PCAN was formed with the mission to make the arts + arts education accessible to children in our Philadelphia community. Our programming is focused on music, art + cartooning, theater + dance classes.


How it all got started

PCAN began in 1986 as the Manayunk Community Center for the Arts whose mission was "to make the arts and arts education accessible to the community." At that time we had educational, performance and visual arts programming in a local church and were a strictly volunteer organization.

In the ensuing years our educational programs grew and we became aware that students were coming from many divergent neighborhoods in Northwest Philadelphia to attend our educational programs. To reflect this diversity we changed our name to the Wissahickon Art Center. Enrollment grew and took up the balance of our time. In the 1990's one of the founding board members became our first part time paid administrator.

Enrollment continued to grow and over one hundred students were attending weekly music lessons and art, dance and theater classes. In the summer of 2008 we held pilot programs at Enon Tabernacle Church in Germantown and St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Frankford. Both programs were a success and we have been able to continue the programs at St. Mark's and add a third location in Holmesburg at Emmanuel Resurrection Episcopal Church.

To reflect our city wide reach, we changed our name to the Philadelphia Community Arts Network. We now employ several artist/teachers and an Executive Director to handle the year round teaching and administrative functions of PCAN and have over two hundred students per year studying on a weekly basis.