Lots Going On While Nothing is Going On!

Your ArtsAltoona Team is very busy in this time of Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order due to COVID-19 despite the fact that we cannot yet begin our public summer events! The Leadership Team meets weekly and is hard at work planning for when we are going to be allowed to open, even with many restrictions in place. Our AmeriCorps members, Leah Klevan and Claudia Montero have been working with Program Director, Peter Frantz and some of the Leadership Team members on submitting grant applications, developing events, planning outreach to our new neighborhood and putting together marketing strategies.

As described in the newsletter last week, we are planning a summer mural arts camp in partnership with Family Services Inc and their Teen Center (1701 Sixth Ave, Altoona) tentatively to begin on July 7th for two weeks at that location followed by two weeks at our ArtsAltoona Center (2212 Sixth Ave, Altoona). Board member and muralist (muralstalk.weebly.com), Pam Snyder-Etters will be the leading artist on the project. She will work with the student participants to create a mural demonstrating their experiences and emotions during the pandemic. We’ve been calling it the Living History Murals project, but we’re hoping to find a more catchy teen friendly name – suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Thanks so much to all of you who bought our ArtsAltoona T-shirts as part of the Lightning Bug Gift Co Printing Local Love project in support of local small businesses and non-profits! Thank you to the following for purchasing one or more shirts: George Sackandy, Donna Gority, Jan Littrell, Sylvia Ofiesh, Courtney Fowler, Peter Frantz, Lynn Heverly, Terrence Koch, Michael Holzer, Charlotte Wynn, Ken Decker, Charles Prijatelj, William Neugebauer, Candance Holliday, Leah Klevan, Aubrey Farabaugh and Kim Aboud. We very much appreciate your support and we were very happy to be part of this project! Please share a picture with us once you receive your shirt in the mail soon!

Have you come by the center to have your Doug’s DAWGS yet? Doug Rhodes is now set up in our parking lot (23rd Street and Sixth Ave) from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 2pm – whether and scheduling conflicts dependent. Check his Facebook page, Doug’s DAWGS, each morning after 9am to see what the plan is for that day along with the menu. He adds specials once in a while! I enjoyed a cheeseburger today.

Speaking of Facebook – have you Liked our ArtsAltoona Facebook page and are you Following it?  We have primarily used the page in the past to share events by the many wonderful arts, culture, history and heritage organizations in the area. Since the stay-at-home order, sadly many posts have been cancellations or postponements. We have been sharing some resources for people to use at home for themselves or with their families. I have been the primary sharer of information in the past, but lately Claudia Montero has begun to post fascinating things she finds online. Thanks Claudia. Please let us know what you like on the page and what you would like to see more or less of as well. If you see something interesting elsewhere, please message us on the page and suggest that we share it. Thanks in advance for your help. We want the page to be interesting and helpful. Please invite your friends to Like and Follow us, too.

Speaking of Claudia – each month Doug Herendeen invites ArtsAltoona to co-host one of his shows The 11th Hour on WRTA 98.5/1240. George Sackandy was the ArtsAltoona host from the beginning, but I took over when George was doing a lot of traveling, and I haven’t given it back! Each month we arrange for an artist or a representative of an arts organization for Doug to interview. We also give an update on what’s happening with ArtsAltoona. We are very appreciative to Doug for this opportunity. This month, on May 6th, Claudia Montero was our guest. She shared about her education, her work experience, how she got involved with ArtsAltoona, some of her work on planning events for the ArtsAltoona Center and much more. I have known Claudia and her sisters for many years, but I enjoyed learning more about her. We are very fortunate to have Claudia as part of our organization. Doug records the interviews and produces them as a podcast which he posts on SoundCloud and his Facebook page. Look for them on our Facebook page, too.

Thanks for you interest in and support of ArtsAltoona!
Donna Gority
President, ArtsAltoona Board