West Park Cultural Center uses arts and culture as a central tool in programs that help youth tap their creative and academic potential, and where residents can access the arts, education, and other development/support programs that contribute to their personal development.
What We Do
West Park Cultural Center (WPCC) was founded in 2001 to fill a major void in the community where no quality low and no cost programming existed for children, youth and families. In addition to a lack of quality afterschool time programming, WPCC saw the need to create a quality summer program for children in our at-risk neighborhoods and launched Camp Ginkgo in 2002. For the last 10 years this arts and nature camp has been in partnership with the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center serving as the program venue. In 2002 WPCC also established its Adult Literacy Program. In September 2006 WPCC moved afterschool and literacy programming to the School of the Future. With this move the organization became the school's resident community partner and has thus far and remains the only consistent access the community has to the school. All afterschool programs offered by WPCC are open to children and youth throughout the community ages 7-18. In 2008 WPCC started West Park Arts Fest bringing together up to 30 arts, cultural, and community partners to create a free family friendly event with the theme “Friends Across Cultures”. In June 2010 West Park Cultural Center was awarded the Crimson and Gold Award from Microsoft and the School of the Future for our work with the school and the community and was one of nine arts organizations in Philadelphia to receive a Philadelphia Cultural Fund Youth Arts Enrichment Grant. This grant allowed us to create and pilot our Arts for Literacy initiative exposing English classroom learners to actors and spoken word artists who brought written text to life, developed working relationships with educators and improved language arts skills amongst the student population. In May 2015 the WPCC afterschool youth arts program was among twelve programs/organizations city-wide chosen to participate in the Franklin Institute "Students Making a Difference" event and on October 24, 2015 WPCC received the Tau Gamma Delta “Community Service Award”.