Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

Archive for the ‘Arts Education’ Category

Artist Spotlight: Melissa Swift and the Recyclable Art Contest

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

20150327_152842_resized“If you can see beauty in everything, you are an artist.” –Anonymous

Melissa Swift has been teaching art at Fairfield Elementary School since 2007, a position she filled after Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) Board Member Louise Garverick retired. Melissa credits Louise with connecting her to ACAC and introducing her to the Recyclable Art Contest and Exhibit, an event sponsored by the Gettysburg Recycling Committee and McDonald’s, which invites students across Adams County to submit pieces constructed entirely of recyclable materials. This year marks the show’s 20th year, making it the most long-lived event at the the ACAC.

Before inviting her students to showcase their work at ACAC, Melissa holds her own contest at Fairfield Elementary. Participation is voluntary – it’s not a graded project. The children work on their recyclable art projects at home, but the kids look forward to participating every year. She does set aside one day of class time to talk about why it’s important to recycle and to show examples of past projects, encouraging students to think about how they can turn someone else’s trash into an aesthetically pleasing treasure. This year, she discovered students had already started their projects before she even announced the contest. Fairfield Elementary’s contest boasts 48 entries this year, all of which will be invited to participate in the exhibit at ACAC. “There were actually fewer entries this year than last,” Melissa said, “but they are all of high quality, so they will all be invited to participate.” Melissa works hard to teach the children how to transform their work to its highest potential, worthy of aesthetic appreciation.

For the ACAC contest and exhibit, each student may submit one work of art that does not exceed a size of 36 inches in any direction, and that is constructed entirely of recyclable materials. The projects are rated by a panel of judges based on the following criteria:


Claudia Bricker (2nd grade) points to her garden collage constructed with all recycled materials. Claudia received First place in 2014 in the Fairfield Elementary Show.

  • integration and transformation,
  • creativity, individuality, originality and uniqueness
  • and presentation.

Cash prizes are awarded to the top four entries in each of the following categories:

  • Grades K-2
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12

One piece will be selected as
best in show.

Artists are invited to submit their projects on March 31 and April 1, and the show will open to the public for First Friday on April 3. Awards will be presented on Saturday, April 18. A People’s Choice award will also be presented – be sure to visit the show to cast your vote, and reinforce the message that if we stop to look long enough, there truly is beauty in everything.

Some photos of the Fairfield Elementary entries for 2015:


Artist Spotlight: Linda Fauth

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by Karen Hendricks
Linda Fauth, "at home" in the ACAC's kitchen

Linda Fauth, “at home” in the ACAC’s kitchen

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and seems like the perfect time to profile a culinary instructor who enjoys focusing on “spring greens.”

Linda Fauth, long-time consumer science (“home ec”) teacher, may be retired, but she is still enjoying sharing her culinary and creative skills with a new group of students of all ages, through classes at the ACAC.

A native of Red Lion, in nearby York County, Linda says she inherited many of her talents from her mother. “She was a great cook and seamstress,” Linda explains, “So the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!”

After graduating from Albright College with a degree in family & consumer science, a move to New Jersey, and the earning of her master’s degree in education, Linda settled in Adams County in 1978.

She taught numerous classes including culinary and nutrition classes to middle schoolers in the Upper Adams School District, for more than 30 years, retiring in 2011.

Since then, she has taught numerous adult and children’s classes at the ACAC, including a tofu workshop; one of the highlights was creating a chocolate silk pie made with tofu.

“I have good, standard recipes I’ve used for many years, but I’m always trying new things,” Linda says. “Cooking Light is my favorite book and magazine for discovering new recipes.”

A previous class participant

A previous class participant

Linda is always modifying her classes, especially to reflect the trend towards more healthful eating.

Her next class for adults, “Spring Market Cooking,” includes several recipes featuring kale, considered one of the healthiest, nutrient-dense foods.

Spring Market Cooking!  Thursday, May 14, 6-8:30 pm Learn creative ways to prepare healthy appetizers, entrees and desserts using kale, asparagus and spring’s lush bounty.  Prepare and eat a kale salad, Portuguese kale soup, fruit salsa, a light entrée and something sweet and sumptuous for dessert.  Linda Fauth, $45 ($42 member) Register

One of Linda's former ACAC students proudly displays her edible creation!

One of Linda’s former ACAC students proudly displays her edible creation!

Linda also enjoys teaching 9, 10 and 11-year olds, through summer arts camps at the ACAC. Three years in a row, she has taught students how to make kid-friendly dishes they can easily replicate at home: smoothies, soft pretzels, mini pizzas, macaroni and cheese, and more.

“Sewing is Fun” is another popular camp Linda has taught for several summers. She abides by a special motto when it comes to her students’ creations. “I always tell my students they should like their projects and finish them—I always stay after class to help students finish sewing their projects if need be.”

Here are Linda’s upcoming 2015 summer arts camps:

Sewing is Fun! July 27-31 (ages 9-11) 1-4 pm  Spend the week learning both hand and machine sewing skills and see how easy sewing can be… and fun too!  Choose your own fabric and create your very own chef’s apron, a tote bag, and decorative pillows. Linda Fauth $152 (member $142) Register

Cooks in the Kitchen July 20-24 (ages 9-11), 9-12 pm  Begin your journey into the culinary world by learning about nutritious fun foods. Develop confidence around the kitchen- learn about proper measurements, safety issues and what kitchen tools to use! Make favorites: soft pretzels, orange julius, ice cream, mac and cheese, and fresh salsa and more! Linda Fauth $160 ($150) Register

Previous "Sewing is Fun" campers

Previous “Sewing is Fun” campers

One of Linda's previous kids' cooking camps

One of Linda’s previous kids’ cooking camps

Previous "Sewing is Fun" campers

Previous “Sewing is Fun” campers

Spending time in the kitchen isn’t a chore to Linda: “The kitchen here (at the ACAC) is awesome—it’s so easy to set up and involve the class in the cooking process. Afterwards, there’s plenty of room for us to eat as well!”

When she’s not cooking at the ACAC, Linda enjoys spending time as a food and wellness volunteer through the Penn State Extension Service, making presentations to schools, business meetings, and other groups. One of their current programs is called Dining with Diabetes.

She also enjoys sewing for her grandchildren; her latest creations have included dresses, a Hawaiian shirt, a puppet theater, and alphabet charts.

Linda says her favorite, prized recipe of all time is a family recipe that’s been handed down for generations, for sticky buns. But she also enjoys making sourdough starter, baking bread, cakes, cookies and cream puffs.

Her neighbors likely consider themselves very lucky. She says she often shares her culinary creations with them—but along with those tasty treats comes a request: She always asks for their honest feedback on all new recipes. Sounds like a delicious relationship!

