March Letter From the Board

By March 15, 2018 Uncategorized

March Madness is alive and well with ArtsAltoona!

Our Visionary Leader, George Sackandy, has returned from his annual sojourn to Florida with his favorite traveling companion, Karen, and the whirlwind of activity that surrounds George has begun!  George, Ken Decker, Pam Snyder-Etters, Tom Shaffer and I traveled to the University Park campus of Penn State University. We heard presentations from nine groups of students and viewed the latest concept drawings of their visions for the former Kress building – our Studio Arts Center.  They have some amazing ideas which they will be bringing to Altoona to put on display for us at the end of April. Very exciting times!

The After School Arts Program – ASAP – continues to be inspired by a wide variety of artists that our Education Director, Stephenie Schroth, brings in to the Tuesday classes.  They even wrote Haiku poems as a class and individually, then had them put into booklet form, and – most exciting of all – they went to the Open Stage Night at Greenbean Coffee House and got to read their poems to the audience there and on Facebook Live!

Our work with the Sheetz Fellows is progressing as the stART here event is evolving.  Mark your calendar for April 28 and plan to be there.  Better yet, check out the new website created by our Events Coordinator, Rue Moyer, at and sign up as a vendor or a volunteer!  Spread the word that we want a wide variety of creativity and sustainability included in this first stART here event!

Congrats to Round the Mountain on their first Nashville: Songs and Stories concert!  It was a great success from what those who attended have to say. They have already scheduled Volume 2 for Friday the 13th of April, so get your tickets now so you don’t miss out.

We are now working with another new production company, Sapphire Sky Events, which is Rolayne and Gary Fickes, both of whom have been intensely involved in arts productions over many years.  Their first production, in association with JD Promotions LLC, is The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber featuring local singers and dancers, as well as professional dancers.  Bryce Cossitor is Music Director and Doug Stephens is Conductor of the Orchestra. Friday, April 20th should be a night of fabulous music at the historic Mishler Theatre. Think “Cats,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  I know I am looking forward to it!

Be sure to read Tony DeGol‘s articles to get a behind the scenes look at how Altoona Community Theatre selected the shows for each season and information about a very different, but fascinating, concert that Blair Concert Chorale is planning.

Until next time!