53rd Arts Festival heads downtown for art, music and fun

This July, downtown State College will transform into a Festival destination for the 53rd year in a row. From July 10-14, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will bring us five sunny days of art, music and great times. Ready to revisit your favorite summer memory-maker? Here's what you need to know!


New this year: Street Painting moving to Foster

The Festival's Street Painting Artists-in-Action are moving from their location of twenty years on Heister Street and can be found in the heart of the Festival on Foster Avenue on either side of Allen Street. If your travels never quite made it to Heister in the past, this incredible part of the Festival is now much easier to access and enjoy.

There will be two large commissioned street paintings by artists Graham Curtis and Abby Cramer, along with smaller street paintings created by local artists, Penn State art majors and local high school students who volunteer their time and talent. Street paintings start Thursday morning and come to life right before your eyes throughout the Festival.

Inspired to make your own street painting masterpiece? For just $5, anyone can get a box of sidewalk chalks and a 15” x 15” square to make their own mark on the Arts Festival at the Little Arts Alley.


Performance art for every taste

Performances are a highlight of the Festival. You can see both touring and local performers — everything from jazz to bluegrass, folk to rock, concert bands to choral groups, not to mention musical theatre, dance and comedy.

The Festival has a great line up of performers this year, including many of our local favorites and highlighting some really great touring acts. Be sure to check out Mac Arnold & Plate Full of Blues and the Alex Meixner Band on Thursday night; Tim Vitulo, Front Country or comedian Greg Warren on Friday night; and RPR, Ryanhood and Bonne Finken on Saturday night. Find more details at arts-festival.com/performances.


Images 2019 Exhibition showcases Keystone Talent

This year’s Images 2019 Exhibition will be located in both the Schlow Centre Region Library and the Kish Bank Expect More Store on Allen Street. This partnership allowed the juror to choose a selection of sixty works that can be viewed during the whole month of July. Art-lovers can attend an Opening Reception hosted by Kish Bank in their Expect More Store during the downtown’s First Friday on July 5 at 5:30 p.m. or the Awards Reception during the Arts Festival on July 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Schlow Centre Region Library. 

“I just talked with our juror, Shannon Egan from the Gettysburg College Schmucker Art Gallery,” Director of Development Jennifer Shuey says. “She was duly impressed with the works of art submitted by artists from across the Commonwealth. She can’t wait to come up to State College to see the exhibition in person and choose the award winners.”


Next generation art highlighted on July 10

“The Children & Youth Sidewalk Sale has always been one of my favorite parts of the Festival,” Shuey says. “We get to see kids express both their creative, artistic skills along with their entrepreneurial and business skills. It is such a fun and valuable learning experience for those who participate. And if their sales are good, they might make a pretty penny!” The Children & Youth Sidewalk Sale is held on July 10.


Plan your visit and learn more about the 300+ artists, live performances, race and more at arts-festival.com. While you are there, you can get your $10 button that will give you unlimited access to select indoor performances. See you there!

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