Submit landmarks to Erie Yesterday's Veteran & War Memorial project

posted on: Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Erie Arts and Culture member, Erie Yesterday has started an initiative to create an inventory of all veteran and war memorials in Erie County. With so much history that has played a role in shaping our region, this is a unique opportunity to catalogue landmarks related to Fort Presque Isle, the Battle of Lake Erie, the French and Indian War, and many more. The public is invited to participate in recording all monuments dedicated to our military personnel and their contributions to our history.

Here's how you can help! Please submit any stories, histories, photographs, or research about markers, statues, plaques, signs, parks and dedications to military men and women in Erie County. Visit Erie Yesterday to submit online, or download a printable submission form.

Summer Movie Series

posted on: Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer is a great time to enjoy a movie; blockbuster season is in full swing, offering big thrills, adventure, classic story arcs and something that will appeal to diverse audiences.

Combine these crowd-pleasing factors with warm weather, family, community and settings in a variety of local gems, and you have a perfect opportunity to support local arts and cultural venues. 

Take advantage of some great features of our local summer film series.

Free Films

Family Films 

Outdoor Films 

 Blasco Movie Series
 Big Green Screen at Tom Ridge Environmental Center 
 Monday Night Movie at the Maritime 
 Monday Night Movie at the Maritime 
 Monday Night Movie at the Maritime
 Movies in the Arboretum
 Movies in the Arboretum
 Movies in the Arboretum
 Movies Under the Stars
 Movies Under the Stars Movies Under the Stars 
Sunset Drive-In, Waterford 
   Sunset Drive-In, Waterford

Catch a flick at one of these local venues:

Big Green Screen at Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Bigger IS better and our 4-story-high, 45-feet-wide Big Green Screen proves it. Get as close to reality as you can get without being there. Put yourself in the middle of the action.

Blaso Movie Series

Free and open to the public
Last Sunday of the month at 1:30 in the Hirt Auditorium

Erie Movie House


We show a variety of movies from local artists, hollywood movies, experimental, public domain, etc. on our 16 ft wide screen.
Have fun in our lobby with our arcade machine that plays all the classics, a pinball machine, and tournament size air hockey machine.
Board games are also available for checkout for play in our lounge area.
Concessions are ready for you, popcorn, soda, candies as well as tea and coffee. 

Film at the Erie Art Museum

Now entering its 4th year, our series has proven itself to be a welcome addition to downtown Erie’s arts scene. Curated by award-winning filmmaker John C. Lyons, our weekly series is a celebration of the social and cultural experience of cinema and showcases an eclectic program of quality films and filmmakers. Each film is followed by an open audience discussion, guest panel, and/or Q&A with the filmmakers. With an affordable $5 admission and adult beverage and food options available, FILM at the Erie Art Museum is the perfect place for both cinephiles and casual viewers alike to gather, enjoy, and discuss the art of film.

Monday Night Movie at the Maritime

Watch a maritime-themed movie on the sails of Niagara. Enjoy free popcorn.

Free and open to the public.

Doors open at 9:00 pm, and the movie begins at dusk.

Movies in the Arboretum

What could be better than watching a movie under the stars? Join us for a family friendly movie at dusk, weather-permitting . “Despicable Me 2″ will be shown on Friday, July 31 with a second movie scheduled for Friday, August 14. Bring your own blanket or chairs. A free-will offering will be collected.

Movies Under the Stars

Enjoy summer evenings under the stars while watching movies hosted by The Community’s College. Admission and parking are free! Just bring your blankets and lawn chairs and relax outdoors on the beautiful Porreco College campus.

All movies Thursday nights at 9pm

Sunset Drive In, Waterford

ADDRESS: 808 Route 97 Waterford,PA 16441

Ages 12 and up: $7

Ages 7-11: $3

6 and under: free admission

Times: Gates open at 8 PM; movies start at dusk. 

