Things Unseen, Learning Pods Scholarships and ARTOBERFEST

Happy Fall! As the leaves in Central PA are beginning to show their autumn splendor the arts community is beginning to slowly, COVID cautiously, open up to public events. Many activities are still happening virtually also – so there is something for everyone!

Learning Pods Scholarships

Thanks to another very generous donor, we are able to offer even more partial scholarships for working parents to send their 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to our ArtsAltoona Learning Pods. We now have a nice mix of full pay students and partial pay/scholarship students, but we still have open slots in the lower level of the Education Building. Please help spread the word – some families may have been trying to juggle everything and now may be realizing that having their adolescents in a safe, social, nurturing atmosphere may be advantageous! We have posts on our Facebook page that you can share on your pages or in any groups to which you belong. Thanks for your support.


Plans are starting to come together for our ArtsAltoona ARTOBERFEST on Saturday, October 10. During the family friendly portion from noon to 6pm, we will be welcoming Big Bs BBQ, Happy Dishes, Doug’s DAWGS and Pappy’s Popcorn among other food vendors. Performances will include #IIGOTHEGREAT1 and Skyline Drive. Artist demonstrations will vary from chainsaw carving to glass blowing to iron works. Watch our Facebook page for more updates as more commitments are made.

Things Unseen Theatre Theatre Company

Coming up in the middle of October (just about two and a half weeks before the Presidential election) Things Unseen will be presenting “45 Plays for 45 Presidents!” Sharing a quote from their Facebook page “45 Plays for 45 Presidents is exactly what it sounds like, but every turn it takes is entirely unexpected. In each of these espresso shots of American history, a member of the flexible ensemble dons the star-spangled coat of the presidency and the group explores a surprising aspect of that administration. The short plays run on a spectrum from elections to impeachments, from personal stories to political battles, and from funny to tragic.” The amazing thing is that this show has been accomplished by Things Unseen basically all virtually – from auditions, to rehearsals, to the upcoming performances which will be livestreamed!

Congrats to Director Matt Michrina for successfully tackling this project – we can hardly wait to see it. Each of several actors will be portraying each of our 45 Presidents through history, each with their own mini-play! A fabulous Presidential Coat was created by actor and costume designer Jan Littrell – I just love it!! Tickets are now available online for your choice of four shows, Thursday, October 15 through Saturday, October 17 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 18 at 2pm. Purchase tickets at

Things Unseen was originally founded in the summer of 2011 by Jody Hesley and Valerie Stratton with a goal “to use theatre as not only an entertainment vehicle, but also as a means to inform, educate audiences, stimulate thought, support local artists, and inspire action in addressing issues.” When Co-founder Jody Hesley passed away tragically on October 4, 2013, Tom Liszka, who had performed in their very first production, Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe, stepped into the role of Co-artistic Director. Both Valerie and Tom are retired from Penn State Altoona and share a long time involvement in a wide variety of community theatre activities. Things Unseen Theatre is the resident theatre company at the Church in the Middle of the Block Cultural Center, 217 Fifth Ave, Altoona. More information can be found on their website,

Your in the arts!
Donna Gority
President ArtsAltoona Board