The Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit organization promoting the area as a destination for meetings, events, and casual tourists. It is headquartered in a state-of-the-art Visitor Center with staff servicing hundreds of visitors, as well as local residents, each day. Guests can find out what’s happening in the area, pick up brochures, and use state-of-the-art interactive tourism network kiosks. The Central PA CVB maintains the area’s most comprehensive event calendar.
The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is a five-day long celebration of the visual and performing arts that takes place in downtown State College and on the adjacent University Park campus of Penn State each July. With an audience of over 125,000 each year, the Arts Festival is home to over 300 juried fine artists and craftsmen, music by performers of national and regional stature on outdoor and indoor stages, a full day of children’s activities and more. The Festival also produce a family-friendly, arts-oriented New Year’s event, First Night State College.
CityStateArts.com maintains a calendar of local arts events.
Downtown State College is a quintessential college town, a one-of-a-kind place to live, work, and relax. Find out what’s going on in downtown State College here.
The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania encourages community members to become involved in diverse and ever changing art experiences through a program of adult art classes, workshops and short-term exhibits. The Art Alliance has two affiliate groups, the Potters Guild and the Farmland Preservation Artists.
The Bellefonte ART Museum of Centre County exhibits art from around the world as well as the local community. The museum is located in the Linn House (1810), the home of many individuals and families who contributed to the growth of Bellefonte, Centre County, and Pennsylvania.
The Centre County Historical Society is headquartered in former home of Moses Thompson. In 1855, Thompson and his business partner James Irvin donated 200 acres of land for the site of the Farmer’s High School, today known at The Pennsylvania State University. This historic house museum is restored to the period of the Thompson family’s residency (1842-1891). The CCHS also operates the restored Boogersburg School, a one room school house built by Thompson.
Palmer Museum of Art on the Penn State University Park campus is a free-admission arts resource for the University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. The museum offers an ever-changing array of exhibitions and displays of its permanent collection. With eleven galleries, a print-study room, 150-seat auditorium, and outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum is a unique cultural resource for residents of and visitors to the region.
The Rhoneymeade Arboretum and Sculpture Garden is a private outdoor sculpture park, home to more than works of contemporary sculpture and an outdoor labyrinth. It is open seasonally.
Schlow Centre Region Library is home to the Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery. It regularly hosts exhibitions of local and regional artists.
Penn State’s Land-Grant Frescoes are on the upper walls of Old Main’s lobby and pay tribute to the establishment of the University and land-grant education. The idea for a mural embodying a pictorial synthesis of Penn State’s founding and growth originated in the 1930s with three professors of art and architectural history: Harold E. Dickson, J. Burn Helme, and Francis E. Hyslop. The three commissioned artist Henry Varnum Poor, aided by a large gift from the Class of 1932. The project was suspended during World War II, but Poor returned to the task, finishing the work in 1949.
The Borough of State College is home to two National Register districts, clustered around the Borough’s business district and the University Park campus of Penn State. Self-guided tours provide information on the history of the neighborhoods and contributing properties within the Holmes-Foster/Highlands Historic District and the College Heights Historic District. Both districts include homes from the early twentieth century, a significant number of which were ordered from mail-order suppliers such as Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward.