Arts Festival Support

Arts Festival Volunteers

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts has been recognized as an outstanding event by the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, Sunshine Artist magazine,, and thousands of people who return to State College each year for a few days of art, music, food, friends, and fun.

Annual visitors’ surveys, under the direction of Dr. Julie Lammel of Lock Haven University show that approximately 125,000 people attend the festival yearly. About 80% of our audience lives within Pennsylvania and about 40% of the audience comes from within Centre County. Visitors say that they attend to immerse themselves in the art; as an annual tradition; to reunite with family and friends; for the fun and pleasant atmosphere; and to visit the Penn State campus and State College area as a Penn State alumni. Typical comments from visitors include:

  • Best festival around – the art and the setting!
  • I attend for the enjoyment of the show – and what a show it is!
  • The exhibits are great. I love it!

Support is vital to the success of the Arts Festival every year, especially financial support. The hardest part of producing the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts isn’t choosing the artists in the Sidewalk Sale, or the musical acts we book, or even finding the hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and energy over five days in July to make the event a success. The most difficult part of producing the Festival is paying for it. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is a non-profit, but non-profit is a tax status, not a business plan.

Like any business, we need to reinvest in what we do to remain vital. The Festival has plant (stages, booths, etc.) and equipment (computers, banners, etc.), just like most other businesses. The Festival’s board believes firmly in the need of compensating paid staff fairly. Our staff works hard and deserves to be rewarded with an appropriate wage and benefit package.

While the Festival earns income through our operations, and has a modest amount of grant support. it relies on donations and the sale of sponsorships as well. One could say that it takes a financial village to balance the festival’s budget.

What are support dollars used for? Click here to find out!

  • $25:  Buys a face painting kit  |  Buys 100 volunteer buttons  |  Creates 25 artist packets  |  Buys gloves for the Green Crew
  • $50:  Rents 40 chairs on the Old Main lawn  |  Buys a day’s worth of trash bags  |  Treats a table full of artists at the Artists’ Welcome Reception
  • $100:  Funds a youth banner prize  |  Pays one day’s rental of a fork lift  |  Buys artist prize ribbons  |  Prints 25 volunteer t-shirts  |  Houses a musician overnight  |  Creates songbooks for the Pat Farrell Community Sing-Along  |  Prints 100 Festival posters
  • $125:  Runs the dumping buckets or mister for one hour
  • $150:  Rents the tamper for the sand sculpture
  • $250:  Cleans the street in preparation for the Italian Street Painting Festival
  • $500:  Pays to operate the Sidney Friedman Park stage  |  Pays a band  |  Pays to set up a Dining Tent  |  Pays for set-up of the Silent Auction Barn  |  Funds an artist Award of Merit
  • $750:  Buys one life-size puppet for the Children & Youth Day Grand Procession
  • $1,000:  Buys the sand for the sand sculpture  |  Pays a band
  • $1,500:  Pays to set up the Information Booths
  • $5,000:   Pays to rent and set up the Festival Shell on the Old Main Lawn  |  Cleans festival area restrooms for five days
  • $7,500:  Provides police security
  • $10,000:  Pays for the Allen Street landscaping
  • $17,500:  Pays to set up the Festival  |  Pays to tear down the Festival


The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is a blend of many components and activities, thereby yielding an array of partnerships in all budget ranges. There are also countless ways to volunteer your time and talents.


2015 Sponsors

We’re grateful to all the individuals and organizations that are supporting the 2015 Festival! The 2015 Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsors are featured below. You can see the complete list of 2015 sponsors here.