News

Erie Community Foundations Shapes Tomorrow as an Anchor Investor

posted on: Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Providing great stability and strength…the Erie Community Foundation becomes an 
Anchor Investor with announcement of Shaping Tomorrow Grant 

Erie Arts & Culture received a Shaping Tomorrow Grant from the Erie Community Foundation on Tuesday, April 8th to launch  Erie Arts & Culture as the backbone organization for arts & culture in our region. The Shaping Tomorrow Grant in the amount of $238,959 will be distributed over a three year period; this grant will help Erie Arts & Culture  achieve its strategic goals as outlined in the recent merger with the Erie Downtown Arts & Culture Coalition. 


 “Over the last two years, we engaged our Partners and volunteers to help assess how we could best serve the Erie Region through the advancement of arts and culture. We incorporated their feedback into strategic goals that are shaping the future of Erie Arts & Culture. The Erie Community Foundation’s investment breathes life into this work and is a reflection of their commitment to strengthening the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region” says Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of Erie Arts & Culture. 

Erie Community Foundation support will be used to consolidate the organization’s multiple websites, introduce online grantmaking tools, and provide capacity-building resources to partners/members with a priority on measuring impact. Additionally, the Shaping Tomorrow grant will enhance annual support to partner organizations and arts and cultural projects in Erie County, and aid in the development of a collaborative endowment-building strategy and marketing tools in partnership with the Erie Community Foundation. 

With this grant, the Erie Community Foundation becomes the second Anchor Investor for Erie Arts & Culture. New to Erie Arts & Culture in 2014, Anchor Investors are businesses, corporations, government agencies, foundations or individuals contributing at a leadership level and pledging to give at the same or a progressive level for multiple years. The Erie Community Foundation joins the first Anchor Investor Erie Insurance Group who made a recent pledge of up to $380,000 over the next three years. 

“The ‘Anchor Investor’ concept is based on the desire to create a greater impact for the general public by uniting major donors and providers to think strategically about the health and impact of arts and culture as community assets,” says Sissem.  “Multi-year commitments create stability by allowing both arts and cultural providers and the investors to plan their budgets and shift focus from solicitations to evaluating and understanding the impact of the investment.” 

Research shows that arts and cultural activities help to increase educational achievement, inspire health and healing, attract a creative workforce/businesses, engage and connect people and build vibrant neighborhoods. “These are all relevant conversations in the Erie Region but creating a real impact on these issues takes a dedication of time and resources,” Sissem adds.  “The Anchor Investor helps encourage providers of arts and culture to enter these conversations knowing they will have support for a timeframe necessary to make a difference. We are extremely encouraged by the commitment of the Erie Community Foundation to work with us to achieve these goals.”  


Mercyhurst program brings art into Erie schools

posted on: Thursday, April 03, 2014

PUBLISHED: MARCH 11, 2014 12:01 AM EST
UPDATED: MARCH 10, 2014 3:54 PM EST
BY ERICA ERWIN, Erie Times-News 
erica.erwin@timesnews.com
See original post here.

The paper began as a blank canvas before Braydon Bartlebaugh covered it with sweeping swatches of vibrant red, yellow and orange paint.

It was a sunset, Braydon explained.

After the paint dried, the 8-year-old artist added other elements he saw in his mind's eye: a black castle, green trees.

On a second painting he'd drawn the same scene and added a U-Haul truck. The castle's inhabitants were moving, apparently.

"I like to draw," Braydon said. "I get to use my imagination."

Braydon and a small group of second graders from Erie's McKinley Elementary School are participating in a new arts integration program offered through Mercyhurst University's Carpe Diem Academy.

Carpe Diem Academy, funded by a $1.5 million grant from the state Department of Education and launched in 2012, offers after-school programming to hundreds of students at McKinley and three other Erie elementary schools: Edison, Lincoln and Jefferson. The students receive lessons in math, reading and the arts four days a week from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The arts integration program is funded in part by a $5,000 ArtsErie grant and uses a teaching method called Visual Thinking Strategies.

Educators and student-teachers in Mercyhurst's education program help students to hone their observation, critical thinking and language skills by asking questions about artwork -- "What's going on in this picture?" for example -- and through a variety of activities.

During a recent afternoon at McKinley, a group of second graders finished artwork, drawing details onto painted paper.

Mary Elizabeth Meier, director of art education at Mercyhurst, had asked them what they saw in the painted brush strokes, and to find and highlight details in the image.

