The Community Cultural Exchange (CCE) is a community-driven project to create an art and culture center on or near South Street, Philadelphia, PA. CCE members are defined as people who live, work, play, eat, drink, commune, bike, skate, walk and/or breathe in the South Street area. CCE members come from all walks of life and choose to enjoy the beauty, history, art, people and culture offered in this space on planet Earth.

In Spring 2006, CCE members, then “South Street people”, participated in the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Committee’s Coffee House Challenge sponsored by Starbuck’s to look at the question: What kind of space would best serve we the people/visitors of South Street? After a few weeks of dialogue at the Starbuck’s on 4th and South, with various participants (artists, both long and short-term residents, business owners, students and visitors), the CCE idea was born: To build a space on or near South Street with a library, art gallery, theatre, living room and classrooms for individuals and groups to use! This center provides opportunities for an intergenerational group of people to explore their interests through education and the arts, and preserve local stories, history and culture for Philadelphia and it's visitors.

Using a participatory action research process of dialogue, action and reflection, CCE members spoke with over 700 people to assess the feasibility of creating a CCE. Through the submission of citizens’ statements stating the need for the CCE, a door-to-door survey gauging community interest, a petition, and reflection on the information gathering process, the first CCE grant proposal was born.

In September of 2006, the CCE was one of five winners of $3,000 from the Coffee House Challenge to have a fundraising event and to develop non-profit status. The first CCE fundraising event was a success and the CCE received 501c3 status from the IRS in 2007.

Since the moment of the Coffee House Challenge win, CCE members have done their best to make this project a reality- and HAVE FUN while doing it! And although the CCE is still a non-profit “with-out walls” you will see all of the CEE’s creations and accomplishments when skipping through our past outreach programs or jamming through The Exchange! Please enjoy this site and come experience the laughing, clapping, learning and/or loving at one of the CCE’s many events!

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