Advocate to Protect our Federal Cultural Organizations

Thursday Mar 21st, 2019

fruits of labor v2

Threats from Washington
For a third-straight year, the Trump administration has proposed to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting (CPB). As misdirected as this proposal is, we are confident that Congress—as it has done in the past two fiscal years—will again reject this shortsighted budget request in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, and increase funding for the Endowments. However, urging our PA congressional members to reject these cuts and voicing our support of these indispensable organizations is imperative for their continued survival.

Hitting Home
In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Erie Arts & Culture an ArtWorks grant that partially funded the Art & Industry Project, which resulted in the creation of three public art works – Setting the Stage for Erie’s Future, Fruits of Labor, and The Path of Innovation. The project, led by artists Tom Ferraro and Ed Grout, celebrating Erie’s manufacturing heritage and the many products and industrial processes created locally, challenging residents of all generations to consider what the city can become. The project, executed over the course of two years, involved a partnership with Erie County Technical School as well as collaborations with additional local artists.

Setting the Stage, a 31,000 square foot mural that adorns the East wall of the Erie Playhouse’s Rehearsal Hall and Scenic Shop, at 1158 East 12th Street (the building that once housed Coyne Laundry) was inspired by the Erie Playhouse’s 100-year anniversary celebration. Erie County Technical School students incorporated imagery from the theatre to tell the tale of the city’s rich history as it greets visitors entering Erie from the east.

Fruits of Labor, a massive 10 by 20 foot metal sculpture, focuses on the role of labor in transforming our society from agriculture to industrialism, and sits at the corner of 13th and Holland Streets. Students assisted in the fabrication of the horse and globe using materials donated by several local manufacturers.

Also a metal sculpture, The Path of Innovation sets mounted to a rail bridge remnant located east of the intersection of Greengarden Boulevard and W. 12th Street. The design of this piece abstractly represents the bubbling up of ideas responsible for the local industrial products of Erie’s past, present and future. Students cleaned and painted the rail bridge remnant in preparation for the sculpture’s placement, in addition to assisting in fabrication of the piece.

Power in Numbers
To ensure projects like Art & Industry can continue to occur within our community, it is crucial for us to protect our federal cultural resources. Help make our vibrant voices heard. Contact congressional members and advocate for our nation’s continued cultural heritage and growth by stating your support for the public funding of the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB and asking them to reject the President's proposed elimination of these cultural agencies.

Congressional Member Contact Information

U.S. Representative Mike Kelly Erie Office
208 E. Bayfront Parkway | Suite 102 | Erie, PA 16507
Phone: (814) 454-8190

Email Mike Kelly

U. S. Senator Bob Casey and U. S. Senator Pat Toomey
Erie Office
17 South Park Row | Suite B-150 | Erie, PA 16501
Phone: (814) 874-5080

Email Bob Casey
Email Pat Toomey

To learn more about the NEA visit:

Erie Arts & Culture

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