Linda Fauth IMG_9031

An ABC chart Linda made for her grandchildren





Artist Spotlight: Anna (Fetter) Robison

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by Lisa Cadigan

Anna-fettucine-handsCulinary Arts Instructor Anna (Fetter) Robison Shows How Food Is Art, Appealing to All of our Senses

I first met Anna (Fetter) Robison when she was the head chef at Pomona’s Woodfired Bakery Café (now Fidler & Co. Custom Kitchen) in Biglerville.  From the beginning, her talents in the culinary arts were obvious: the restaurant was always filled with people and delicious smells – the aromas were just a teaser to the tastes that followed. It was also impressive to watch her craft beautiful and tasty dishes while managing a kitchen staff often made up of her siblings. The oldest of six, Anna grew up in Cashtown with a strong sense of family. Watching her run a kitchen, it was obvious she and her brothers and sisters hold each other in high regard and with mutual respect. She runs a tight ship, but acknowledges, “Yelling isn’t good for anyone. Respect is a two-way street.”

Anna left Pomona’s to focus on time with her family, and she approaches parenting in the same no-nonsense, fun-loving, mutually respectful way she runs a kitchen. Mom to a precocious and adorable five-year-old who also loves to cook, once a week Anna encourages her daughter Emily’s creative exploration by allowing “experimental soups” for dinner, which Emily makes and serves to the grown-ups. Anna respectfully tastes whatever is served. After all, if Emily is expected to eat what is in front of her, Anna feels it is important to offer the same respect. That said, Anna admitted with a smirk that when her daughter’s “soups” are too difficult to choke down, she and her husband might creatively distract Emily before cleaning their plates in the sink. Some day they will all laugh about this together.

Cooking adventures with her daughter have inspired many of the children’s classes Anna teaches for the Adams County Arts Council. Earlier this year, she offered a Mommy & Me Frozen-themed cooking class, inspired by the popular movie. This summer, she is excited to offer a Princess Cooking Camp, where students will be introduced to cuisines paired with the appropriate princesses, including dishes like New Orleans-style jambalaya, inspired by Tiana of The Princess and the Frog and a sea-foam smoothie and shell pasta salad, inspired by Ariel of The Little Mermaid.

pasta-dishIn addition to her wonderful work with kids, Anna is also a culinary artist with much to offer adults. Her specialties include fresh pasta and seafood dishes. These evening classes can be a great alternative to a typical night at a restaurant – students enjoy a social evening of learning, interaction and great food. The experience offers food that is not only delicious, it’s also beautiful. Tantalizing smells fill the classroom-kitchen. The culinary arts allow students to experience food with all five senses, making it a uniquely appealing art form.

Anna is thoroughly enjoying her teaching experiences at ACAC, and she aspires to teach full-time some day. A graduate of the Gettysburg High School Tech Prep Culinary Arts program, she had all good things to say about her experience there, and would ultimately love to return as a full-time instructor. In the meantime, you can find her working at Hickory Bridge Farm, a family-style restaurant in Ortanna, and teaching all she can at ACAC.

A Taste of Anna’s Talents

Anna-pastamachineIs this article making your mouth water? Come see Anna on Tuesday, March 10 at 6 pm, when she offers Pasta, Pasta, Pasta! Students will learn to make delicious pasta dough for ravioli and lasagna, as well as a collection of sauce recipes. Register here!

Anna has also graciously volunteered to coordinate the catering and food service for the ACAC’s upcoming event, Glitter and Glue: An Evening with Kelly Corrigan on March 20. This promises to be an exciting evening of good food, live music, and a wonderful presentation and book signing by NY Times best-selling author Kelly Corrigan. The event is part of Corrigan’s “Glitter and Glue for Good,” (#ggforgood) benefitting a variety of non-profits across the United States. Register here!

Fight Cabin Fever with the ACAC

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Karen Hendricks

Cold January days are here, but the arts council had two fantastic events this weekend that can help you combat “cabin fever:”

Have movie moxie? Let your trivia skills shine at our Jan 9 Trivia Contest!

Have movie moxie? Let your trivia skills shine at our Jan 9 Trivia Contest!

The Pike Restaurant, 985 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, will offer a special Trivia Contest on Friday, January 9, from 6-8 p.m. to benefit the Adams County Arts Council.  Draft a team of up to eight players or join a team that evening and test your general knowledge of subjects like pop culture, sports, history, movies, geography, music and literature.  Cost to play is a $10 donation per person to the Arts Council. Each member of the winning team receives a $20 gift card from The Pike. For more information about the trivia contest or to reserve a table, contact the Pike at 717 334-9227.  For more information about Arts Council classes, programs or membership, contact, or visit

It Happened One Summer by Dianne Lorden

It Happened One Summer by Dianne Lorden

Eight accomplished artists, members of the Gettysburg or Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters groups, will be coming in out of the cold for a Plein Air Paint-In at the Center on Saturday, January 10. From 10 a.m. to 12 noon, you’re invited to see how these artists approach a plein air-type painting and watch as different interpretations of the same bouquet or still life emerge.  The paintings, which may be purchased either framed or unframed, will go on sale from noon to 2 p.m.

Enjoy hot beef vegetable, carrot ginger or crab soup (eat-in or take-out) served up by Arts Council members. You may also choose to purchase soup in hand-carved stoneware bowls by potter Lori Nelson.

There is no admission charge for the event. The artists, all of whom are donating their sales to the Arts Council, include event organizer Barb Ebaugh, Cortez Lawrence, Paul J. Gallo, Claire Beadon Carnell, Larry Lerew, James Bricker, Kim Stone and Dianne Lorden.

Snow date for the Paint-In is Saturday, January 24.

The Arts are a Gift for Future Generations

Posted on: December 17th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan


In the world of education, where test scores are often valued above participation in the arts, we are losing sight of the fact that academic success depends on creative thinking.  According to and a report by Americans for the Arts, “young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.” A Gallup study on entrepreneurship concluded creative thinking is the crucial trait shared among successful entrepreneurs.  Also reported on, “A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts.”

If we know the arts are responsible for building future generations of creative thinkers (not to mention, happier people), shouldn’t we invest in that endeavor?

Preschoolers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

Preschoolers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

In 2014, at the Adams County Arts Council provided enriching arts experiences for:

  • 246 pre-K children, who will likely be better prepared to thrive in a school environment than peers who did not participate in such programs;
  • 299 summer campers, who developed their minds and bodies with movement classes, culinary classes, painting, textiles, clay and collage;
  • 174 high school and middle school students, who enjoyed after-school classes in the new Eat Smart – Play Hard program, which teaches the benefit of good nutrition with a creative twist;
    Adult students enjoy a Paint & Wine evening with Marie Betlyon Smith

    Adult students enjoy a Paint & Wine evening class

  • 1,558 students, who enjoyed artistic experiences with Artists-in-residence; and
  • 663 adults, who continued on a journey of lifelong learning through a variety of art classes.

Twenty-two percent of the children who took classes did so on a full scholarship, thanks to ACAC’s commitment to provide access to lower income families.

These gifts given to our community by the Adams County Arts Council are trends to build upon.  So we are asking you to please give back, and pass it on.

Give Back…And Pass it On
From December 16 – 18
, ACAC will be raising funds online to ensure the continued ability to provide our community with enriching experiences, activities and educational opportunities.  Our goal is to raise $7,200 in 72 hours, and you can help.

