Erie Arts & Culture 2019 Project Grant Application Now Open

Friday Aug 30th, 2019

EAC Grant Opens
asian festival
Erie Asian Pacific American Association partially funded their annual Asian Festival as 2018 EAC Project Grant recipients.

Erie Arts & Culture requests proposals for our 2019 project grants. Project grants are designed to provide up to $5,000 in financial support to a variety of arts, cultural and heritage activities to help strengthen the vibrancy and vitality of the Erie Region and enrich the lives of our residents.

Proposals for Erie Arts & Culture Grants are accepted once a year. Complete proposals are evaluated by a volunteer panel based on three criteria: Project Quality, Community Engagement and Impact, and Management. The Erie Arts & Culture Board of Directors makes all final funding decisions.

Grants are made possible by contributions made to the Erie Arts Endowment, Arts and Culture Campaign and special giving events like Erie Gives Day. Projects which involve music performance and arts education have an enhanced pool of funds available thanks to donors who wished to ensure that these specific activities thrive in Erie County.

Deadline for proposals is Friday, October 18, 2019. Funding announcements will be made by December 20, 2019 following approval by the Erie Arts & Culture Board of Directors.

Projects Categories

General Projects for Organizations

Erie Arts & Culture project grants provide flexible, accessible funding to help organizations complete short-term projects addressing a wide variety of goals and objectives. Awards may support first-time applicants, including new or emerging organizations, as well as established organizations.

Bold, Ground-Breaking Projects

Project grants provide funding for innovative and experimental projects. Awards may support big ideas that push boundaries, engage participants in unexpected ways, pilot new solutions to challenging problems, or improve program design with calculated risk-taking.

Examples of Bold and Ground Breaking Projects:

Picnic at the Border | Mexico/United States

Artist JR organized a gigantic picnic on both sides of the fence that travels along the United State's southern border with Mexico. Hundreds of guests came from across the US and Mexico to share a meal together, with items being passed through the slatted fence. Painted on the massive long table were the eyes of a "dreamer."

Ice Books | New Mexico

Basia Irland is an artist and naturalist that works closely with water, especially rivers. Her Ice Books project uses river water to form books made of ice which contained seeds. The seeds within the books help the river in many ways, such as by slowing down the erosion of the river bank. The ice slowly melts away to represent the effects of climate change and the thinning of ice due to the activities of humans.

Community Remembrance Project | United States

The Equal Justice Initiative's Community Remembrance Project is part of their campaign to recognize the victims of lynching by collecting soil from lynching sites, erecting historical markers, and creating a national memorial that acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice.

Projects Building Cultural Diversity

Erie Arts & Culture project grants may be used to support new, existing, and emerging organizations whose mission, staff, programs, and board represent culturally diverse communities. Awards may fund projects that celebrate communities’ unique arts and culture or preserve culturally significant artistic traditions or practices.

Examples of Projects Building Cultural Diversity:

Mining the Museum | Maryland

African-American artist Fred Wilson’s exhibition project, “Mining the Museum,” presented the Maryland Historical Society's collection in a new, critical light. Working with objects in the collection of the MHS, Wilson unsettled the museum’s comfortably white, upper-class narrative by juxtaposing silver repoussé vessels and elegant 19th-century armchairs with slave shackles and a whipping post. Texts, spotlights, recorded texts, and objects traditionally consigned to storage drew attention to the local histories of blacks and Native Americans, effectively unmaking the familiar museological narrative as a narrow ideological project.

Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker"

Now in its third season, Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s “Nutcracker” was envisioned specifically with Chicago viewers in mind. Wheeldon reimagined the classic production by bringing in a new socio-economic plotline. Instead of the family central to the story being wealthy and privileged, they are an immigrant, laboring-class family run by a single mother.

Projects Improving Accessibility

Organizations may use Erie Arts & Culture project funding to make accommodations for patrons and artists with disabilities. Awards may support one-time accommodations such as American Sign Language interpretation, audio description, captioning, or materials in alternative formats; or the purchase of durable equipment. This funding is not intended for physical space accessibility improvements.

Examples of Projects Improving Accessibility:

Please Touch the Artwork | Chicago

Curator Emma Stein created a multi-sensory, contemporary art exhibit that made art accessible to the visuallyimpaired. The exhibition, titled Please Touch the Artwork, demonstrated the diverse methods employed by contemporary artists to branch out of the visual realm and utilize feasible curatorial methods to ensure accessibility. Emma's work helped set a precedent for accessibility reform in American art institutions and sent an important message to the visually impaired community that engagement with art objects is not limited to the sighted.

The Laundromat Project | New York

A laundromat is a neighborhood's meeting place. It is a place where community members gather weekly, and in 1999 Rise Wilson decided to help bring art education to her Harlem neighborhood laundromat. Setting up folding tables in front of the storefront, she extended passersby with a unique opportunity to make a piece of art. Nearly 15 years later, The Laundromat Project has served a number of communities throughout New York City, and offers low-income people of color a chance to learn and make art together thus, strengthening their communities.


For eligibility requirements, application guidelines, and to apply download our 2019 Grant Guidelines & Application Packet.

2019 Grant Guidelines & Application Packet

EAC Project Grant Workshops

The following workshops are designed to provide detailed information on the Erie Arts & Culture Project Grant and guide prospective candidates through the application process. Reservations are not required. Applicants who have received funding in the past are welcome to attend, too, as a refresher to the online grant system.

Edinboro Branch Library
Thursday, September 12 from 12 – 1 pm
413 West Plum Street | Edinboro, PA 16412

Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park Education Center
Thursday, September 12 from 6 – 7 pm
1501 West 6th Street | Erie, PA 16505

Inner City Neighborhood Art House
Friday, September 13 from 12 – 1 pm
201 East 10th Street | Erie, PA 16503

artist info session

Erie Arts & Culture

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