ACT, Improv, Faustus, SAMA Oktoberfest and More

The arts are slowly but surely finding ways to interact with the community, whether it is in person, being COVID cautious, or online! We’ve shared with you before about the Altoona Symphony Orchestra’s wonderful outdoor Cushion Concerts and their first event back in the historic Mishler Theatre that was enjoyed by an in person, spatially distanced/masked audience and by a livestreamed audience as well. More organizations are finding ways to perform and interact with the community!

Altoona Community Theatre – ACT

Altoona Community Theatre ( first postponed, and then eventually was forced to cancel the last show of last season, Gypsy, due to the pandemic. Their new 2020-21 season is on hold for now as well. So, being the creative people that they are, they have come up with some virtual opportunities to interact with their audience! This Thursday (which is today if you are reading this newsletter on October 22!) at 7pm Rail City Improv is presenting an online event Live, Distanced, and (probably) Drunk (*recommended for ages 17+) on behalf of ACT. The cast members include some ACT favorites headed up by Jonathan O’Harrow. This comic variety show modeled after “Whose Line is it Anyway?” invites their virtual audience members to suggest humorous situations for the cast to bring to life. It is FREE to attend online, but donations to ACT would be much appreciated. Find the event on the Altoona Community Theatre Facebook page or go to the Rail City Improv: Live, Distanced, and (probably) Drunk Facebook event page directly.

The second ACT project coming up is The Final Act of Dr. Faustus, also as an online event. This Christopher Marlowe classic Elizabethan tragedy, The Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, dates from 16th century Europe and is five acts long. ACT is presenting only the final act. Tom Liszka is directing a stellar cast virtually. The show will be available on November 6 and 7 at 7pm and on November 8 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for this production and are available through the website listed above. There is more information on the The Final Act of Dr. Faustus event page on Facebook. ACT members are planning more events for the future so be sure to Like their Facebook page, or, better yet, while you are on their website buying your tickets for Dr. Faustus, go ahead and become a member so you will always be among the first to know what is coming up!

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Altoona – SAMA Altoona

Coming up this Saturday, October 24 from 2 to 8pm will be the first official event at the new DD (Don Devorris) Pavilion in Heritage Plaza, downtown Altoona – SAMA Altoona’s Oktoberfest! This new SAMA Altoona event ( is a celebration of the arts, community and small businesses! It will feature live music, local vendors, an auction, and refreshments with a focus on the Altoona area, including some food truck favorites! The event is free to attend, but, if you want to participate in the Biergarten and sample some fall brews, you will need to buy a ticket by calling SAMA Altoona at 814 946 4464 or emailing them at

US Hotel Tavern

US Hotel Pop Up Shop: Haunted Edition #3 is scheduled for this Sunday afternoon, October 25 from noon to 4pm. This will be an Outdoor Pop Up Shop featuring “a curated collection of makers, finders, doers and dreamers!” The event is hosted by Handpicked Handmade Hollidaysburg, Moonstruck Vintage Finds, Maker Studio and Lightning Bug Gift Co., all of whom can be found on Facebook for more information about them. I have been to many of the Pop Up Shops at the US Hotel over the years and always find new, innovative and fascinating vendors and products there. Great opportunity to begin (or continue) your holiday shopping! The Tavern usually has a special featured beverage to try while you roam among the vendors, too.  To contact the US Hotel, visit


Our fundraiser at Chipotle Mexican Grill took place this past Saturday. We don’t have the results back yet, but we are very thankful to all of you who supported us by participating. I enjoyed the Carne Asada (that is available for only a limited time) in my Burrito Bowl!

We are very grateful for businesses in the area who sponsor fundraisers like this to support nonprofit organizations in the community. Where would you like to go next? Please let us know and we will get it set up! Thanks again to Candy Holliday for making this happen.

If you have any ideas for us to consider for events, programs, classes, etc to be held at the ArtsAltoona Center, in The Sanctuary or online, please reach out to me at and share your thoughts with me. Thanks!

Keep Supporting the Arts!
Donna Gority,
President of the ArtsAltoona Board