Erie Arts & Culture awarded $250,000 grant

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Erie Arts & Culture awarded grant money for new initiative aimed at creating new horizons.

The nonprofit organization announcing a Shaping Tomorrow grant from the Erie Community Foundation worth $250,000. The grant money will be used for a new initiative called “New Horizons”. The initiative would allow arts and culture to be more widely accessible to Erie County residents. The main focus is downtown Erie neighborhoods. 

One of the goals is to integrate arts and culture into libraries, public parks and revitalization projects throughout Erie.

Below is the full news release:

Erie Arts & Culture is pleased to announce it has received a $250,000 Shaping Tomorrow grant from the Erie Community Foundation. These funds will support the New Horizons initiative.

Patrick Fisher, who returned to Erie in September to lead Erie Arts and Culture after stints in Alaska and Florida, has spent the past three months working with his Board of Trustees to develop New Horizons; a new strategy to make art and culture more widely accessible to the residents of Erie County with an initial concentration on Downtown adjacent neighborhoods.

Fisher brings a strong vision for the agency and a commitment to seeing Erie developed holistically in a manner that is equitable and inclusive.

The initiative will coordinate efforts amongst a diverse group of partners and then mobilize arts and culture assets with the intent of creating strong emotional bonds between people and place.

The plan calls to:
• Infuse arts and culture into libraries, public parks, and other community resources to provide neighborhood programming that ensures the benefits of arts and culture are more fully recognized, utilized, and valued.
• Make access to information about arts and culture experiences, programs, and events easy and available to everyone.  
• Integrate public art into community and neighborhood development and revitalization plans.  
• Utilize cultural events as a platform to distribute services and information that are relevant to the cultural, economic, wellness, educational, and environmental needs of communities.
• Record, preserve, and share the culture and history of Erie, both past and present.

“I left Erie in 2012 because I couldn’t readily identify how to participate in the system and serve the community in a meaningful way. Much has changed between 2012 and now, but make no mistake, a tremendous amount of work remains ahead. It took leaving and spending time living elsewhere for me to learn how to best utilize my talent to benefit Erie, a city that I love,” says Fisher. “Through my time spent living in Alaska and Florida, I have gained skills and experience that I now have the privilege of applying here. New Horizons is our effort to reinstate confidence in Erie and see the area positioned as a multicultural community of choice.”

Each quarter, The Erie Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees finalizes grants from the Foundation’s unrestricted endowment and donations based on thorough evaluation by Foundation staff and the volunteer grants review committee.

The grants are divided into five categories: Helping Today, Shaping Tomorrow, Community Fund Drives, urgent grants and scholarships. In 2018, The Erie Community Foundation made over 2,400 grants and scholarships totaling well over $20 million. The Foundation connects donors to causes to make transformational community changes.

To learn more about the Foundation’s grant making process, visit www.

“The Erie Community Foundation is proud to support the arts and cultural development of our region through an investment in this program,” said the Foundation’s President Michael L. Batchelor. “Employers in our region are part of a world-wide search for talent and a vibrant arts and culture community is needed to attract and retain a millennial workforce,” he said. 

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