Arts in Education Proclamation by Governor Wolf

posted on: Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nationwide, September 13-19 is Arts in Education Week.  Governor Tom Wolf released a proclamation supporting Arts in Education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Thank you Governor Wolf for advocating and helping to raise awareness for all of our organizations in Pennsylvania who are a part of the arts sector!

Project Grants Now Open

posted on: Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Erie Arts & Culture Announces Opening of Project Grant Cycle

and Workshop Schedule 

Erie, PA – Guidelines and application forms for Erie Arts & Culture Project Grants will be available online beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Erie Arts & Culture grants are designed to provide up to $5,000 in financial support to a variety of arts activities to help strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of residents through arts and culture. Erie Arts & Culture welcomes existing and innovative projects from all artistic disciplines to apply.


Proposals for Erie Arts & Culture Grants are accepted once a year. Complete proposals are reviewed and scored by a volunteer panel based on three criteria: Artistic Quality, Community Engagement & Impact, and Management. The Erie Arts & Culture Board of Directors makes all final funding decisions.


Grants are made possible by contributions made to the Erie Arts Endowment and the annual Arts and Culture Campaign. Projects which involve music performance and arts education have an enhanced pool of funds available through the Clarence E. Beyers Music Performance Fund and Virginia Vieser Arts Education Fund, thanks to the named fund donors who wished to ensure that these specific activities thrive in Erie County.

To be eligible for funding, the proposed project must occur in Erie County, PA and take place between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. For additional eligibility requirements and guidelines, please visit
our grant page. Erie Arts & Culture Project Grants are due on or before Friday, October 23, 2015.

Organizations interested in learning more about Erie Arts & Culture Project Grants and the application process are encouraged to attend an informational workshop. Registration for workshops is encouraged and can be done online.
 The workshop schedule is as follows.

September 10th Ÿ 12:00 pm
Erie Movie House, 3424 West Lake Road, Erie, PA
September 10th
Ÿ 7:00 pm
North East Arts Council, 25 Vine Street, North East, PA

September 15th Ÿ 4:00 pm
Corry Area Historical Society, 945 Mead Avenue, Corry, PA

September 17th Ÿ 5:00 pm
Out of the Grey Coffeehouse, 6990 West Lake Road, Fairview, PA

September 21st Ÿ 5:00 pm
Eclectic Etcetera Coffeehouse, 118 Erie Street, Edinboro, PA

Share our workshop schedule on Facebook!

Artists in Residence at Franklin Child Development Center

posted on: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thanks to Erie Arts & Culture’s Arts in Education Program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, two musicians will work with the children of Franklin Child Development Center July 22 – August 13. The artists will work intensively with the school age children but will also visit the preschool classes.

Tasana Camara is a drummer, dancer, and singer from Sierra Leone. He has toured West Africa, Europe, and the United States performing and teaching children, college students, and adults. He believes that music can bring people together and it helps children cooperate, release energy, and grow strong mentally and physically. He now lives in Oil City.

Kelly Armor lives in Erie and is a storyteller and plays flute, accordion, percussion, sings. She studied African music in Kenya and Tanzania, and has performed at festivals and concerts across the U.S. She has been an artist-in-residence in schools for over 15 years. She loves how music teaches discipline and self expression, encourages curiosity and joy.

Everyone is invited to a celebration on their last day, August 14, to see what the children have learned. Details and invitation will come in August.

Arts & Culture Summit

posted on: Tuesday, June 02, 2015

On May 18, 2015, Erie Arts & Culture hosted the 2015 Arts & Culture Summit. The goal of the event was to unite investors and providers of arts and cultural programs, products and services in a conversation about key issues impacting our sector and  how local efforts relate to a statewide policy agenda with special guest, Jenny Hershour, Managing Director of Citizens for the Arts PA providing an update on advocacy issues. The event also allowed the near 100 guests a chance to get to  know one another and exchange stories about our work.  

Click here for notes from our table discussions from the event.

We look forward to continuing these conversations over the coming year and will use the feedback to inform our work at Erie Arts & Culture. I encourage you to do the same; many of the ideas that you offered could be great grant projects for either the PA Partners in the Arts Grant Program (applications due June 22nd) or Erie Arts & Culture Grants (application to open this summer). For more information on our grant programs, please contact Melinda Meyer, Program Director at

Grant Workshops Announced

posted on: Thursday, April 30, 2015

Organizations and individuals in Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties are welcome to apply to 2015 - 2016 PA Partners in the Arts Project Grants provided by the PA Council on the Arts.

