ArtsErie announces new Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem

posted on: Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sissem to lead local arts organization

ERIE, PA — Erie native Amanda Brown Sissem has been named executive director of ArtsErie. The organization provides leadership, financial support, education and advocacy for arts organizations and artists throughout the region. She will begin working in her new role on November 19.

“It's a time of both opportunities and challenges for arts organizations and artists, which demands renewed commitment and leadership from ArtsErie. We look forward to the perspective and experience that Amanda will bring to our organization and our community,” said Matthew W. Fuchs, Chairman, ArtsErie Board of Trustees.

Sissem previously served as a program officer at The Erie Community Foundation. While at the Foundation, she helped operate ECF’s $2M competitive grants program with special focus on strategic grants in the Erie Vital Signs areas of Cultural Vitality, Education, Economy and Brain Gain.

She co-administrated two, federal nonprofit capacity-building programs, ReTool Erie and the Erie Capacity-Building Collaborative. Her work included providing financial assistance, training and coaching services to strengthen nonprofits and increase their impact to the community.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this exciting role. The power of the arts to inspire, educate, heal, fuel innovation and drive economic growth is undeniable. Leading an organization with the mission to nurture this power to enrich lives is a great opportunity,” said Sissem.

Sissem will succeed Susan Breon, who has served as interim executive director since Char Mashyna left the organization in May.

Sissem holds an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in nonprofit management. She is a member of the Junior League of Erie. She resides in Millcreek with her husband and two children.

About ArtsErie
ArtsErie strives to nurture the arts and enrich the lives of the people of northwestern Pennsylvania through leadership, financial support, education and advocacy. The organization changed its name from the Arts Council of Erie in 2008. Additional information about ArtsErie is available online at

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