This isn’t art for art’s sake. We’re focused on supporting sustainable creative businesses.

It’s our vision to transform the rural arts scene by creating a financially self-sustaining economic and cultural driver that will stand the test of time.

ACRE is an initiative of Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator. In 2016, Bridgeway launched the Creative Businesses Accelerator (CBA) to channel its 30 years of business building and community development capability into the creative economy. The CBA empowers creative businesses to contribute more actively to equitable economic growth. Strong and successful creative businesses emerge as effective allies in Bridgeway’s efforts to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all. They create jobs, reactivate post-industrial spaces, and bring business activity to disinvested communities in need of new and innovative economic activity.


"ACRE Partners are committed to bringing creativity-driven economic development to communities across Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia. Through engaged partnerships and support, ACRE Partners are lifting up creatives and rural communities - together."

T.J. Bodgewic President and CEO, Bridgeway Capital

Meet the Partners

Unique Communities, Unique Contributions

ACRE’s partners work together to empower regional creatives to grow into impactful businesses that enliven cultural landscapes, strengthen local economies, create quality jobs, activate commercial spaces, and more. ACRE partners provide invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities navigated by creatives as they start, grow, and sustain their businesses in each community. Thanks to the unique capabilities and objectives that each ACRE partner brings, the program continues to innovate and expand as an opportunity for creatives from rural communities across our region. Outlined are just some of the ways our current ACRE partners make the program strong and impactful.

  • Offering thought leadership on engaging and supporting a diversity of rural creative entrepreneurs
  • Assisting with outreach for potential ACRE participants during application cycles
  • Providing insights on local economic barriers and/or opportunities facing small businesses
  • Highlighting region-specific resources that could support participant growth
  • Advocating for the ACRE program and its participants within the wider community
  • Exploring opportunities for Bridgeway’s social impact investing and other business assistance programs
  • Offering space for ACRE programming and peer networking to take place
  • Identifying or supporting local market opportunities for rural creatives to increase sales and their customer base


The Creative Business Accelerator (CBA) helps creative businesses grow their businesses in ways that support equitable economic development. Questions? Contact us to start a conversation.


ACRE Support is provided by:

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation | Remake Learning

Arts | Equity | Reimagined Fund

Home - Richard King Mellon Foundation