THINGS TO DO IN ERIE, PA

Plays, concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, workshops, classes, and more...the arts live at PACA. From modern classics to contemporary hits, to works by local playwrights, PACA is Erie's home for theatre with an edge.

PACA not only produces our own events but we also act as a host venue for other organization's artistic endeavors. By opening our doors and sharing our resources we give these groups the ability to present their work in a professional and exciting atmosphere.

Upcoming Events at PACA

Erie Gives Day 2020
August 11, 2020 @ 8:00am - 8:00pm
Erie Gives Day 2020

Erie Gives Day's online event takes place on Tuesday, August 11 at www.ErieGives.org. You have 12 hours to make your donation between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. Checks will be accepted on Monday, August 10.

When you donate $100 to PACA, we will add a commemorative plauqe with your name to our stairwell.

Your donation through Erie Gives Day allows PACA to continue its mission of being the most innovative and progressive art space in the tri-state area, serving the broadest possible audiences and patrons, including those who are most underserved.

Please consider becoming a PACA Angel and helping PACA "live forward" with your donation at ErieGives.org!

More About PACA

PACA - Erie's Performing Arts Collective Alliance - is an uncommon non-profit. Our mission has been to create a self-sustaining and taxpaying arts and education-based public entity in our community, and we are succeeding. In six short years, thanks to community-wide support, PACA has become a unique hybrid that not only supports the entrepreneurial efforts of emerging artists and produces award-winning theatre, but is also revitalizing a historic downtown property and bringing labor and tourism dollars into the heart of the city.

PACA's home, the historic Meyer building in downtown Erie, is home to 35 artist-tenants, including sculptors, photographers, painters, craftsmen, and musicians of all types.

For years, PACA has been home to the studios of longtime Erie-based artists like John Vahanian and Carole A Werder. PACA provides classroom, conference, and office space for Erie ClaySpace, Erie's full-service, non-profit ceramics studio, and the Erie Education Association. PACA's discounted retail and workspace has attracted women- and minority-owned small businesses, such as The Reskhued Piece and Dragonfly Lake Scents, LLC. Our first-floor anchor tenants, like FAT-Tee, employ nearly a dozen people who bring tax dollars into an under-developed area of the city.

"We set out to create a not-for-profit center for the arts in downtown Erie which added jobs and provided opportunities to the widest array of artists and entrepreneurs possible. We've done that," says Mark Tanenbaum, Executive Director. "And we have done it in a way that lets us lease studio space at below-market rates but also return art, time, and money into the community. Remember, PACA always pays 100% of our school and property taxes. We're all in this together."

This unique business model allows PACA to support and produce new, experimental, and sometimes controversial theatre that others cannot. The building is no stranger to live performance. It was the home of the Erie's legendary Roadhouse Theatre, many of whose performers still tread the boards in the newly equipped 100-seat black box theatre on the second floor. In the new space, PACA partnered with local drug treatment centers to examine the opioid epidemic in 2018's HATFUL OF RAIN. They took on racism in the world premiere of the New York-bound NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: THE MUSICAL. And they explored a time before Roe v. Wade in their production of COMMITTED CITIZEN, a play by Erie native, Abbe Tanenbaum. (PACA is one of the only places in town actively soliciting local authors.) PACA also has a loyal following for the odd and off-beat, like their musical version of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and the perennially sold-out ROCKY HORROR.

"Not only do we have the freedom to do the kind of theatre we want, but our model has insulated us somewhat from the COVID crisis. We don't have to produce live shows to survive, but we've been experimenting with new ways to present art at a socially-acceptable distance." PACA moved its summer art show online, and recently presented a closed-set concert featuring The Groove which was streamed online for donations. "Even though we're not planning on opening our public performance spaces until it's completely safe to do so, the work of PACA still continues."

All of this comes together in an architecturally significant 120-year-old building on its way to being on the National Register of Historic places. The massive improvements are a full-time job, and the work has not gone unnoticed. PACA was recognized with this year's Preservation Erie Award for their efforts.

"We built out our fourth floor and provided six new art studios which are now occupied," Tanenbaum says. "We built new accessible bathrooms. We installed new energy saving windows in our facade and high efficiency HVAC units, as well as exterior lighting and security cameras to make our building and our entire section of State Street safer and more appealing to the public."

Tanenbaum says public support has helped breathe life into one of the last great original buildings downtown and revitalize this entire section of the downtown corridor. And PACA is not done.

This year alone, they are planning a green roof project, a new historically sensitive marquee, and renovations to its first-floor lobby and bathrooms to allow for additional jobs and businesses to move in.

On the artistic side, PACA hopes to host a residency from Boston's Sandglass Theatre exploring the worldwide refugee crisis and its impact on communities like Erie.
Your donation through Erie Gives Day allows PACA to continue its mission of being the most innovative and progressive art space in the tri-state area, serving the broadest possible audiences and patrons, including those who are most underserved.

Please consider becoming a PACA Angel and helping PACA "live forward" with your donation at ErieGives.org!