Sunday, May 29 – October 15, 2016
Sun./Wed./Fri. 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
@The Centre Furnace Mansion

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts! To commemorate this milestone, the Historical Society is hosting an interactive exhibition at the Centre Furnace Mansion in collaboration with the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the Art Alliance of Central PA featuring a fifty year retrospective of the Arts Festival in photographs and stories.

Arts Festival at Fifty- Stories of the Early DaysBoth on our website and at the exhibition, attendees are encouraged to jot down a memory for the “Story Wall” in the exhibition or submit stories below that will be added to the exhibition both on site through October, and on indefinitely. Thinking particularly of early Arts Festivals, can you remember a favorite purchase, or musician or simply an interesting memory? Stories will be used as an archive for this exhibit on the CCHS website and may be used in promotion of the exhibition.

If you have old photos that you have taken of the Festival and are willing to share a digital image for use in the exhibition, please contact Mary Sorensen at or call (814) 234-4779.

The exhibition features the photography of Dick Brown, Pat Little and others who have captured the Arts Festivals’ spirit through photographs through the years. Photographs and stories are displayed in the context of an Arts Festival timeline starting with its inaugural year in 1967.

Several posters from earlier Arts Festivals will be displayed in the exhibition and in the Centre Furnace Mansion as part of a community poster display hosted by the Arts Festival.

Some of the early organizers have been interviewed and filmed, courtesy of Jerry Sawyer Productions, to capture their memories of the early years of the Arts Festival. Interviews with Rick Bryant, the Festival’s executive director, early Festival organizers: Lurene Frantz, an early Festival manager, Dick Brown – one of the Festival’s earliest artists/photographer, Pam Lautsch – the Festival’s long time sidewalk sale coordinator, Marie Doll – executive director Art Alliance of Central PA, and Bob Potter – early board member.

Interviews, photos and stories will be presented throughout the exhibition.


AFF Sponsor

The Arts Festival at Fifty Exhibition Committee:
Mary Sorensen, Rick Bryant, Carol Baney, Johanna Sedgwick, Olivia Perdew, Marie Doll, David Lembeck.

This is a 10 part series of short clips with Central PA Festival of the Arts past board member, Bob Potter.

This is a 9 part series of short clips with local Photographer Dick Brown. Dick was one of the Festival’s earliest artists/photographer.

This is an eight part series of short clips with local artist Marie Doll. Marie is also the executive director Art Alliance of Central PA.

This is a 12 part series of short clips with Lurene Frantz, an early manager of the Central PA Festival of the Arts.

Interview clips will continue to be added so please continue to check back or subscribe to CCHS on YouTube.

Thank you to Sawyer Productions for the filming of the Arts Festival at Fifty interviews!

Programming to complement the Arts Festival Exhibition includes:

Arts Festival, Remembering and Making Memories

Sunday, September 18, 2:00 p.m.
Arts Festival, Remembering and Making Memories
This family friendly event will encourage attendees to bring favorite stories as well as objects that they purchased from early or later Arts Festivals. Children ages 4-12 will be treated to a children’s scrapbook making activity using a surplus of Arts Festival posters as the basis for the scrapbooks. Parents must accompany children. Punch and cookies will be available.

If you are using a mobile device, you may need to click here to submit your Arts Festival memories.

Admission is free to the exhibition and programming. Donations to the Historical Society are welcome and help us to continue to provide free programming to the public.

The Centre Furnace Mansion is located at 1001 E. College Avenue, State College, PA 16801.  Event parking is available on the lower lawn along College Avenue, as well as in the Mansion lot off of Porter Road. For information, call (814) 234-4779.