Organizational Support

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Grants for Nonprofit Organizations

Erie Arts & Culture administers grants annually to support projects and programs facilitated by nonprofit organizations in the region. Funding support for our grantmaking operations come from two primary sources, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and distributions from the Erie Arts Endowment. Applications for each grant program are accepted at different times throughout the calendar year. Applications are reviewed and scored by a volunteer panel who take into consideration the quality of the project design, proposed community engagement and projected impact, and how the project will be managed.

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Northwestern PA Arts Recovery Grants

Erie Arts & Culture (EAC) offers a new Arts & Cultural Organization Grant Program through the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Rescue Plan. The grants are intended to fuel the art sector’s recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are intended to help support arts organizations and the broader arts and culture sector in its response to and recovery from the pandemic.

EAC’s awards will impact a broad constituency, and we encourage applications from a wide variety of arts organizations. Through this project, EAC will provide support to regional organizations as they mitigate the impact the impact of the pandemic while also encouraging the expansion of community access to the arts by (a) demystifying artistic practice and increasing the accessibility of arts programs to communities—especially communities that may have been under-resourced in the past by federal arts funding; and (b) supporting a wide range of arts activities developed in a variety of local settings.

EAC will competitively award ARP funds to eligible arts and cultural non-profit organizations. These funds are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, maintain day-to-day operations of arts organizations, and assist in the sector's response to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

View the details and application here

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Creative Sector Flex Fund

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is excited to introduce a new grant program, the Creative Sector Flex Fund (CSFF), for the 2023-2024 grant year. The CSFF is designed to address the changing needs of dynamic PA arts organizations with average annual revenue between $10,000 - $200,000.

This grant program incorporates the current needs of the field by offering grantees the flexibility to use $5,000 grants in ways that ensure the most significant impact for their organizations and communities.

Eligible uses of funds are flexible, including the support of applicants’ administrative, programmatic, and project-related expenses.

Please note: The PCA has retired Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts’ (PPA) Entry to Program Stream, and Program Stream grant programs. The decision to retire these programs resulted from the PCA’s consideration of conversations, feedback, observations, insights, research, and data review with state and industry leaders, panelists, grantees, and community members. The goal of this retirement is to enable the PCA to provide a funding avenue that better aligns with industry trends and the goals of their strategic plan.

Learn more about the Creative Sector Flex Fund Here

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Erie Arts & Culture Ignite Arts Grants

In alignment with our efforts to support broad opportunities to participate in the arts and humanities during all stages of life, Erie Arts & Culture administers the Ignite Arts grant program, a competitive grant program that provides funding through contributions to the Erie Arts Endowment and the annual United Arts Fund.  Project grants provide up to $2,500 in financial support for arts and humanities projects that provide communities in Erie County with a positive social impact. 

View the 2022 Grantees Here


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Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Grants

Erie Arts & Culture is a regranting partner for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) through the Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts (PPA) program. Through the 2022-2023 cycle of the PPA’s Entry to Program Stream and Program Stream grants, Erie Arts & Culture awarded $79,000 to 29 organizations across its 6-county service region. These funds support arts and culture organizations and arts programs whose mission include leveraging the power of the arts and humanities to positively impact the region through creative and cultural programs. 

Entry to Program Stream 2022-2023 Grantees

$16,000 administered

The point of entry for organizations and programs to Program Stream, Entry to Program Stream is a $2,000 grant that supports eligible organizations and arts programs with at least one year of consistent arts and/or cultural programming.

  • Public Broadcasting of Northwest Pennsylvania - Children’s Art Show & Contest
    • WQLN’s mission is to stimulate, enrich, educate, and entertain the public. WQLN PBS Art Show and Contest is designed to promote creative artistic expression through painting for students in grades 6-12. 
  • Barber National Institute - Jay & Mona Kang Art Show
    • Barber National Institute’s mission is to "make dreams come true" for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism and behavioral health challenges. The Barber National Institute Art Show features the creative works of youth and adult artists across a variety of media. 
  • Dramashop 
    • The mission of Dramashop is to provide entertaining and provocative theatrical experiences designed to challenge and engage the Erie community.
  • Erie Art Company - Washington Irving Literary Festival
    • Erie Art Company’s mission is to empower the Erie community to express their unique voice and to bring economic and social change through creative place-making. In partnership with the Blasco Library and Penn Writers Association, the Washington Irving Literary Festival will be the first festival of its kind in Erie. 
  • Corry Area Arts Council
    • The Corry Area Arts Council is dedicated to fostering the arts and stimulating an interest in artistic and cultural activities within the Corry area.
  • Meadville Community Theatre
    • Meadville Community Theatre fosters active community theater and offers education, training, and opportunity for dramatic expression to all members of the community.
  • Titusville Council on the Arts
    • The mission of the council is to stimulate, encourage, expand, and support the practice, appreciation, and understanding of the performing and visual arts among area residents.
  • Oil City Arts Council
    • The Oil City Arts Council aims to promote and foster interest and appreciation of all the arts.
Program Stream 2022-2023 Grantees

$63,000 administered

The PPA Program Stream provides $3,000 grants to support arts organizations and arts programs that conduct ongoing arts activities. Applicants were invited by the PCA to apply to Program Stream. 