  1. Give Back.
    There are plenty of reasons to say thank you, and your gift helps ensure the continued creative spirit that thrives in our community.
  2. Pass It On.
    Share this article with everyone you know!  Use social media accounts, and email your entire address book.  The more engaged our community becomes, the more the arts will thrive. And the more the arts thrive, the richer all of our lives become.
  3. Stay Tuned. Watch and share our Facebook and Twitter posts from December 16-18, as we track the progress of the campaign.  The more you help share the news, the more successful we will all be! Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to our email list (enter your email address in the upper right hand corner of this page).  Learn about all of the opportunities ACAC has for you throughout the year.
Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

We thank you in advance for your gift. Donors of $50 or more will receive recognition on the blog and in a special holiday email greeting following the campaign. Givers of $250 or more will be entered into a raffle for a free class at the ACAC this January or for a ticket to our upcoming event with NY Times Best-selling Author Kelly Corrigan in March.

Enjoy this season of giving!


In the Spirit of Gratitude

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan


grat·i·tude (noun) the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.

Holiday traditions encourage us to take pause and to appreciate the many gifts we receive throughout our lives, so often taken for granted.

As you reflect on the things for which you are thankful this year, and make your list of gifts to give, please remember the organizations in our community that add so much to our lives, like the Adams County Arts Council.

Why should I be thankful for ACAC?
In 2014, ACAC provided our community with educational opportunities like camps, classes and brown bag lunch seminars.  Artists-in-residence shared their expertise providing creative experiences for over 1,500 students. There were social opportunities like the Masquerade Ball, the summer fiesta and Tea with Mamie. There were exhibits throughout the year, both at the Center and throughout the community in places like the Farmer’s Market and Hauser’s Winery, as well as a Juried Art Exhibition at Schmucker Hall, which attracted more than 100 artists.  There were community partnerships like the AOK summer musical, Tarzan, and the evening with scholar and retired  Rhode Island Chief Justice Frank J. Williams, whose Lincoln stories were coupled with a lovely culinary experience, thanks to a partnership with Wendy Allen of Lincoln into Art.

2014 was a year of giving for the Adams County Arts Council, which is constantly evolving with new ways to cultivate an arts-rich community.

From December 16 – 18, ACAC will be raising funds online to ensure the continued ability to provide our community with enriching experiences, activities and educational opportunities.  Our goal is to raise $7,200 in 72 hours, and you can help.

Give Back…And Pass It On.
Acknowledging the treasury the arts provides to our community, can you give a gift back to the arts this time of year? It’s simple to ensure that the arts will continue to thrive in Adams County for years to come: just give back, and pass it on. Both steps are important, and we appreciate your support.

1. Give back.
Beginning tomorrow, and continuing through Thursday, ACAC is hosting a special online fundraising event. Make your gift of $50, $100, $250 or in any amount you have to give by clicking here. We are hoping to raise $7,200 in 72 hours, but we need your help!

2. Pass it on.
Share the gift of giving with your friends through your social media accounts or by email. Passing this post on to as many people as possible will build our creative community, ensuring future success.  Click the icons below and share, share, share!

3. Stay tuned. If you haven’t already subscribed, please sign up to receive emails from ACAC (Enter your email address at the top of this page, on the right.) Learn about all of the opportunities ACAC has for you throughout the year. And watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds, as we update progress of this fantastic online event!

Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

Kelly Corrigan (Photo Credit: Betsy Barnes)

We thank you in advance for your gift. Donors of $50 or more will receive recognition on the blog and in a special holiday email greeting following the campaign. Givers of $250 or more will be entered into a raffle for a free class at the ACAC this January or for a ticket to our upcoming event with NY Times Best-selling Author Kelly Corrigan in March.
Enjoy this season of giving!

3rdThursdaynoon: Elsie Singmaster Society

Posted on: December 12th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

brown-bag-lunchThe Adams County Arts Council’s Brown Bag Lunch Series, 3rdThursdaynoon, continues on Thursday, December 18 at 12 p.m. at the Arts Education Center, 125 S. Washington St., Gettysburg with featured guests, Sue Hill and Carolyn George, members of Gettysburg’s newly formed Elsie Singmaster Society, who will present Elsie Singmaster’s Stories to Read at Christmas. There is no admission charge for this hour-long program.

A Gettysburg resident from 1901-1958, Elsie Singmaster (1879-1958) was a nationally recognized author whose fictional topics included the Pennsylvania Germans and the Battle of Gettysburg.  She was once called “Gettysburg’s First Lady” by town contemporaries because of her achievements and her leadership participation in the Gettysburg community. Happily, local residents have recently rediscovered Singmaster whose significant literary work and public legacy were nearly forgotten. Singmaster won an O. Henry Award for her Pennsylvania German short story, “The Courier of the Czar” (“Saturday Evening Post,” June 7, 1924) and a Newberry Award Honor Book recognition for her Gettysburg novel, Swords of Steel (Houghton Mifflin, 1934). Stories to Read at Christmas (Houghton Mifflin, 1940) is a collection of Singmaster Christmas stories published to read aloud during the holiday season. Susan Hill and Carolyn George will each read a story from this collection.

Susan Hill is the author of Heart Language: Elsie Singmaster and Her Pennsylvania German Writings (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009).  Carolyn George is a long-time Adams County resident whose appreciation of her adopted home’s history is being greatly enriched by Elsie Singmaster’s writings.

The 3rdThursdaynoon series will take a winter hiatus with no programs in January or February and will resume on March 19.

For more information about Arts Council classes, programs, or membership, visit, or call (717) 334-5006.

Mary Luquette: Art is the “Key” to Life

Posted on: December 8th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks

“Art has brought healing to my life. But it’s not only about that. To put art ‘out there’… it’s fantastic to have others benefit from viewing it and learning about my story.”

Mary Luquette of Gettysburg believes art truly saved her life. It’s the “key” to her story…

Mary Luquette (Photo Credit: Karen Hendricks)

Mary Luquette (Photo Credit: Karen Hendricks)

“Growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer but my parents said ‘no—be practical,’” she explains. “I always sewed, always had an interest in art and fiber, and although it wasn’t the focus of my career, I got into quilting.”

Mary Luquette 4She says quilting and fiber arts came naturally to her. “I have always felt as though I ‘know colors’ and can put different colors and fabrics together.”

But woven into the fabric of her adult life, were the tragic deaths of five family members including her husband.

“Life didn’t make sense, so it didn’t make sense to continue quilting,” Luquette says. “But creating fiber art as a form of expression brought tremendous healing.”

“I was surprised that I was also successful. I was seeing a counselor for the grief and she asked if I was going to keep them (the fiber artwork) under my bed forever. So I started showing and selling them.”

Mary Luquette 1The first art exhibition she entered was the Adams County Arts Council’s 2nd Annual Juried Arts Exhibition in 2005 and Luquette was awarded the prestigious “Best of Show.”

“It was an amazing feeling,” Luquette says. “Fiber art is more accepted today as ‘real’ art. But (nearly 10 years ago, in 2005,) I expected a painting or sculpture to win.”

That first award was a validation of her artistic talent; simultaneously, Luquette was also winning awards for her athletic ability. Running had become another outlet for her pain, and she became a successful triathlon and marathon competitor.

