Dance, Art, the ArtsAltoona Center and a Day of Service!

ArtsAltoona Center

We are very pleased that we had the opportunity to host the Altoona Area Business Community for their first general meeting and networking opportunity for 2021! Four of us attended in person in the Ward Room at the ArtsAltoona Center, another eight attended virtually. AABC President LaVonne Falbo welcomed everyone to the meeting. She announced their work with the City to promote the Mask Up Altoona campaign initiated by Penn State Altoona student Joey Roesch. She had posters and masks available. LaVonne also made everyone aware that they are having a membership drive meeting for current and prospective members on Tuesday, February 2 (Groundhog Day) at the Wingate by Wyndham. Follow their Facebook page if you are interested in joining this organization.

After everyone had an opportunity to introduce themselves and give a brief update on their businesses, Don Mast introduced me. I gave an overview of the past, present and future of ArtsAltoona and the ArtsAltoona Center. Then I conducted a tour of the facility, using my phone to show those who were online. I hope I didn’t make anyone seasick! Candy Holliday was a great help going ahead of us to turn on the lights and open doors! She also graciously brought bottled water, cookies and muffins for those who attended in person. Thanks Candy! Thanks LaVonne and Don for inviting us to host, we are looking forward to our continuing partnership!

A Day of Service and a Day of Transition

Coming up on Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King, Jr Day, a federal holiday (one of the several celebrated on a Monday to give workers and students a long weekend) to honor the achievements of this American civil rights leader. His actual date of birth is January 15, 1929. This day has evolved to become MLK Day of Service and that usually means that organizations like the United Way and AmeriCorps are identifying hands-on projects in the community and encouraging everyone to participate in activities to improve their communities. This year, of course, is different in a couple ways. AmeriCorps members, like our Leah Klevan, are encouraged to attend virtual celebrations of MLK, Jr being held around the area. This year is also a Presidential Inauguration year and President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris are tying in the National Day of Service to the Inauguration festivities that take place on January 20. You can get more info and sign up to volunteer at if you would like to participate.

Centre Dance

Nicole Carothers Swope, originally from Altoona, Company Director at Centre Dance has announced that they are bringing their very creative, very special version of the Nutcracker to the historic Mishler Theatre for two performances on Saturday, January 23 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Here is her announcement from their Facebook page:

Join us for our version of The Nutcracker, as Clara hosts a holiday party at the Boal Mansion in Boalsburg where she falls asleep and dreams of adorable gingerbread house characters, an energetic Battle Scene of Mice and Maids, an enchanted Snow Forest, and a beautiful Land of Sweets.
Our show features many dance styles; ballet, tap, hip hop, African, and acrobatics with dancers age 2-adult.

Act 1 will be a movie that was filmed at the historic Boal Mansion and surrounding property. It will be screened at the gorgeous Mishler Theatre followed by Act 2 performed live!

Tickets are currently available for sale. There will be a very limited number of seats available for purchase.

To purchase tickets go to
Or you can purchase through the Box Office Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM by calling (814) 944-9434
Covid-19 restrictions at the Mishler:

•Guests must maintain a safe social distance of at least 6 ft. unless
you are in the same party,
•Guests are required to wear a mask at all times,
•Hand Sanitizer will be provided at the entry and exit points of
each aisle.

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art

Be sure to check out all of the wonderful things happening at SAMA on their website SAMA Altoona has an ongoing Virtual Lecture Series going on with one presentation each week through February 8. Each Zoom session is tied in with their exhibition that just opened, The Implications of the Camera, “which explores the history of photography, the future of the medium and current experimentations.” (from their Facebook page) There is also information about their Virtual Art Camps for kids coming up in February. Be sure to check out the current exhibitions at Altoona, Bedford and Loretto. Lots of amazing art work, much of it local!

Until next time,
Donna Gority
President ArtsAltoona Board