In 2026, the country will commemorate the 250th anniversary of American independence. All eyes will be on Philadelphia as we recognize the historic events that occurred here in 1776.
The Free Library of Philadelphia is proud to be a part of PHILADELPHIA250, the nonprofit organizing the City of Philadelphia’s 250th, and its growing coalition of regional institutions who have pledged to make the 250th a celebration with a purpose. One that is created By the People, For All People.
PHILADELPHIA250 is dedicated to leveraging the 250th by leading a citywide, grassroots civic commemoration that invites all Philadelphians to share diverse stories, declare civic actions and create legacies that make Philadelphia more equitable and resilient for future generations.
The first major signature program to roll out is, "Leave a Legacy"—a public call for Philadelphians to submit bold ideas and projects that will have a positive, transformational impact in Philadelphia neighborhoods. These impact projects will serve as Philadelphia’s legacy for the 250th and may include projects like community centers, literacy programs, public health initiatives and housing solutions, among others.
The “Leave a Legacy” public call is currently open and accepting submissions. All project development stages will be considered: conceptual, emerging or early-stage, trial-stage or an existing project. The submission process is easy and accessible for all teams, individuals, community groups, for-profit companies, entrepreneurs and nonprofits, with no fee to apply.
Specifically, PHILADELPHIA250 is interested in projects that will bring about positive impact in the following ways and exemplify the organization’s four key values:
Improve the quality of life in neighborhoods (Shared Prosperity)
Spark civic action to address injustices and inequities (Revolutionary Actions)
Amplify diverse and inclusive stories of our people (People’s Histories)
Celebrate our individual or collective passions and pastimes (Pursuit of Happiness)
Successful applicants will be part of a five-month accelerator program that includes access to a portion of $125,000 in seed funds supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Philadelphia Foundation and work with a team of advisors to develop their project idea.
Those interested in learning more about the PHILADELPHIA250 Leave a Legacy public call are encouraged to visit philadelphia250.us/leave-a-legacy. Interactive Q&A sessions and information workshops are also being hosted throughout April each Wednesday from 12noon-1pm EST via Zoom. An in-person workshop will be held on April 20 at 3:30 p.m. at Industrious Avenue of the Arts. Registration for both sessions are required with links below.
We encourage you to join a citywide movement that’s happening now to make Philadelphia the very best it can be.
Follow PHILADELPHIA250 on social media @PHILADELPHIA250 for the latest updates, events and news.
Register for a "Leave a Legacy" Virtual Office office hour session on Zoom
Register for the in-person session on April 20 at Industrious Avenue of the Arts here