Even though Luquette had quickly become an award-winning artist, she realized two important things: “I wish art could pay the bills, but it’s very tough to make it financially as an artist,” she explains. In her ‘day job,’ Luquette works with autistic children.

Mary Luquette 6Secondly, she realized that she needed to deepen her artistic skills through classes at the arts council.

“I decided I wanted to study the basics because I never really considered myself a ‘real’ artist. I thought it was important to learn the basics—color and form.”

Luquette signed up for drawing, photography and painting classes, and is currently in her third series of drawing classes with Sara Little. “I think every teacher here at the arts council is very passionate about their subject. With Sara, I love her honesty—she’s very critical and she will give you feedback on how to fix your drawings.”

Mary Luquette 5She encourages others to take advantage of the wide range of classes available at the arts council. “My advice is to sign up,” she says. “People who say ‘I can’t’… all they need to do is practice. I don’t say ‘I can’t draw.’ Instead, I say ‘I don’t practice enough.’ That’s all it is.”

“You can’t expect to draw like DaVinci. Just like you can’t expect to run a 5K right away. You start walking and before you know it you’ll be running. I learned how to swim at the age of 60. I’m open to learning new skills. Everyone can learn–it provides an outlet. Some aspect of art is important to express who you are.”

Mary Luquette 3Luquette has taken numerous fiber art classes including week-long sessions in New York state. She estimates that she’s created hundreds of collage and/or fabric art pieces by now.

“Last year my sister died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 54. I’m inspired to continue creating, by life events,” she says. “The arts are a great way to express things when we can’t verbalize them.”

You could say that art is the key that unlocked her ability to cope with life’s ups and downs… a defining statement from Luquette, especially considering the meaning of “Luquette,” a Canadian/French surname that refers to the occupation of a locksmith.

˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜

To check the ACAC’s list of current classes, click here

To contact Mary Luquette, click here for her email address

To learn more about her story, click here for

Mary Luquette 2

Third Thursday Brown Bag Lunch Series: A Warm Welcome to Judy Pohlhaus of Random House

Posted on: November 7th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

blogphotoAccording to her husband, Judy Pohlhaus has the perfect job.  She gets to read new books, talk to people on the phone about them, and give presentations to groups where she shares her favorites.  Employed by Random House for 29 years, Judy started as a summer intern and never left, indicating her husband may be on to something.  She currently works as a telephone sales manager in Random House’s Westminster, Maryland location, where she manages two large accounts and four library systems, offering her the opportunity to visit a variety of locations including five Barnes and Noble stores across Maryland, day and evening book group meetings, and this month, our own Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) in Gettysburg.

Please plan to take your lunch break at the ACAC on Thursday, November 20 at noon to hear Judy speak about the newest titles from Random House. The program will last about an hour. The selection is sure to make great reads and gift ideas for the holidays.  She will bring galleys and advanced copies of several titles to be raffled off at the end of the event, including:

  • NY Times bestselling author Kelly Corrigan’s newest memoir, Glitter and Glue;
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose your own Autobiography, by Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer Neil Patrick Harris;
  • Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Make it Ahead;
  • Station Eleven:  A Novel, by Emily St. John Mandel;
  • and others, to remain a surprise until the event.

Judy will also have signed copies of A Star for Mrs. Blake, a historical fiction novel by April Smith; her first foray into a new genre after her popular Ana Grey FBI mystery/thrillers.

It’s sure to be an afternoon of great conversation and book suggestions, and it’s FREE!

Thursday, November 20, 2014 at noon at the Adams County Arts Council Education Center

125 S. Washington Street

Gettysburg, PA 17325

For more information, please call (717) 334-5006

Share the event with friends and RSVP on Facebook here.

In the Artist Spotlight: Debbie Westmoreland

Posted on: November 5th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks


You could say that everything Debbie Westmoreland does, she does with style.

From fashioning Barbie doll clothes at the age of six, to working for a major New York department store, and curating historical exhibits—all of these experiences have put her on a path that recently brought her to Gettysburg where she now shares her creative gifts through the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC).

Detail, "Floral Abstract", wool and silk

Detail, “Floral Abstract”, wool and silk

By day, Westmoreland may be one of the friendly smiling faces visitors encounter when they enter the ACAC and are greeted by support staff. But Westmoreland is also part of the huge network of talented instructors who lead classes at the arts council. She has taught interior design classes for adults as well as fashion design classes for the children’s afterschool and summer programs. Additionally, her textile art has been featured in numerous ACAC exhibits. And she continues to learn and grow as an artist, by taking classes from other arts council instructors.

“I’ve always been interested in textiles, fashion and history,” the Gettysburg woman explains. “And my career path is an example of that… but being in this environment has given me the confidence to truly pursue being an artist (for the first time),” she explains.

Fiber art by Debbie Westmoreland

Fiber art by Debbie Westmoreland

It’s been a long, winding road for Westmoreland, who learned how to sew at a young age, from her mother and grandmothers as she grew up in the Reading area. “My Pennsylvania German heritage made me appreciate the importance of textiles,” she claims.

Even though her heart was in the fashion industry, her head steered her towards a more practical college major—design and merchandising—at Drexel University, Philadelphia. While working in retailing for Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, she realized she needed a creative outlet. So she decided to go back to school for her BFA in interior design from the New York School of Interior Design.

After working at several design firms in New York and New Jersey, Westmoreland again sought a more creative path—with a twist. “I realized I wanted to tie my love of history into my work.” She again headed back to school, studying at Seaton Hall, for her Master of Arts in Museum Professions.

This led to a position she describes as “one of the most creative experiences I’ve ever had”–Curator and Collections Manager for the Morris County Historical Society in New Jersey—a position she held for 13 years.

In 2011, when her husband reached retirement age, the couple decided to relocate to Gettysburg. “This area is a welcoming and nurturing setting for artists,” she explains. “It’s hard for me to create in a crowded, fast-paced environment, but Adams County is a comfortable environment, (more conducive to producing artwork).”

In addition to exhibiting her work periodically through members’ shows at the ACAC, her stylish fashions and textile artwork can both be found at A&A Village Treasures, Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg.


“I feel as though I’m finally underway as an independent artist—it’s another step or chapter in my career,” she says. All achieved with her ever-evolving flair for style.

To contact Debbie Westmoreland: westmorelanddebbie (at)

"Fantasy Turquoise," a wrap by Debbie Westmoreland

“Fantasy Turquoise,” a wrap by Debbie Westmoreland


Detail, "Fantasy Turquoise"

Detail, “Fantasy Turquoise”


Time Well Spent with Paint and Wine

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

10494637_1438922073062932_4388369497265544773_nAs the passing days of my life turn into months and years, I realize I am running out of time to become the next van Gogh.  I have been pretty busy raising children and working over the past several years, and I haven’t taken much time to practice painting.  Yet I have always wanted to know how to paint. I often find myself viewing the world in watercolors, imagining beautiful sky-scapes on canvas, wishing I knew how to capture the beauty of a fall day in a painting. I have also always wanted to win an Oscar for best actress, but we’ll stay focused here and keep it real.

