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16 Reviews
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November 21, 2013

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November 21, 2013

I recently worked with the West Park Cultural Center, teaching visual arts in their Ginkgo Academy Summer Program. The level of commitment and dedication I witnessed there was truly inspiring. From the director to the volunteers from the community, there were so many passionate adults concerned with helping these young artists. I've never experienced such a unique program--set in beautiful Fairmount Park, it was a delight to see the children learn and grow from the surrounding nature. Leading the kids in art projects, working with my fellow instructors and camp directors, I felt that each day was a step towards success in the development of every child. I think about those friends all the time, and know that they had a truly memorable and impactful summer at Ginkgo Academy.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 31, 2013

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October 31, 2013

I first got involved with the West Park Cultural Center about three years ago. I was a new transplant to the Parkside Community and found them hosting a large outdoor Arts Festival. They had music, dance, acrobatics, art, drummers and much much more. I was very excited to see the arts alive in the Parkside area. I asked a few questions and found out that all of this was hosted by the West Park Cultural Center. This was not just a one shot deal; this is a group that is deeply imbedded in the Parkside Community. They sponsor GED classes, basic education classes, computer, art and music classes and they run a six week Arts camp for kids from the community during the summer. And let’s not forget their biggest event, the West Park Arts Fest, which is an annual event that is held every June in the Parkside community. From my experiences with the organization I’m certain that the WPCC truly has a positive effect on the residents of Parkside. Well Done!

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

I worked with this non-profit as a teaching artist the past few years. They truly care about the students and strive to not only provide them with safe, fun, and edifying after school activities, but they even find ways of enriching daytime classrooms with the arts in ways that help the students to achieve more than they would have otherwise! One amazing example of this is when they hired actors to attend an english class and perform scenes from the book that the class was currently reading! This organization is wonderful, and they will continue to inspire, and positively change the lives of young people, for as long as they are in operation!

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

The West Park Cultural Center has an amazing program that I have benefited from directly. As a former student of the program I can definitely say that being apart of West Park has changed my life for the better. I received free music lessons and arts education while enrolled in the program through a partnership that they had and still currently have with my old high school. West Park was instrumental in my decision to pursue a career in music and since my graduation from the program I have been selected to be on the board of directors. I am currently a working musician and i attribute most of my current success to what I learned while enrolled in WPCC's program.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it more funding!!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 30, 2013

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October 30, 2013

My life has been changed by my involvement with West Park Cultural Center as its current program manager. The strengths of this small but mighty organization are its ability to encourage the growth and creativity of each participant to flourish, and to draw upon the passion and vision of everyone to bring to fruition our mutual goals. We have found many like-minded partners throughout the arts and cultural community In Philadelphia and together have created some of the most satisfying programming ever. We have been able to impact many people through these collaborative efforts, which range from illuminating texts in English classrooms by skillful theater artists dramatizing fictional literature or plays, to allowing student performers to shine on public stages at our annual Arts Fest. The professionals who have joined them on those stages have truly been amazing, both as gifted examples and mentors and have enjoyed sharing themselves with us because of our shared vision. Our work is based on serving and reflecting the community, which is shown by the wonderful mix of ages, races and backgrounds that we serve in our programming. We have provided afterschool arts classes open to all ages and the community, classroom enrichment that reached every student through their English classrooms, and adult education from basic literacy through GED. Best of all, we have actually changed lives and given hope to young people who had doors opened for them that they never even knew existed before we brought them right to the threshold, and invited them to enter. Some of our students were the first in their families to graduate high school, and attend college, and will tell you that they would never have done that without our work.
We believe that art transforms lives, and have had the pleasure of seeing that at work and finding ways to make that happen.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get our story out to more people, so that we can find more funding to ensure that more people will benefit, for many more years.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 20, 2013

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October 20, 2013

I am proud to be associated with the West Park Cultural Center. As a volunteer, my time with WPCC is well spent and most importantly appreciated.

