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.
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 .
The West Park Cultural Center is an organization that I am truly pleased to be involved with. It is an organization that reaches children and families in the community where they live. West Park seeks to expose their clients to the wonders of the arts, education and cultural enrichment. For a small program they have a large impact on the community and its children. The West Park Cultural center runs after school programs, senior programs, children summer camps and they host a large summer festival every year in the community called the West Park Arts Fest. This is a good program to get your children involved in.
The West Park Cultural Center is an awesome organization and provides services for my community in the arts and culture. My favorite is the summer camp. This past summer they created a still motion video that was awesome. The children learned and participated in the making of the video. This organization exposes children to the arts with hands on experience. With the west park arts fest they get to learn about different cultures and see the live performances.
I have worked with WPCC for the last two years as an instructor for their music recording program, and have nothing but excellent things to say of the organization. The program I worked with has been able to help several students record and produce their own music, share their artistic expressions with their communities and prepare for further pursuits in recording arts.
In addition to their after school programming, the annual West Park Arts Fest they organize succeeds in providing world-class arts and entertainment without losing sight of the goal of cross-cultural inclusion and expression. It is for this excellence that they remain one of the premiere cultural/philanthropic organizations in Philadelphia.
West Park Cultural Center gives young people a chance to develop their visual and performing arts skills and share their talents with the community. This fills a unique need at a time when public school budgets are being slashed and arts programs are being eliminated.
As an instructor for West Park, I am delighted to participate in the programs that provide a sorely needed place for people of all ages to share the joy of learning something new. Every June, the community then gathers at an amazing Arts Festival to show their talents and encourage others to participate. For many it is their first opportunity to perform before a receptive and supportive audience.
I am proud to be a part of West Park Cultural Center and its work supporting the community.
I am writing to recommend the West Park Cultural Center and Patty Bulack's work for that organization, a group that was a great partner for a large scale project I ran in 2014. I work for Shakespeare in Clark Park and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, both performance based non-profits in Philadelphia. Shakespeare in Clark Park has presented a free, outdoor Shakespeare production in West Philadelphia for the past nine years. This year for our production of Henry IV, we invited one hundred volunteers to be in the battle scenes, getting a front row seat to the professional artistic process and being part of a performance that will be seen by thousands of people.
Patty Bulack, as a community liaison and representative of West Park Cultural Center, helped to develop the performance piece, connect us with interested youth, and spread the word about opportunities for people to be involved. We worked with many partners, and her advice, commitment, and vast and diverse network was unparalleled.
We hosted our "warrior photo booth" with costumes and props at many festivals and fairs throughout the summer as we recruited these volunteers. One of our more successful days was at the West Park Arts festival, which was not only well organized, highly attended, and in a fantastic location, it has that intangible energy of community and celebration that only exists when committed individuals band together to do something truly serving a larger community. We had a fantastic time, and look forward to the opportunity to partner again!
West Park Cultural Center has provided excellent musical services for learners at The School of The Future. I had a pleasure collaborating with members of their organization.
I am so impressed with how many programs West Park Cultural Center offers and how many people whose needs they meet on such a slim budget. WPCC is an organization with after school and summer camp programs for children, a performing arts program that brings literature to life for high school students, an adult literacy program, a program that teaches English comprehension for students trying to enter into Philadelphia Community College but who cannot pass the English comprehension exams, and a stunningly beautiful day of arts and culture for the whole community. Their programs reach and touch the lives of 2,000 or more people a year, and all on a budget that is less than the administrative budgets for organizations that reach far fewer people -- less than $100,000 a year. But not only is WPCC able to provide so many different programs, they are also able to demonstrate positive results -- students in their programs have met AYP (Advanced Yearly Progress) while their classmates do not, young adults are able to pass college admission exams and enroll in school, and children are now more engaged in school with improved grades. It is a safe place for donors to give their money!
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.
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.
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.
As an arts and culture colleague, it has been a joy to work with the West Park Cultural Center for the past three years. West Park Cultural Center is a fantastic, neighborhood-based organization creating a positive impact on the lives of people in its local community and beyond. From after-school workshops for youth, to its annual West Park Arts Festival, the center advances and promotes a vibrant and spirited sense of belonging, a place for making, and a creative oasis for the good of all.