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Picasso Project Background

In response to the need for more arts in schools, PCCY established the Picasso Project in 2002 with a two-fold mission: First, provide grant funding to support Philadelphia public elementary, middle and high schools in implementing high quality, innovative arts projects. Second, advocate on a number of levels (local through federal) for increased funding for arts education for these schools. Since its inception, the Picasso Project has provided access to the arts for 55,000 students through $944,466 in grants to support 211 projects at 116 Philadelphia schools.

The impact is clear: the arts can create a life-long love of learning that leads to academic success. Research shows that children who participate in arts programs at school learn critical decision-making skills, get better grades, and are more likely to go to college. Teachers say that because of the Picasso Project, students improved their cooperation and behavior skills, as well as gained interest and skills in the arts.

Testimonials from Picasso Project Participants:

  • “I accomplished something so great! I didn’t even know that I can do anything like that.” -Picasso Project Student
  • “Through the project [my student] turned his academic career around as well as his social life.” -Picasso Project Teacher
  • “This project has multiplied our efforts.” -Picasso Project teacher
  • “The interest was so great that we were able to get scholarships for 2 young men to study dance on a professional level at Philadanco.” – Picasso Project Teacher
  • “Students who may not have been friends created a bond while completing the project. They began helping each other which never occurred before.” -Picasso Project Principal

Picasso Project Awards:

  • 2021 National Art Education Association award for Distinguished Service Outside the Field and Pennsylvania Art Education Association Award for Outstanding Friend to Art Education to PCCY Picasso Project Director, Tim Gibbon
  • 2014 Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Groundswell Award
  • 2007 Human Rights Award for Arts and Culture from the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations

Tim Gibbon, Picasso Project Director

Tim’s work as Picasso Project Director is rooted in a commitment to providing and advocating for arts education for Philadelphia’s children and youth. In 2021, Tim was honored with the Distinguished Service Outside the Field Award by the National Art Education Association, as well as the Outstanding Friend to Art Education award from the Pennsylvania Art Education Association for his work with PCCY. Prior to joining PCCY, Tim has worked as Program Coordinator for Congreso de Latinos Unidos’s afterschool and summer programs in North Philadelphia. He has also worked with several socially-engaged arts and education projects, as reForm Project Director with Temple Contemporary, Bilingual Project Coordinator for Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Community Organizer for Philadelphia Photo Arts Center and The Clay Studio. Additionally, Tim has experience as a Teaching Artist in a wide variety of school and community settings. Tim holds a masters degree in Art Education with Certificate in Community Arts Practices from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. You can reach Tim at 215-563-5848 ext. 22 or email timg at pccy dot org

Cindy Farlino, Picasso Project Coach

During her 25 years with the School District of Philadelphia, Cindy first taught middle grade students, and then became an Assistant Principal, at the Feltonville Arts and Sciences Middle School. In 2005, she was appointed as Director of Instruction for the South Region which involved overseeing the academic programs at 39 schools. Prior to working with PCCY, Cindy served for nine years as Principal of the William Meredith Elementary School.  Cindy Farlino joined the PCCY team in 2018, providing coaching and oversight of the Picasso Project School-Based model to support the development of arts-rich Philadelphia public schools. In addition to working with PCCY’s Picasso Project, Cindy works with CASA (Commonwealth Association of School Administrators)  as their representative in the Healthy Schools Initiative which fights for safer school environments and is a founding member of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook.

Picasso Project Committee

The Picasso Project Committee works intensely on project implementation at schools year-round. Committee members serve as volunteer liaisons at project schools, providing technical assistance and support to grantee schools and increasing the impact of school projects. Members also help with outreach, coordination and advocacy. Additional volunteers from the arts and education communities serve on the Review Panel assessing school applications once a year.

Committee Members

  • Dennis Barnebey, Retired School Teacher
  • Linda Carpenter, Retired School Teacher
  • Vicki Ellis, Office of Strategic Partnerships, School District of Philadelphia
  • Evelyn Eskin, Co-Chair & Retired Business Executive and Musician
  • Nancy Francis, Retired School Music Teacher
  • Danielle Gallagher, Sales & Marketing Manager, Common Sense Technologies
  • Bonnie Gevurtz, Retired School Art Teacher
  • Beth Hartman, Retired School Art Teacher
  • Germaine Ingram, Dancer and Choreographer
  • Bill Madeira, Former PCCY Staff and Education Advocate
  • Joyce Millman, Art Teacher Educator, Moore College of Art & Design
  • Bonnie Raines, Co-Chair & Former Picasso Project Coordinator
  • Donyale Reavis, Managing Advisor, Calyx Philanthropy Advisors
  • Linda Roth, Retired School Teacher
  • Leslie Russell Winder, Senior Associate, The ROZ Group
  • Ellie Seif, Retired School Principal, Photographer and Dancer
  • Jonathan Stein, General Counsel, Community Legal Services and Dancer
  • Lynne Y. Strieb, Retired School Teacher
  • Gretchen Elise Walker, Development Director, St. Mary’s Nursery School, Former Picasso Project Director and Musician