Fun Beyond the Festival

Sure, the Festival is the best thing ever. But State College and Central Pennsylvania have even more to offer!  After checking out the Festival, make time to visit the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, or Heritage Days in Philipsburg. There are exhibitions at the Palmer Museum and the Woskob Gallery to see, in addition to a show at the Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall. 

By all means, make plans to come back at another time of year to enjoy outdoor recreation, heritage and sporting events, wineries or distilleries, or just to see friends and family.  The Festival is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fun in central Pennsylvania. 

People’s Choice Festival

The People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts was founded in 1993 by two energetic local artists, George and Nancy Marion who realized that here were more local artists than could be accommodated by the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Along with a handful of volunteers,  in short order they created a festival on the grounds of Boalsburg’s 28th Division Shrine. The People’s Choice Festival has grown to nearly 200 Pennsylvania artists, food vendors, and musical acts on two stages.

Philipsburg Heritage Days

Philipsburg Heritage Days was founded in 1998 by former Philipsburg Bicentennial Committee members. The organizers’ aim was to create an annual event that would showcase the rich historic assets of the Philipsburg community. Each year, the committee selects a theme that highlights a specific historical event or recognizes one of the area’s civic groups. Many class reunions, family reunions, homecomings, and weddings are planned around the Heritage Days celebration.

Other Arts Options 

Hetzel Union Building
Palmer Museum of Art
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Woskob Family Gallery
Other Art Exhibitions
Live Theatre
Pattee and Paterno Library
Afro Festival
Hetzel Union Building

HUB Gallery: Hannah Epstein’s Nittany Lion: Eco-Mascot

July 3 – September 12

Known as a writer, journalist, and avid folklorist, Henry W. Shoemaker wrote several myths and legends of central Pennsylvania aiming to inspire civic action and preservation of land and native cultures. Although many of his stories have been debunked, artist Hannah Epstein returns to the folklorist’s sense of narrative as a rallying force and tool, envisioning the University’s sports mascot as an environmental crusader. Epstein’s textiles, digital video, and experimental games advocate for a deeper understanding of storytelling and its crucial role in the construction of reality. Here, play is a technique used to probe the rules and structures governing social interactions.

Art Alley: it’s the new everything, Brian Alfred, Arden Bendler Browning, Trisha Holt, and Phaan Howng

May 28 – July 21

In the 40 years since Art in America announced TV as the next medium, or Andy Warhol that “it’s the new everything”, artists continue to confirm the prognosis of inside and outside as defunct categories in life and in the landscape. In this exhibition, artists approach digital apertures and viewfinders as tools and points of view.

Exhibit Cases: Hot Lava Andrew Casto, Ling Chun, Iva Haas, Bryan Hopkins, and Andrea Marquis

May 15 – September 30

Whether molten rock or child’s play, the artists in Hot Lava utilize the material specificities and chemical changes of clay and glaze to probe phenomenological possibilities. An exhibition in five acts, each artist’s solo presentation delves deeply into their work over time or in series. Sizzling hot forms act as playgrounds for steaming glazes while perforations, deformations, and transections disobey structure. These artists’ fantastical alchemy of the elemental melts, drools, and burns.

Palmer Museum of Art

Under the Mexican Sky: A Revolution in Modern Photography

June 1 – July 28

In the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20), expatriate photographers flocked to the blossoming artistic scene in Mexico City. Los Angelino Edward Weston reinvented his approach to the medium during three years there in the 1920s. In exploring the development of international modernism into the next decades, this exhibition features rare photographs by Italian Tina Modotti, New Yorkers Helen Levitt and Paul Strand, French master Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Mexico’s own Manuel Álvarez Bravo.

Organized by art2art Circulating Exhibitions and featuring photographs from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg.

Tina Modotti, Campesinos (Workers’ Parade), 1926, gelatin silver print, 8 3/8 x 7 1/2 inches. 

Myth Meets Modernism: The Manuel Álvarez Bravo Portfolio

June 11 – August 4

Hand-selected by the artist in 1977, this portfolio of fifteen prints spans several decades and reveals the prodigious Mexican photographer’s career-long preoccupation with myth, folklore, and death. Álvarez Bravo’s subjects, like those of his contemporaries Tina Modotti, Edward Weston, and Paul Strand, are seen through a distinctly modernist lens.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Carrizo y Tele (Reed and Television), c. 1976, gelatin silver print, 6 13/16 x 9 3/16 inches. Gift of Mr. H. S. Arukian, 80.62.1

George Miller and American Lithography

June 18 – September 15

This exhibition focuses on the role printer George Miller played in making fine art lithography an accessible medium in the early years of the twentieth century. The list of American artists attracted to his workshops reads as a veritable who’s who of printmakers for whom lithography became an important means of expression

Ellison Hoover, George C. Miller, Lithographer, 1949, lithograph, 11 1/8 x 8 3/4 inches, 2018.11.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Other Art Options

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Stained Glass Window Tour
Corner of West Foster Avenue and Fraser Street
Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13; 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Facing Memorial Field, this church building, in the English Norman style was consecrated in 1928. St. Andrew’s is well known for its stained glass windows designed, produced, and installed by the famous Willet Studios of Philadelphia.

Visit the church’s website to learn more. 

