Explore. Learn. Connect.

New Resources: Philadelphia Innovation High Schools

Given Barra’s desire to share learning as part of the innovation process, the Foundation decided to embark on its first “thematic review” to look back across four Catalyst Fund-supported models to capture learnings.  A convening of these high schools, Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture, held on June 18, 2018, shared key lessons learned from this work and explored the necessary conditions (at the school and system level) for fostering school innovation. For more information, including cases studies with findings from this process, click here.

Philadelphia Students Create the Perfect Holiday Jawn

2/13/2015 |

“Behold, the jawnament! Delicate, wooden – and singularly Philly – the holiday handcraft is the latest offering from student entrepreneurs at the Workshop School, a project-based public school whose innovations have won national recognition. The school’s teens are best known for building a fuel-efficient fast car that made its way to the White House.” Read more.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 2014 Grantee: The Workshop School, Catalyst Fund 2014

You Can Now Lend Money to Philly Businesses with Kiva Zip

12/17/2014 |

Technical.ly Philly recently featured the local launch of an innovative tool to support entrepreneurs: “Philadelphia is helping local businesses get startup capital. Not startup venture capital — just good old fashioned small business loans, but these come with zero percent interest. The loans come through Kiva Zip, a crowdfunding platform where people lend money to a business and get paid back over the course of the loan term, which could be anywhere from six months to two years.” Read more.
Technical.ly Philly, November 2014

Technology for Good: Lunch with Kiva.org

12/12/2014 |

In town to celebrate the launch of Kiva Philadelphia, Premal Shah, President and Co-Founder of Kiva.org, joined Barra for an invigorating lunchtime conversation on “technology for good.” To showcase the range of talent in our region and to make new introductions across sectors, guests included investors, philanthropists, nonprofit executives, government leaders and entrepreneurs. Click here to read about Barra’s Kiva grant or here to view the Flickr album.
December 2014 Grantee: Kiva

With an Eye on Innovation, Barra Revamps its Funding Approach

11/3/2014 |

Generocity recently covered Barra’s new grantmaking approach: “In talking with people in the field, we found that there were few funding opportunities for organizations that wanted to test something new that had the potential to be better than existing solutions,” Wahl said. “What our grantees really want is the room to breathe – to tackle the same old issues with a fresh approach.” Read more.
Generocity, October 2014

Building a Resilient Sector

9/24/2014 |

“Innovation is a fad.” Sound familiar? Richard Evans debunks the myths around innovation and identifies how grantmakers can support adaptive change. Read more.
Grantmakers in the Arts, Fall 2013 

A Message About Our Changes

7/8/2014 |

Learn more about how The Barra Foundation is evolving and adapting to further innovation in Greater Philadelphia.

We Imagine

7/8/2014 |

The Barra Foundation has a vision for Greater Philadelphia, inspired by leaders and dreamers like you.
Video by REMADE | July 2014

Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From 

7/7/2014 |

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But in his TED talk, Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story.
TED, 2010

Barra Awardees Making Connections

7/3/2014 |

They’re two very different organizations, but it took Barra Awardees BalletX and University City District just an introductory conversation to see the partnership possibilities. Click here to see this Flickr album.
Photos by Mark Garvin, 
May 2014 Grantees: BalletX and University City District, 2013 Barra Awards

Designing a New Kind of High School

7/3/2014 |

Chip Linehan and Laura Shubilla are the founders of Building 21, a new secondary school in the School District of Philadelphia designed to adapt to all learners and help them pursue their interests while preparing for college success. Read more.
Harvard Graduate School of Education, April 2014 | Grantee: Building 21, Catalyst Fund 2014

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