Grants Totaling $50,000 in State Funding Awarded to Local Creative Businesses
Pittsburgh – March 16, 2023 – Twenty-five Western Pennsylvania creative entrepreneurs were awarded a total of $50,000 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 a ceramics artist, creative wellness studio, music production and performance space, printmaker, fashion designer, and more.
“This round of funding for Pittsburgh’s creative economy had an overwhelming response,” shares Arts Council Director of Development and Grantmaking, Mia Hooper. “We received far more applications than we had funds for. 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 fall 2023. 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:
- Heather McAdams Caldwell of Bridge & Tunnel Books
- Laura Lind of Mockingbird Mojo
- Loraine Jean Hayes of Point Breeze Press
- Maggy Navin of Regarding Dew
Film & Media
- Brandon Lee of CapturedByBrandonLee
- Skyler Brimmeier of Skyler Brimmeier
- Brandon Roudebush of Pixelab Studios
- Imani Batts of Catherine Trendz LLC
- LaShawn Renee Murray of Elle Renee Agency LLC
Music & Entertainment
- Elijah Shamaul Hemingway of FMA Records
- Bryce Rabideau of Tremolo Studios LLC
Visual Arts & Crafts
- Irene Sparks of Beanie Paints LLC
- Tressa Jones of Berlin Way Studios
- Stanley Mason of Facemadics
- Gabriela Ortiz of Gabriela Ortiz Art and Design LLC
- Isaac Beachy of Isaac’s Glass
- Lexi Bishop of here gallery
- Jen Blalock of jenisforlove design and illustration studios
- Jessica Sawchuk of jessicapixiestudios
- Katie Johnson of Kojo Ceramics
- Raquel Kueffner of Raquel Kueffner
- Seiko Sisco of Waku Waku Baby Co
- Rebecca Hawketts of Winter Pickle Press LLC
- Alecia Dawn Young of YOGAMOTIF
- Alison Zapata of Zapata Studios
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.
Headshots of the artist grant recipients can be downloaded here, courtesy of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.