At ArtsAltoona, we have a lot going on this week! We are finally getting to see the Penn State University Architectural students’ designs for our Studio Arts Center (the former Kress Building) on 11th Avenue and our first stART here event is this Saturday the 28th. I wanted to give you the inside scoop for stART here from our Events Director, Rue Moyer, ArtsAltoona staff members, and event participants!
What is stART here?
Rue: “stART here is an event series to revitalize neighborhoods. It does this through combining beautification, celebrating the arts and creativity, promoting sustainability, and having a super fun block party – all in one event type. It is inclusive to all residents and designed to be an open invitation to create, whether as an artist, musician, attendee getting hands-on experience with arts and crafts, adding to the community mural, and many other opportunities to participate.”
How did stART here begin?
Rue: “The original foundation for the event started as an art gallery crawl for the neighborhood on N4th Ave in Juniata. The original concept of the event was indoors at the businesses along N4th ave, with artists and musicians performing at various venues. While this event type is very cool and common throughout the world, especially in metropolitan areas, it can also be limiting in that it might only attract those people already interested in the creative arts. Part of ArtsAltoona’s mission is to offer opportunities for hands-on engagement with the arts while also helping make the arts and creative more accessible to residents. So we developed the idea into a wider concept of involvement, building the event around revitalization, doing so through area beautification and celebration of creativity and the arts. This opens it up to all to participate, while still providing the platform for existing creativity to gain exposure and reach audiences. At stART here, attendees can both experience art and engage in it first-hand.”
Who is all involved?
Rue: “On the production side, ArtsAltoona is producing the event with the Penn State Altoona sophomore class of Sheetz Fellows of the Sheetz Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence partnered with us. We have over 30 live music acts, 30 art/craft/home improvement and community organization vendors, 16 sponsors, support from the Altoona Police Department, local farmers, and more!“
Read more about who all is attending here!
How does this event improve Blair County?
Rue: “This is an event series that ArtsAltoona plans to do 2-4 times a year in different communities throughout Blair County. Key to the mission of this event is to create a visually lasting effect to the area where the event is being held, which is why we are centering it around beautification. Our hope is that from this event, area residents will feel an invigorated sense of local community and feel encouraged to create ongoing, neighborhood groups. We are currently discussing ideas within ArtsAltoona on how we can assist in supporting these potential neighborhood organizations.”
I personally talked to several business owners, artists, and ArtsAltoona staff members who are going to be participating at the event in various ways! Here is just a taste of what will be going on at stART here:
Talented and Dedicated Staff
One of the things I appreciate about ArtsAltoona is that is it is run by artists for artists. Our Artist-In-Residence, Kendyl Ramsey will be at stART here working on her artwork! She will be doing oil painting on site. She will be working a still life and portrait off and on throughout the event. She will alsohave her completed paintings on display. Pamela Snyder-Etters, an ArtsAltoona board member, is also an artist and an amazing muralist. For the event, she has created a beautiful “paint by numbers” mural that event attendees will get to paint themselves! In addition, Rue Moyer will be performing at the event and managing it at the same time! We have such a talented and dedicated staff at ArtsAltoona it isn’t even funny!
Our After-School Arts Program (ASAP) will also have a table at the event run by our Education Director, Stephenie Schroth. ASAP will be doing Recycled Bottle Bubble Art. This is a collaborative, large scale, outdoor project that is not only a fun way to blow bubbles, but also a creative way to recycle plastic bottles and mesh fruit bags. If you want to have fun and get messy, come stop by the ASAP table!
The Arts and Business
Another big part of ArtsAltoona is helping the local economy and demonstrating that the arts and business are closely tied together. Every artist in order to sell and market their art has to be a business entrepreneur. Likewise, every business owner has to also be an artist in order to effectively sell and market their product or service. We are so excited to have sponsors and local business participants who understand this and want to contribute to our local community at stART here. Here are what two businesses are doing at stART here:
The GreenBean Coffee House at stART here will be giving out 1 free real fruit smoothie (in bio-degradable sample cups) to all attendees and will also have smoothies available on-site for purchase. Between 2PM-4PM, they will also be joined by members of the 501st Legion, Star Killer Garrison who will be collecting Star Wars toys to deliver to various Children’s Hospitals in PA. Bring an unopened Star Wars toy (Must be unopened and Star Wars) to donate to their toy drive at their booth and receive a FREE drink ticket to take to the Greenbean Coffee House for a hot, iced, or frozen regular sized Greenbean Mocha or any flavored latte.
McGarvey’s Bar and Grill will be open from noon to 2am for stART here. They are offering all day free acoustic music indoors with Joe & Lauren playing from 3:30 – 5:30 and, ArtAltoona’s Video Production Intern, Rogan Allen playing from 6pm to 8pm. McGarvey’s will be open to all ages until 8pm and offer a full menu, including their award winning wings. They will also have the Legendary Hucklebucks performing from 10pm to 1am ($5 at the door) if you are tempted to stick around late into the night!
There is so much more happening at stART here and I only have limited space to write about it! To learn more go to the stART here website, the ArtsAltoona website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to click “going” at our stART here Facebook Event Page to get all the updates and have all of the information for Saturday! Click here to go straight to Google Maps to the event’s location.