We believe that everyone has a story to tell. The mission of FPA is to transform the drama of real life into memoir and documentary art to foster appreciation for our unique and shared experiences. The FPA mission statement clearly defines our practice and anticipated outcomes.
FPA was founded in Philadelphia, PA, USA. Philadelphia is the nation’s fifth largest city with over 1.56MIL people. Its neighborhoods and visitors reflect diverse ethnicities, religions, ages, incomes and sexual orientations. In order to amplify the plethora of authentic perspectives here, FPA cultivates audiences and stories that are reflective of the diverse experiences of our region. As a result, our audiences have diversified to be within approximately 10% points of the 2017 regional census data.
At FPA, no one person’s story is more valuable than another’s. In fact, voices that go unheard are often the most potent.
Our practice is reshaping a true story into art. We do this by soliciting and collecting raw, unedited stories from artists and those who do not consider themselves to be artists. We then select from these raw, unedited stories, those ripe for further development. Selected stories/storytellers work with FPA story coaches, teaching artists & production teams using an intuitive developmental process conducted in a safe, nurturing environment. The combination of environment and expertise transforms a story into the art form most appropriate to fulfill its greatest potential. We also present masters and emerging artists in the field whose work aligns with our artistic metrics. As an arts and cultural organization and to honor the voices we amplify, it is our responsibility to strive for artistic excellence in our practice and outcomes, not mediocrity.
Seeking Artistic Excellence
Excellence is defined in our mission statement as art that, “… fosters appreciation for our unique and shared experiences” or, as Sir. Brian McMasters (former Director of the Edinburgh International Festival) said in his report Supporting Excellence in the Arts: From Measurement to Judgement, “…excellence in culture occurs when an [artistic] experience affects and changes an individual”.
Metrics for Artistic Excellence
Artistic excellence for FPA involves innovation, risk-taking and relevance.
FPA has been at the forefront of creating new innovative models that push the boundaries of memoir and documentary art since its inception. Most recently, FPA has worked with experts to develop models that push the boundaries of storytelling, fusing storytelling with journalism and behavioral health.
FPA believes that only in a safe, nurturing environment will artists and individuals that do not consider themselves to be artists take risks to share and develop deeply personal, compelling stories. This environment is the birthplace of brave new work.
Through programming that speaks to the pressing and important issues as we experience them collectively, FPA ensures that its programming remains relevant.
This is a critical juncture in world history. The last generation of individuals that lived through some of the most influential events in history (i.e., the Holocaust, World War II, etc.) are fading into memory. We are also dealing with other influences on our collective well-being that are unique to this time (i.e., political, medical, etc.) FPA seeks to capture and retain the compelling narratives that reflect the collective memory and pressing issues of our time that must be told now.