Last fall, I registered for a watercolor class at the ACAC. Committed to cutting out a little time just for me, I impressed myself with my ability to carve out the three hours a week to attend the class, only to experience a head-slapping V-8 moment when I was reminded that if one wants to become fluent in any creative process, she has to practice, preferably daily.  I hadn’t cut out the time to practice.  I had literally budgeted my time to the minute just to be able to attend the class.  Our instructor suggested we set up an area in our homes where our paints were always accessible, which sounded wonderful, but I knew with a heavy heart from day one that this was not a class I would be able to continue with any success at this season in my life.

Although I highly recommend the class and the instructor, I confess my paints have remained in the closet for the most part since last year. They come out every now and again on a random Saturday when my daughter and I have a few hours to play with paint together.  Now that it’s fall again, Sunday afternoons leave us a few hours clear of distraction while the boys in our house watch football, so maybe we’ll paint then, too.

I had resolved to put my dreams to master painting aside for the time being, when another opportunity presented itself.  I was intrigued to hear about the Paint and Wine Nights hosted at the ACAC, taught by instructor Marie Betlyon Smith.  During these monthly evening classes, the ACAC provides paints, easels and brushes, while Marie supplies a sample painting, accessible instruction, and music. Students are invited to munch on snacks and enjoy the beverages of their choice, while Marie leads the class through a complete work, from start to finish, in just a few hours.  No experience is necessary.  Seriously.  Absolutely none.  I went to my first class on August 7, and painted this: mypainting


There are a variety of people who come to the class – regulars committed not to miss a class, dabblers like me who will fit it in when we can, people who have never touched a brush, and some avid painters who may not even paint the subject matter presented, but who enjoy the opportunity to paint in community.  The result is a truly lovely evening of relaxation and creativity with interesting people, complete with the satisfaction of a finished painting to bring home.

Marie leads her students through the process of her sample painting, but artists are free to vary the palette and subject as they wish.  I pretty much followed the example during my first class, but next time I might branch out a little more, like my classmate, Jim McCabe, who decided to zoom in a little closer to the moon.


Left: Marie’s sample painting for the evening
Right: Jim’s interpretation of the subject

I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a new medium (acrylics), to see how Marie was able to break down the painting into simple steps, and to discover what I could do.  I was able to practice painting without any worry about when I might get to practice again, thanks to a meaningful starting and ending point during an evening I can commit to one month at a time.  I enjoyed food and wine with friends, new and old, while listening to good music.  The energy of the room that evening was pretty magical.

August Paint Night

The October paint night is already sold out, but there are more scheduled. Not available evenings? ACAC is also offering some daytime offerings.  So grab some friends, or come out for a solo-adventure to meet new friends.  Set aside some time one evening or afternoon to let your inner-Picasso come out to play.

Upcoming classes are:

Thursday, November 6 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 4 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, December 8 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.

All classes are held at the ACAC Education Center on 125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg.  You can register for the November class here or call (717) 334-5006 for more information.  Links to register online for December should be available soon.  Cost for the class is $36.

This is the lovely painting being offered for the December afternoon class, taught by Marti Yeager:

 Moon-at-SunsetHope to see you there!


Stoneware Fish, Monkey Muffins and More Summer Highlights

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks
Edible Art Campers

Edible Art Campers

“She said she loved camp everyday!” That is just one of the dozens of rave reviews pouring into our office, in the wake of the ACAC Summer Arts Camp schedule. Now that school is back in session, we miss the excitement and creativity sparked by children dancing and skipping through our building, making all kinds of colorful projects—some of them even edible, and seeing their fantastic imaginations at work. We hope we sparked a life-long appreciation of the arts, and we hope they return for After School Classes and/or next year’s Summer Arts Camps.

Sewing Camp!

Sewing Camp!

Until then, we are thankful for much positive feedback and want to share a few reviews:

  • Mr. Jack is wonderful. Kind and patient! Great instructor!
  • I am impressed with the quantity, variety, and quality of projects. She liked the drawing projects best.
  • This was an amazing camp and it definitely met all my expectations.
  • End of class presentation was excellent.
  • Mr. Gilmore was an excellent instructor and the class project was enjoyed by my son.
  • They came home talking about all the great things they learned each day!
  • The best (comment) is “look what I can do!”
  • Enjoyable experience – nice that parents/siblings can have some tasty treats too.
  • “I love it Mom! The teachers are so nice. We make great food!”
Learn to Play Guitar Camp

Learn to Play Guitar Camp

Fun with Impressionism Camp

Fun with Impressionism Camp

On the questionnaires, parents were asked to rate their child(ren)’s arts camps on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest rating. When we tallied the results, we found that:

  • More than 8 in 10 parents gave us a rating of “5.”
  • 95% of all parents rated our camps as being either a “4” or “5.”
  • For enjoyment of projects, parents’ average rating was 4.86
  • Parents’ average rating of summer arts camp teachers was 4.89
  • Did the class meet your expectation? Parents’ average rating was 4.77.
Photo Camp project!

Photo Camp project!

Fun with Weaving Camp

Fun with Weaving Camp

What did your child enjoy most? Here are just a sampling of the happy answers:

  • Making stoneware fish
  • Rolling the dough for monkey muffins
  • Using the big loom
  • I liked making new friends
  • The watermelon cake
  • Working with the candy clay
  • Creating comic book
  • Making a mug
  • Learning how to make pottery on wheel. Lots of fun!
  • Making the apron
  • Making the bracelets
  • Having a nice teacher
Preschoolers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

Campers work on their Hungry Caterpillar books

What projects were your child’s favorites? When asked this question, we received more than 100 different answers. So, we got creative and made a piece of “word art” to demonstrate the answers! The larger words were responses we received multiple times. Enjoy!

Fave Art Projects Summer 2014


Are you inspired? Click here for our current Class Schedule including all Adult Classes, Preschool Classes and After School Classes. And enjoy a few more summer memories, below:


Under the Sea Camp


Dance Camp!


Comic Book Camp


Cooking Extravaganza campers enjoy their soft pretzels


Edible art creations!


Cooking Extravaganza Camp


Have I Got a Story for You!! Storytelling and More Camp

Have I Got a Story for You!! Storytelling and More Camp


Sewing is Fun Camp

Fall Fiesta Mixes Fun with Fundraiser

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by Karen Hendricks

Four things that Judy Pyle is most passionate about include the arts, parties, people and pies. (More on her pies, in a moment….) The longtime ACAC supporter is throwing one of her biggest parties in about a month—inviting the public to enjoy her Fall Fiesta—and all to benefit the arts council.

“This is the 11th annual Fall Fiesta,” Pyle explains. “Not only is it a fundraiser for the arts council, but it’s also a great way to spend a Friday evening after work.”

Set for Friday, September 26 from 5-8 pm, the Fiesta celebrates the first Friday of fall with a Mexican themed supper and drinks. Pyle says tacos are a staple of the menu—with endless possibilities for combinations of fillings—as well as traditional Mexican rice, beans, guacamole, plenty of salsa and chips, and more. Plenty of lively conversation, plus music by the Klinger McFry Band will add to the festive atmosphere.

The setting is Pyle’s meticulously-maintained grounds and gardens, surrounding her Gettysburg home, featuring tents and spacious seating areas. How fitting that attendees will be heading “south of the border” onto South Howard Avenue for her Fiesta—she laughingly refers to her address as “Gettysburg’s SoHo.”

