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  • November 17, 2015 9:43 PM | Abbi Peters

    St. Marys, PA ~ The Benedictine Gift Shop just announced a big surprise addition to their event on Wednesday, November 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. when they will be offering final unfinished works by the late Sister Augustine, the 92-year old celebrated artist and star of the best-selling memoir Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Life’s Greatest Questions by John Schlimm. In addition to the 82 signed and numbered pieces being offered in the limited edition Unfinished Works Collection, the shop will also release The Unfinished Nativity Collection by Sister Augustine.

    The white bisqueware figurines in The Unfinished Nativity Collection will be sold individually with a special tag of provenance. There will be no limit to the number of Nativity figurines that can be purchased (while The Unfinished Works Collection will be limited to two pieces per customer).

    “I’m so thrilled that the Benedictine Gift Shop saved this major surprise until the end,” John Schlimm said. “The purpose of The Unfinished Nativity Collection is for each person to add an unfinished Nativity figure to their own Nativity set at home as a special reminder of the many gifts with which they have already been blessed, and the many more gifts to come in ‘God’s time,’ as Sister Augustine always said.”

    For more information about the event on Wednesday, or to place an out-of-town order for an unfinished piece (starting on Nov. 19) or a special guardian angel-inscribed copy of Five Years in Heaven, please call the Benedictine Gift Shop c/o St. Mary’s Parish Office at 814-781-1019.


  • October 30, 2015 2:47 PM | Abbi Peters

    2015-2016 Grantees pose with a big fake check that will deliver real results in Cameron, Clarion, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties over the next year.  Also present for the ceremony were Deborah Pontzer of Congressman GT Thompson's office and Senator Scott Hutchinson.

    The mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is to foster the excellence, diversity, and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state, and programs like Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts do just that. 

    Through this on-going collaboration, the PCA and its local partners serve all 67 counties of Pennsylvania making state arts dollars available to new communities, new organizations, new artists and new audiences each year.

    Since 20007 ECCOTA has served as a Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts, starting with 4 counties, we now work to help fund public arts projects in the 7 counties of Cameron, Clarion, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean and Potter.

    This year  through the PPA Project Stream grant application cycle ECCOTA:

    • received 23 grant applications requesting $52,821
    • awarded 20 grants (with at least one project from each county) in the amount of $32,259 (highest amount awarded to our region since we began the partnership)
    • did not issue a single check under $1,000 (a first for ECCOTA as a partner).

    PPA Project Stream awards are forward funded, so this money was released during the 1415 fiscal year, which is how we were lucky enough to be able to present the checks in October without a state budget.

    ECCOTA is honored to serve our region as one of the 13 Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts and we are proud to share that since 2007 we have re-granted $368,483 to more than 200 projects. This is our tax money coming straight back into our local communities making them a more vibrant, enjoyable and employable place to live.

    Learn more about the PPA program and grantees here

  • September 28, 2015 9:54 AM | Abbi Peters

    The Elk County Council on the Arts in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the award of $32,259 in state grants funds through the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Program. The awarded grants will support arts activities in Cameron, Clarion, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties taking place between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.

    The awards will be presented on Thursday October 22, 2015 at the Elk County Council on the Arts, 237 Main Street, Ridgway. The ceremony is a free event that will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm and is open to the general public of all ages.

    The following organizations will receive grants for arts projects taking place in 2015/2016:

    Ashley Sweda
    Bradford Ecumenical Home, Inc.
    Cameron County Fireworks Committee
    CREATE Brookville
    DISCOVER Partnership of Cameron and Elk Counties
    Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library
    Forest Folk School
    Friends of Lyman Run/Chris Firestone
    Galeton Public Library
    Hamlin Memorial Library
    Keystone Elk Country Alliance
    PA Great Outdoors Elk Expo
    Potter County Education Council
    Potter County Visitors Association
    Prospect Park Playground
    St. Marys Area Schools/Adam Brooks
    The Dexter Trio/Jonathan Dexter
    The Pennsylvania State University, Coop. Ext., Elk
    and Cameron Counties
    United Way of Clarion County
    University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Arts Programming Dept. (aka. Pitt-Bradford Arts)

    What is the PPA?

    Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) is a regionalized funding program of the PCA.  A total of seventeen local PPA Partners serve all 67 counties in Pennsylvania by re-granting funds to support a wide variety of local and community arts activities.  Since the implementation of the PPA in 1997, the PCA has been able to steadily expand the availability of support to many new communities.  By providing local administration, technical support and a streamlined application process, PPA has created unprecedented access to state arts funding.


    The PPA goals include:

    *Expanding constituent access to the arts by (a) making arts programs available to communities that may have been underserved in the past by state arts funding and (b) supporting a wide variety of local and community arts activities;

    *Encouraging and supporting local decision-making in the re-granting of state arts dollars;

    *Increasing awareness of and advocacy for government support and funding of the arts at the local and state levels;  and

    *Enabling the PCA to provide increased assistance to its broad constituency throughout the state.


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Nuts & Bolts

The Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA) is a 501 (c) non-profit organization based in Elk County, Pennsylvania, a rural county located about two hours northeast of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1984 as a center for the development of all the arts in the Elk County area, ECCOTA provides a variety of opportunities to participate in the arts for the area’s residents. 


ECCOTA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency

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Exterior of the Elk County Council on the Arts Sales  Gallery.
Sales Gallery
& Office
237 Main St.
Ridgway, PA 15853

The Elk County Council on the Arts is dedicated to promoting the cultural enrichment of the residents of Elk County by expanding the opportunity for public participation in the arts. The Council’s goal is to enhance the lives of county residents and the various local arts by offering experiences in the arts, providing educational opportunity and advice, and by supporting performers, musicians, artists, artisans and writers.

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