  • Allegheny Art Galleries 
    • Located on the first floor of Allegheny College’s Doane Hall of Art, the Allegheny Art Galleries exhibit work from contemporary artists across the nation. 
  • Area Community Theatre of Sharpsville
    • ACTS is committed to providing leadership and education in cultural development and performing arts in the region, striving to create a legacy of quality entertainment by tapping the resources of all age groups and encouraging the pursuit of artistic talent.
  • Barrow-Civic Theatre
    • The Barrow-Civic Theatre, home of the Franklin Civic Operetta Association, provides quality programming year-round for Venango County and surrounding areas, including plays and musicals, concerts, youth and educational programs, community events, and more.
  • Dafmark Dance Theatre
    • Dafmark Dance Theater’s mission is to offer a unique, creative and educational experience in the arts of dance that is steeped in social consciousness.
  • Downtown Edinboro Art and Music Festival
    • The Edinboro Art & Music Festival showcases grassroots art and music in the unique spirit of Appalachian culture and tradition.
  • Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre
    • ECBT’s goal is to inspire, educate, and enrich the lives of our dancers and the community through outstanding training in and the performance of classical and contemporary forms of dance.
  • Erie Dance Consortium
    • The Erie Dance Consortium is a collaborative organization of members from Erie's dance community, whose mission is to promote and celebrate the art, education, performance, and experience of dance, while building participation, appreciation, and audience for all dance forms within the Erie community.
  • EHCA Foundation
    • The mission of EHCA is to assist people with disabilities to live rich and fulfilling lives. To fulfill this mission, EHCA provides compassionate, therapeutic, and medical support to individuals of all ages and all levels of disability while enabling them to live with purpose and dignity.
  • Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania
    • The Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s mission is to Elevate Erie’s film industry, Empower regional filmmakers, and Foster patronage for the art of film.
  • George Junior Republic
    • George Junior Republic is dedicated to changing the lives of at-risk youth through a broad continuum of programs that engage the entire person and support the mental, physical, and emotional needs while teaching responsibility, citizenship, and skills that will help them grow into productive members of society.
  • Goodell Gardens & Homestead
    • The Mission of Goodell Gardens & Homestead is to create beautiful gardens and natural spaces where people visit to enjoy, gather, learn, and refresh.
  • JazzErie
    • JazzErie’s mission is to use jazz to unite people across differences. JazzErie does this by promoting interaction between professional and amateur musicians and sharing improvisational jazz music with youth and the community at large, facilitating their interest and learning.
  • North East Arts Council
    • The North East Arts Council was formed to encourage and stimulate an appreciation of the arts in the community of North East, Pennsylvania. By making artistic and culturally enriching activities available as part of the welcoming environment, we hope to enhance the already significant quality of life in this vibrant community.
  • Pennsylvania State University - Music at Noon
    • Music at Noon: The Logan Series at Penn State Behrend offers free, world-class chamber music to the public. 
  • PennWest Edinboro - Bruce Gallery
    • The BRUCE GALLERY serves as a resource for students, scholars and the Northwestern Pennsylvania community. The gallery showcases selections from the Permanent Collection, from local and regional emerging and established artists along with work by faculty, student and alumni.
  • PennWest Edinboro - Highland Games
    • The Edinboro Games celebrate and preserve Scottish tradition through food, cultural activities, and sanctioned competitions in professional and amateur heavy athletics, pipe band and solo piping and drumming, highland dance, Celtic and Scottish harp, and the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championships.
  • Oil Region Ballet
    • Oil Region Ballet exists to enhance the region through ballet awareness, education and performance. ORB endeavors to bring guest instructors and Master Classes to area dancers within our communities, while also offering opportunities to explore the outside dance world.
  • Oil City Area School District - Southside Arts
    • Oil City Area School District is located in Venango County Pennsylvania. The district serves the students and families of the City of Oil City, Borough of Rouseville, as well as the Townships of Cornplanter, Oakland and parts of President.
  • Warren Philharmonic Orchestra
    • The Warren Philharmonic Orchestra supports local musicans and the Warren community through classical music performances.
  • Warren County Summer Music School
    • The mission of the Warren County Summer Music School is to encourage and develop the study, performance, and appreciation of the fine arts.
  • Young Artists Debut Orchestra
    • YADO provides classical music education and performance opportunties for students ages 6-21. 


