In October 2021, Erie Arts & Culture commissioned a mural on the exterior of the former Wayne School, which is now home to the Erie Center for Arts and Technology, the United Way of Erie County, and several other service-based organizations. This mural, along with a trip to Flint, Michigan, where they created 200 murals in a two-year time span, encouraged Erie Arts & Culture to be more strategic in our approach to future public art initiatives. With that in mind, we approached United Way of Erie County to discuss an initiative through which we would strategically locate murals along identified Safer Walking Routes to Community Schools.

Started in 2022 and spanning through 2023, EAC is curating and commissioning 50 new murals along the routes that students use when walking to and from school. This initiative was seeded with a grant from the City of Erie through the American Rescue Plan, which covered the cost of the first 10 murals. Additional contributions have been obtained through the Erie Community Foundation and the Young Erie Philanthropists, Erie Insurance, and private donations from local businesses, families, and individuals.

This year 2023, all the remaining murals will be created as part of a festival that will showcase and celebrate urban art and culture. The festival is slated for June 1-13, 2023. It is during this time period that we expect all murals to be installed. 

Artist Selection Process

EAC is committed to an inclusive and transparent selection processes for lead and assistant artists – including prioritizing hiring artists from within the neighborhoods where the murals will be installed and extending opportunities to artists who have historically been under-resourced. EAC values and appreciates all artistic disciplines, but artist assistant positions through this initiative are reserved for painters, specifically painters who are interested in gaining knowledge and developing skills related to the design and creation of outdoor murals.

Erie-based artists interested in being considered for a lead or assistant position should submit an application through Submittable. National and international visiting artists will be selected on an invitation-only basis.

Artist Qualifications

  • Be an adult 18 years of age or older.
  • Must demonstrate a skill set related to painting as an artistic discipline. 
  • Have education, experience, or appreciation of arts and culture. We welcome a variety of painting and mural experience - this could include work in the sector, an active or past artistic practice, or simply just a passion for arts and culture. 
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.