Beyers Fund for Music Performance

Clarence E. Beyers was a long time violist in the Erie Philharmonic and a shy philanthropist with a passion for music and the arts. Beyers generously funded arts and educational groups in the Erie area and helped talented Erie students obtain professional training at nationally recognized institutions.

Non-profit arts organizations in Erie County that present music performances are eligible to apply to the Clarence E. Beyers Fund for partial project and program funding. Applications will be accepted three times per calendar year. Requests that support innovative projects and/or audience development initiatives are especially competitive.

It was the wish of Clarence Beyers to support projects that promote the highest quality of musical performances in Erie County. Erie Arts & Culture intends to fund projects of all musical genres that exemplify one of more of the following principles of artistic quality:

  • Commitment - the creative process and result demonstrate conviction to a cause championed by the work
  • Cultural Integrity - the work demonstrates ethical use of material with specific cultural origins and context
  • Communal Meaning - the work facilitates collective meaning that transcends individual perspective and experience
  • Emotional and Sensory Experience - the work evokes an emotional experience and/or includes vivid sensations that deepen the audience’s experience
  • Openness - the vision and intent of the work is open to interpretation and encourages questioning
  • Coherence - vision and intent of the work is strong and/or explicitly stated
  • Disruption and Risk-Taking - the work challenges convention by subverting dominant narratives, aesthetics, or standards

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:

  • Increase the capacity and impact of creative and cultural sector in the NWPA region
  • Fund opportunities for the arts in lifelong learning
  • Preserve, enhance and promote diverse cultures
  • Facilitate placemaking initiatives

Erie Arts & Culture will only consider applications and projects that are grounded in commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA).

Note: No awards will be made to individuals or in support of capital expenditures


  • Application Opens: October 1, 2023
  • Application Closes: December 15, 2023
  • Project must occur between February 2024 - January 2025

Applications will be accepted three times per calendar year. Application portals will open on October 1, February 1, and May 1.

Grant Amounts (~$20,000 distributed annually)

Grant award amounts are determined by the total amount of grant funding available, the number of applications received, and the quality of applications received. Award amounts will take into consideration the total project budget, amount of funding raised, and the amount of funding to be raised.


  • Applicants must be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose primary focus is providing high-quality arts experiences including arts engagement activities and/or arts education.
  • Individuals, local municipalities, local education agencies (school districts), institutions of higher learning, community development corporations, and non-profit organizations with primary missions outside of the arts are ineligible for grants made from the Beyers Fund.
  • The applicant’s principal office/activities must be located in Erie County, PA.
  • Applicants must not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, marital status, gender or gender identity.
  • Applicants must be in good standing with Erie Arts & Culture and its program requirements.

Funding Criteria

The Beyers Fund strictly supports music performance projects 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:

  • Project deliverables must be intended to provide an artistic or social benefit to stakeholders of Erie County.
  • Any events or activities supported through this grant program must be open to the public.
    • Open to the public does not necessarily mean free to the public.
  • No activities supported through this grant program may have a religious or political purpose.
  • This grant program is not designed to provide financial support as reimbursements for expenses incurred outside of the grant activity period.

*Blues and Jazz photography by Luis Carlos Garcia.

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How to Apply

Apply via Submittable here


  • Application Opens - October 1 - December 15
  • Grant activity period: February 2024 - January 2025

Application Requirements

  • In one page, provide a project description
    • It would be beneficial to the applicant if project description addressed the following:
      • Does the project fill an artistic gap in Erie County?
      • The project’s relevance to EAC’s principles of artistic quality
      • How the project integrates the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) into planning and implementation
      • The definition of success as it relates to this project, and plans for project evaluation
      • A description of the project’s internal and external stakeholders involved in the performance, including collaborators, partners, and organization staff.
  • What is the project timeline?
  • Total cost for the project (with provided budget form)
  • Amount requested

Application Assistance

Hybrid virtual and in-person information session is scheduled for March 2nd at 6pm.

“You speak, I write” approach will be available for applicants who request assistance.

Evaluation Criteria (out of 100 total points)

Project (50 points)

  • Project is well planned and relevant to the Erie County community. (15 points)
  • Project aligns with at least one of Erie Arts & Culture’s strategic priorities. (15 points)
  • Project timeline is appropriate for its scale and scope. (10 points)
  • Budget is appropriate for the project’s scale and scope. (10 points)

Impact (25 points)

  • Project is grounded in commitment to delivering a quality artistic product. (15 points)
  • Project is new and innovative or implements an audience development initiative. (10 points)

Stakeholders (25 points)

  • Project has other confirmed sources of funding. (15 points)
  • Internal stakeholders are qualified and lend new perspectives and/or professional expertise to the project. (10 points)

Review Process

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 grantees. In addition to tracking progress towards grant goals, these calls will help Erie Arts & Culture identify grantees’ 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, small peer groups (assembled based on common feedback from interim calls) will meet and discuss their projects in a round table, oral report.

Sample Application


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Please contact Casey Corritore, Program Officer of Capacity Building: [email protected].

Erie Arts & Culture

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