Please note: The PCA has retired the PPA Entry to Program Stream, and Program Stream grant programs. The decision to retire these programs resulted from the PCA’s consideration of conversations, feedback, observations, insights, research, and data review with state and industry leaders, panelists, grantees, and community members. The goal of this retirement is to enable the PCA to provide a funding avenue that better aligns with industry trends and the goals of their strategic plan

Erie Arts & Culture is excited to announce the Creative Sector Flex Fund, which was designed by the PCA to address the changing needs of dynamic PA arts organizations with average annual revenue between $10,000 - $200,000. This grant program incorporates the current needs of the field by offering grantees the flexibility to use $5,000 grants in ways that ensure the most significant impact for their organizations and communities. Eligible uses of grant funds include but are not limited to operating or programming expenditures. Application opens July 1, 2023.

Contact Casey Corritore, Program Officer of Capacity Building, with questions about Erie Arts & Culture’s grant making and capacity building programs: [email protected] | 814-452-3427 x 108

Preserving Diverse Cultures: Community-Based Engagement Projects

2022 details coming soon!

Who May Apply: Nonprofit organizations whose mission and artistic work are rooted in and reflective of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) art, culture, history and heritage. Additionally, the applicant's programs and staff are representative of those communities.

Uses: To bring communities together through artist-led community-based arts and culture projects. Community projects may include but are not limited to: exhibitions, performances, artist-in-community residencies, and murals.

Funds: Up to $3,500 total for planning and programming. Applicants may receive project support for up to four years.



A DipJar is a portable donation tool designed specifically for non-profits. The DipJar allows donors to “dip” their credit card into the mobile electronic card reader; enabling one-step collection that is quick and easy. Each DipJar can be set to a dollar amount of your choosing, with a minimum of $3 and a maximum of $1,000 per dip. DipJars do not require wifi and the devices keep financial information safe and secure. 

To benefit the region’s creative and cultural non-profit organizations, Erie Arts & Culture has four DipJars that can you reserve for your next event or fundraiser. These devices are a great tool for collecting donations when your supporters are experiencing, in-person, the impact of your organization’s mission. Local success stories include the Martin Luther King Center raising nearly $6,000 at their 10th annual MLK Awards Dinner and the Inner City Neighborhood Art House raising approximately $1,500 in less than two hours at an annual showcase of their programs and services. 

Erie County is full of passionate people, and we know that there is a tremendous amount of generosity that flows through our region. It is important that we reinforce the fact that philanthropic giving is not necessarily about making major gifts in thousand dollar increments. It’s about each donor making a contribution that is significant and meaningful to them. For many in our community, that occurs at the $5, $10, $25, and $50 levels. Erie Arts & Culture believes that access to a DipJar provides those in our cultural and creative community with an opportunity to convert audiences to donors in a manner that is intuitive, quick, and reflects technology and consumer trends.

How Can My Organization Borrow the DipJars?
Funds donated through a DipJar are collected by Erie Arts & Culture and then administered to your organization, less service fees, as an unrestricted grant. Please contact Patrick Fisher at [email protected].

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Erie Arts & Culture serves as the fiscal sponsor for multiple projects and organizations, offering our legal and tax-exempt status.

If you have a project in need of fiscal sponsorship please reach out to Patrick Fisher at [email protected] or by phone at (814) 452-3427 x105.

Previous and current fiscal sponsorships include:

Erie Asian Pacific American Association
The Erie APAA is a volunteer-led, organization dedicated to promoting and raising awareness of the diverse Asian Pacific cultures present in the greater Erie community through educational activities and cultural events.

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Grounded Print and Paper Shop
Grounded Print and Paper Shop is an interdisciplinary, contemporary print and paper making studio located in Erie, PA. Their mission is to offer a safe, sustainable, collaborative, and inclusive creative space.

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Footlights Theater
The Footlights Theatre Program was initiated in 1974 (back then it was called Students Summer Theater) by The Erie School District and City of Erie Parks and Recreation Department. It was developed as a vehicle to teach area youth about musical theatre through the production of a full-length musical show. The program is now produced by All An Act Theatre Productions and collectively sponsored by The City of Erie Parks and Recreation Department,  The Erie School District, and All An Act Theatre Productions.

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TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TEDxErie, where x = independently organized TED event. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At our TEDxErie event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

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Erie County Poet Laureate 
Erie County Government, in cooperation with Edinboro University, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University and Penn State Behrend, started the Poet Laureate Initiative in 2009. Already it has received recognition for its impact on the arts in our region; receiving the Pennsylvania County Commissioners Association County Arts Award in 2011 and the National Association of Counties National Arts Award in 2012.

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Photo credit: Eric Dye


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