About the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts
To many people the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (the Festival, or CPFA) is something that “just happens” each summer. School lets out for the summer, and in what seems like the blink of an eye, the Festival is upon us. Landscapers, stage hands, musicians, artists, and volunteers all appear – and in their wake both State College and the Penn State campus are alive with visitors. The Festival was founded in 1967 by the State College Chamber of Commerce and Penn State University’s College of Arts and Architecture.
CPFA is an independent, nonprofit corporation that functions as a cooperative town-and-gown venture. The Festival has grown to encompass Children & Youth Day, a juried gallery exhibition, the Downtown State College Improvement District Italian Street Painting Festival, and a wide variety of performances on outdoor and indoor stages. Approximately 100,000 people visit the Festival each year. The mission of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is to celebrate the arts with presentations of diverse, high-quality visual and performing arts through the cooperative volunteer support of the community and The Pennsylvania State University. The essence of this organization is the enrichment and education of the audience, grounded in personal interaction between artist and audience.
A volunteer Board of Directors of representatives of the State College and Penn State communities establishes Festival policy. There are three full-time professional staff members. More than 500 volunteers help make the Festival a reality each year.
CPFA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional funding is provided through a grant made by possible by the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and the Centre County Commissioners. CPFA also produces First Night State College, an arts-centric, family oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the New Year’s holiday. First Night State College features one of Pennsylvania’s largest displays of ice carving, performances in downtown churches, theaters, and public buildings, resolution sculptures, a giant puppet procession, children’s activities, and a 5k Resolution Run.
TRADEMARKS: The “Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts,” “Arts Festival,” and the logo are trademarks within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. No use of these trademarks may be made in connection with the manufacture and/or sale of merchandise without the CPFA’s express written approval.