It’s a Winter Wonderland!

Thankfully since school, work and arts activities are largely virtual these days, this major snow storm is not as disruptive for many people as it would have been in “normal” times! Many of us can stay inside and just enjoy the beauty!

Arts Altoona Learning Pods

Our program still continues to serve several children and families by providing a safe place for children in first grade and up to do their school work while their parents go to work. We have some spots available, so if you are interested, just email us at and we will get back to you with all the details and an application packet. Scholarships are available also.

Altoona Community Theatre (from their Facebook page)

Calling all singers and performers!

We think our region could use something positive right now, and we think ACT is the group to provide it in the form of a little holiday spirit. Here’s how you can help ACT and help our community at the same time – ACT’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon sponsored by Altoona First Savings Bank.

To participate, just make a recording of yourself singing your favorite Christmas song. You can go solo or include your family or socially distant friends. You can accompany yourself on piano, guitar, ukulele, or tambourine. You can go a cappella, or buy a Karaoke backing track for $1.99.

Send your video to, and we’ll post it on our Facebook page with a “Donate to ACT” button so you can share it with your FB friends. As we get closer to Christmas, we’ll compile all the videos into a YouTube program.

To make it interesting, the person who gets the most ACT donations for their video gets bragging rights and a $100 gift certificate to to purchase your favorite Broadway swag. (Second highest gets a $50 gift certificate. Third highest gets a $25 gift certificate.)

Let’s share ACT’s wealth of talent with the community at large to brighten everyone’s holiday spirit. Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, you are welcome to record and submit your favorite holiday song.  To avoid copyright issues, we recommend older songs (from sacred to secular) that are public domain (less Broadway, more “Jingle Bells”).

Adam Swartz Puppets

ArtsAltoona recently had a conversation with these folks from the State College area, so we want to make you aware of what they are doing! I think a puppet version of A Christmas Carol sounds like fun! Enjoy it with the family!
Register for Puppetry Shenanigans Now!

“A Christmas Carol” Streaming Video Performance, December 18 @ 7pm, December 19 @ 2pm. FREE SHOW! Suggested Donation $10 / individual, $20 / household. WILL STREAM ON YOUTUBE:

Shaws Griswold Christmas Display

This amazing walk through display is at 2468 Everett Rd, East Freedom. There is a Letters to Santa Mailbox available and word has it that Santa replies to the letters! The display runs each year from Thanksgiving night to New Year’s Eve. Santa 🎅 is planning to visit this Saturday, December 19th from 6 to 8pm. Check their Facebook page at the name above to keep up to date with the latest developments!

Centre Dance

You may have been aware that Centre Dance was scheduled to perform the Nutcracker at the historic Mishler Theatre this Saturday. When Governor Wolf announced the latest restrictions on public gatherings it had to be canceled. They have rescheduled the performance for January 23rd after the holiday time restrictions are lifted.

A Place to Be

The very talented Altoona native Tom Sweitzer and his colleagues at A Place To Be have created a very special movie for everyone to get in the spirit of the season. Hope for Christmas: A New Movie Musical, starring 23 music therapy clients. It will be available on YouTube on Sunday, December 20th at 7pm. Use this link to connect

To learn more about the production and the work behind the scenes that it took to create it, go to the A Place To Be Facebook page.

Altoona Brass Collective

The members of ABC have been missing performing for live audiences, but they have just released their first studio album Hymns and Holidays. You can get your copy at their website It would make a great Christmas gift!

Other Gift Ideas – Shop Small – Shop Local

Altoona Symphony Orchestra is selling Gift Certificates. Altoona Community Theatre is selling Reverse Raffle Tickets. You can participate in the Shop Small Crawl 2020 by shopping in person or online at many of these great local shops! Third in the Burg has lots of offers this Friday night from 5 to 7pm in Hollidaysburg. Startup Alleghenies Holiday Market offers an online listing of regional small businesses. There are even coupons available at:

Todd McKeone started this website to list all of the many things happening in the area to encourage involvement (much as we do with our website calendar). Most recently, though, he has compiled a list of locally owned restaurants who have food available by take out or delivery. Please support them as they struggle to deal with the COVID-19 rules! Thanks Todd for your great research and sharing!

Keep Supporting the Arts!
Donna Gority
President ArtsAltoona Board