Why an Art House in the Inner City of Erie?

In 1995, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania opened the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House because they believe that the need for the arts in the lives of the poor is as real as the need for bread. We believe that the civilizing values of the arts are essential to the development of full human beings and the next generation of good citizens.

Most of the children who attend the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House live in the sections of the city identified as high-density poverty areas. After-school and summer programming in a safe and nurturing environment provides both inspiration and security for a historically underserved population.

After School Program Research

Benefits to the Children

  • Learn hard work, skills, discipline and teamwork that can be transferred to home, school and, eventually the workplace.
  • Mentored by caring adults in a safe and nourishing environment.
  • Immerse themselves in beauty, creativity and the humanizing values of the arts.
  • Express themselves and have fun.
  • Discover who they are . . . who they can become . . . and that they can do anything to which they set their minds.

Research suggests that disadvantaged children who attend high-quality arts and humanities programs during the hours they are not at home, benefit them academically and socially.

These children:

  • Are two times less likely to use drugs;
  • Are one-third less likely to become teen parents;
  • Have improved school attendance;
  • Have higher academic achievement;
  • Do their homework more often and better;
  • Learn to respect people who are different from themselves.

Research further shows that children who receive education in the arts:

  • Become self-sustained, self-directed learners;
  • Are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement;
  • Are more proficient at reading, writing, and math;
  • Have a lower school drop-out rate than their socio-economic peers;
  • Are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Research Resources

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