Judy Pyle's beautifully-maintained gardens

Judy Pyle’s beautifully-maintained gardens

The Fall Fiesta also includes a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind art and exclusive items. She says prizes in the past have included incredible art as well as trips such as the chance to go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. As a jewelry artist, Pyle always contributes a pair of her hand-crafted silver earrings.

What drives Pyle’s love of the arts and determination to give back to the arts community?

“I taught art for 35 years,” she says, “So I know how important the arts are to life, to the community, to people who want their children to grow and go onto college. Art is a language, a problem-solving exercise—it expands minds. And the ACAC is all-inclusive in our community.”

Pyle says she’s been an arts council member since the organization’s inception, more than 20 years ago. She’s thrilled to host the Fall Fiesta for the 11th year, as a way to support the non-profit ACAC and keep the arts flourishing throughout Adams County.

RSVP for the Fall Fiesta today:

  • $25 per person
  • Requested by September 24
  • Can be made online (click here) or in person at the arts council, 125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg
  • Admission at the door will be $30
  • Event-goers must be at least 21

You will also see Pyle’s name among the many talented instructors teaching adult classes at the arts council this fall. And here’s where her love of pies comes in…

Judy's apple crumb pie... fresh from the oven

Judy’s apple crumb pie… fresh from the oven

“Not everybody knows how to make pies,” Pyle explains. “I grew up at the elbow of both of my grandmothers and it was great training for me, learning how to make pies. They were known for their pies, so I’m sharing their recipes through my classes offered at the arts council.”

You’re welcome to join Pyle, not only for the Fall Fiesta, but for her upcoming classes as well:

My Grandmothers’ Pies : Peach  – Thursday, August 21, 6:00-8:30 pm

Members of the class will be greeted by the aroma of baking pies as they enter the state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen.  Learn how to make the unbeatable combination of flaky dough and rich peach filling from local artisan and pie baker, Judy Pyle.  Learn tips on how to put a crust together, make it, roll it out, ready for the pie pan and the luscious filling to follow.  Your pie will be ready to bake or freeze when you leave.  Enjoy a pie that’s ready to be shared after instruction!  Judy Pyle  $38 (members $35) Register thru Paypal

Block Printing-Making Workshop – Saturdays, October 11-18, 10:00 am -3:00 pm

Learn how to make block prints using classic techniques.  While the process is simple, the lino print can be as subtle and simple, or as intricate as the artist wants.  Bring along ideas to the first class, and use as a catalyst to produce new and exciting artwork!  Materials provided. Judy Pyle and Andrea Theisson   $139 (members $126) Register thru Paypal

My Grandmothers’ Pies – Apple: Thursday, October 16, 6:00-8:30 pm

Members of the class will be greeted by the aroma of baking pies as they enter the state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen.  Learn how to make the unbeatable combination of flaky dough and rich filling from local artisan and pie baker, Judy Pyle.  Learn tips on how to put a crust together, make it, roll it out, ready for the pie pan and the luscious filling to follow.  Your pie will be ready to bake or freeze when you leave.  Enjoy a pie that’s ready to be shared after instruction! Judy Pyle  $38 (members $35) Register thru Paypal


Volunteering at the Adams County Arts Council

Posted on: August 13th, 2014 by acac

Cora Koser

Pictured left to right – Emily Hoponick (Instructor), Cora Koser, Mia Maloney(Intern from The School of Art Institute of Chicago) & Caroline Johnson (Intern from Millersville University)

By Cora Koser

I myself have been volunteering since I was nine.  Currently, I’m fourteen years old and have spent two of my years volunteering at the Adams County Arts Council.  The ACAC has been the happiest and welcoming environment to be working in.  I have had many different chances to meet all kinds of people that live in our community.  The many varieties of instructors makes each and every one camp special and unique.  All of the campers just give me a big fat smile on my face when I see their creativity flowing out.  Also, the students have taught me just as much as the instructors would’ve.  One of my favorite camps to help out in is the cooking camps.  The cooking camps get the campers really involved and interested in what they are doing.  I have also had lots of fun in many different art classes, one especially that ended with a “dance party.” It was so fun to watch the students show their moves to the song “What does the Fox say?”  As me being an insider, I can tell you that the the Adams County Arts Council is just the best place to have your kids (or maybe yourself) involved in the many activities offered.



Beat the “Dog Days of Summer” with an Art Camp for Kids

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Karen Hendricks
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 /

Image courtesy of Gualberto107 /

“The Dog Days of Summer”—approximately July 3 through August 11—is known as the hottest, most uncomfortable period of summer. This sultry, humid time period is named for the movement of Sirius, the dog star, as it aligns with the sun in the summer night sky.

Parents usually know when the Dog Days of Summer hit too… it’s the same time period when the phrase “I’m bored” starts to strike their households. But thankfully the ACAC has a full lineup of summer boredom-busting arts camps to help families survive the Dog Days of Summer—and beyond!

Here are a few highlights:

Ballerinas & Bears Returns, (ages 3-5), July 7-11, 9:00-11:00 am    

If you’re a beginner ballerina or dancer, this fun-filled class is for you and if you’re returning for a second time, new music and moves provided!  You’ll learn the elements of ballet and creative movement, wear your favorite costumes, and we’ll have a dancing teddy bear party and performance at the end of the week.  Elizabeth Spicer $90 (member $83) Ballerina& Bears Returns Registration

Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar, (ages 6-8), July 7-11, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Love the colorful collages Eric Carle uses to illustrate his picture books?  Learn to paint, cut, & assemble paper to make stunning collages of your own!  Then you’ll illustrate your own book.  Create something new every day and assemble your book at the end of the week to share at our Arty Party! Dawn Magee $155 (member $145) Hungry, Hungry Registration

Eric Carle

Project Runway:  Time Travel Fashion, (ages 10-14), July 7-11, 1:00-4:00 pm 

Explore the fascinating evolution of women’s fashion.  Each day you’ll create a fun fashion object from a different period in history using fabric, found objects, embellishments – and your imagination!  Our journey through fashion will begin with the Victorian Era and travel to the present day.  You’ll create a decorative fan, a flapper’s headband, a wrap, and together the group will design a piece inspired by a famous woman!  End the week with a fashion show featuring your own handmade creations!  Debbie Westmoreland $155 (member $145) Project Runway Registration

Fun with Weaving, (ages 9-11) – July 14-18, 9:00-12:00 noon    (max. 10 students)

Weaving is really fun and easy to do!  Begin your weaving experiences by using simple, inexpensive looms and materials.  Learn basic weaving techniques, designs and patterning with a variety of colored and textured yarns to create your own unique woven treasures.  Joh Ricci  $155 (member $145) Fun with Weaving Registration

Building 3D (ages 11-14), July 14-18, 10:00 am-1:00 pm

What’s 3D?  3D is art that’s not flat.  If you love working with your hands, here’s your opportunity to be a sculptor!  Construct a 3D sculpture using clay that’s carved and ready to hang on a wall.  Make a clay box, a wire sculpture influenced by a Calder mobile or a sculpture of your choosing exploring various media.  The materials are yours to shape.   Sally Becker $155 (members $145) Building 3D Registration

Sweet Treat Baking & Edible Art, (ages 9-14), July 14-18, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (Max of 10 students)

Experience just how creative baking and decorating desserts can be!  You’ll learn a variety of tricks for expressing your creativity in the kitchen – like drawing chocolate flowers when decorating a cake, making and decorating small fondant cakes, building a planter out of an ice cream cone – even making sculptures with chocolate and candy clay.  Yummy fun!   Lori Nelson  $155 (member $145) Sweet Treat Registration

Image courtesy of zole4 /

Image courtesy of zole4 /

Super Heroes Comic Book Camp!  (ages 8-11) July 21-25, 9:00-12:00 p.m.