Movies play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Mindful Mural Project

posted on: Wednesday, July 08, 2015

On February 28, March 28 and April 18, 2015, the North East Arts Council hosted the Mindful Mural Workshops. This series was taught by artist and Zentangle instructor, Christine French and yoga teacher Deb Phillipswith assistance from muralist Ehren Knapp. This series combined the restoring and renewing practice of yoga with the easy to learn, fun and relaxing Zentangle drawing technique based on structured patterns. The drawings made by workshop participants will be a part of a public mural to be installed on the entrance wall of the North East Arts Council building at the end of this summer.


At the end of the workshops, Erie Arts & Culture program associate, Stephanie Westley interviewed the team behind this project which was provided in part from an Erie Arts & Culture Project Grant, made possible by community contributions to the Combined Arts & Cultural Campaign and the Erie Arts Endowment.

SW: How does yoga connect with artmaking?

CF: They are both practices that anybody can do it. We broke it down for the students, and from there; they could go in any direction they wanted. Once students learned the Zentangle pattern they could adjust, change and move it in any way. They don't have to be gifted artist; they just have to be themselves and let it happen. It's very empowering. That same process is also how yoga poses work. Yoga and Zentangle are  both very empowering practices.

SW: Who were the workshop participants that helped create the mural?

CF: We had a broad age range from elders to teenagers, and very dedicated people in between, who would come all the time. People brought their friends and family. They were so passionate about it.

SW: What inspired people’s enthusiasm for the workshops?

CF: Some were very excited they could create something that would end up as public art. Certainly not everyone, but some of them were very excited to think, "Hey, I'm creating something very cool and it's going to be on display." 

SW: How did you help facilitate the workshops with both yoga and artmaking? 

DP: To participate in the workshops, people only needed to come as they were. All you had to do was to show up and breathe. We created an open environment. A number of people said “I’m going to come for the art, but I really don’t think I can do that yoga stuff.” I reassured them: “Trust me, for a lot of it you’ll be seated in your chair. It’s okay! I promise; no headstands.” 

SW: What excited you about this project?

DP: I'm always looking for opportunities to expose people to the potential of yoga, and to all of the wonderful resources that are out here in North East. I'm a hometown girl, and I like to sing its praises.

SW: What impressed you about the workshops?

CF: No one left sad. It was a very relaxed experience. Everyone was smiling throughout the workshops. Yoga and Zentangle leave people happy, so we're in the happiness business. That speaks to the accessibility of these practices.

SW: What are the benefits of mindful artmaking?

EK: For me, art communicates a message of presence and being aware of your activity to make better decisions moment-to-moment, rather than being in the past. In order to think about what you're doing and let one happen into the next thing, be present as it’s happening. Art is a very good medium to help people practice that type of thinking or practice that type of decision making.

SW: Any last comments?

CF: Thank you. Thank you! We think the mural will be great success. The people in the workshops were happy, that's for sure. It's nice to feel that the project worked out and it wouldn’t have been possible without the funding support of Erie Arts & Culture.

Job Posting: Marketing and Development Director

posted on: Thursday, May 28, 2015

Erie Arts & Culture was established as the Arts Council of Erie in 1960. Our mission is to strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our people through the advancement of arts and culture. 

To achieve this, Erie Arts & Culture works as a backbone organization, encouraging collaborations and aligned activities among providers of arts and culture, growing public will and participation, advocating for advances in public policy, helping to measure the health and impact of the sector and increasing annual and planned gifts to arts and culture through one of the 48 remaining United Art Funds in the US and the Erie Arts Endowment currently valued at $3.8M.

Marketing and Development Director 

Position Summary: 

The Marketing and Development Director functions as lead in planning and implementing effective communications and development strategies. He/She provides programmatic direction and oversight to the marketing and development team. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build Erie Arts & Culture’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The position is full-time, exempt. 

Reports to: Executive Director 


Build clarity and confidence in our organizational brand. Create and implement an effective plan for communications and development targeted to attract and develop donors, increase membership and engage the general public in the organization’s mission and services. Support the Executive Director and Board of Trustees in activities to develop financial resources for both the organization and the local arts and cultural sector. 

