2017 Arts & Culture Campaign Celebrates 50 Years of Giving

Receives $105,000 from Erie Insurance Group; longest and largest investor

Erie Arts & Culture publicly launched the 2017 Arts & Culture Campaign at a press event held at the SB3 Industrial Park.  Erie Arts & Culture Board Chair, Jim Dible and Executive Director, Amanda Brown Sissem accepted a check for $105,000 from Erie Insurance Group; presented by Ann Scott, Community Outreach Manager. Samuel P. “Pat” Black, III, CEO of Erie Management Group, whose family was instrumental in shaping the inaugural Campaign, gave testimony and Jill Beck delivered Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott’s proclamation on the importance of arts and cultural organizations to our city.  Stakeholders and community leaders were present to celebrate this milestone; 50 years of united giving to the arts in Erie County.

Amanda Brown Sissem, Executive Director of Erie Arts & Culture states, “The annual Arts & Culture Campaign has helped empower our community to build a rich environment full of stories, cherished places, exceptional experiences, and new works of art that shape who we are and who we can become. It is a great tool for the community to support multiple arts and cultural activities and organizations with one gift.  Erie Insurance has been the Campaign’s longest, and largest investor beginning with what was then known as the United Arts Campaign in 1967 organized by Sam Black who was ERIE’s first full-time adjuster, claims manager, ERIE board member and champion of the arts.”

As a gift to Erie Insurance for their long-standing support and strong commitment to arts and culture in the Erie community, Erie Arts & Culture provided lunch hour entertainment today for Erie Insurance employees by Julio Quezeda, a Latin guitarist and vocalist, along with bassist, Doug Russel, at the company’s home office.  Additionally, Erie Arts & Culture coordinated a Corporate Creativity Training with Master Teaching artist, Margot Greenlee, to a group of Erie Insurance employees, at a special workshop held in the company’s Innovation Center. Ms. Greenlee has been presenting a series of local workshops for artists and community/art organizations since May 3rd.  The workshops are a part of Erie Arts & Culture’s Arts & Culture Summit: Ignite Creativity event.

The 2017 Arts & Culture Campaign has already raised more than $150,000 towards the goal of $500,000 by December 31st.  Proceeds of the Campaign benefit Partner organizations including, The Erie Playhouse, Erie Philharmonic, Erie County Historical Society, Flagship Niagara/Maritime Museum, Erie Art Museum, and expERIEnce Children’s Museum. Additionally, a portion of funding, plus revenue from the Erie Arts Endowment, funds local projects providing greater access to arts and cultural experiences, as well as our county’s own Fellowship program providing local artists funding to develop their vision and voice.

In celebration of 50 years of giving, Erie Arts & Culture has lined-up a series of Semi Centennial events for community participation throughout this year.  The first is tomorrow, Saturday, May 6th, at the Erie Maritime Museum’s Discovery Day, free and open to the public.  Erie Arts & Culture will be onsite and visitors can stop by to participate in activities.  Donors and members of Erie Arts & Culture can visit the booth during Semi Centennial events to receive special incentives. For a complete list of events, visit http://www.erieartsandculture.org/blog/celebrating-50-years.

To give to the Arts & Culture Campaign visit www.erieartsandculture.org and make your gift securely online, or mail checks, made payable to Erie Arts & Culture, to 23 West 10th Street, Suite 2, Erie, PA 16501.

Businesses looking to incorporate a 50th Anniversary Workplace Celebration for their employees can contact Marketing and Development Director Amanda Hurd, at 814-452-3427 ext. 103 or development@erierartsandculture.org.

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