Arts & Learning

fused glass bloom collaborative

Learning through the arts

Learning through the arts establishes and reinforces the soft skills necessary to live an enriched life in today’s ever-changing world. For this reason, Erie Arts & Culture envisions a region where every person has access to meaningful experiences that utilize the arts as a tool for personal development, both in academic and communal environments.

Erie Arts & Culture is one of 14 organizations across the state that formally partners with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to administer an Arts in Education (AIE) program. As a partner, we leverage funds provided by the Commonwealth to support in-depth arts experiences for youth and adults within six counties of Northwestern Pennsylvania, including: Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, and Lawrence.

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Pennsylvania counties served through our Arts in Education Program.

The Arts Impact on Youth

Exposure to, and participation in, the arts teaches essential life skills. Access to the arts, especially during key developmental ages, has the power to shape character and influence upward mobility later in life.

Children develop a deeper awareness and acceptance of different people, places, and ideas when they are regularly exposed to various artistic disciplines and cultural practices. This can help them understand and appreciate the differences found in their broader environment.

student working with clay
Student at the YMCA Titusville diligently works to create a stop motion animation film using clay.
boy using jigsaw
An Erie's School District student participates in a residency at the Erie Maritime Museum learning about biology and geometry through sculpture.
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Eighth grade Erie's School District students experience a day sail on the U.S. Brig Niagara.
Practicing an artistic discipline can improve a child’s:
  • Cognitive abilities
  • Motor skills
  • Social skills
  • Emotional intelligence
Arts also teach and build upon the soft skills that are required to excel in the modern workforce, including:
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative problem solving
  • Tolerance and empathy
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Communication
  • Time management

The Arts Impact on Adults

The arts are major contributors to quality of life. As adults, arts experiences stimulate our senses, imagination, and thought. The arts provide allow us to observe and reflect on the world, both past and present.

Participating in the arts as an adult:
  • Fosters an appreciation for creativity and beauty
  • Develops our emotional competencies and social consciousness so that we have a deeper understanding of the human experience
  • Builds bridges by bringing people together regardless of their perceived differences
adults playing music v2
elderly woman drawing v2
elderly woman with pottery

The Arts Impact on Senior Citizens

For senior citizens, arts experiences can be opportunities to reactivate, strengthen, and increase an existential sense of wonderment. Arts activities can positively impact older adults’ mental and physical health.

Such activities can improve:
  • Balance
  • Mobility
  • Coordination
  • Concentration
While also combating:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Boredom
  • Isolation

Artists as Educators

Erie Arts & Culture provides paid opportunities to regional artists who are interested in becoming creative catalysts in school and community organizations. As of December 2019, Erie Arts & Culture has 31 rostered artists or artist groups that have been formally equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully design and implement residencies - either in academic or community settings.

dance east middle school
boy painting rocket ship v2
School-based Residencies

In academic settings, an artist collaborates with educators to use their artistic discipline to teach core curriculum subjects, such as English language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies.

storytelling soldiers and sailors home
ymca student paiting chess piece
Community-based Residencies

In community settings, artists work intensively with small groups on a specific project. In some cases, projects are used as a means to address critical issues relevant to the hosting community. The artist’s role in these projects is that of a mentor and facilitator, and participants exercise creative control.

Erie Arts & Culture

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