Connecting our Community Through the Arts

About the ARTS! Event

Destination ARTS!
Transforming Main Street into a work of art & Waynesboro into an arts destination
A plan for increased tourism and economic impact Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro

STATEMENT Waynesboro is a beautiful town, situated in an ideal location bordering Maryland and within easy driving distance of several metropolitan areas.  In the late 19th century through the Jazz Age of the 1920’s, the region was a tourist Mecca.  A resort area in the Blue Ridge Mountains was developed, and thousands of visitors took the Western Maryland Railroad from Baltimore to visit Waynesboro and Pen Mar Park, where there was an amusement park, scenic lookout, dance pavilion, and much more.  The single day park attendance during those years reached nearly 20,000 visitors.  It was the place to be and to be seen for the high society of Washington, DC and Baltimore.  But by 1929, things started to decline, and by 1943 the resort was dismantled, and tourism to the region ebbed.

Waynesboro today is still charming, and Pen Mar Park is still beautiful.  However there are at many vacant buildings on Waynesboro’s Main Street, and the downtown area is currently underutilized.  Given this town profile, we believe we have a unique opportunity to try something which could have a transformative and revitalizing effect on the downtown – helping stimulate economic development in the borough and county while also promoting Waynesboro as an arts and cultural hub for the tri-state area.

THE PROJECT The Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro (AAGW) is currently working on a project to place art in storefront windows in a number of buildings along Main Street.  The Destination ARTS! event will build upon that by converting vacant stores into Art Galleries; art  in existing businesses; bringing live music and other performing arts to town; encouraging crafters, artisans and arts organizations to exhibit and demonstrate their art; offering selective educational and children’s programs;  and centering Arts Events in every available venue along Main Street.  The goal is to make Waynesboro a cultural and arts destination, transforming the town into a venue which will attract tourism, arts lovers, artists, and arts organizations from around the country, with an immediate emphasis on the millions of people who live within a 100 mile radius of the town (culling visitors from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC).  We believe that the economic impact of this event will be substantial; it will generate considerable positive and ongoing media attention and has the potential to attract businesses and permanent residents to locate in Waynesboro.

Out of the many possible sites with vacant stores along Main Street at the moment, we currently have 7 properties which area building owners have generously made available to us for the initial phase of this project.  They are: 2 East  Main St., 22 West Main St., 32 West Main St., 30 West Main St., 50 West Main St., Furniture Market at 37 West Main St., and 13 South Church St (the future site of the new Ceramic Arts Center of Waynesboro).We anticipate opening the event with  7 galleries, and adding more as buildings become available and/or we are able to make them “gallery ready”.  (Additional buildings are still under consideration for inclusion, and the number of buildings and specific sites may be subject to change.)

In addition, through a Storefront Arts Initiative, we are placing art in the storefront windows of 10 to 12 additional buildings – some existing businesses, and some vacant buildings which are not available yet for full gallery use.  So about 20 buildings along Main Street will exhibit quality art in their windows, changing the face of the town.  In addition, several existing businesses will exhibit art inside their stores as well – for example, Christine’s Café will be presenting an ongoing exhibit honoring the Waynesboro Studio Arts Club’s Artist of the Month.

The Destination ARTS Galleries will be curated by an Art Selection Committee of experienced and highly respected artists, gallery owners, and museum directors.  They will be filled with ALL kinds of art, from paintings and photography to pottery, jewelry, sculpture, and textiles.  It will feature local artists as well as highly respected professionals from around the country.  The galleries will be open at least two to three days per week and will also feature music, theater and other performing arts, crafters, children’s programs, and food vendors as part of a weekly Arts Walk.  Our hope is that Waynesboro will become a destination for arts lovers, and that a project of this bold scope will encourage people to consider investing in the town, open viable businesses in the empty stores, and revitalize and reenergize Main Street.

We have the buildings, and we have a team of  20 enthusiastic and knowledgeable people working hard to acquire the art, clean the buildings, display and light the art, schedule musicians and other performing artists,  and organize other events and activities.

IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • Galleries will be open to the public for touring free of charge on select hours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from July 19 through October.   The projected schedule is:

Fridays, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturdays, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sundays, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

  • Music, other performing arts, street performers, educational programs, art demonstrations, children’s programs, author readings, food vendors/trucks, and special events will be offered as often as possible.
  • Art will be diverse and of high quality. Selection is being curated.  All artistic mediums may be considered, at the discretion of the Arts Selection Committee, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and computer arts, ceramics, jewelry, and cartooning.  Galleries will be organized by type of art, or by theme.  For the initial seven galleries, one is to be “Home Grown Art” and feature professional artists who grew up in the Waynesboro area.  While Waynesboro artists will be featured throughout the galleries and will be prominently featured in the Storefront Art Displays, established artists from around the country will be considered for inclusion.
  • Exhibits will be rotated/changed once every 30 – 45 days to keep them fresh and encourage repeat visitors.  If a building is leased during this process, the exhibits will move elsewhere in town to another vacant property.  It is our hope that, eventually, all of the buildings in town will be rented to desirable, viable businesses, and some of them may become permanent artist co-op galleries so the project will continue indefinitely.
  • One gallery – 50 West Main Street – has generously been offered to us for gallery use for 12 months, so the project will continue in one form or another for at least one year.
  • Volunteers! — we  are in the process of organizing 70 – 80 volunteers to monitor each location as “docents” when they are open . These may include the artists exhibiting, and possibly demonstrating and/or teaching their craft.  We will also need volunteers to help with building preparation, cleanup, art installation and teardown, window washing, and small carpentry projects.  If you are interested in volunteering to be a part of this effort please email us at artsalliancegw@gmail.com
  • Art will be for sale at the discretion of the artists.  All sales will be transacted at 32 West Main Street.  This is the official address of the Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro, and AAGW will have an office in this building for the duration of the event.  (The building is also home to the Cumberland Valley School of Music, the Antietam Watershed Foundation, and the Mason-Dixon Homeschoolers Association, and will be an official gallery of the event.)  Credit card sales will be facilitated through use of a Square Reader, directly to our account at Susquehanna Bank.  AAGW will take a 20% commission on all sales.  In addition, a Pottery Gallery will later be opened in a large room in the back.
  • Destination ARTS Guide will be issued every week.  It will include a  ‘Currently Showcasing” section, listing all of the performing artists, educational programs, children’s programs, art demonstrations, food/cooking demonstrations and vendors, or whatever else we are offering for the week listed along with their scheduled times and locations.  It will also highlight each Destination ARTS! Gallery including address, artistic focus/theme, and days and hours they are open.  Storefront Art Locations will be noted.  In addition, each participating restaurant or business will be listed, including name, address, hours of operation during the event, and special discount or offer they are making.  This guide will also include information about the greater Waynesboro area.  It is a wonderful community and great place to live and conduct business in.
  • Building Rentals are a primary goal of this event.  As such, each gallery will have FOR RENT signs designed especially for this event, thanking building owners for their generous participation and listing the phone number prospective renters can call to reach them.  There will also be literature available inside every gallery featuring information about the building and contact information for the agents or owners.  Every volunteer will be instructed to encourage prospective business owners to consider locating in Waynesboro and to give them the literature.
  • Waynesboro and the surrounding area will be prominently featured through collected literature, including historical information; activities planned at Renfrew, Pen Mar, Red Run, and Memorial Parks; information about the Appalachian Trail; and other quality of life and tourism highlights.
  • Future gallery ideas may include: high school and college art programs; a solo show featuring extensive works by one established and well known artist; and other themed exhibits.

Our hope is that this activity will bring the community together in a positive experience.  That it will transform the town into an ever-changing work of art, using vacant space in a creative manner.  It is an initiative towards revitalization, aimed at bringing tourism, businesses, and artists and arts organizations to town — a creative use of the arts to increase the quality of life of our community, and bring vibrant, family oriented activities to Main Street. Finally, Destination ARTS! is an initiative to draw attention to our community’s many strengths, and turn Waynesboro, PA into a regional and national ARTS DESTINATION. Connecting our community through the arts!”

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