News Release
philadelphia cultural pass

PHILADELPHIA — Penn Medicine and Drexel University will join to launch the Philadelphia Cultural Pass pilot grant program, an effort to support vital arts and cultural institutions in the city, offer valuable new opportunities for staff, and attract top talent to the region.

The Philadelphia Cultural Pass program will provide a fresh pathway to introduce employees and their families to internationally renowned arts institutions and the concerts, exhibits, and performances that have put Philadelphia on the map as a pre-eminent hub for the arts. The pilot program also aims to broaden the reach of these institutions to more people that work and live around Philadelphia, and to build a community of ambassadors who are active participants in the region’s cultural economy.

“We are a city born of firsts — a constant force for innovation in public service, education, health, and the sciences,” said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “That same spirit is the foundation for the inspired works of music and art that make our city a world-class cultural destination, and we’re proud to launch a program that further connects all facets of our vibrant city.”

John Fry, Drexel president, said, “We are pleased to join Penn Medicine in spearheading the Cultural Pass program, which will give Drexel faculty and professional staff greater access to the music of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the great treasures of the Museum of Art. Enhancing corporate support for the arts in Philadelphia this way is a win-win.”

Initial partners from the visual and performing arts community will include some of the City’s internationally acclaimed institutions: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

“This program so thoughtfully underscores the importance of increasing access to our region’s vibrant arts institutions. We hope that this invitation will be the spark that ignites a lifelong connection to music,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are delighted to receive this generous support from Penn Medicine and Drexel University, which recognizes the role of the arts as a powerful unifier in our community.”

Philadelphia Cultural Pass grants will provide direct financial support to these cultural institutions. The program will also partner with the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, expanding access to a wide range of world-class programs in theatre, music, and dance.

“Providing greater access to the arts is a strategic focus of our work,” noted Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  “We’ve found that this is best done in partnership with other institutions, especially those like Penn Medicine and Drexel University, which can help us engage new audiences.”

As two of the city’s largest employers, with a combined workforce of more than 46,000, pilot partners Penn Medicine and Drexel will work together to ensure that employees at all levels of their organizations — and their families — have access to these cultural offerings.

“This visionary leadership initiative will help strengthen the vital cultural fabric of the City of Philadelphia,” said Joseph Neubauer, former chair of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and current chair of the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “We are grateful for this support which will introduce even more Philadelphians to these world-class institutions.”

For news media, contact Hannah Messinger at


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.

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