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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Philadelphia Songwriters Project

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1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jay L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first exposure to PSP was when my former business partner forwarded me a voicemail message from founder Dena Marchiony. I returned the inquiry, and we ended up partnering on dozens of events. I served three years on the PSP Board Of Directors, and my recording studio business has sponsored many PSP programs and provided professional services to the group.

In the arts, many people have the influence to "put on a show," and indeed, much of PSP's core programming has been about putting together showcase events. Two main elements distinguish PSP, in my view. One, a relentless focus on helping emerging artists to develop their professional careers, evolve in their craft, and come together as a community. Two, major successes at promotion and unearthing corporate support for its programming. Thus, a group that once looked like "the little arts group that could" has put together a track record of producing programs that delight and sometimes shock with their scale and quality of execution.

The Beyond Measure program was a prime example — an exceptionally ambitious program on an artistic and logistical level. The program faced tremendous challenges in raising the necessary cash, but PSP leadership never stopped moving, adapting, and willing the event not only into feasibility — which was hard enough — but to a high level of excellence. The result was an event in which hundreds of artists, ranging from high school students to senior citizens and longtime music pros, collaborated in a one-of-a-kind performance. The artistry came together in an impressive fashion, and huge number of participants and concertgoers came away with a transcendent experience of artistic possibility and community. We're proud to have played a small role in this event, donating services in kind.

PSP most recently is becoming well known for its songwriting contests, which are highly competitive affairs that make a significant impact on the careers of both finalists and the eventual winners. Like many other PSP events, the contest exemplifies the group's facility with provoking a response from a large number of artists within the community. It also exemplifies the group's ability to develop partnerships with major corporate entities, including several regional music festivals and major concert promoters. Finally, the artistic excellence of the end result is clear.

My experience with PSP extends to a many other programs, and I expect to be involved with more in the future, but I chose these two as examples of what makes PSP a standout arts non-profit.

Review from Guidestar