Marketing Responsibilities:

Serve as an ambassador for the organization’s name and mission;
Prepare and execute annual marketing plan and budget;
Develop contacts to enable the organization to effectively promote its programs, services and events through various media channels;
Work with staff and volunteers to:
o Promote organizational programs and events;
o Prepare and issue press releases and media alerts to inform the public about the organization’s programs, services and events;
o Manage the organization’s website and social media outlets;
o Create, edit and publish print and online content; 
o Plan, execute and evaluate special events;
o Develop tools to collectively promote local arts and cultural activities and their impact;
o Other duties as assigned.

Development Responsibilities:

Work closely with the Executive Director and volunteers to ensure the creation and implementation of a comprehensive development plan to increase annual and planned gifts to the organization:

Assess current development strategies and identify opportunities for growth;
Keep abreast of field and community trends and resources; 
Develop and adhere to development goals, timetables, infrastructure and budgets;
Identify and assist with the classification of prospects and donors according to interests and giving potential;
Recruit, train and support development volunteers to help implement and evaluate development strategies;
Support Executive Director and volunteers in solicitation calls; 
Maintain up to date donor files and process donor/campaign reports utilizing Donor Perfect software;  
Work with Bookkeeper to process and reconcile donor pledges and gifts in a timely and accurate manner; 
Develop and implement a donor acknowledgement program; 
Other duties as assigned.


A successful candidate will have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and demonstrate the following: 

At least two years prior marketing and/or development experience in an advancement office, foundation and/or charitable nonprofit;
Ability to handle fiscal information with sensitivity and integrity;
Experience leading staff and/or volunteers and development/management of work flow processes;
Experience in event planning, management and evaluation;
Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word and Excel); experience with donor development software;
Experience with desktop publishing software (training in graphic design preferred);
Experience in writing, editing and publishing;
Experience in content development and website maintenance; 
Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail; 
Ability to meet deadlines while multi-tasking; 
Ability to work both independently and in a team; 
Excellent interpersonal skills. 

Interested in joining our team? Email your cover letter and resume (include salary requirements) to by Noon (EST) on June 12, 2015. 

Art Workshops for Elders

posted on: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Elders Share the Arts and Erie Arts & Culture Workshop Details:

Ed Grout will partner with Debby Kraus at the Mercy Hilltop Center.
Theme/Title: Exploring Imagery - A Collaborative Toward a Public Art Piece

Dates: April 20 & 21, April 27 & 28, and May 4
Time: 10 am until 12 pm
Place: Mercy Hilltop Center, 444 E. Grandview Blvd.  Erie, PA  16504
Contact the Mercy Hilltop Center to sign up for their workshop: 814-824-2214

Tom Ferraro will partner with Marie Heberlein at LifeWorks Erie
Theme/Title: The Colors of Caring, what’s in your paint box?

Dates: Starts on Monday, April 20th. Sessions will run each Monday for 5 weeks.
Time: 2 pm until 4 pm
Place: LifeWorks Erie, 406 Peach Street Erie, PA 16507
Contact LifeWorks to sign up for their workshop: (814) 453-50712, or email


PACA Announces New Business Manager

posted on: Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA) is pleased to announce Margo Wolfe, Ph.D. as their new business manager. Margo comes to PACA with many years of experience in theatre, fundraising, and non-profit administration. In addition to acting and directing for multiple performances throughout Erie and Ohio for the past 20 years, she was an instructor at Erie School District’s SPAVA theatre program, as well as the first director of the theatre and dinner theater program at Collegiate Academy.   

Margo hopes that her background in education will help PACA move forward with their vision of an education component to their programming, in order to give Erie a unique avenue in which to appreciate the depths of art and the impact it has on our world. Her responsibilities at PACA include financial oversight, volunteer coordination, grant writing, and curriculum writing.

