Arts & Culture

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Cultural Funding


The Department of Environment and Planning's Division of Planning provides financial assistance and strategic focus and direction to Erie County’s cultural sector to promote the economic and cultural benefits of the County’s tourism, arts, culture, and heritage industry. 

Learn about how planners use arts and culture strategies to achieve economic, social, environmental and community goals.


The County's Arts & Cultural Advisory Board accepts applications in early summer. Please check back in spring for exact dates. 


If you would like to be contacted by email when the new application is available, please email with your name, organization, and position

Program and Service Objectives

  • Gather, analyze and assess information on cultural organizations funded by the County.
  • Process all cultural funding contracts and invoices in a timely and accurate manner. 
  • Coordinate with tourism, arts, culture and heritage promotion agencies and organizations to market and enhance cultural tourism in Erie County.
  • Assist cultural organizations to leverage financial support, gain new audiences, increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges, inform decision-making and realize their mission. 

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Be located and provide services in Erie County
  • Be a 501(c)(3) organization with tax-exempt status prior to July 2013
  • Have a board-approved strategic plan (Long form: Attachment I; Short form: Essay questions part III)
  • Meet ONE of the following definitions of a Cultural Organization
    • An organization that operates on a countywide or recognizable community level, which by the nature of its cultural activities and/or collections, is unique, distinctive and of significant quality
    • An organization that provides visitors with access to programs and displays of the performing, visual, literary and media arts, and/or to exhibits and collections, which preserve and interpret our cultural, natural and scientific heritage
    • An organization that particularly serves the cultural needs of significant segments of the County population, thereby contributing to the quality of life in Buffalo and Erie County


Latest News

  • 2.9.2017 - Erie County Arts & Cultural Funding Contracts have been sent to the organizations that applied in 2016.
    • All organizations allocated additional funding by the Erie County Legislature for 2017 will receive an application for the funds. Such applications will be processed as they are received by the Department of Environment and Planning. If complete, a contract for the funds will be mailed. If they are incomplete, the organization will be contacted for additional information. Please contact Mariely Ortiz at 716-858-1916 or at with any questions.
  • The Erie County Adopted 2017 Budget is now available online: 
  • Funding awards will be made public whenever the Proposed 2017 Budget is released, and will not be final until the Erie County Legislature approves the 2017 Budget

2017 Cultural Funding Application and submission site

Additional Links

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