ArtsAltoona believes in community.
Our mission is to connect people with the arts to strengthen our communities. From the beginning, ArtsAltoona has strived to support the strong existing network of arts organizations in our area through our website’s community calendar, Facebook page, newsletter, and community events to help enhance the local economy through the arts.
Between 2015 and 2016 we researched over fourteen cities in Pennsylvania and identified two challenges specific to Blair County, 1, we have 7100 fewer employable workers, and 2, multigenerational poverty. We felt a comprehensive strategic arts program could positively impact this area, particularly through arts education classes that provide the following benefits to students:
- Art develops confidence and self-esteem.
- Art instills pride.
- Art helps your child develop real-life skills.
- Art leads to higher test scores in the classroom.
- Art increases opportunities of self-expression.
- Art increases an individual’s sense of belonging or attachment to their community (good for all of us!)
And creativity (a bigger basket of imagination) IS the key to the future, certainly for young people.
In early 2020 we began work on the ArtsAltoona Center! Our center consists of two buildings which were donated to us by the congregation of Simpson-Temple United Parish in early 2020. With the acquisition and development of our ArtsAltoona Center, positioned in the heart of Altoona’s sixth ward community, we feel that we are in the perfect spot to directly reach our neighbors by providing art classes, educational opportunities for youth and adults, and outreach events like festivals, movie nights, and concerts. It has been an ongoing process (especially amidst a pandemic!) to develop and transform the facilities into a thriving arts center, complete with office space and meeting rooms, performance venues, versatile event spaces, and more. We’ve only just begun to unlock the potential the space has to offer!