Mark Tanenbaum, PACA’s artistic director could not be more delighted to have Margo Wolfe as a stalwart team member. Mark acknowledged that, "As PACA expands its productions and programming, it is essential for us to grow and promote our board and include many more people on staff with diverse qualities skills.”

You can contact Margo with questions regarding programming and PACA’s 2015 sponsorship program at

Advocacy Update

posted on: Friday, March 06, 2015

This week, Governor Tom Wolf released his 2015-2016 Executive Budget. Jenny Hershour, Managing Director of Citizens for the Arts Pennsylvania summarized the changes impacting arts and culture in the following chart:


Proposed Budget

Difference over 2014-15 Budget

Council on the Arts (PCA)


0 (no change)

PCA Grants to the Arts

$10.59 Million

$2 million increase

Marketing to Attract Tourists

$4.264 million

$3 million decrease

Tourism – Accredited Zoos


$550,000 decrease

Historical and Museums Commission – General Government Operations

$19.569 million

$625,000 increase

Cultural and Historical Support

$2 million

0 (no change)

In addition, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program ($100 million) and the Film Production Tax Credit Program ($60 million) are held at the current fiscal year levels. According to PA Museums, the Governor's Budget also includes funding for capital projects including upcoming work for the new State Archives. Public Television Technology reappears in the budget ($4 million) as well as increases to State Parks and State Forests, both helping to attract visitors to the northwest region.

In the Executive Budget and in his address, the Governor made clear his priorities for increased support to education (Pre-K through post-secondary). This may present more opportunities for youth to gain greater access to arts and cultural education. Declaring that “It’s just this simple, our state is never going to get stronger as long as we are making our schools weaker,” the Governor cited the many sacrifices that schools have made in recent years to adapt to decreasing support and the growing needs of their communities including cuts to art and band programs. 

Reading between the lines, increases to programs like the Keystone Communities Program are also notable as they impact community revitalization efforts across the Commonwealth. Arts and cultural venues, arts-related businesses and public art projects may benefit if involved in these collaborative efforts.

What about the revenue side of the budget? One area to keep an eye on is the list of items and services currently exempt from the sales tax which would be subject to a change under the Governor’s proposed budget. This list includes the performing arts and admissions to museums, Historical Sites and similar institutions, as well as other items and services impacting creative industries. 

The full 2015-2016 Governor’s Executive Budget can be found by visiting the Governor’s Budget Office and you can access the Governor’s Executive Budget Address on the Pennsylvania Cable Network’s (PCN) website (recorded).  

The budget now goes to the PA General Assembly for consideration. Hearings begin the week of March 16th. Citizens for the Arts in PA will host an Arts & Culture Legislative Visits Day in Harrisburg on May 12th. Erie Arts & Culture be at the Capital for this event and will announce ways for you to get involved too! 

Community Fiber Art Residency

posted on: Thursday, February 12, 2015

Deborah Sementelli, Fiber Artist & Teaching Artist with Erie Arts & Culture will be in residence at Edinboro University with Professor Lisa Austin and her Sculpture 1 students. During the residency Ms. Sementelli will offer 3 community workshops for individual who want to gain the basic skills and understand the tools necessary to work with fibers to create sculptural volumes/forms as art.
The Saturday workshops will take place in Loveland Hall, room 10, at Edinboro University. The workshops are open to the public. Persons need only register for one session each Saturday to learn the techniques but are welcome to stay the entire day to work on their project.

As an added bonus any work created during the residency and community sessions will be reviewed and considered for the culminating exhibit at the StArtUp Incubator in Edinboro PA in April, 2015.  
The workshop fee is $40 per session and include materials, Erie Arts & Culture members $35 per session, registration for all 3 sessions is $100, Erie Arts & Culture members $95 for all 3 sessions, Edinboro University students are free with university ID. Contact to register.

Check-in will be in Loveland Hall, 2nd floor, outside of room 10 and will open at 12:30 pm each day of the workshop.

