Grants Totaling $100,000 Awarded in State Funding to Local Creative Businesses
Pittsburgh – April 5, 2022 – Fifty Western Pennsylvania creative entrepreneurs were awarded a total of $100,000 from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to support their business’ general operations as part of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ (PCA) Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program. Grants are used to start or operate a creative business in addition to providing access to free business consultations through local providers.
The business owners receiving grants represent the diversity of Western Pennsylvania creative economy, including photographers, illustrators, performance training academies, hair braiding practices, architects, woodworkers, printers, and fashion designers.
“This second round of funding for Pittsburgh’s creative economy had an overwhelming response,” shares Arts Council Manager of Grants and Membership, Shaqui Scott. “We awarded double the number of entrepreneurs when compared to the first round. Unfortunately, this means that the funds supplied by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts ran out quickly. This is an indication of the incredible interest from our community of creative entrepreneurs who bring their work to life, fueling our creative economy.”
Due to the high quantity of eligible applicants, Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator funds have been depleted. The PCA will replenish funds in the fall of 2022. For more information about the program, visit the PCA website.
The Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program launched in October 2021 to support economic recovery and increase opportunities for creative workers. Grant funds support businesses with gross revenue of less than $200,000 working in creative fields such as marketing, architecture, visual arts, crafts, design, film and media, digital games, music, entertainment, publishing. In addition to grants, all applicants received free consultation services from local small business development organizations, including Bridgeway Capital, Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Fifty-one percent of the funds were reserved for Black, indigenous, or persons of color (BIPOC), or individuals residing in low-income communities identified by the Small Business Administration.
The Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator awardees each received $2,000 in general operating support for their businesses. The awardees and their respective industries include:
- Beatrice Spolidoro, Fisher ARCHitecture
- LeTaj Tinker, TINK+DESIGN, LLC
- Domenique Watkins-Wise, Watkins Wise Woodworking
- Jessica Brown, JAB Fine Art & Design, LLC
- John Davis, Memories into More
- Erika Johnson, Beata Beatus Co.
- Sheree Kegley, BleuuCandles, LLC
- Sarah Maynard, The Start Effect Company
- Joe Mruk, Red Buffalo Illustration
- Roderick Ramsey, Ocular Arcade, LLC
- Reginald Raye, TOMO
- Ruby Brewer-Watkins, RBW Stationery
- Natalie Robb
- Daryan Robinson, Wavy Shitheads
- Linh Phung, Eduling International
Film & Media
- Dominic Harris, The Blacktea Brownsuga Network
Music & Entertainment
- Michael Campayno, The Collective PGH
- Hugo Cruz, Hugo Cruz and Caminos
- Kareem Kandil
- Mark Montini, Mark Montini Keyboardist
- Delvina Morrow, Lo Rose
- Trevor Eaton, Wolf Tiger Peacock – Film & Media, Music & Entertainment, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Jeffrey Greene, Deep Greene Woodworks – Architecture, Design, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Dennis Guy, First Sip Brew, LLC – Film & Media, Marketing
- Talpha Harris, Ancient Path Adventures – Digital Games, film & Media, Publishing
- Sophia Pappas, Studio PDP, LLC – Design, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Madison Pisarchick, Mad Sierra Photography – Film & Media, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Talon Smith, Talon Smith Ceramics – Design, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Lyn Starr, High Five Productions – Film & Media, Music & Entertainment, Publishing, and Visual Arts & Crafts
- Takeela Washington, Sensory Super Powers LLC – Design, Visual Arts & Crafts
- Tarah Wright, T.W.O. Branch Media – Film & Media, Music & Entertainment
- Allison Bartoszewicz, Ally Bartoczewicz
- Lillie Leonardi, Passages & Prose, LLC
Visual Arts & Crafts
- Vanessa Adams, Vanessa Adams Prints
- Pati Beachley, Tenderwerks
- Isaac Bower, Isaac Bower Studio
- Lauren Braun
- Danielle Crooks, 1331 Studios
- Heather Elliott, Heather Elliott Creations
- Emily Glass, Feel the Rain Studio
- Rebecca Harrison, Old Flame Mending
- Nadia Jackson, Nalonkuru
- Lori Kashellack
- Mia Marshall, Luxurae Hair
- Darrin Milliner, Social Living, LLC
- Nola Mims, Act Up
- Shannon Richardson, ShaLari Couture, LLC
- Lisa Seligman, Lisa Seligman Photography, LLC
- Karen Toole, And Flowers
- Ernest Turner, Ernest Turner Photography
These grant programs are funded annually statewide by the PCA, a state agency under the Office of the Governor, and administered regionally by Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), PCA's statewide network of re-granting partners. The Arts Council is the PPA Partner for Allegheny, Beaver, Greene and Washington counties.
For more information on Greater Pittsburgh Art Council grant programs, please visit www.pittsburghartscouncil.org/programs/grants.
Photos are available for media to download here, courtesy of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.