An 8-year-old girl added the finishing touches to a dolphin in a sea of green, orange, white and blue.

"They're exercising their imagination by searching into the picture," Meier said. "It's kind of like cloud gazing."

After they finished, the students broke into small groups and rotated among tables, doing different activities, each meant to teach through art.

At one table, four students grabbed brightly colored red, blue and yellow geometric shapes from a bucket and fit them together to build different structures: a house, a butterfly.

At another, Don Benedict asked students to roll Play-Doh into long strands shaped like snakes, and then asked them to cut the snakes first into two equal halves and then into three equal thirds.

Benedict is a graduate assistant working on his master's degree in special education and a certified teacher. He is the lead teacher for the second grade Carpe Diem Academy class.

The arts integration program helps students express what they see and feel, he said.

"It's them exploring, being able to use their creative side," Benedict said. "The best part is them being able to explain what they did to you."


ERICA ERWIN can be reached at 870-1846 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNerwin.

Erie Insurance Pledges $380K to Arts & Culture Campaign

posted on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BY LINDSEY POISSON, Erie Times-News 

lindsey.poisson@timesnews.com


A newly unveiled local arts and culture organization will receive $380,000 from Erie Insurance over the next three years to help get it started.

At a meeting Wednesday at the Erie Playhouse, ArtsErie and the Erie Downtown Arts & Culture Coalition announced their groups' merger and creation of a combined organization to be called Erie Arts & Culture.

The new organization will support regional arts and culture through grants and advocacy.

"We started with a blank slate basically, and said 'What does this need to look like?'" said Amanda Brown Sissem, EAC's executive director. "We need to be the organization that helps connect all those parties, unite all those voices."

Erie Insurance is the first major investor for the Erie Arts & Culture 2014 Arts & Culture Campaign, a yearlong effort to raise funding for arts and cultural projects and events in the Erie region.

A three-year funding commitment makes the insurance group an "anchor investor," Sissem said. Anchor investors receive special benefits, including discounts, promotion and the opportunity to nominate candidates to the Erie Arts & Culture's board of trustees.

"Erie Insurance has been a strong supporter of the arts and culture community for many years," said Ann K. Scott, manager of community outreach and human relations for Erie Insurance. "Becoming an anchor investor makes a strong statement about Erie Insurance's commitment to the arts and hopefully paves the way for other anchor investors to join us."

ArtsErie and the coalition have discussed a merger since 2011, and the decision was approved by the organizations' boards in August 2013.

"It was a very simple decision. It made a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons," said John Vanco, director of the Erie Art Museum and chairman of the Erie Downtown Arts & Culture Coalition.

The new group has a new slogan, "the collective voice for a vibrant region," and a three-arch logo designed by local artist Todd Scalise.

"We believe this is a name that can work with us through the years," Sissem said. "(It) best summarizes the work that we've done and the direction we need to move in."

Read the original article here.

LINDSEY POISSON can be reached at 870-1871 or by e-mail. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNpoisson.

Erie Arts & Culture unveiled and 2014 Arts & Culture Campaign Kicks off with $380,000 Campaign Pledge

posted on: Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Today, ArtsErie and the Erie Downtown Arts & Culture Coalition (EDA&CC) unveiled Erie Arts & Culture, identifying a new era of collaboration for Erie’s arts and cultural organizations.   Erie Arts & Culture is the result of collaborative work by both ArtsErie and EDA&CC, bringing together their combined histories, their common goals and shared needs to meet the needs of a changing community and the collective voice of shared stakeholders.

The mission of Erie Arts and Culture 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.  Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of Erie Arts & Culture explained, “Erie Arts & Culture will be positioned as the backbone organization for arts and culture by uniting artists, arts and culture organizations and those who participate in, benefit from and support their work.  We will lead in the promotion of best practices and advocacy for arts and cultural education and engagement and be a preferred partner for those whose passion for arts and culture inspires a legacy of giving.”

Erie Insurance acknowledged the collaborative spirit of Erie Arts & Culture and the 2014 Arts & Culture Campaign with the presentation of a maximum campaign pledge of $380,000 over the next three years.  Ann K. Scott, Manager of Community Outreach/Human Resources for Erie Insurance expressed, “Erie Insurance has long been a supporter of the arts and culture in our community. Over the years we have supported ArtsErie and the many major arts organizations that comprise its membership such as the Erie Playhouse, the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Art Museum, the expERIEnce Children’s Museum, the Erie County Historical Society and the Flagship Niagara League. The arts play a vital role in the community by educating our children, impacting our economy, and creating a vital, thriving place where we work, live and play. Becoming an anchor investor sends a message about our commitment to the arts and hopefully helps to pave the way for others to join us.”   This makes Erie Insurance the first and inaugural Anchor Investor of the 2014 Arts & Culture Campaign.  Anchor Investors, new in 2014, provide leadership level campaign support over a three year period. 

