public art network council
Fairmount Park Art Association
Penny Balkin Bach is executive director of the Fairmount Park Art Association, the nation's first private, nonprofit public art organization, chartered in 1872 and dedicated to the integration of public art and urban planning. Bach is a noted curator, writer, cultural observer, and educator who provides artistic direction for the organization. Her current activities include the exploration of innovative approaches to public art and its audiences, the creation of opportunities for new works by artists and design professionals, and the advocacy and promotion of responsible stewardship of public art. Bach works with civic leaders, city agencies, community groups, and cultural organizations. Bach wrote on private funding for public art in Public Art by the Book, published by Americans for the Arts. She is an essayist and editor of New•Land•Marks: Public Art, Community, and the Meaning of Place, and is responsible for developing the Fairmount Park Art Association’s pioneering Form and Function program and its current New•Land•Marks initiative. She led a movement to preserve and protect Philadelphia's outdoor sculpture, a model that has been adopted throughout the nation. Bach has been instrumental in lighting Philadelphia’s outdoor sculpture and has guided a comprehensive interpretive program for public art in Philadelphia.