For a town of its size, Erie has a lot of artists in residence. I am proud to be one of the many, and especially proud to be the President of the Arts Coalition of Erie, A.C.E. ACE has been on the forefront of the growth in the Erie art community. Erie is my home town, and in 1962 when I got here Art had no presence in Erie. We have made great strides in Erie regarding art and our organization and all of our previous members, non-members, supporters and sponsors, and the Board of Trustees and the rest of town government, and the citizens of Erie should be proud of this progress.
That being said, artists are a cantankerous lot and the road has not always been smooth. This is an appeal to all artists to come together, check our egos at the door and work together to make Erie a better place by making Art a larger part of our community. Old Town Erie is on the cusp of a great revival with the various brew pubs and a new art venue either operating now, or soon to be. The huge developments on the hill east of Old Town and north of Road 10 of will geographically move the center of the town back towards the Historic Old Town District.
Now is the time for all of us to work together to achieve our goals and make Old Town come alive. ACE would like to reconnect with all of the artists in town. Look around you; the towns with a vibrant center are the ones with strong art associations. Let’s put our personal agendas on the back-burner and achieve something.
The mission of ACE has been stated many ways, but the constant theme has been to make art viable in Erie and make Old Town an “art center”, Art and Entertainment will be the future of Old Town, if it has a future. Let’s make sure it does. Join us or work with us, but let’s work together to make our town shine like the jewel it is.Gary Wetzbarger Artist and Furnituremaker President, Arts Coalition of Erie June 22, 2014