The arts and humanities are fundamental to society. Together, they foster creativity, beauty, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. They can be leveraged to express our values, support lifelong learning, and build bridges by bringing people together regardless of their differences.
Established in 1967, the United Arts Fund, which is managed by Erie Arts & Culture, supports the arts and humanities in Erie’s urban core by providing unrestricted funding to the Erie County Historical Society, the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Playhouse, the expERIEnce Children’s Museum, and the Flagship Niagara League.
The United Arts Fund has been in operation since 1967. But, the total of the fund drive had been in decline since the mid 2000s, with 2018's total only amounting to approximately $178,000. This prompted the leadership at Erie Arts & Culture to reimagine how the fund drive operates.
In 2019, Erie Insurance contributed $125,000 to the campaign, which fueled this year's drive. Over the course of four months, the Cultural Service Partners attracted donations from 797 different donors, with 214 of those donors being first time gift givers.
Erie Arts & Culture will use the success of the 2019 campaign to encourage additional support from other corporate citizens and foundations in 2020 – working to grow the pot of funds available as a match for the Cultural Service Partners. 2020's campaign will be scheduled between September 1 through December 31. Gifts can be made directly to Erie Arts & Culture or to a donor's preferred Cultural Service Partner(s).
The funds benefiting the five Cultural Service Partners and Erie Arts & Culture are unrestricted.