PennPAT is an unprecedented and wonderfully successful public-private partnership that was initiated in the mid-1990’s by four funding agencies that had an interest in increasing and improving opportunities for Pennsylvania’s performing artists--The Heinz Endowments, William Penn Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Working with Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF), a regional arts organization headquartered in Baltimore, MD, they convened artists and leaders in the arts field for a series of meetings in the spring of 1996 to review and discuss the possibility of creating a dynamic new Pennsylvania arts-touring program. Through a facilitated process, the funding partners and MAAF created PennPAT. MAAF, with input from representatives from each of these funding agencies hired the first (and only) PennPAT Director, Katie West, in 1997 and created an office in Philadelphia, PA.
PennPAT has grown and matured since its inception. In its first three years of existence, PennPAT focused its efforts on supporting touring engagements by professional Pennsylvania performing artists within Pennsylvania, and assisting those artists with touring readiness through grants, training and marketing support. It has gradually expanded its geographic reach and added activities to deepen its impact.
In 2001, PennPAT began awarding grants for Roster Artist touring engagement to presenters in the entire mid-Atlantic region and Ohio. North Carolina was included in the eligible region between 2005 and 2008, through a partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council. Programmatic additions over the years included an artist retreat, showcasing opportunities at networking and booking conferences, one-on-one consultations, workshops and webinars, and additional grant opportunities for both artists and presenters.
Over the 15-year history of the program, PennPAT has provided over $7.4 million to presenters in the region to help Pennsylvania's performing artists obtain successful touring engagements and over $1.5 million in direct grants to Roster Artists. This support has leveraged over $19.7 million in performance fees for those artists and made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to have the highest quality arts experiences.
Interested in learning more about the history of PennPAT? Check out “A 10-Year Program Synopsis” by EmcArts Inc. (November 2008) in the Research/Articles section. Highlights include: How did PennPAT come about? How has PennPAT evolved and grown over its 10-year history? What impact has PennPAT had?