The West Park Cultural Center is growing community through access to the arts. Thank you founder and director, Betty Lindley for sharing your
skills, talent and expertise with families in the West Philadelphia area. Lindley lives in the area and is a stakeholder in the West Park and the Parkside Historic District.

As a stakeholder Lindley has devoted her life to enhancing the lives of others. Thank you Betty for encouraging an appreciation, understanding and support for the arts.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Create an endowment for the purpose of sustainability

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 15, 2013

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October 15, 2013

West Park Cultural Center is a great organization that helps children, youth, adults and families with access to arts & literacy through many different programs. They are truly helping change lives for children and youth in an economically devastated community, and giving opportunities for youth and adults to stay in school or return to school. What I like most about West Park Cultural Center is how they are able to provide so many programs on such a small budget. They're programs include an after school arts program, a summer camp for children, literacy programs for high school students, an adult literacy and college readiness program, and their signature event each year is the Arts Fest attended by more than 1,500 people. And they do all of this with volunteers, a dedicated staff, and a budget that is less than the full-time salary of many nonprofit CEOs. I know that when I give to them that my dollars are going a long ways.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

They just need to do a better job of letting people know they're there, and in getting in touch with more donors, so that they can expand their programs and help meet the needs of more children, youth and adults.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 11, 2013

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October 11, 2013

West Park provides the best educational and arts program ever. The best part is that it is all free! As a former teacher, I can't tell you how wonderful it was to have help during school time and after school time. What ever I needed appeared magically. As a former WEPIC teacher from Turner Middle School, I know the difference between an organization whose main purpose is to help children and teachers achieve their goals, and not use them to benefit their college or university. For example, why have kids learn about dental hygiene, bring in students from a dental school, identify cavities in their mouths but not fix them? Service was uneven and benefited the dental students and university to secure grants. Without community by in and involvement they just fade away.
However, West Park is different. They are the community and are committed to making a difference in the lives of the children from their community. This is why it is successful and a sustainable force of energy within the school and surrounding community.
I met the director of West Park at the School of the Future. Their program was outstanding. I did not have to find them, they found me. They were instrumental in providing artists in residence volunteers for many service learning projects I designed. For example, when my students were working on the Presidents House project in Philadelphia, they provided not only the resources I needed, but made the arrangements to bring them right into my classroom. My docents who were training for the Belmont Mansion, worked with two artists and created a wall mural about Eden Cemetery, the first private black cemetery in the nation. It suffers from vandalism and the students worked on eliminating this problem by creating videos, art and educational web quests to educate and share with students who live near Eden.
I cannot explain how my students felt to meet one of the last Buffalo soldiers from WWII AND a film producer all the way from Italy who created a film about these heroic men. This is the kind of educational experiences West Park provides. It was also a back door way of exposing my students to opera, because an opera about these men is being created.

They exposed students to plays, music and had the. Involved in making the West Park festival, a yearly event grow to include all of the other historic homes and museums within its boundaries. They know how to build consensus and this quality is essential to their continued success. My five years of receiving and giving back to this non-profit. Has been quite a ride.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Replicate it throughout the city and nation. I understand the sentence stem, however, this expresses my heart felt gratitude for all they do for the school children they work with and the community. They offer GED and computer classes, art you name it.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

October 11, 2013

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October 11, 2013

The staff was very nice and professional. Mu daughter enjoyed the program. She can't wait until next summer!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 4, 2013

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October 4, 2013

I found myself in my 40's with a second group of children and very out of the loop. As I searched for a camp for my children to attend, someone in the neighborhood informed me about West Park Culture Center. That was the best infomation that I could have received, not only did my children attend camp they took part in the after scool program, the childrens garden program, music program. My children also recieved scholships which I believe they would not have be able to atten with out it the help. I had lost my job.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

be an assistant in our afterschool ceramics class; help support outreach efforts; assist during our summer arts and nature camp; help with photo and video documentation of programs and the West Park Arts Fest; and much more... Volunteer