Create your own unique characters as you develop your own super heroes!  Learn how to develop the dynamics of the face, the art of exaggeration and body construction.  Create your own costume designs as well as simple perspectives to create a cityscape.  This camp is great for artists who’d like to develop their drawing skills while using their imagination. Stanley Gilmore  $155 (members $150) Super Heros Registration

Express Yourself Through Impressionist Art! (ages 8-11) July 21-25, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Learn about famous Impressionist artists and this fascinating art movement.  Practice pointillism like Seurat.  Experiment with pastels like Degas.  Create fun Matisse-inspired collages using mixed media.  Paint like artists Monet and Cezanne.  Gather a deeper understanding of this magical Paris-based art movement while uncovering your own artistic talents. Melissa Jackson  $155 (member $145) Impressionist Registration

Cooking Extravaganza! (ages 10-14) July 21-25, 9:00-12:00 noon

Do you love food?  Spend a week with us crafting delectable recipes that are tasty, nutritious and fun to make! You’ll make banana berry smoothies, fresh salsa, tostadas and pitas with the fixings, tuna mac and cheese, and lasagna roll-ups for yourself, friends, and family!  Get cooking tips from an experienced instructor while learning all about the equipment, utensils and   kitchen safety! Linda Fauth  $158 (members $148) Cooking Extravaganza Registration

Fun Behind the Lens! (ages 11 & Up), July 28-August 1 , 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

Do you love to look at life through a camera lens?  This camp is for you!  You’ll learn everything you need to know to take great photos, experiment with composition and expand the boundaries of your camera by using still subjects and class members as models.  Create and print your favorite shots from the week as well as an 11” by 14” collage of favorite images taken by the class.  Remember to bring your camera to class! Bert Danielson  $150 (members $140) Fun Behind the Lens!  Registration



Sizzling Hot Trend in the Arts: On Fire at the ACAC

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks
"Mandala" - created at an ACAC Paint & Wine Night

“Mandala” – created at an ACAC Paint & Wine Night

It’s a hot trend sweeping the nation, bringing people together over art and wine, and the Adams County Arts Council is on top of it! What is this craze?

Paint & Wine Night!

Think of it as a “night out,” but with a creative twist. Attendees can round up friends or family members, sign up at the ACAC, and BYOB. ACAC instructors Marie Smith or Lisa Harman lead the way, providing all art supplies and complete, step-by-step instructions. By the end of the evening, each attendee has completed a piece of artwork that can be hung in his/her home. What a great remembrance of a fun evening. Absolutely no experience is necessary.

Unique: Another version of the "Mandala" design

Unique: Another version of the “Mandala” design

Held approximately once a month at the ACAC, Paint & Wine Nights have quickly become very popular. In fact, most previous Paint & Wine Nights have filled to capacity and sold out! The next one will be held on Thursday, July 10 from 6-8 pm.

The July 2014 Paint Night theme!

The July 2014 Paint Night theme!

“Paint Nights are helping people get in touch with their creative side, while having a lot of fun,” explains Wendy Heiges, ACAC Program Coordinator.

She even developed a very special, customized Paint Night recently. A group of Gettysburg-area women, rallying around one of their friends—fighting her second round of breast cancer, asked Heiges to develop a symbolic Paint & Wine Night. They wanted the paintings created to serve as a keepsake and reminder of the women’s strong ties, support and friendship. Wendy developed symbols for the women to paint, such as the oak tree, known for its strength and fortitude. Sand, water and sky served as a backdrop to remind the women of their friend’s favorite place on earth—the beach.

The Oasis Tree: A symbol of friendship among this circle of friends

The Oasis Tree: A symbol of friendship among this circle of friends

“It was an extremely meaningful evening,” Heiges explains. “We titled the theme ‘The Oasis Tree’ with each friend painting a personal symbol or signature on the honoree’s painting.  The friends considered their own ‘Oasis Tree’ a keepsake, documented with ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ as a memento of the aptly named ‘Laugh, Paint & Sip Night’ event.”

It is said that the arts can transcend all language barriers… Music and art especially, can express what words cannot. What better way to enjoy an evening together, celebrate a friendship, have fun with a sister, bond with your spouse, etc? And don’t forget to BYOB (or BYOW—Bring Your Own Wine)! Once the wine is flowing, so does the creativity!

Click here to sign up for the July 10 Paint & Wine Night, and look for future Paint & Wine Nights on the ACAC Class Schedule.

Sunflower Memories: captured on canvas as an ACAC Paint & Wine Night

Sunflower Memories: captured on canvas as an ACAC Paint & Wine Night


Fall Splendor: a sparkling reminder of an evening at the ACAC

Fall Splendor: a sparkling reminder of an evening at the ACAC


What Maya Angelou and Albert Einstein Have in Common

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks

Maya Angelou’s recent passing has unleashed a steady stream of the great poet’s insightful writings across social media and mass media. One of my favorites is…

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

– Maya Angelou

And it reminds me of another famous quote—this one from Albert Einstein:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

 – Albert Einstein

What do both of these quotes have in common? Children. Both quotes reinforce the importance of instilling and nurturing a love of the arts in children, stimulating and feeding their vivid imaginations, curiosity and creativity.

Pinch Pot Zoo 2010

Proud of his creation! Photo from a past “Pinch Pot Zoo” arts camp.

Although the calendar doesn’t officially say “summer” until June 21, it’s summer vacation time for most area children… and what better time than summer, to nurture your child’s (or grandchild’s) artistic side(s)?

Think back to your childhood and recapture that exhilarating feeling of the last day of school, with long summer days stretching before you, offering big blue skies and warm sunshine. Without classroom clocks, time seemed to stand still, with plenty of time to play, explore and let your imagination run free.

Studies have actually shown that children have the capacity to learn more during the summer season than any other time of the year, partly because they are generally healthier, and therefore more open to learning. The green growth we experience in nature during summertime also takes place in children—as evidenced by their bigger periods of growth in height throughout the summer. Not as visible, but still present, is children’s great capacity for creative learning.

With that in mind… I recently spoke to ACAC Program Director Wendy Heiges about the incredible lineup of Summer Arts Camps offered at the Arts Education Center in downtown Gettysburg.

A past "Dirty Hands Pottery" arts camp... can you feel the concentration?!

A past “Dirty Hands Pottery” arts camp… can you feel the concentration?!