The grant guidelines and application are soon to be released with a deadline of June 22, 2015. Find out everything you need to know to write a competitive grant at one of these upcoming workshops:

Crawford County

May 27 at 12 noon at the Academy Theatre, 275 Chestnut St, Meadville

Mercer County

May 28 at 6:30 pm at the Grove City ArtWorks Studios & Gallery, 222 South Broad Street, Grove City

Venango County

May 28 at 12 noon at the Venango Museum of Art, Industry & Science, 270 Seneca St, Oil City

Erie County

May 29 at 9 am at Erie Arts & Culture, 3 East 4th Street, Erie 

Warren County

June 1 at 6:30 pm at the Crary Art Gallery, 511 Market St, Warren

Contact for more information.

FAST Track to Art

posted on: Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fine Art for Senior Training (FAST Track) brings classes and techniques to elders of various skill levels. This program is for people that have a passion for art to those that might have an interest, but no previous experience. FAST Track jump-starts advanced age artistic pursuits.

This project was organized by artist Donald Gold from New Castle, PA. It is supported in part by PA Council on the Arts Project Stream funding through regional partner Erie Arts & Culture. FAST Track's impact is an enriched quality of life for seniors and improvement in participants' fine motor skills. FAST Track is held in three locations in NWPA: the Shenango Valley Senior Center in Hermitage, Shenango Valley Community Library in Sharon, and Trinity Living Center in Grove City. Classes, individual instruction, and access to professional art supplies are available at these sites. Participants are also offered opportunities to enter juried shows to exhibit their work.

Joan Vasconi (pictured) is one of the FAST Track participants. She has a solo exhibition opening May 16th at the Shenango Valley Community Library in Sharon.

One participant's perspective on the experience is: “you never know how good you are until you enter an art show.” 

Another student said: "I appreciate the fact that each resident gets to take a finished art project to their room every time that we can keep or give to a loved one. I appreciate the 'wow factor' - when the center and my family say 'WOW' to my artwork."

For more information on the FAST Track program in Hermitage, Sharon and Grove City, or how you can get involved, contact

Mindful Mural Project

posted on: Friday, March 20, 2015

Date: March 28 & April 18

Take one class or all
One is all you need to be part of mural

Time: 9:30 - 1:00 ( bring or buy your lunch)

Fee: $20.00 (scholarships available)

Location: North East ArtsCouncil 25 Vine St.

Contact:Christine French 814-725-1857

Yoga and Zentangle are health-enhancing practices to help you focus, relax, and recharge. Come learn tools for self renewal with Deb Phillips and Christine French in these Yoga- Zentangle Flow Classes while you create Zentangles that will result in public art.

Zentangle drawing and yoga stretching.

Deb Phillips is a certified yoga instructor with 10 years of teaching experience, and Christine French is a certified Zentangle CZT teacher. They will instruct you with some simple but powerful ways to develop your calm potential.

In these workshops Deb will help you engage in the restoring and renewing practice of Yoga. She will move you through a gentle sequence of postures with a breath guided focus to encourage feelings of calm, ease, and peace. A perfect compliment to flow with Zentangle creativity.

Chris will instruct the Zentangle method, which is easy to learn, and a relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images of structured patterns. It increases focus, creativity and provides artistic satisfaction with an increased sense of well being. It is an empowering and uplifting experience to deliberately relax and intentionally direct your attention while creating beautiful works of art. Zentangle has no predetermined solution. It is an abstract, portable, and inspirational non verbal language of patterns and proportions.


In this class we use the finest tools and materials available to ensure your Zentangle creations will be respected and treasured works of art. In addition to the benefit of mindfulness you get a side effect of feeling good and creating beautiful art to be appreciated, collected, chronicled and reflected upon for years to come.

Afterwards participants will be invited to submit their finished Zentangles for consideration for the Mural selection process. The chosen designs will be refined so Ehren Knapp can transfer them on to the outside structure of the North East Arts Council Building at 25 Vine Street in North East. The classes and the mural installation have been funded by Erie Arts & Culture.

Artists and Instructors Christine French and Ehren Knapp

So please join us. Everyone is welcome. (A limited amount of scholarships are available. Please contact Christine

Christine French 814-725-1857 or if interested.)You don’t have to be an artist, just be willing to be present and create.

10th Annual Poetry Out Loud

posted on: Monday, February 02, 2015

Poetry is powerful and Poetry Out Loud is a free program for that gives high school students a deep and meaningful experience with the written and spoken word.

Erie Arts & Culture is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Poetry Out Loud. With that celebration will be the

regional Poetry Out Loud (POL) competition at Allegheny College in Ford Chapel on February 7th from 11am - 1pm. Six high school students from Northwest Pennsylvania will join us to compete for the honor of traveling to Harrisburg in March to represent Northwest Pennsylvania at the state competition. One talented and hardworking student out of the 11 at states will go on to the National Competition in Washington DC.

A recent article in the ASCD Journal, "Tapping the Power of Poetry" by Timothy Rasinski, discusses the importance of poetry recitation by students of all ages. According to Rasinski, “When students read and recite poems and songs, they build foundational literacy skills that support comprehension.” Rasinski’s article goes on to explain the links to the State Core Standards and the foundation that poetry creates in reading skills. 

