Behind the Scenes at Erie Arts & Culture

Thursday Feb 15th, 2024

What a phenomenal start to 2024! I never know what will be just around the corner, and we keep building momentum on top of momentum as we increase Erie Arts & Culture’s presence in Pennsylvania and the US. 

3 v2.24 Blog Post

The week of February 12, 2024, I was elected to the Board of Directors for Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania (CAP). It is my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to amplify your voices and share your stories, thoughts, and needs at the state level, making sure that resources you need are made available to you. Citizens for the Arts in PA is committed to our collective success and I am so pleased to connect Northwestern Pennsylvania with large-scale advocacy efforts currently taking shape in CAP’s strategic planning process. I will attend Arts Advocacy Day in Harrisburg on Tuesday, March 19, and EAC will soon be sharing how you can participate.

I also had the pleasure of recently meeting with Americans for the Arts’ (AFTA) Local Arts Engagement Team and they were excited to hear about the amazing things you are creating here in Northwestern PA. AFTA is committed to creating a strong national network of arts professionals who support each other and their communities. As an example, after noticing similarities between EAC and another organization, they connected me to an Executive Director of a regional arts council in Connecticut to share stories and ideas. I’m looking forward to not only connecting with this similar institution, but also being part of AFTA’s network to further expand Erie’s engagement with the larger arts and culture community.

Continuing to look to the future, EAC is now headed into its final phase of the strategic planning process. A big thank you to all stakeholders who took time to share their invaluable insights. Our future goals, and the strategies and actions steps we will employ to reach them, are directly informed by you. It’s refreshing to continue our work on this plan and read in detail how it provides clear paths forward on all aspects of EAC. We are so excited to share this plan with you in the coming months.

As we embrace 2024, it's important to reflect on our journey, including the ambitious mural project that spanned 2022 and 2023. This endeavor, under the guidance of past leadership, employed 94 individuals and resulted in the creation of 35 murals, enriching Erie's landscape. While aiming for more, it was clear that there were fiscal limitations that necessitated a reevaluation of our approach. The project, ambitious in scope, taught us invaluable lessons about fiscal stewardship and the importance of sustainable practices in our initiatives. The feedback from those who contributed has been instrumental in shaping our understanding and future direction. It underscored the significance of each contribution to our community's fabric and the necessity for clarity and sustainability in our endeavors.

As EAC looks ahead, we're channeling our learnings into strengthening our foundation and honing our focus on key priorities. Our commitment to the arts remains unwavering, with a renewed emphasis on projects that are both impactful and sustainable. Our engagement continues in an advisory capacity, supporting the arts with the same passion but with a more strategic framework.


As we channel our learnings into action and look forward with anticipation to 2024 still has to offer, we're thrilled to extend an invitation to you to experience the Eclipsing Stars exhibit, currently showcased at FEED Media Arts Center through Memorial Day Weekend. This exhibit, made possible by a generous gift from the Simons Foundation, beautifully merges art and science to delve into the phenomenon of the April 8 eclipse. We encourage you to explore the accompanying public programs, which you can discover on VisitErie’s calendar or at FEED.ART.

In wrapping up, I invite you and your friends to join us on Sunday, May 19, at Oliver’s Beer Garden for an unforgettable day at EAC’s inaugural Mini-golf Tournament! More information will be released soon, and tickets will be available for purchase starting March 18. Assemble your team, choose your most creative outfits, and come ready to vie for the top spot or the Best Dressed Team award. Food and beverage are included with each ticket purchase. The event is open to the public with live music and art activities for all to enjoy. Interested in sponsoring this can’t-miss day of fun on the bay? Reach out to Kathleen Birkmire at [email protected] for more details and to support our cause.

And if swinging a mini-golf club isn’t your style, remember, there are many ways to support EAC. Visit us online at HERE to make a donation today - or check out our website soon for an enhanced online donation platform, making it easier than ever to contribute with Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal. Stay tuned for this exciting update!

I look forward to seeing you out in the community. Be well and thank you for supporting Erie Arts and Culture.


Erie Arts & Culture

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