Beginning in Fall 2017, the Erie Philharmonic will visit classrooms at Early Connections West as a continuation of nationally-recognized Long Term Residency program. Instead of reaching students just a few times a year as done in the past, teaching artist Melany Myers will visit the center 60 times between August and February.
This long-term residency has many goals, but the main mission is to create positive musical experiences that promote early music appreciation and early literacy skills in young students, preparing them for success in school and beyond. Strengthening this emphasis on continued arts infusion, the Philharmonic aims to bring music into pre-kindergarten classes in order to aid language and literacy development as well as organizing and applying knowledge through creative thinking.
The project is funded through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. “The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is pleased to again approve Erie Philharmonic’s long term residency grant,” said Philip Horn, PCA executive director. “This collaboration will bring teaching artists and the creative process into unique partnerships with educators, schools and non-profit community organizations benefiting our schools and student learning.”
Teaching Artist Melany Myers has over 30 years teaching and music education experience, so this is a natural step forward to reach even more students with an expansive curriculum. Building upon the groundwork laid by Erie Phil musician Sarah Lee, this 20-week, 60-day residency will reach over 60 students, again including visiting guest artists from the Philharmonic as well as a trip to see the orchestra perform live in the historic Warner Theatre. The program also includes professional development on arts infusion for all teachers at the center.
Executive Director Steve Weiser is excited to look to the future and ensure the Philharmonic is truly living their mission. “I’m honored that the PA Council on the Arts has again chosen to support our residency, this year at Early Connections. Given the enormous success of last year's residency at the St. Benedict Center, we are anxious to see how large of an impact we can have on the lives of even more children this year,” Weiser said. “I take this program as a vote of confidence from the state – we know we are doing great things, but we are also one of the first orchestras to receive this type of funding directly from the state.”
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is a state agency in the Office of the Governor. Created in 1966, the PCA is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Council’s mission is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the commonwealth. Support for education is a PCA priority. The PCA’s Arts in Education Division assists hundreds of Pennsylvania schools to support curriculum, enrich the important work of arts educators, and provide opportunities for students to discover and develop their creative skills and abilities through teaching artist residencies. The Division and its partners also place artists in residencies in community-based settings. Learn more at www.arts.pa.gov and www.facebook.com/Pennsylvaniacouncilonthearts.
The Junior League of Erie, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
Many of Erie’s most active leaders in business and philanthropy have one thing in common, membership in the Junior League of Erie. Formed in 1925 and incorporated in 1933, the JLE has trained generations of women as volunteers and leaders in the community. The JLE chooses projects focusing on unmet community needs of women and children. This flexibility has enabled the JLE to meet a wide variety of needs in the community throughout the years and adapt to the changing lifestyles and interests of the community’s women volunteers.