More importantly he describes the engagement, when reading poetry that recitation inspires in students. When students are engaged in their learning, they are alert, actively participating and retain the material. Reciting poetry gives students the opportunity to connect deeply with literature, embody the emotions and meaning of the work and develop self awareness and a voice through public performance.

Poetry Out Loud is a great opportunity, both socially and culturally, for students to bring their recitation to a wider audience and more formal setting. Kira Burkhauser, Erie Arts & Culture’s 2014 POL winner was excited to be at the regional level of the competition because she met others who had a similar love of poetry.

Hear from last year's competitors about their experience here:

Join us for the regional competition and experience this great event! For more information, click here or contact Stephanie at Erie Arts & Culture; or 814-452-3427.

Representative Pat Harkins, former Erie County Poet Laureate Thomas Forsthoefel, and PA Council on the Arts Member Lee Steadman will be joining us to help officiate the celebration.

Grant Recipients Awarded National Recognition

posted on: Monday, January 26, 2015

The Elizabeth Lee Black School Awarded for Leadership and Innovation in Special Education

The Elizabeth Lee Black School at the Barber National Institute has received the Award for Leadership and Innovation in Special Education from the National Association for Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC.) 

This prestigious award recognizes the school’s consistent efforts to ensure that children with disabilities receive the many benefits that digital technology offers for state-of-the-art education. In particular, the school is being recognized for an artist-in-residence project that brings a professional artist together with students and faculty to create multimedia publications such as digital books, movies and animations that reinforce or expand upon concepts taught in the classroom. Many of the students create “social stories” that help them achieve their individual communication or behavior goals. The artist in residence program is funded in part by the PA Council on the Arts.

“Digital technology continues to change society, self-expression and education, but too often children with disabilities are left behind,” said Dr. Maureen Barber-Carey, executive vice president of the Barber National Institute. “We are intent on bridging the digital divide for our students, and use technology to broaden their opportunities for learning.” Read more here.

Music at Noon: The Logan Series Awarded for Adventurous Programming

Music at Noon: The Logan Series, a chamber music and performing arts series at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, has been named a recipient of the 2015 Chamber Music America and American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Award for Adventurous Programming.

The national award recognizes ensembles and presenters for outstanding and innovative approaches to the programming of contemporary, classical, jazz and world chamber music.

“It’s exciting to be honored nationally by these organizations,” said Gary Viebranz, director of The Logan Series. “This award reflects the contributions of the staff and administration of the college, along with the support of our audience, local and state arts organizations, Diehl Elementary School, and the City of Erie School District. Of course, none of it would be possible without the vision and support of Mrs. Kay Logan.”

Music at Noon: The Logan Series was founded by Kay Logan in 1989 and receives major support from Mrs. Logan. Additional funding is provided by the Penn State Behrend Student Activity Fee, and the program also receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for this program is provided in part by an Erie Arts & Culture Project Grant, made possible by community contributions to the Combined Arts & Cultural Campaign and the Erie Arts Endowment. Read more here.

Thank you to the PA Council on the Arts, Erie Arts Endowment, donors to the Arts & Culture Campaign, and EITC donors for making nationally recognized programs like these available in our region

Bollinger Enterprises, Inc., Partners with the Erie Arts & Culture and the Warren YMCA for Expanding Art Project

posted on: Monday, January 19, 2015

Bollinger Enterprises, Inc., (BEi) the North Warren based agency that provides employment and community based services for individuals with disabilities, is expanding and enhancing its “Art as a Vocation“ Project. The Art Project had its start-up in 2014 at the BEi facility in North Warren and was funded by the Pittsburgh based Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust and BEI’s WarrenGives Campaign. In the first year of the Project, Creative Citizen Studios of Pittsburgh coordinated the effort with BEi in assessing potential artists, providing three artist lead workshops and developing an Art Advisory Council, made up of local artists and interested supporters. Participants in the project learned marbling and other fabric arts techniques and sold their creations at local holiday arts and craft shows.  

The second year of the project will feature an Artist Residency, which began in early January, through Erie Arts & Culture’s Arts in Education Partnership. The residency is co-funded by BEi and Erie Arts & Culture will be take place in the community at the YMCA in Warren. Two artists will instruct budding BEi artists in the making and production of saleable art. The art will be sold at various events with proceeds benefiting the artists. The Artist Residency will be 21 weeks in length, after which project activities will be continued by BEi.  

In addition to the funding provided by Erie Arts & Culture, Warren Gives, and the United Fund of Warren County, the Project’s second year primary funding partner will be the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust. Creative Citizen Studios will also assist BEi with project coordination and development. 

The Arts in Education Partnership is a program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency. State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The Arts in Education Program is administered in this region by Erie Arts & Culture.