Every year, the Kickoff honors a special individual who shows dedication to their communities. For 2018, we’re celebrating Paul Steinke and his new position with The Preservation Alliance as Executive Director, where he will contribute to preserving Philadelphia’s historic beauty. Prior, he was general manager of the beloved Reading Terminal Market, as well as University City’s first Exec Director. It goes without saying that he’s passionate about people and their communities. He genuinely believes every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, deserves an equal opportunity for success and happiness here in Philadelphia. I had the chance to get to know our honoree a little bit more the other day…
S: When did you realize your passion for improving the quality of life for others?
P: I think it was at a very young age when I admired my maternal grandmother, Bessie. She was active in her church, the local senior citizens home, and in a women’s fraternal organization called The Eastern Star. I was impressed by her activism and engagement with others. She was probably my first role model.
S: What will you take away from Reading Terminal Market and University City that will follow into your work in preserving Philadelphia with the Alliance? P: The Power of Place, in terms of defining who we are and imparting values and meaning to our lives. A place that is loved for its history, architecture and people forms a powerful part of our own self-identities and our sense of why and how our lives are important, meaningful, and worth living.
S: For you, how does art come into play regarding preservation?
P: Art reflects the people, cultures, and societies from which it springs. So, we can learn a lot about our city’s history by understanding the artworks that have been created by people down through the generations.
Every art aficionado would certainly agree. Get to know Paul for yourself at the Kickoff Party on June 14th. All proceeds will benefit the AIDS Fund, supporting LGBT communities– another cause Paul is actively involved with.