Sound Investments Project

2021-2023

Since 2004, PCMS has presented over 250 concerts at the American Philosophical Society (APS). Their historic Benjamin Franklin Hall has been visited by international recitalists and ensembles on our series, some of whom the APS counts among its eminent membership. This partnership with the APS was amplified during the pandemic, when they allowed us to continue presenting and live streaming concerts there, helping to fulfill our mission of engaging our community in a life more beautiful when most other venues were shuttered. With major support provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, additional support from the Presser Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and individual donors Susan Giesecke Bloom, A. Charles Winkelman, and Dot and Rick Nelson, a feasibility study was conducted to explore a variety of facility improvements that would provide more equitable experiences for artists and audiences, and long-term capacity building. The study resulted in decisions to upgrade three key areas of the hall—improvements that were completed this past summer.

An expanded and reinforced stage (14 feet deep by 22 feet wide) allows greater flexibility in programming chamber ensembles and gives greater freedom of placement for the piano, improving the acoustical experience. Enlargement of the technical booth affords the full audio/video team space for live streaming of all our concerts and newer technology for positioning audio equipment. Finally, a new green room backstage, with two dressing rooms, provide artists with private space for pre-concert activities. The feasibility study also explored ways to increase accessibility at the entrance to the hall. Robert Hauser, the Executive Officer of the APS, said they are pursuing solutions that will “give everyone convenient and efficient access to Benjamin Franklin Hall.”



Major support for the Sound Investments Project has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Presser Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and individual donors Susan Giesecke Bloom, A. Charles Winkelman, and Dot and Rick Nelson.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage or The Pew Charitable Trusts.