In 2016, Erie Arts & Culture committed to making a greater investment in the artists living and working in Erie County by establishing the annual Artist Fellowship program. The agency saw a need to provide artists with unrestricted funding that could be used to pursue artistic development and growth.
Originally, Erie Arts & Culture awarded three fellowships annually – two to emerging artists and one to an established artist. In 2020, the agency’s Grantmaking Committee reviewed the program’s eligibility requirement through the lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Upon further reflection, the Erie Arts & Culture Board of Trustees and Grantmaking Committee decided that it was necessary to revise program criteria and guidelines. The fellowship program includes three artist categories: Emerging, Mid-Career, and Established.
What is a Fellowship?
Erie Arts & Culture recognizes individual artistic achievement and potential through its annual Artist Fellowship program, which provides cash awards to three artists from Erie County. The Fellowship, which includes cash awards ranging between $2,000-$5,500, helps individual artists sustain or enhance their creative process and advance their career in the arts.
The guidelines will be released July 1, and the application will be open from July 6 to August 29 at 11:30pm. Award recipients will be announced before November 30.
One virtual information session will be conducted over Zoom on Wednesday July 13th at 12pm. Please register at the link below!
- To be eligible for the award, applicants must be 18 years old or older
- Be a current resident of Erie County, PA
- Applicants cannot be a full-time student of any kind at the time of the application deadline
- Applicants cannot be a member of Erie Arts & Culture’s board of Trustees, subcommittees, or staff, or be an immediate relative of a member of Erie Arts & Culture’s board of Trustees, subcommittees, or staff.
- Fellowships will not be awarded to interpretative artists such as dancers, actors, or musicians who solely perform the work of others
- Applicants must be the originators of the work; i.e. choreographers or playwrights
Emerging Artist Fellowship ($2,000)
An emerging artist is someone who is in the early stage of their career and has a modest independent body of work. At this stage in the artist’s career, solo exhibitions or performances of their work are often limited and recognition and opportunities occur primarily at the local level.
Mid-career Artist Fellowship ($3,500)
A mid-career artist is an artist who has created an independent body of work over a number of years. At this stage in the artist’s career, one has received a number of solo exhibitions or performances through esteemed venues, either regionally and nationally.
Established Artist Fellowship ($5,500)
An established artist is mature in their career. They have created an extensive body of independent work and may even be an influencer in their respective disciplines. At this stage in their career, an established artist has an advanced level of achievement and has sustained national and even possibly international opportunities and recognition.
- Complete and return an Artist Fellowship application on the Erie Arts & Culture website
- After applications are submitted, Erie Arts & Culture Program’s Department reviews each application to confirm they are complete and meet the application requirements
- Applications are then reviewed by an independent panel composed of subject matter experts from outside of Erie County, using an objective set of criteria
- Artist Fellowships are chosen based on the work samples submitted
- Materials are reviewed and voted on by panelists in a single panel meeting
- Panel recommendations are reviewed by the Grantmaking Committee and by Erie Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees.
- Panelists' names are kept confidential until the awards are announced.