Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Tim Whitaker and Mighty Writers: Giving Kids the Power of Writing

Numbers don't lie. Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.

That’s why in 2009, Mighty Writers was launched with a five-word elevator pitch: To teach kids to write.

They do this through four-day-a-week writing academies at their six neighborhood locations in Philadelphia, at their Kennett site in West Grove, and at their site in Camden, New Jersey.

Over the course of a year—including summers—they take students through every genre of writing but always with the same goal: to get kids to think clearly and write with clarity.

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen and the National Constitution Center: Visit—Learn—Debate

Jeffrey Rosen is the president & CEO of the National Constitution Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the U.S. Constitution. Located steps from Independence Hall in historic Philadelphia, the Center engages millions of citizens as an interactive museum, national town hall and provider of nonpartisan resources for civic education.

Bren Smith of GreenWave: Farming the Ocean Differently

Bren Smith of GreenWave: Farming the Ocean Differently

GreenWave is training a new generation of ocean farmers feeding the planet and building a blue-green economy in the era of climate change. GreenWave is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 dedicated to climate resilience and equity. They work in two areas: farm replication and market innovation. Their goal is a blue green economy - built and led by restorative ocean farmers - that feeds local communities while protecting the planet.

Madeline Bell and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Saving Kids Around the Globe

Madeline Bell and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Saving Kids Around the Globe

Madeline Bell is the president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the United States. A bold and visionary leader, she champions change with empathy and integrity, inspiring the nearly 20,000 employees in the hospital’s $3-billion-a-year health system and research institute to create breakthroughs that have worldwide impact.

Nick Stuccio and FringeArts: Dancing to Make a Difference

Nick Stuccio and FringeArts: Dancing to Make a Difference

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectation. Their programming exposes audiences to genre-defying dance, theater, and music performances by accomplished and emerging innovators who push the boundaries of art-making and redefine the artistic landscape worldwide.

Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits: Curating Innovative and Groundbreaking Programs at the Annenberg Center

Chris Gruits is the executive and artistic director of the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. His vision returns the Annenberg Center to its roots as Philadelphia’s premier curator of innovative and groundbreaking programs, and a wide range of collaborations in dance, music, theater and more. A signature of his leadership is the cultivation of partnerships across the community, reflecting the Annenberg Center’s commitment to serving the University of Pennsylvania, the surrounding West Philadelphia neighborhood and the Greater Philadelphia region.

Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee: Increasing Access to Arts Education, Job Opportunities for Artists and Cultural Experiences in Philadelphia

Kelly Lee is the chief cultural officer for the City of Philadelphia, appointed by Mayor Jim Kenney. She leads Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, which closes the gap in access to quality cultural experiences and creative expression through the support and promotion of arts, culture and the creative industries. The Office connects Philadelphians to enriching arts-infused experiences, links local artists and cultural organizations to resources and opportunities, and preserves Philadelphia's public art assets.

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Andreas Heineke and Dialogue in the Dark: Mitigating Social Gaps and Fostering Empathy

Globally, it is estimated that 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near vision impairment. Prejudice about blindness is widespread; blind people do not have equal access to education and the labor market. Social entrepreneur Andreas Heinecke was determined to do something about it. He founded Dialogue in the Dark—in which blind people lead the audience in small groups through a set of real-life scenarios in total darkness to share this experience.

Matías Tarnopolsky and The Philadelphia Orchestra: Excellence, Innovation and Creativity Onstage & Offstage

Matías Tarnopolsky and The Philadelphia Orchestra: Excellence, Innovation and Creativity Onstage & Offstage

The Philadelphia Orchestra creates and shares music of the highest caliber for people of all ages and backgrounds, and is actively involved in community outreach activities. Matías Tarnopolsky was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Orchestra in 2018.

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Thom Collins and the Barnes Foundation: Advancing Education and Appreciation of the Fine Arts

Dr. Albert C. Barnes believed that art had the power to improve minds and transform lives. The Barnes Foundation's diverse educational programs are based on his teachings and one-of-a-kind collections—both his art holdings in Philadelphia and the rare trees, flowers and other plants at the Barnes Arboretum.