These AER Grantees are receiving funding to address a number of critical issues created or excacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful to the many applicants who took the risk to submit proposals to AER’s first rounds of funding, helping to hone and shape the future of this fund.

Capacity Building Assistance

Collective Action for Reimagining


Washington County Historical Society – $18,000 – To acquire necessary video camera equipment, microphones, and video editing software) to expand video programming in lieu of in-person events.

Fine Art Miracles – $16,500 – To accelerate transformation from a solely ‘on-site’ business model to a hybrid ‘on-demand’ model to serve clients.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks – $15,000 – To purchase new equipment such as a dedicated laptop, new printer, and upgraded marketing platform subscriptions.

Prime Stage Theatre – $12,000 – To purchase software and hire a technology consultant to ensure best practices and implementation of remote performances and educational programming.

WZUM (Pittsburgh Public Media) – $12,000 – To pay for database management software and training to improve communication with members and donors.

RealTime Interventions – $11,000 – To better understand and serve audiences’ changing needs through assessment and equipment while staying financially afloat. 

Artsmiths of Pittsburgh Arts & Cultural Center – $8,725 – To increase marketing capacity to increase holiday sales to offset the loss of revenue from Covid19.

Indiana Arts Council – $7,498 – To move traditional face-to-face programming into a modern, digital environment.

Renaissance City Choir – $5,900 – To develop and deploy online outreach education for our members and community, and to commission a work to highlight inclusion and justice.

Pittsburgh Savoyards – $5,500 – To enable artists to teach online classes from an established performance work space.


Alumni Theatre Company – $23,500 – To contract with DRE|media and PR Specialist Sahaar Lyles to professionally record and digitally distribute 11 projects.

Arcade Comedy Theater – $23,000 – To support the hiring of consultants to improve Arcade’s DEAI initiatives and better serve new and existing theater community members of color.

Radiant Hall Studios – $23,000 – To hire a professional fundraising consultant to help redefine fundraising strategy and support development efforts in 2021.

Open Up – $20,000 – To develop ADA compliant and inclusive virtual spaces for social skills and community building activities through improvisational theater games.

Shana Simmons Dance – $10,500 – To enhance the quality of SSD films and continue serving people through art during Covid, while establishing Simmons as a dance-for-film choreographer.


Radioactive Events Center – $20,000 – To purchase new equipment for producing and streaming live video.

Write Pittsburgh – $20,000 – To develop a virtual program that serves young writers with a strategy of inclusive, accessible tools and methods, with trainings for our team.

Style 412 – $14,500 – To create a digital showroom platform for local artists in the fashion space to share + sell their garments.

Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra – $5,500 – To increase ability to market, stay technologically current, and render a safe performance space.

You Are Here – $1,000 – To purchase roll up plexiglass shields to facilitate safe distancing to reconfigure space as needed for classes, visitors and other small events.

ROUND #1 (September 2020)

Lead Org: Barrels to Beethoven
Project: SCALE
Funded Amount: $100,000
Description: The vision for this initiative is the formation of a holistic artist development program designed specifically for black musicians, SCALE; a co-working space for musicians to work, learn, connect; and the creation of a collaborative framework to help enhance a music ecosystem in Pittsburgh that recognizes musicians, particularly black musicians, as necessary assets of our cultural identity.

Lead Org: #notwhite collective
Project: in-Dialogue Series
Funded Amount: $42,580
Description: Our #notwhite collective in-Dialogue series reimagines the past and present history of the arts and arts administration sector by engaging and presenting the wealth of experience, strategies and tactics BIPOC, AALANA, indigenous and immigrant artists and arts administrators have utilized and innovated to navigate a predominantly white arts sector.