Woskob Family Gallery

In Memoriam

June 13-August 3

Photographs are thought to immortalize events and loved ones.  They provide a tangible keepsake for when our own memories or physical bodies eventually fade from this world.  The exhibited images deal with concepts of memory, life, and death using time honored alternative photographic methods that were invented in the mid-1800s.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Visit the gallery’s website to learn more. 

Other Art Exhibitions

Explore Local Craft at The Gallery Shop

The Gallery Shop features fine art and crafts from Central Pennsylvania artists, including gifts, two and three dimensional works, and functional craft.  The shop’s inventory may include batiks, handmade paper, prints, jewelry, mirrors, pottery, painting, weavings, note cards, scarves, clothing, woodwork, and quilting.

The Gallery Shop is located at 824 Pike Street, Lemont.  It  is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.  The shop is closed Sunday and Monday.

Visit its website to learn more. 

Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania Square Show

Visit the Art Alliance Gallery Downtown, 123 S. Fraser Street, State College to check out the work of emerging, established, and student artists, all of whom have created work in a square format. Proceeds of the show will support the Art Alliance’s Downtown Gallery. A special reception will be held Wednesday July 10, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Visit its website to learn more. 

Live Theatre

No Refund Theatre
111 Forum Building
Penn State Campus
Friday, July 11-13
All shows: 8:00 p.m. FREE

Penn State’s No Refund Theatre has been providing fun, free, and welcoming theatrical entertainment to the Penn State Community since 1993! Constellations, by Nick Payne, is directed by Clarisse Cofrancesco.

Visit No Refund Theatre’s Facebook page to learn more.

A Year with Frog and Toad
Playhouse Theatre
Penn State Campus
July 10-13
10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

In a revival of one of the most treasured children’s theatre productions, an unlikely friendship between the cheerful Frog and the rather grumpy Toad blossoms and grows as they travel through four fun-filled seasons learning life lessons along the way. This charming musical promises to delight the whole family!

Music by Robert Reale, lyrics by Willie Reale, developed by Adrianne Lobel
Music Directed by Richard Biever; Co-Directed by Travis DeCastro and Richard St. Clair

For tickets and to learn more click here.

Penn State Downtown Theatre
146 South Allen Street
July 10-13
8:00 p.m.

Based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In every sense, the Mariner is every man. He shows tenderness and cruelty, gets caught in disastrous situations that are partially of his own making, defiles nature and then gains appreciation for the natural world, and ultimately moves from random acts to accepting that there is a price associated with how we live our lives. Rough and uncouth, funny and harsh, iconic and unforgettable.

Written by Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett, starring Benjamin Evett. Directed by Rick Lombardo

For tickets and to learn more click here.

Disney’s Newsies
Millbrook Playhouse
258 Country Club Lane, Mill Hall, PA 17751
(570) 748-8083
July 12 to 21, 2019
Friday, July 12, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 14, 2:00 p.m.

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When the titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right! Based on the 1992 Disney film and inspired by the real-life Newsboy’s Strike of 1899 in New York City, Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, great for the whole family and every audience.

Visit Millbrook Playhouse’s website to learn more.

Mamma Mia!
Nittany Theatre at the Barn
300 Old Boalsburg Rd., Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 321-2799
July 11 to 20, 2019
All shows, 7:30 p.m.

ABBA’s hit tells the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny musical unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers combine to make Mamma Mia! a guaranteed smash hit.

Visit Nittany Theatre at the Barn’s website to learn more.

Pattee and Paterno Library

Copyright for Artists and Art Lovers

Friday, July 12, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Mann Assembly Room, Paterno Library

What’s the line between building on someone else’s work and ripping them off? Copyright law gives us one answer. Join Ana Enriquez from the Penn State Libraries for a discussion of art copyright, including cases involving Shepard Fairey, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Super Bowl XLIX’s very own Left Shark. Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided.

Photo at left by Horia Varlan.

Afro Festival

Afro Festival promotes the various cultures, music and arts in each country within the African diaspora. The event is mainly focused on the representation and promotion of unique and vibrant arts, through clothes, paintings, music, spoken words and dance. Afro Festival includes games, competitions, food, and more.

The event takes place on the HUB Lawn on Penn State’s campus from noon until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 12.

Visit their Instagram page to learn more.

Extend Your Visit and Explore!

In addition to Arts Festival, there are lots of other great things to see and do in State College, the region, and the Commonwealth. Here are a few links in case you’d like to extend your visit and explore more of Pennsylvania.

State College and Centre County
Pennsylvania Travel Information
State College and Centre County
Central PA visitors bureau

From fine dining in downtown State College, to arts and sporting events on Penn State’s University Park campus, to hiking or hunting in the wilds of our mountains, Central Pennsylvania has something for everyone.

Pennsylvania Travel Information

Come to Pennsylvania!

Embark upon your own personal happiness adventure. Follow where joy leads you.

Whoever you are, no matter what you love to do, know that happiness is Pennsylvania’s keystone. It always has been. It lives in our historic treasures. Our dynamic urban spaces. Our greater-than-great outdoors.

Mix it up. Make it yours. Visit soon and build your own personal adventure from every corner of our warm and welcoming state.

You’ll be so happy you did.

Check out to learn more. 


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Get a Festival poster and buy Festival buttons, t-shirts and other merchandise at the corner of College and Allen – or visit our online store.

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