Living Columns & Blogs

‘The best is yet to come.’ LCC class learns about State College arts venues, opportunities

Arts Day for the Leadership Centre County Class of 2019 was April 17th. We started our day at The Makery on West Calder Way.

For someone new to The Makery, it was a sight to behold. This small space is tucked away off the busy thoroughfares of State College. It is an engaging and beautiful little business treasure sharing life, color and activity with visitors. Amy Frank, owner of The Makery, stated that art allows us to live “more joyfully, more creatively,” and she is right. Whether this joy comes from painting a One Little Word Rock or in a museum, theater, or recital hall, we all have opportunities to enjoy art in many forms.

Next on the tour, Penn State School of Music Assistant Director Russell Bloom introduced us to the school’s new recital hall. This is a fabulous space where all participants can relish in the passion that is musical performance. The LCC class enjoyed the recital hall while listening to the marimba as presented by a very talented graduate student. You too can enjoy the School of Music; there are many free concerts offered each year.

We moved on to the Palmer Museum of Art. The first thing I noticed upon entering the building is a sign: “Friends don’t let friends live without art.” The impact of this statement sticks with me and should prompt each of us to share art with others. Speaking of sharing, Palmer Director Erin Coe shared her knowledge from everything to the 9,300 pieces of art within the Palmer collection today, the 11 galleries open to the public, featured exhibits that are on tour around the country, planning a new facility expansion and the approximate 36,000 visitors that come to Palmer Museum annually. This is a gem for all to enjoy, visit often, and consider becoming a “Friend of the Palmer” with your membership.

We enjoyed lunch at Eisenhower Auditorium, considered “Food as Art” in a colorful dessert presented by Benjamin’s Catering, listened and spoke with several artists within our community including Wesley Glebe and William Doan before traveling on to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for a interactive and fun “Art with the Artists” session.

Last up, Delta Middle School Choir sang for us at the end of a fast-paced and eventful day. Their director, Leah Mueller, can be very proud of her student choir. These amazing students sang beautiful and well-rehearsed versions of several songs for us. I was toe-tapping, singing along, and, at one point, even a little bit emotional from the verse and voices united in song.

On LCC’s Arts Day, I walked away with a better sense of the art venues in Centre County, also that art is therapy for both giver and receiver, and I met quite a few people sharing those “gifts” with others. We were reminded to be advocates for the arts by volunteering, attending performances and participating to support our artists right here in Centre County. One artist shared that the “best work is yet to come” and so it is with us in art, in life, and in sharing — the best is yet to come.

Lori Haines, is the executive Director for the Centre County Housing Authority and member of the Leadership Centre County Class of 2019. For more information about Leadership Centre County, visit