ECRDA and Startup Incubator to Launch Artist Entrepreneurial Fund

Monday Aug 10th, 2020


Launching in September 2020, the Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA) will begin providing grants of up to $5k to creative startup applicants through its new Artist Entrepreneurial Fund initiative.

The Artist Entrepreneurial fund will be supported by a major gift from the StARTup Incubator. The ECRDA will match the funds. The purpose of this fund is to support opportunities that will benefit artists' careers, including the development of business skills, participation in programs to raise the level and quality of art, and participation in programs that will bring their art to market in order to aid in commercial success. The fund will provide up to a total $25k annually, through a bi-annual application process.

The Incubator, which launched in 2007, will soon cease to operate, and the group has chosen to split the funds between the ECRDA and Erie Arts and Culture (EAC). "We are extremely grateful for all the donors that have supported the StARTup Incubator over the years. Through these new initiatives, our mission will continue to thrive the support of these respective organizations," noted Donna Douglas, board member of the StARTup Incubator. The EAC will be creating a new endowment fund that will help underwrite capacity building programs and training seminars for artists and crafts people of color as well as all creatives ready to take the step from hobbyists to professionals.

Tina Mengine, CEO of the ECRDA notes, "We were excited to hear from the Incubator and help create this ongoing legacy for the organization. This initiative will provide an opportunity to infuse much needed funds into this arena. Starting or growing a business in any industry is challenging, and when there’s an opportunity we look to lessen that burden for others. Our plan is to continue to grow and build on this program over time."

Individual artists, residing in Erie County 18 years of age or over, who devote a majority of their time to practicing, performing and/or teaching an arts discipline will be eligible to apply. The application process and guidelines will be available on the ECRDA website beginning September 1, 2020.

A check presentation and media event will be held at the offices of the ECRDA, located at 1314 Griswold Plaza on Thursday, August 6th at 2 pm. Remarks will be provided by leadership from both organizations. Media is invited to attend; the presentation will be closed to the public.

For more information, call Rebecca Styn at 814.881.9791.

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