Creating with Community Artist Residency Program

Thursday Feb 20th, 2020

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Erie Arts & Culture is pleased to announce the Creating with Community Artist Residency Program. This initiative, which builds the capacity of Erie-based artists by positioning them to serve as leaders within the community, was funded through the support of Erie Insurance and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. In 2020, Erie Arts & Culture will facilitate seven artist-led, community-driven projects through the residency program. The initiative will provide $70,000 in stipends to the 14 artists involved. 

In December 2019, Erie Arts & Culture distributed a formal call to artists. The agency sought artists who were dedicated to exploring the intersectionality between the arts and social, environmental, racial, and economic justice. In total, 28 artists responded to the call by submitting applications, which were reviewed by the staffs of Erie Arts & Culture and partnering neighborhood organizations, including Our West Bayfront, Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network, Bayfront East Side Taskforce, and ServErie. Artists were then paired together and assigned to projects and designated roles of either Lead Artist or Associate Artist. 

The seven artist teams include:

chris and jasseChris Schroeder (Graphic Designer) and Jasse Camacho Vera (Thespian/Writer)

Chris and Jasse will develop a guide designed to inform contractors and developers of best practices when initiating construction and development projects that impede pedestrian access to sidewalks. This team will work closely with the City of Erie’s Department of Engineering and the Mayor's Roundtable on Disabilities. 

john and soraya

John Lyons (Filmmaker) and Soraya Johnson (Cinema Production Student)

John and Soraya will develop and implement a youth film festival in the City of Erie. This was one of the projects proposed out of the People's Supper initiative. The objective of the film festival will be to expose youth to film as an art form and amplify young voices and validate young perspectives. 

stephanie and armando

Stephanie Ciner (Agriculturalist) and Armando Reyes (Woodworker/Musician)

Stephanie and Armando will work with Bayfront East Side Taskforce to coordinate and implement placemaking initiatives that activate several vacant lots in their service area. 


 alex and fredy

Alex Anthes (Printmaker/Writer) and Fredy Huam an Mallqui (Woodworker)

Alex and Fredy will work with Our West Bayfront to coordinate and implement placemaking initiatives that activate several vacant lots in their service area. 

samone and michael

Samone (Photographer/Writer) and Michael Haas (Thespian/Writer)

Samone and Michael will work with the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network to implement placemaking initiatives that activate Parade Street between East 14 and East 27 streets. 

marquis and lourdes

Marquis Wallace (Dancer/Visual Artist/Writer) and Lourdes Jasso (Photographer/Mixed-Media Artist)

Marquis and Lourdes will work with ServErie to implement placemaking initiatives that activate East 6th Street to East 12th Street, Wayne Street to Holland Street.

shasti and esther

Shasti O'Leary Soudant (Sculptor)/Esther Ortiz (Pinata Maker)

The seventh residency includes a visiting artist from Buffalo, New York. This residency leverages funds that Erie Arts & Culture received from the Erie Community Foundation to support the New Horizons initiative. Shasti and Esther will design, fabricate, and install two pieces of interactive sculpture in Erie's urban core. One sculpture will be installed in an east side neighborhood and the other in a west side neighborhood. 

We will be highlighting each team in a series of blog posts this spring. Stay tuned to learn more.


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