Learning Pod Scholarships, ARToberfest, and Arts around the Area!

Breaking News – Scholarships Now Available for ArtsAltoona Learning Pods

Thanks to generous donors, we are now able to offer scholarships for students of lower income working parents. Half of the normal $100 fee can be covered by the scholarship donations for this fall session. We have enough at this time to be able to offer the subsidy to four students in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. If you know of any families who would qualify, please have them contact us at info@artsaltoona.org for more information and the application packet. If you are interested in expanding the scholarships available, please make a donation to ArtsAltoona and mark it “Scholarship Fund.” Thank you for any help that you can give these needy families and for helping to spread the word. Please consider sharing our ArtsAltoona Facebook posts about the program and the scholarship on your personal page and in any groups where it would be appropriate.

ARTOBERFEST Plans are Continuing

Our board member, Candy Holliday, has been hard at work planning a great event for us to celebrate the arts and the beautiful fall season in Central PA! Saturday, October 10, from noon to 6pm outside in the small park and the parking lot at the ArtsAltoona Center we will be hosting a family friendly event (no alcohol) featuring artisan vendors, food trucks, live entertainment and art demonstrations. From 6:30pm to 9pm we will be hosting our first musical performance inside The Sanctuary featuring the popular local rock band Half Tempted. City Beverage will be hosting a Beer Garden during the performance. A $5 cover donation is suggested to help us defer some of our related expenses. We are very pleased to have Penn State Altoona as a sponsor for this awesome event. If you are interested in being a vendor or a sponsor, please contact Candy by Messaging her through our Facebook page. Make your plans now to bring your friends and family out for the day! Watch the ArtsAltoona Facebook page for updates and please spread the word.

Blair County Proud

The annual Altoona Mirror supplement, Blair County Proud, will be released this Friday. Patt Keith reached out to ArtsAltoona for inclusion in an article on, as she described it “‘the state of the arts’ focusing on the resiliency on display within the arts community.” We are very honored to be included and we are looking forward to seeing the article and the rest of the paper – we are Blair County Proud!

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Altoona

SAMA Altoona has welcomed their new Site Coordinator, Hannah Harley, to the position and she has hit the ground running! Hannah is young, bright and energetic and she will need all of that to fill the shoes of her predecessor, Barbara Hollander. Barbara held the position for many years and was known for her innovations, great hors d’oeuvres at events, fascinating exhibits that she brought to the museum, often featuring non-traditional local artists and her own sparkling art! While Barb will be missed, Hannah seems to be up to the task. Hannah was the Founder and Director of Spruce Arts, a residency and art program in Indiana, PA, which is her hometown, prior to coming to Altoona. She has an MFA in Photography and Related Media from Parsons and a BFA in Photography from Point Park University. We are looking forward to working with Hannah and SAMA Altoona to further each of our missions in the future.

Hannah has been busy getting to get to know the Altoona/Blair County community and is working with the board to create COVID-19 friendly events at the museum that now feature a live stream option for those who prefer that mode and to accommodate participants once the in person limit has been met. The first such event was an Afternoon Tea with artist Ken Cotlar speaking on “How to Make a Living Selling Your Art,” held on September 15th at 3pm. Upcoming events planned include Morning Coffee Hours, an Art Trivia Night, the Opening Reception for the exhibitions Artists in Our Midst and Steel Yourselves, and an Oktoberfest at Heritage Plaza. Be sure to follow the SAMA Altoona Facebook page for updates and registration information.

Also, I am very excited that Hannah is going to join me with Doug Herendeen for his The 11th Hour show on WRTA radio. Doug very generously devotes one of his shows each month for ArtsAltoona to bring an artist or a representative of an arts organization for him to interview and for us to update the listeners about ArtsAltoona activities. He releases the interviews as a podcast, sometimes including extra, off-air interview segments as well. Give us a listen on WRTA 1240 AM or 98.5 FM from 11am to noon on Wednesday, October 7 to learn more about Hannah and her plans for SAMA Altoona!  You can also visit Doug on the 11th Hour Facebook page!

Your in Support of the Arts,
Donna Gority
President of ArtsAltoona