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Connelly Access Program

In 1995, parish elementary school teachers in Philadelphia asserted that budget constrictions most often impacted their art and music programs. The Foundation responded by establishing the Connelly Access Program (CAP).  Designed to supplement schools’ core curricula, CAP connects selected cultural organizations with an enthusiastic audience of participating Catholic elementary school students.  


The Connelly Access Program provides cultural educational experiences for Philadelphia parish, regional, and mission elementary school students in grades 4-8. Participating schools engage in experiences with select cultural organizations to enjoy:


  • Live performances at concert halls and theatres; visits to museums, historic and scientific venues
  • Unique cultural programming provided at their own schools via in-house assemblies or workshops
  • Coverage of entrance fees, assemblies, and transportation costs


An additional significant benefit of CAP is the opportunity to direct financial support to high-quality cultural organizations and institutions in the Philadelphia region.

CAP 2023-24 Approach

For the 2023-24 school year, the Connelly Access Program (CAP) will serve 48 Catholic elementary schools in the city of Philadelphia, including all Archdiocesan elementary schools, all Independence Mission Schools, and 3 independent Catholic elementary schools. Participating schools will receive funding for students in grades 4 through 8, which they can use to book field trips, assemblies, and workshops with our twenty-three cultural provider partners. Provider partners this year include organizations such as the Franklin Institute, Museum of the American Revolution, Musicopia, and the Philadelphia Zoo.