In October 2021, Erie Arts & Culture commissioned a mural on the exterior of the former Wayne School, which is now home to the Erie Center for Arts and Technology, the United Way of Erie County, and several other service-based organizations. This mural, along with a trip to Flint, Michigan, where they created 200 murals in a two-year time span, encouraged Erie Arts & Culture to be more strategic in our approach to future mural initiatives. With that in mind, we approached United Way of Erie County to discuss an initiative through which we would strategically locate murals along identified Safer Walking Routes to Community Schools.
This has led to Erie Arts & Culture and the United Way to adopt a shared goal of raising funds that will support the creation of 50 new murals over two years. Using discretionary funds, financial contributions from Erie Insurance, and an ARP grant from the City of Erie, Erie Arts & Culture has secured the necessary funds to execute Phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 will commence in the summer of 2022 and will include 10 murals along the Safer Walking Route, two per each of the five community schools.
The artwork created will reflect the aspirations and identities of neighborhood residents. We are committed to an inclusive and transparent selection processes for artists and assistants – including prioritizing hiring artists from within the neighborhoods where the murals will be installed and extending opportunities to artists who have historically been under-resourced. Additionally, our approach will include a teen workforce development component that is inspired by organizations such as Juxtaposition Arts (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Groundswell (Brooklyn, New York), and Artists for Humanity (Boston, Massachusetts).
The total development goal for the 50 murals is $1,000,000. Half of that amount will go towards paying the artists and youth involved in the initiative. Additionally, $200,000 is budgeted for materials and supplies, which will be purchased through Sherwin-Williams Commercial Paint Store located at the intersection of West 18th and Peach Streets. So in addition to helping positively shape the visual landscape within the urban core, we see this project as an economic generator for the City of Erie and Erie County.
Strong Vincent Weschler Ave / West 11th Street
June 26 - July 12, 2022
Pfiefer-Burleigh 562 East 12th Street
July 22 - August 5, 2022
Pfiefer-Burleigh 306 East 11th Street
July 17 - 24, 2022
|Alex Ann Allen
East 801 East Ave
August 20-30, 2022
Edison 1937 East Lake Road
July 24 - August 7, 2022
McKinley 701 East 21st Street
July 25 - August 8, 2022
August 8 - 20, 2022
|Steve Mik/Brian Bonner
1002 East Lake Road
July 25 - August 5, 2022
EAC will use funds from Erie Gives to support Purposeful Placemaking, a mural initiative that has the goal of creating 50 murals along the Safer Walking Routes to School. These murals will enhance the visual landscape and spur creativity and imagination amongst youth in our community. The first 10 murals are fully funded and will be created in this summer. Your support will help us create 40 additional murals in 2023.
On August 9th you can help us sustain our impact in Erie County by participating in Erie Gives. Please make a donation of $25 or more to the Erie Community Foundation and name Erie Arts & Culture as a beneficiary.
You may donate online or mail checks in advance to Erie Arts & Culture. If mailing a check, please date your check to August 9 and write Erie Gives in the memo line.
Our mailing address is:
Erie Arts & Culture
PO Box 353
Erie, PA 16512