ArtsAltoona Center Mural, Learning Pod Expansion and Friday the Thirteenth!!

Mission Mural Accomplished

The mural on the 23rd Street end of the education building has been completed! Pam Snyder Etters did an amazing job of designing and creating this work of art to signify that the building is now part of the ArtsAltoona Center. For those of you who know Pam’s family, the two young girls in the mural may look familiar! We are especially blessed that Pam invited a friend of hers, Anju Jolly, to join her in working on the project. Anju is an amazing mosaic artist who created four gorgeous butterflies to add some dimension and sparkle to the project. There were a couple “guest artists” making cameo appearances as well – one of the students from our summer My Corona mural project helped paint one day and our board member Ken Decker helped with installation of the butterflies! Thank you all for your time and talents!

We are Growing our Learning Pods

We are very pleased to announce the expansion of our Learning Pods program. With the Altoona Area School District shifting all students to a hybrid schedule, with each student in school half of the days each two weeks and virtually learning the other half of the time. Our Learning Pod program up until the present has been open to junior high students, as of November 12, we will be opening the program up to students in grades one through eight. For more detailed information, or to receive an application packet, email us at Our Director of Community Relations, Leah Klevan, will be glad to assist you. Also, be sure to check out WTAJ’s coverage about our Learning Pods, on!

Why Does it all Happen at Once?

One thing that really annoys me is when people say “There is nothing to do in this area.” Another annoyance is when there are SO MANY wonderful things happening – but they are all happening at the same time! This Friday the thirteenth is a perfect example of that!

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art Altoona is hosting an intimate artist talk with metal artists David Beach (Fox Chapel Iron Works) and Bill Scimio. Enjoy some coffee or wine while you hear how they created the amazing works of art in the exhibit Steel Yourselves. It starts at 5pm on Friday and you can reserve your spot by emailing This exhibit and the Artists in Our Midst are both available until December 5. There is no charge for the event, or to view the exhibits, but donations are greatly appreciated!

Boro Coffee Co. in Hollidaysburg is welcoming the community to come and meet 19 year old artist Zachary Wyland. Zach is currently a freshman at Juniata College and is a gifted artist, working primarily in graphite. He was featured in the Life Section of the Altoona Mirror on November 7. He will be a Boro Coffee from 5 to 8pm on Friday evening. For directions and further information about Boro Coffee Co., visit their website at

Lakemont Park opens the season of Holiday Lights on the Lake on Friday the 13th at 6pm. The seasonal display will run until January 3, 2021. It will be open from 6 to 10 pm each evening. The charge for a car is $13. Photos with Santa will be available, but Santa will be distanced from the children. Fill up your car and enjoy! For more information, visit the Lakemont Park website, at

In last week’s newsletter, I told you about the Altoona Area High School Performing Arts Club presentation of The War of the Worlds: The Panic Broadcast online event on Friday at 7pm. Check their Facebook page for the details and to purchase your ticket at

I also told you about the online presentation of Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidoscope by Altoona Community Theatre at 7:30pm on Friday. Information about these and other events are also available on our website calendar at and linked below under Coming Up This Week.

Also on Friday at 7:30pm is Patched Together from a Distance: 2020 Concert. This annual event to benefit the Healing Patch program for grieving children is usually a full day of music, but this year it will be held as a Facebook Live online event featuring Rick Wertz with Mellissa Vella and Matt Otis and the Sound will be performing. For more information, visit the Patched Together from a Distance: 2020 Concert Facebook page!

Can you believe I have one more event I want to highlight for Friday the 13th? The Cove Community Theater LLC in Loysburg has put together an Escape Room. It was available last weekend and is available on the 13th, 14th and 15th. They can accommodate groups of up to 8 people for each scheduled hour in the room. The charge is $20 per person. For tickets and to reserve your time slot please contact Mary Ellen Laird at 814 327 2513 or 814 766 3208. Check them out on Facebook or at

So – what do you think I will be doing on Friday the 13th – and what will you be doing? I hope I gave you some good ideas!

There’s lots to do in the area!!
Donna Gority
President, ArtsAltoona Board