Erie Art Museum Awarded Museums for America Grant

The Erie Art Museum is proud to announce that it has received a Museums for America grant for $91,714 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, to support the Museum’s popular Kids As Curators program for the next three years. In announcing the award, IMLS noted that it had received 510 applications, but was only able to award grants to 178 projects—based on a peer review process—for a total investment of $19.5 million.

The Kids as Curators program is a unique Museum collaboration with local Erie schools, ultimately resulting in an exhibit curated by, designed by, and featuring the collections of middle school students. Teachers, museum staff, and students come together to learn the fundamentals of museum exhibition while working towards a conglomerate creative vision.

“Most thirteen year-olds have a bedroom that is a stock-pile of cultural artifacts, said Director of Education and program creator, Kelly Armor. “We make a connection between kids’ love of collecting and the role of the Museum to exhibit collections. Kids as Curators lets us put teachers and students in creative control and the Erie Art Museum gets a great family friendly exhibit to share with the community.”

This year’s participants include Corry Middle School, Robert Benjamin Wiley Charter School, and Klein Elementary School. The program will kick off with a day-long training for teachers in September.

Along with the grant, the Museum received positive feedback of its application and program. One IMLS reviewer said, “One of the reasons that I review grants for IMLS every year is to be inspired by what other museums are doing. This project inspired me. Big time.” Another said, “What an exciting and engaging project. You clearly identified a need, and then went out and filled it beautifully. The links you made between the curatorial act and the middle school curriculum focusing on classification makes complete sense.”

About the Erie Art Museum
The Erie Art Museum anchors downtown Erie’s cultural and economic revitalization, occupying a group of restored mid-19th century commercial buildings, including an outstanding 1839 Greek Revival Bank. It maintains an ambitious program of 15 to 18 changing exhibitions annually, embracing a wide range of subjects, both historical and contemporary and including folk art, contemporary craft, multi-disciplinary installations, community-based work, as well at traditional media.

The Erie Art Museum also holds a collection of over 6,000 objects, which includes significant works in American ceramics, Tibetan painting, Indian bronzes, contemporary baskets, and a variety of other categories.

The Museum offers a wide range of education programs and artists’ services including interdisciplinary and interactive school tours and a wide variety of classes for the community. Performing arts are showcased in the 24-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which represents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz festival.

The Erie Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free for members, free on Wednesdays, $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students and $2 for children under 12.

For additional information on the Erie Art Museum, visit online at or call (814) 459-5477.

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