I am very pleased to announce on this sunny but cool first day of spring (as I am writing this) that ArtsAltoona welcomed Peter Frantz as our new Program Director on Monday, March 11. Peter is replacing Gwen Fisher in that position since Gwen left to accept a full-time job with the CareerLink system.
Peter is, first and foremost, an artist – primarily sculpture, but painting, writing and other art forms as well. You can check out some of his work on his website at www.peterfrantz.com. Peter is a native of Tyrone but has lived many places during his career. We are very pleased that he is now back home and is working with us part-time while he takes time to do art in his studio in Sinking Valley. Peter has worked in the for-profit and non-profit sectors which give him a great background for our work. Most significant is his work leading an organization called Fragile Peace, serving vulnerable youth using art as a basis for instilling hope into their lives. We think there may be much that Peter can share to provide guidance for our After School Arts Program. He also has the experience and skill sets to do the behind the scenes organizational work that is always needed. Please be sure to read his article of introduction included in this newsletter.
Additional personnel related news – Lexi Triforo, who did a terrific job as our contracted development associate, has left us for a full time job. We want to say “Thank you” to Lexi for her always upbeat personality and her willingness to make phone call after phone call to make connections for ArtsAltoona. Your efforts are much appreciated Lexi!
We are also pleased to welcome aboard Rachel Alden as a contract grants writer. Our first experience with Rachel was for the United Way of Blair County grant application to support our After School Arts Program (ASAP). Rachel did an amazing job of reaching out to the United Way staff to understand the requirements and strengths and weaknesses in past reviews. She worked closely with Annie Bickel, our board Education Committee Chair and coordinator for our current ASAP classes, to understand how the classes function so she could adequately represent it in the application. Rachel also communicated frequently with the Leadership Team for direction, review and, ultimately, approval of the application for submission. She was always very timely, open to suggestions and professional in her approach to the work. You’re off to a great start, Rachel, we are looking forward to many more application collaborations in the future.
Speaking of the After School Arts Program – thanks to Annie Bickel for coordinating a great program that just wrapped up at the Altoona Area Public Library. Thanks to board member, Jennifer Knisely, Library Director, for making their facility available for this round of programming. The library’s close proximity to the junior high school made it convenient for the students to get there fairly easily during this ugly winter weather. Our artist for this round of classes was Lynne Magee who is known primarily for her beautiful watercolor painting, but who also works in other medium. She exposed the students to several techniques. Lynne’s time was provided to us through a partnership with the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, for whom she is an Artist in Residence. We are very thankful to them for their support of our program. A gallery exhibition and celebration featuring the students’ artwork will be hosted by the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona on Tuesday, April 2 at 6pm. If you would like to attend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are now taking registrations for the next class which will begin on Tuesday, April 9 at the Altoona Area Junior High School (thanks to our board member, Altoona Area School District Superintendent Chuck Prijatelj for helping with the arrangements. Art in Motion will be taught by KT Huckabee, Associate Teaching Professor, Integrative Arts and Dance at Penn State Altoona. If you know of a junior high student who would like to participate, please email us at email@example.com and we will get the registration infomation out to you.
Our work with the awesome Sheetz Fellows sophomore class continues for Color Putt fundraiser. Sponsorships and team registrations have begun to come in. This family friendly golf putting only event is going to be a lot of fun. It is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at the Sylvan Hills Golf Course. There will be three flights during the day. Each flight will consist of 18 teams of three members each. There will be an awards ceremony at the conclusion of each flight with a grand prize for the winning team. This will be held at the Blairmont Club and includes a full Deli lunch buffet with soup, salads and several choices to make your own sandwich, dessert and beverages.
Sponsors are needed to make the event financially successful, the registration fee for each player ($40 for players under 21 and $60 for players 21 and up) basically just covers our costs. Please go to our event website www.colorputt.com, register your team and consider becoming a sponsor at the Hole Sponsor level or higher. Please help spread the word.
For those of you on Facebook or Instagram, please go to our site and share on your site. Thanks for your support.!