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Knight Foundation Establishes $5 Million Art-Tech Initiative for Philadelphia

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation plans to help bolster the missions of two Philadelphia arts institutions that have prioritized art and technology innovation through a $5 million Art and Technology fund. The money will go to the Barnes Foundation—which will open a cross-departmental digital engagement center—and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which will work on enhancing visitors’ experiences with their collection and 142-year-old building through technology. Both institutions aim to develop their projects both in- and offsite, and will use the funds to strengthen resources such as apps and databases.

”Strong communities move with the times—creating new ways to engage citizens and connect people to place,” said Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen. ”Our research and experience show that providing people with the information they need to make good decisions, spaces where they can gather and feel ownership, and art that inspires and meets people where and how they live, are key elements of sustainable engagement.”

The Knight Foundation’s effort is part of a $19 million investment in Philadelphia’s arts and journalism community that was announced yesterday.