Created in memory of Virginia P. Vieser in 1994, the Virginia P. Vieser Fund Supporting Arts in Education began with a gift from her estate. It continues to grow through gifts from members of We Spark the Arts, a giving network established by Erie Arts & Culture. Members of this group, like Virginia Vieser, realize the value and impact of arts in education projects.
It was the wish of Virginia Vieser to annually fund one Erie County non-profit arts organization that is undertaking a new and innovative arts in education project, with preference given to projects that have committed matching funds. The Vieser fund awards one $4,000 grant.
Grants are awarded through a competitive application process. Projects that align with at least one of Erie Arts & Culture’s strategic priorities will be prioritized:
Erie Arts & Culture will only consider applications and projects that are grounded in commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA).
Note: Requests to cover ongoing operating expenses are ineligible for funding
-Beginning in 2024, administration of this program will begin in January, with a grant activity period of May-April.
What is a project?
The Virginia P. Vieser Fund awards one project-based grant. A project is defined as a limited, one-time effort that is intended to achieve a specific deliverable, or output, whereas programs are administered on a recurring basis, central to an organization's operations, and involve a number of related projects and other activities over time.
The Vieser Grant strictly supports a new and innovative arts in education project in Erie County. This means grant funds should not be requested in support of recurring programs or capital improvement projects. Projects seeking funding shall meet the following requirements explicitly:
A hybrid virtual and in-person information session will be held. Location and time TBD.
“You speak, I write” approach will be available for applicants who request assistance.
Project (50 points)
Impact (25 points)
Stakeholders (25 points)
All applications will be reviewed by Erie Arts & Culture staff for eligibility. Staff will conduct a preliminary review using an objective checklist to ensure eligibility, and eligible applicants will be forwarded to Erie Arts & Culture’s Programming Committee for review. The Programs Committee will present final grantee recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval.
In lieu of written reports, Erie Arts & Culture staff will host a brief interim check-in call with the grantee. In addition to tracking progress towards grant goals, this informal interim report will help Erie Arts & Culture identify the grantee’s needs outside of funding, and determine what approach, if any, Erie Arts & Culture can take to help see these needs met. At the end of the 12 month grant cycle, the grantee will be invited to a small peer group (assembled based on common feedback from interim calls), which will meet to discuss their projects in a round table, oral report.