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West Park Cultural Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Environment, Environmental Beautification, Job Training, Youth Development Programs

Mission: The West Park Cultural Center promotes a thriving West Park community by using arts and culture as a central tool in programs that help youth tap their creative and academic potential, and where residents can access the arts, education, and other development/support programs that contribute to their personal development.

Results: West Park Cultural Center reaches more than 2,000 children, youth and adults annually through afterschool arts classes, "Arts for Literacy" in the classroom, Camp Ginkgo, West Park Arts Fest and adult development program.

Target demographics: children, youth and families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,900 children, youth and adults

Geographic areas served: West Philadelphia

Programs: Afterschool ceramics, music, film, theatre, Arts for Literacy during the school day, Camp Ginkgo, Adult Literacy, and the annual West Park Arts Fest.

Community Stories

59 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to represent an organization that uses the arts as a wider world teaching tool. West Park Cultural Center utilizes almost every dollar raised to provide quality after school and summer programming for children and arts and literacy programs for adults.

Joyce S.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

West Park Cultural Center is a great asset in our community. Its an example of community pride and empowerment!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently joined the West Park Cultural Center staff and could not be happier with my decision. I started teaching the after school ceramic program at the Microsoft School of the Future and it would not be possible without the support of the staff I get from WPCC.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WPCC provides invaluable arts education and services for youth and adults in Philadelphia. I have worked at the summer camp, Camp Gingko, for three years, and have seen students blossom and find confidence in their creative voice thanks to these programs. West Park Cultural Center is an organization that not only community oriented, but also has strong relationships to individuals and families of those communities.

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Former staff

Rating: 5

WPCC and Camp Gingko are excellent programs that foster creativity, expression and growth. I have had the pleasure and honor to work as a teaching artist at Camp Gingko this past summer, and I have seen firsthand the impact it has had on the community at hand. It is no surprise that the campers keep on coming back year after year. It is crucial to have organizations and programs such as Camp Gingko, and for nonprofits such as this one to be able to continue doing the excellent work they have already started .

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched with great pride the work of West Park Cultural Center in my community. The organization provides children excellent arts programming at low and no cost if a family is unable to pay their very modest fees. I have also enjoyed their West Park Arts Fest that happens every year and appreciate the cultural diversity it offers.

Dianne Brieze T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My band has performed at the West Park Arts Fest for the past 4 years. Very impressed with their community outreach, educational programs and dedication to the youth of the community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The West Parker Cultural Center has served the children in and out of our community for many years. West Park currently has a professional ceramic instructor who teaches the children how to create beautiful art at the after school program which takes place at the School of the Future. During Summer months The West Park Cultural Center holds a camp that has given many children an opportunity to travel to New York to see beautiful plays, enjoy amusement Parks and more.West Park Cultural also provides scholarships for children who's families could not afford for them to attend summer camp.

Aileen H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The students from the ACE program at Martha Washington enjoys CERAMICS that WPCC offers every Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Manuel McDonnell S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

West Park Cultural Center uses arts and culture as a central tool in programs that help youth tap their creative and academic potential. And as a steward of the organization, and past participant in their programs, I know that each and every contributed dollar is spent directly on the mission and delivering programs that make impact on West Philadelphia.

Jasmine16

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization that provides MANY opportunities to the community

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

the cultural center is a great asset to the community. they are truly working hard to ensure the Parkside community is strong in the city of Philadelphia

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The West Park Cultural Center is an amazing organization that exposes the youth to the arts, a variety of arts for low-cost, sometimes even free. With so many programs that benefit art being cut, it's great to know an organization like this thrives within my neighborhood. Every staff member is great, no matter how much or how little you interact with them, they are welcoming and put art first!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization that truly goes all out for their community. We work really hard to raise the funds for our free annual Arts Fest that is growing larger every year. In addition, we have created new partnerships to expand the services and experiences of the community we serve.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently began working for West Park Cultural Center as a ceramic instructor and a program like this is necessary for the Philadelphia community. I feel so privileged to work with talented, caring and respectful students and parents everyday. Coming to work feels like a second home and family. I look forward to my job each day. I am also thankful to work with a great and supportive staff as well!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The West Park Cultural Center is an organization that I am truly pleased to have worked with. It is one of the few organizations of this type that reaches children and families in the community where they live. It seems that all too often children in underserved communities are often left out. This is not the case with West Park Community Center, here all children are served. Keep up the good work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

West Park Cultural Center has provided outstanding arts and education programs for children and youth for 14 years with amazing results. I am proud to have this organization in West Philadelphia.

mrRon

Board Member

Rating: 5

West Park offers the under served youth of our city a wonderful opportunity that would otherwise less likely be afforded to them, and for that and the due diligence to service youth and family in the community i nominate West Park Cultural Center a 5 star Great Non Profit

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Former staff

Rating: 5

Everytime i work with West Park Cultural, it is a wonderful and pray experience for both myself and those of whom we serve. Recently having the pleasure of coordinating the summer camp Camp Ginkgo i can truly say that West Park's dedication to culture and raise positive and productive youth from Philadelphia is unmatched and flat out admirable. I want to be attached to such greatness for as long as it's possible...ten thumbs up from me!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

West Park is all about celebrating learning, as individuals and as a community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

By chance, we happened to stumble across the West Park Cultural Center. We were hesitant to enroll because the program was located about an hour and a half away from home. We took a leap of faith and enrolled in the after-school ceramics class and LOVED it. On the very first day, Janice gave my daughters the gift of loving ceramics. Ron and Betty are incredibly encouraging and supportive of all the students. As a parent, I was excited to participate in an environment that fostered positive role-modeling, encouragement, and creative fun. I wish this organization would grow and start another branch in the NE section of Philadelphia.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The WPAC is a true gem. The summer program is a great component that is affordable. The experiences had by the students will last a life time. They are being exposed to the beauty of nature and art techniques that will inspire them in other areas of their development.

Aaliyah S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This conceptual and in practice non profit is a gem in the West Park community and beyond. I have witnessed firsthand, how exposure to music and the ceramic art forms has positively transformed the youth who participated in this program. Their exposure has taught them not only a new craft, but prepared them as advocates and prepped them for leadership roles in which they have spoken on behalf of the program.