The 2014 Arts & Culture Campaign is the means by which one gift can support multiple arts and cultural organizations throughout Erie County, new initiatives and goals of Erie Arts & Culture.  Erie Arts & Culture will be on the “Campaign Trail” at various arts and cultural events with campaign information and exciting giveaways.  Join Erie Arts & Culture on the Campaign Trail and follow our updates on Facebook or on Twitter @eriea_c, #VibrantErie. 

With the beginning of this new era of collaboration, Erie Arts & Culture invites everyone to “Join. Support. Participate.” in arts and culture.  


2014 Poetry Out Loud

posted on: Monday, February 03, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 11 am

Vukovich Center, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA


Poetry Lovers! Arts & Language Educators! High School Students and Parents!

Join us at the regional Poetry Out Loud semifinals to celebrate the hard work and progress all of the participating students have made. Representatives from five high schools and Poets' Hall will recite great poems for prizes and the chance to travel to Harrisburg and compete at the state level, plus other. This year we welcome distinguished guests Senator Curt Sonney (5th District) and Lee Steadman, board member of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Director of Bloom Collaborative.

Where are the students from?

  • Central Career and Tech, Erie
  • Hickory High School, Hermitage
  • Farrell High School, Farrell
  • Mercyhurst Prepatory High School, Erie
  • Poets' Hall, Erie
  • Ridgway Area High School, Ridgway


Workshop: Creating an Autism Friendly Performance

posted on: Thursday, January 02, 2014

ArtsErie and the Barber National Institute will partner with VSA/PA to provide a one-hour workshop on January 8th at 10 am for arts and cultural organizations and artists interested in learning how to prepare an environment for children and adults on the autism spectrum.  Simple modifications to communications and physical space can be made to welcome this population to your venue.

This workshop is free and will be hosted at the Barber National Institute. R.S.V.P. by calling Christie at the Barber National Institute: 814-878-5903. Parking is available in the BNI parking lot located just off of the Bayfront Highway.


ArtsErie Office Closed New Year's Day

posted on: Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It’s been a great year thanks to you - our partners, members, grantees, volunteers and loyal supporters. We look forward to an exciting 2014 filled with big announcements, new partnerships, an improved membership structure and a reenergized campaign. I hope that you will join us as we write the next chapter of Erie arts and culture. Together, we will strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie region and enrich the lives of our people!  

Just a reminder- our office will be closed on New Year's Day, January 1st, in observance of the holiday. We will be back on January 2nd at 9am.

Have a safe and happy holiday. See you next year!


ArtsErie Announces PA Partners in the Arts Grantees

posted on: Tuesday, December 03, 2013

ArtsErie hosted a grant reception on Tuesday, November 26 at 10 am at the James E. Winner Art & Culture Center in downtown Sharon, Pennsylvania for the 2013-14 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project & Program Grant recipients. 

The PA Partner in the Arts (PPA) Grant Program is a regionalized funding program of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts. The PCA values local input on how state resources are used to support the arts in our Region.  ArtsErie is your local partner in the administration of the program in Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango and Warren Counties. Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of ArtsErie adds, “ArtsErie’s partnership with the PCA is critical to funding great work and informing our elected officials and partners across the State of the great arts experiences offered in Northwestern PA.” 

“The goal of the PPA grant program is to get art in the hands of Pennsylvanians,” continues Amanda Sissem.  “The project grants celebrated today support ongoing arts programming and timely arts projects rated highly by a volunteer panel reflective of our five-county region and approved by the ArtsErie Board of Directors.”  ArtsErie had $28,458 from PCA to distribute to qualifying Project Stream grantees. Thirty-eight PPA Project Stream proposals were received, and the total amount requested was $86,200.  Various disciplines in the arts received funding, representing a wide geographic region from Erie to Grove City, to Franklin, Titusville and Warren, PA. 

