The Free Library is Now Accepting Submissions for Our Cultureshare Program!

By Kate C. RSS Wed, May 10, 2017

Calling all Philadelphia-area artists! The Free Library wants your art!

You heard right: As part of our new Cultureshare pilot program, based on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model and funded by the Knight Foundation, the project aims to connect Philadelphia artists through a free, subscription-based program that curates and distributes locally produced art, music, writing, and performance in conversation with existing holdings of the Free Library.

Winning submissions will be selected by a committee of curators and Free Library staff, based on connection to Philadelphia as well as artistic merit. Each artist or piece selected will receive a prize of up to $1,000 and the work will be included in the Free Library’s first digital "share" to subscribers.

The submission period is open NOW through Friday, June 16!

Material Requirements:

  • We are seeking original art in any medium, including but not limited to: music, painting, performance, photography, and writing.
  • The submission must be digitally deliverable. All major file formats accepted.
  • Work must be previously unpublished.
  • Any video or audio submission must be under 7 minutes in length.
  • Any text submission must be under 2000 words.
  • Images must have a minimum resolution of 72 dpi and should be large enough for judges to see clearly online. If selected, a higher resolution image may be required.
  • Excerpts of larger works are acceptable, assuming they fit the length parameters.
  • We ask for first serial rights and the right to keep a copy of the publication in our archives. All other rights revert back to the artist after publication.

Artist Requirements:

  • Have a relationship with the city of Philadelphia.
  • Be over the age of 12.
  • If the submission was created by more than one artist, all artists’ information must be included.
  • If selected, commit to attending our launch celebration on the evening of Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

 Contact with any questions, and please visit for more information or to submit your work!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Does the work submitted have to be about Philadelphia?
Jessica Eirich - philadelphia
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hi Jessica, and thank you for the note! The submitted work does not have to be about Philadelphia - we're just asking that the artists themselves have some sort of connection to the city. Hope that helps to clarify!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Could you please provide clarification on the phrase "in conversation with existing holdings?"
Judi Rogers - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hi Judi! One of the goals of the Cultureshare is to explore how locally produced art relates to what we've already got going on at the Free Library! Once the winners are chosen, our curators will work to "pair" the art with library holdings to hopefully foster an exciting conversation around both works - hope that makes sense!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Can City of Philadelphia employees submit work as well?
Terri C. - Mt. Airy
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hi Terri, yes of course!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Can the connection to Philadelphia be that I live in Philadelphia, although I wasn't born here? Thanks!
Jessica Izaguirre - Philadelphia
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Can fiber art be submitted.
SRD - Philadelphia
Friday, May 19, 2017

Hi Jessica, yes, any connection at all is fine!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Monday, May 22, 2017

Hi CRD, thanks for the note! We accept all forms of art, so please feel free to submit a digital image, but we just stress that this will all be disseminated online and thus there is no opportunity for a tactile experience for the subscriber. Hope that helps to clarify!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Monday, May 22, 2017

Can we submit two pieces?
Faith - Haddonfield
Monday, May 22, 2017

Hi Faith - just one submission per person! Thanks!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Monday, May 22, 2017

If I submit poetry can it be a collection of poems as long as it doesn't go over the word count?
Cydney Foye - West Philly
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hi Cydney, thanks for the message! We advise submitting just one piece.
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hello Kate C, we are The Unity a home grown trio of musicians that have played for the Tri-state area (Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware) for over the past 12 years. As community performing artist for social change, Robert Carter, Kitsi Watterson, and Dominic Cartwright, bring improvisational, funky, musical magic that reminds us that overcoming injustice, racism and poverty will bring freedom for all of us (The Unity), and not the privileged few. Our submission for Cultureshare is a performance titled: "Heaven Over War" which will be forwarded for your review. We truly believe that upon hearing this piece you and your audience will be transformed into the position of hope through healing. The Unity... "We Are One Always"
The Unity - Philadelphia
Monday, June 5, 2017

Kate C. - Philadelphia
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Will submission be excepted until 6/16/2017 or until 6/30/2017. I saw different dates on this page and on the submission page.
Joe - Philadelphia
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hi Joe, the deadline has indeed been extended to 6/30 - sorry for any confusion!
Kate C. - Philadelphia
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Have a self help book that I created for woman empowerment and getting over trauma
Khadijah cook - Philadelphia
Monday, January 11, 2021