The Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro (AAGW) steering committee was established in the spring of 2012 through the hard work of its founder, Andrew Sussman. The goal of the organization is to bring together area artists, musicians, arts organizations, businesses, government, and arts lovers to foster better communication and cooperation in support of the arts. It is our belief that a strong arts community is key to improved quality of life and vibrant economic development
The AAGW Board of Directors led by Sussman was formed in September 2012, and is incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization. The Board includes 17 members who represent the depth of our community, including businesses, town management, educators, and area artists and arts enthusiasts covering the spectrum of artistic disciplines.
AAGW’s goal is to integrate the arts into community life and help arts education thrive. It will collaborate with schools, community non-profits, arts organizations (both non-profit and for-profit), artists (of all artistic disciplines, including visual arts, performing arts, and literature), and the communities that span the area represented by the Waynesboro area school district.
AAGW’s role is to facilitate, to partner with and assist artists and arts organizations, and to promote their work and activities and raise community awareness.
Destination ARTS! was conceived and initiated by AAGW as a community revitalization project based on the arts, with the ultimate goal of turning Waynesboro, PA, into an arts destination. The initial project took seven large, vacant commercial buildings on Main Street and converted them into curated art galleries, while also filling an additional eight storefront windows with art. The project was successfully launched on July 19, 2013 and ended 15 weeks later on October 27, having displayed over 1,600 pieces of art from more than 120 artists, including local artists and some of the most highly respected artists in the Mid-Atlantic states. Entirely organized by volunteers, the project brought together artists, community members, and businesses, with over 200 volunteers participating. All of the seven galleries are now rented. After our successful 15 week programs, we closed for one week and then reopened. Currently, five galleries continue to operate downtown. Open four days per week, the galleries have live music every Friday night and most Sunday afternoons, artist demonstrations and events on Thursday and Saturday afternoons, and other special events as scheduling permits. Each year from July – October, weather permitting, we present live music outside in center square and along Main Street. Our hope is that this will lead to an increase in vibrancy and a permanent transformation of our community into an arts and culture destination.
In addition to Destination ARTS!, we are currently in the process of establishing a more comprehensive website which will include a Community Calendar of Events, a Directory of Artists and Arts Organizations, and an interactive community arts map. We have already established a presence on the Waynesboro Area Chamber of Commerce website, an AAGW Facebook page ,a Destination ARTS! Facebook page, and a contact list of interested community members.