communications manager, who will develop PFP's online presence and explore new ways to connect and dialogue with members of local communities. Working under a new generation of leaders with a common vision, and harnessing the potential power of the Folklore Congress to improve communication among staff members, the organization stands to increase its national standing and become a leader in the folk arts field. [fn]Management grants, through the Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, were awarded from 2009 through 2013.[/fn]