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For students new to Philadelphia, PennSavers — a weekly e-mail notification about Penn and Philadelphia cultural events — provides “a one-shot flavor” of the city, according to Platt Student Performing Arts House Director Ty Furman.

PennSavers contains discounted tickets to city and campus events, encouraging students to take advantage of the arts scene without financial strain. The initiative launched in the fall and is now gathering momentum on campus.

PennSavers is a collaboration between Penn and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. The e-mail notification is an offshoot of the PhillyFunGuide web site, an online listing of Philadelphia events.

Several of Penn’s student groups, including Front Row Theater, New Spirit of Penn, PennNatak, PENNaach, Penn African Performing Arts, Freaks of the Beat, as well as the Department of Music, have become members of the Alliance, according to Furman. Membership allows student groups to advertise in PennSavers’ weekly e-mails, and gives admission to any Alliance marketing training sessions.

Penn’s arts and cultural groups could draw a new, larger audience as a result of participating in the PennSavers program, according to Alliance Vice President of Marketing and Communications John McInerney.

He added that he would like to see the number of student group members grow.

About 650 people have signed up for PennSavers, according to McInerney.

The goal is to get all members of the Penn community signed up and for the whole region to become “an extension of campus,” according to Facilities spokesman Tony Sorrentino.

Approximately 83,000 people currently receive either FunSavers — the Philadelphia-wide weekly notification — or PennSavers, according to Furman. PennSavers offer all of the Philadelphia events, as well as the Penn-specific ones.

“[PennSavers] is using arts as a way to get people out and about, and to see Philadelphia at its best,” Sorrentino said.

He explained that Penn’s theme year, “Arts and the City,” was the “impetus” for the initiative.

“We’re focused on trying to tie together as many communities as we can,” McInerney said. “The cultural groups [in Philadelphia] could benefit from getting more engagement from Penn’s campus.”

A strong cultural connection with Philadelphia, McInerney noted, might encourage Penn students to stay in the region after graduation.

While PennSavers targets students, anyone can subscribe to the notifications, Sorrentino explained.

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