Celebrating Creative Connections Forged at the Creative Crowd

Tuesday Feb 7th, 2023

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December 2022's meet-up at Seiche Dance Collective

In 2022, EAC facilitated 11 Creative Crowd meet ups!

These monthly meet-ups provide a friendly and casual space to foster stronger personal and professional connections within the creative and cultural sector. Many individuals and host sites were pleased with the turnout and connections forged at the Creative Crowd. We invite you to read the three testimonials below, and please join us for a Creative Crowd meet-up if you haven't already! We thank Brian and Linda Graff and PNC for their financial support of the Creative Crowd in 2022 and PNC for renewing their support in 2023.

Jessica Taylor is the Managing Partner, Producer, and Director of Menajerie Studio. She also helped to create a new art installation in Erie.

Below, Jess shares her experience about a creative connection forged through the Creative Crowd meetups:

A few months ago, Menajerie Studio and BOTH Studios decided to team up and form a new entity: Liquid Light Factory. They developed a permanent video mapped sculpture display that is located in the newly renovated EMI site on 12th and Cherry.

"Creative Crowd is a great way to make connections in Erie's creative sector. Through the past season of CC's I have been introduced to so many new people and places. Those experiences have helped me hone my communication skills through easy conversation which have led to other opportunities. One such connection made was to Benton C. Bainbridge of FEED Media Art Center. I recently co-founded an Extended Reality (XR) installation, technology, and design firm, Liquid Light Factory. We were looking for a space to do a large-scale installation, in preparation for a larger project. Benton not only provided a location for the installation, but a breadth of knowledge, mentorship, and industry connections. That single, initial conversation at CC has blazed a path forward for our new creative venture."

Read Jess's guest blog about Liquid Light factory here

Whitethorn Games is a local indie game publisher focusing on pleasant, cozy games that can be played in pieces, that require no special skills or knowledge, and that anyone can pick up and play.


"We were thrilled to host the EAC November Creative Crowd event at Whitethorn Games headquarters. It provided us with the opportunity to connect with a great many talented individuals from an extensive variety of creative disciplines spanning the arts, fashion, tech, and retail from across Erie County. Welcoming such a diverse group of people into our space allowed us to introduce our brand beyond our typical circles. It facilitated the development of a branching network of new professional relationships between our staff and all in attendance, including speaking engagements, opportunities for shared capacity building, and potential partnerships we look forward to exploring. We can’t emphasize enough how important events like these are for building our collective local professional community, and we look forward to the next event with anticipation!"


Mat Upperman is a well-known local musician, but few knew that he also paints. In April 2022 Mat finally attended his first Erie Arts & Culture Artist Networking event at PACA.

Mat and his wife, Diane, enjoyed meeting several other artists, and spending time with PACA’s tireless Director, Mark Tanenbaum.

Mark mentioned that he needed another artist for Gallery Night in a few weeks. Diane piped up that Mat had plenty of paintings ready to show. Mark asked how many, and Mat said nervously, “Maybe thirty.” Mark was characteristically enthusiastic and they discussed arrangements for the show.

Despite decades of performing live in front of audiences of all sizes, Mat dreaded the show’s opening. On the big day, his friends and family came to show support and strangers had fantastic things to say about his work. Mat sold FOUR pieces and started his new multimedia arts company, Madhouse Studios.

After a recent lengthy illness, Mat now has the strength and confidence to begin performing and painting again and is eagerly seeking new opportunities for his artistic expression. Of course, it normally takes more than one networking event to launch a new career, but EA&C offers endless possibilities for creative outlets and collaboration.

Erie Arts & Culture

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