2013-14 PPA Project Grant Recipients:

Mercyhurst University, Dance Department
Mercyhurst University, Theatre Program
CAFÉ – Cultures, Arts, Festivals and Events of Erie
Lake Erie Ballet
Downtown Edinboro Art and Music Festival
George Junior Republic
Crary Art Gallery
Franklin Civic Operetta Association Youth Theatre
Oil Region Ballet
Saegertown United Methodist Church
Southside Schools, Oil City Area School District
Holey Jeans Community Youth Choir
Housing and Neighborhood Development Service (HANDS)
Second Saturday Community Market
Young Artists Debut Orchestra
Struthers Library Theatre
Barber National Institute
Dramashop Inc.
Greater Erie Youth Symphony Orchestra
SafeNet
SoMar Dance Works
TORCH, An Evening of Hot Jazz Music
Youth Leadership Institute of Erie

2013-14 PPA Program Grant Recipients: 
PA Program Grants support general funding to organizations that have demonstrated stability as an organization and can effectively manage projects. Organizations that meet these criteria are invited to apply and once accepted are guaranteed funding. This year $51,503 was awarded. 
Academy Theatre Foundation    
Allegheny College     Art Galleries
Corry Area Arts Council, Inc    
Dafmark Dance Theater    
Edinboro University, Bruce Gallery of Art
Edinboro University, Edinboro Highland Games
Edinboro University, Chamber Players
Erie Dance Conservatory Company    
Erie Dance Consortium    
Erie Homes for Children and Adults    
Erie Opera Theatre    
Gannon University, Erie Chamber Orchestra
Goodell Gardens & Homestead    
JazzErie    
Meadville Council on the Arts    
North East Arts Council    
Penn State Erie, Young People's Chorus of Erie
Penn State Erie, Logan Series, Music at Noon
Photomedia Center     
Stairways Behavioral Health, Center City Arts
Titusville Council on the Arts    
United Community Independence Program, French Creek Community Theater
Valley Lyric Opera    
Warren Civic Orchestra, Inc.    
Warren County Summer Music School


 






ArtsErie Announces 2013-2014 Grantees

posted on: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ERIE, PA – ArtsErie will host a grant reception on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 10 am for the 2013-14 ArtsErie Project Grant awardees at the Cultural Enrichment Center of the Multicultural Community Resource Center, 554 East 10th Street, Erie.


ArtsErie Project Grants are designed to provide financial support to a variety of activities to help strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our residents through arts and culture. The program offers support for existing and innovative projects from all artistic disciplines. Project grants help support a wide range of arts and culture activities. 

Project Grants are made possible by contributions made to the Erie Arts Endowment, Combined Campaign for Arts and Culture and special giving events like Erie Gives Day. This year, ArtsErie chose to help raise funds to support more public art through Erie Gives Day, a program of the Erie Community Foundation. “We live in a creative community and public art helps to reflect that in a way that is accessible to all,” states ArtsErie Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem. To award the funds raised, ArtsErie solicited applications for public art projects as a component of the 2013-14 Project Grant Program. “We’re excited to announce that the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens will receive the contributions from our Erie Gives Day donors to work with local, award-winning animal sculptor, Kathe Umlauf to install two Orangutan sculptures in the Zoo’s Orangutan Exhibit,” states ArtsErie Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem, “this project is an excellent example of how an Erie County asset like the Zoo can partner with an artist to engage visitors in new ways through art.” The project scored very high with the review panel not only due to the great partnership and artistic quality involved but because the artist and the Zoo will incorporate an educational series open to the public during the Zoo’s free admission times, Sundays from 3-5PM in April. Participants will have the opportunity to practice the sketch process Umlauf used to create the sculptures. “The classes will offer a fun way for visitors of all ages to learn more about the species and an art form,” says Sissem. 
 
ArtsErie’s Project Grant program is highly competitive. For the round of 2013-14 Project Grants, 64 applications were received, with requests totaling $297,680. Proposals for ArtsErie Project Grants are accepted once a year and reviewed by a volunteer panel based on three criteria: Artistic Quality, Community Engagement & Impact and Management. The ArtsErie Board is awarding $133,302 in support of 36 unique Erie County projects. 


Fall for Arts & Culture Event Photos

posted on: Monday, November 04, 2013

http://reprints.goerie.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=49473914&event=1725308&CategoryID=60276

Thank you Rob Frank for capturing ArtsErie and EDA&CC's Fall for Arts & Culture event and awards ceremony on October 29th at the Erie Maritime Museum. See the link above to check out all the fun!