Saturday, March 14th, Hand Sewing Volumes

Session A
1 pm to 3 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Session B
3 pm to 5 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Saturday, March 21st, Crocheting Volumes

Session A
1 pm to 3 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Session B
3 pm to 5 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Saturday, March 28th, Knitting Volumes

Session A
1 pm to 3 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Session B
3 pm to 5 pm
Registration Maximum: #20 persons

Exploring Borders between Music and Spoken Word

posted on: Monday, January 26, 2015

Exploring the Border (Words and Music) melds poetry and jazz music on Saturday February 7th at 8pm at the Erie Art Museum. Use the 5th St. entrance between State St. and French St. This event is co-sponsored by JazzErie and the Erie Art Museum. You can also enjoy the current exhibit and a cash wine and beer bar. The suggested donation is $10 or $5 for JazzErie members and students. Join JazzErie and get free admission.

Exploring the Border is sure to be an exciting and unique occasion; co-directed by JazzErie board members Dick Thompson and Chuck Joy. The cast is an eclectic and accomplished group of local artists:  Kim Noyes—poet and harmonica, Ellis Crockett—poet and vocals, Monica Ingras—poet, Chuck Joy—poet and announcer, James Cuneo—keyboards, Mikel Prester—saxophones and Native American flute, Nick “Tito” Ronzitti—drums and percussion and Dick Thompson—upright bass. The poets will be coming from many directions; in pairs, in small groups or solo. The musicians will perform music created for this show. Please be part of this experience and explore the borders between lyrics and poetry, music and words and beyond.  

"Our show, 'Exploring The Border,' considers the border between not only lyrics and poetry lines, but words and music all together," says Chuck Joy. Read more about the artists here.

JazzErie is a member and grant recipient of Erie Arts & Culture.

State Grants Support Arts Activities in Venango County

posted on: Monday, January 12, 2015

Each year Erie Arts & Culture distributes thousands of dollars in grants to artists and organizations throughout the region. These grants are made possible through a state program known as the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA). PPA is a regionalized funding program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that supports a wide variety of local and community arts activities. Four organizations in Venango County were awarded funding from Erie Arts & Culture for the 2014-2015 program year. Erie Arts & Culture is proud to serve Northwestern PA as the regional Partner and support the arts in Venango County. PPA grants awarded to Venango County arts groups total $3,817.

Venango County PPA Grantees and their local state legislators. From left to right, Martha Heise (HOLeY Jeans youth choir), Deborah Femovich (Oil Region Ballet), Robin Lutz (Franklin Civic Operetta Association Youth Theatre), Senator Scott Hutchinson, Amanda Sissem (Erie Arts & Culture), Representative R. Lee James, and Pam Martarella (Oil City’s Southside Schools).

The $1,029 awarded to the Franklin Civic Operetta Association Youth Theatre will support two full-scale youth productions and a summer camp. Youth involved with the Theatre experience the full range of acting and production, including costuming, set design, lighting and sound. 

HOLeY Jeans, a 35-40 member youth choir which offers vocal training and performance opportunities for kids wanting to strengthen their vocal capabilities, was awarded $1,203. 

The Oil Region Ballet Company received $509 in support of their 6th annual full-length ballet production. The spring 2015 performance will be based upon a visual and acoustical interpretation of the literary publication of the folk tale "Snow White" put to paper by the Brothers Grimm. 

$1,076 was awarded to Oil City’s Southside Schools for their annual Arts Day. Each year, Art and Music teachers plan a full day of arts activities, such as theater workshops, dance classes, live music, and storytelling. From left to right, Senator Scott Hutchinson, Martha Heise (HOLeY Jeans youth choir), Amanda Sissem (Erie Arts & Culture), Pam Martarella (Oil City’s Southside Schools), and Representative R. Lee James.

For a complete list of the funded projects, click here. For more information, contact Melinda Meyer, Grants Manager at or (814) 452-3427.