Erie Arts & Culture to Receive $250,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan

Thursday Nov 18th, 2021

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Erie, PA — Erie Arts & Culture is pleased to announce they have been selected to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. Erie Arts & Culture  is receiving $250,000 and will use this funding to distribute grants in Erie, Warren, Crawford, Venango, Mercer, and Lawrence Counties. 

In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $20,200,000 to 66 local arts agencies nationwide for subgranting. “The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including Erie Arts & Culture is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that that American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

65% of funds will be distributed  to eligible non-profit cultural organizations to save jobs, fund operations and facilities, purchase health and safety supplies, or cover marketing and promotional efforts. This grant will prioritize small and mid-sized organizations with annual operating budgets under $500,000. Grant awards will range from $2,500-$5,000. 

25% of funds will be distributed to individual artists as stipends to lead demonstrations or workshops around their arts disciplines and practices. These demonstrations or workshops will occur in either academic or community settings. Grant awards will range from $750 to $2,500.

In 2019, Erie Arts & Culture went through the strategic planning process, and the resulting plan called for the organization to align it’s resources with its values surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. With that in mind, Erie Arts & Culture will administer these grants with an internal objective of seeing at least 50% of grant funds awarded to organizations and artists who identify as black, indigenous, or as a person of color (BIPOC), or those who serve historically under-resourced communities.

“This federal grant allows us to prioritize providing direct financial support to organizations that have historically had limited access to grant-allocated operational funding. The grant will also allow us to put artists to work in our communities, building their capacity to serve as educators, leaders, and creative catalysts. We are thrilled to have the NEA supporting our efforts to make grantmaking in the arts more equitable, inclusive, and accessible.” 

This is the second of three installments of the NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding. Last April, the NEA announced that 40 percent of its $135 million in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The third installment of APR funding to arts organizations to support their own operations will be announced in early 2022.For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of local arts agencies funded in this announcement, visit


EAC will announce grant guidelines in December.

Erie Arts & Culture

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