Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) has announced that Erie Arts and Culture (EAC) is being honored as the 2023 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Friend to Art Education Award. PAEA, through a rigorous review process, has identified EAC as an outstanding leader in the field of art education because its creative contributions, excellence in professional engagement, and dedication to service are meritorious and deserve PAEA’s recognition.
“Arts Education supports the development of the whole person,” said Anne O’Dell, Executive Director of EAC. “Erie Arts and Culture’s approach to arts education is to nurture each person’s artistic and creative abilities no matter their age, background, or ability. By linking people directly with artists through our Artist in Residence Program, self-confidence increases and life skills like collaboration and communication are honed for both learners and teaching artists.”
George Espy, EAC Board Chair, shared, “Erie Arts and Culture is honored to be recognized for our work in arts education. As an advocate and funder of arts in learning, we are proud to support individual artists and arts organizations working to enrich the lives of people during all stages of life. We believe the arts play a vital role in the quality of life of a community and are committed to continuing our promotion and support of the arts throughout NW PA.”
Teaching artist residencies are not the only aspect of EAC’s Arts in Education program that has contributed to this recognition. “We are always looking for new ways to support educators in art, music, and other creative fields,” said Ethan Hayden, EAC Program Officer of Arts & Learning. “Through programs like the Regional Common In-Service – at which we partner with the Erie Art Museum and the Erie Philharmonic to provide professional development opportunities for regional arts educators – we are striving to provide educators with resources, connections, and a network that can support the important work they’re doing, while also enriching the lives of their students.”
“What is significant is the very conscious effort to diversify the artist roster and artists’ capacities to share their talents more broadly, and to recognize art forms that are not typically valorized like street art, experimental art, design, and folk arts,” said Kelly Armor, EAC Folklorist in Residence.
Benjamin Hoffman, PAEA President, shared, “Erie Arts and Culture stands out as a leader and is committed to the continued growth and collaborative efforts of art educators across the state of Pennsylvania. Thank you for your partnership in recognizing Erie Arts and Culture as we all work together to advance the quality of art education across the commonwealth.”
EAC will be recognized at the awards ceremony on Saturday October 7th, 2023 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA during the PAEA annual conference.