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BLOOM receives pair of grants

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A pair of recently awarded grants has fortified BLOOM Collaborative’s efforts of using arts as a way to grow, heal and connect with others.

William M. and Frances Schuster Fund of the Erie Community Foundation

BLOOM was the recipient of nearly $5,000 from the endowment established by the late William Schuster, a fund series that has contributed nearly $1 million to Erie nonprofits since it began in 2000.

BLOOM will use the $4,732 it received from the Schuster endowment for art supplies and instructor fees.

The fund was established in 1998 by Schuster, the founder of Warren Radio, who left the $1.2 million endowment fund with the Erie Community Foundation. This year, thirteen local nonprofits collectively received $50,891 in funds.

Erie Arts and Culture

Thanks to a $2,500 contribution from Erie Arts and Culture, BLOOM will add two new collaborators— Family Services of Northwest Pennsylvania and the Sight Center of Northwest Pennsylvania—and expand its Community Arts Outreach Program (CAOP).

CAOP fills a large service gap due to the absence of low-cost studio arts programs for underserved populations in the Erie Region. With the new partnerships, the project will stress inclusion in the arts for disabled and underserved individuals as well as mark the first arts program for young adult clients of the Sight Center.

Grants from Erie Arts and Culture helped fund the successful CAOP pilot in 2013 and 2014. Now, BLOOM will expand the program by making use of the newly opened Blossom’s Clay Studio, the area’s largest ceramic arts space. The barrier-free and handicap accessible studio will introduce the arts to those who have little or no experience due to their disabilities.

BLOOM received the grant check when Erie Arts and Culture presented more than $124,000 to Erie County nonprofits for arts, culture and heritage-related projects during a March 4 presentation at an Erie BayHawks game (below).

Programs at BLOOM focus on arts that foster growth, creativity and learning, making the lives of participants, their families and our community more vibrant, meaningful and self-sustaining.

Above: From left, Joe Cuneo, Stairways marketing/communications specialist, Amanda Brown Sissem, Erie Arts and Culture executive director, and Jim Riley, Erie Arts and Culture Board Chair.

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