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​​Preserving Diverse Cultures Division (PDC)

Strategies for Success program participants pose together at a training.


The Preserving Diverse Cultures (PDC) Division supports the creation, development, and stabilization of organizations, programs, and projects whose mission and artistic work are deeply rooted in and reflective of the perspectives of historically under-represented, diverse cultures including those whose members identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Additionally, the applicant's programs and staff are representative of or offer unique perspectives regarding, diverse cultures including BIPOC communities.

The Division seeks to foster organizational stability, expansion of authentic and relevant arts and cultural programming in diverse communities including those whose members identify as BIPOC; and to support the training of capable administrators.

Division Programs

Please note: the Community-Based Engagement Projects grant program is no longer being offered. The final report for projects supported during the September 1, 2023 - August 31, 2024 program period is due on or before September 30, 2024. 

The Division offers the following funding opportunities to individuals and organizations with a emphasis on Pennsylvania's historically under-represented diverse populations including BIPOC communities. These programs are significant in their design, intentionally creating long-term relationships between the Division and participating organizations through the provision of up to ten years of support for capacity building and consultation.

Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success is a participatory, multi-year, multi-level capacity-building program that addresses and supports organizational development with an emphasis on entities serving historically under-represented diverse communities including those whose members identify as BIPOC.

Support is provided through implementation awards, technical assistance, and professional development workshops and conferences. Participation in the program is based on three levels of organizational readiness - Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Funding and continued participation at each level is dependent on meeting eligibility and participation requirements, and an annual assessment.

Please note: Applicants to Strategies for Success may be eligible to apply to the PCA's Creative Sector Flex Fund (CSFF) or Entry to AOAP grant programs. A complete description of grant programs, eligibility, participation requirements, and important dates can be found in the guidelines.


Additional Resources

When resources allow, the Division provides technical assistance, funding for professional development for individual artists, and consultancy support for organizations not eligible to participate in Strategies for Success. The Division also offers virtual and in-person organizational and professional development convenings, webinars, and workshops. The availability of these opportunities will be announced via the PCA website, email, and social media.

Funding Restrictions

PCA grant funds cannot be used for any of the following:

  • Activities outside the performance period;
  • Activities that have a religious purpose;
  • Payments to lobbyists;
  • Cash prizes and awards;
  • Benefit activities; or
  • Activities for which academic credit is given.

Unless authorized by Council, grant funds cannot be used for the following:

  • Hospitality expenses (i.e., receptions, parties, gallery openings);
  • Capital expenditures, including equipment costing $500 or more;
  • Competitions; or
  • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public.

Preserving Diverse Cultures Division Advisory Panel

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts seeks volunteers to serve as panelists to review applications for grant opportunities offered by the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division.

We strive to convene panels of artists and administrators who have knowledge of and experience in non-profit management and community engagement as artists or administrators; and, who represent the diversity of our applicants. Panelist recommendations guide the Council in the use and distribution of public funds.

The number of panelists selected each year is determined by the volume of applications received.

Additional details about the advisory panel and panel process can be found here (PDF)

Interested individuals should contact Dana Payne and provide a bio and/or resume along with grant panel preference.

If you are interested in volunteering as a panelist and have questions about accessibility and/or accommodation requests, please contact Dana Payne.

Contact Us

Contact Dana Payne, Director of DEI Initiatives, Diverse Cultures & Heritage, for more information regarding program availability and the application process: or 717-525-5544.