“The Summer Arts Camps offer the opportunity to experiment and work with materials children usually don’t have at home,” she explains. “Every summer we try to feature new styles of artistry, but we also mix in the idea that classics are important too.”

“Some camps are popular year after year—we don’t reinvent the wheel, so we keep them on the schedule but we change and vary the projects to keep the camps fresh and exciting for the kids. For example, some kids come back to take the Dirty Hands Pottery camp every year. But we make sure we’re offering new projects, new colors and new glazes to continue to feed their ideas and imagination.”

You don't normally do this at home!! Photo from a past "Pinch Pot Zoo" arts camp.

You don’t normally do this at home! But it’s perfectly ok at summer arts camp.

“All instructors teaching the Summer Arts Camps have experience teaching children and are certified to do so. Actually, they are all used to teaching much larger groups of children in the public schools. So when children take our Summer Arts Camps, they receive much more personal attention because our maximum enrollment is capped at 12.”

A few fascinating new camps on the June 2014 schedule include:

Color-In My Piano (ages 9-12), June 23-27, 9:00 am-12:00 p.m. 

Pianos aren’t just black and white!  If you love music, you can quickly become a lover of piano and discover the piano’s many beautiful colors!  Experience the versatility of piano playing – singing along, pattern-based chording, and improvisation.  Sessions will also include music reading and rhythm study through both a lesson book and group games.  Experience with keyboard notes a plus but not required.  Kayla Weaner $155 (members $145) Color My Piano Registration

Mixing Music with Art, (ages 7-10), June 23-27, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.      

Discover how music has transformed and inspired artists throughout history to present day!  Soar through a week of sight and sound while creating 2D and 3D artwork inspired by music and famous artists.  Hands on learning about musical instruments each day will make this a visual and auditory experience you don’t want to miss!  Marie Smith $155 (145 members) Mixing Music with Art Registration

Fantasy Art Camp, (ages 12-16), June 23-27, 9:00-12:00 p.m.

Here’s your opportunity to design your own alien figure and its own habitat!  You’ll begin by viewing a video and then do lots of drawing and thumb-nail sketches to develop the character and its environment.  As you learn to transform your animal and human forms into creative fantasy aliens, you’ll add the habitat with plant life, rock formations, and other components that is part of your fantasy world.  Stanley Gilmore $155 (145 members) Fantasy Art Camp Registration

Click here for the full summer lineup! Many camps are filling quickly, with additional dates being added.

Please know that scholarships are available as well. Access to the arts, tapping into every child’s inner Picasso, should be barrier free. Click here for scholarship information.

Colorful summertime creations!

Colorful summertime creations!

And a few final pearls of wisdom:

“A child’s attitude toward everything is an artist’s attitude.” -Willa Cather

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” –Albert Einstein

“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” –Albert Einstein

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

 “It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a life time to paint like a child.” -Pablo Picasso

Three Cheers for A-B-C

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

A huge “thank you” to all who contributed to our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) Online Fundraiser  May 20-22.  We did it together!  We didn’t even have to promise you Christmas wrapping paper or junk food – all we did was ask, and you answered. Thanks to your thoughtful generosity, we collected $2,763 in 48-hours to be used for camp and class scholarships.  A majority of our donations were received in $10 and $20 increments, proving that our small actions do indeed carry great impact.  If you missed out on this particular online event, you can always make an online donation to the Adams County Arts Council and share our sponsorship page with your friends.  No amount is too small.

Prior to the ABC fundraiser, ACAC staff also reached out to Adams/Hanover social clubs for scholarship assistance; an effort that resulted in $3,470.  Thanks to both of these efforts, the summer will be brighter for many children.

Ella - Eric Carle Collage CampCHECK OUT OUR CAMPS!
Summer is right around the corner, and ACAC’s camp schedule promises something for everyone.  From preschoolers to teens, the variety of offerings include pottery, sculpture, painting, music, drama, dance, cooking, photography, sewing, weaving, comic book art, collage, mixed media and more. If you haven’t checked out the summer camp offerings yet, click here.  Click on the camp of your choice to register online today! Camps are filling up fast.

Do you need financial assistance?
Fill out this simple form (click here for Spanish) to determine whether you qualify for a scholarship.  Children who qualify for the school lunch program are eligible for scholarships.

The Adams County Arts Education Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with friendly staff available to answer your questions, and art on the walls for you to explore.  If you have questions, would like to become a member, or would like more information about summer camps, call (717) 334-5006 or stop in for a visit.

Angela’s Story

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks

“The arts council staff took me in as if I was a member of their family.”

Making Friends: Ballerinas & Bears Summer Camp, ACAC, Summer 2013

Making Friends: Ballerinas & Bears Summer Camp, ACAC, Summer 2013

Angela, a single mom in Gettysburg, was walking by the arts council with her young daughters last year when something pulled them inside to explore.

“We saw their list of summer camps right away and I signed them up. I was so excited for them to have this experience and not just rely on me to be their teacher all summer.”

A student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Angela’s husband had recently left her, and without support, she was concerned that the girls might not be able to follow through and attend their camps—Ballerinas and Bears for both 5-year old Ella and 3-year old Callie, and Eric Carle Style Collages for Ella.

When she expressed concern to arts council staff, her fears were dispelled right away. “They immediately offered scholarship forms and even helped me fill them out. They took me in as if I was a member of their family,” Angela explains.

As it turns out, Angela was able to pay for the girls’ camps, so she turned down the scholarship offer so that other children might benefit. “But the fact that the scholarship fund was there, was so helpful. I was caught in a situation where the money wasn’t there at first, yet I felt strongly that my daughters have these experiences.”

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Callie enjoyed “Ballerinas and Bears” in the ACAC’s studio space

Ballerinas and Bears was a “hit” with both girls, according to Angela. “The teacher was wonderfully open and willing to let them have fun. They both got very enthusiastic about dance!”

Additionally, Angela thinks of Ella’s experiences as very nurturing. “I saw that she was starting to define herself as an artist—it is her calling. So the idea of art camp just thrilled her. I’ve been artistic my entire life too, and I want to support that (interest in Ella).”

Angela even used Ella’s artwork to create a project of her own—a calendar for her parents. “It was much more advanced artwork than a 5-year-old is usually allowed to do in school.”

“The entire experience was just terrific for both girls.”

Ella proudly shows some of her Eric Carle-inspired creations

Ella proudly shows some of her Eric Carle-inspired creations

Check out the 2014 Summer Camp Schedule by clicking here!

A summer camp in visual or culinary arts, music, theater, dance, and more is the perfect way to ensure your child continues growing, learning and having fun this summer!

Click here for the youth scholarship form (available in English in Spanish)–look under the Children’s Summer Camps section.

Click here to help make camps and classes accessible to all of the children in our community.




Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan


I am a believer that all of our choices – big and small – have an impact beyond our wildest imaginings.  A kind word you share today can change the tenor of a stranger’s day; holding a door open for someone can restore his faith in humanity, even if only for a moment. Grocery shopping at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. can be the difference between bumping into an old friend or getting the last of the fresh strawberries. Each tiny decision (and there are thousands of them we make each day) has the potential for a ripple effect into the future.

When I was in high school, my dad took me on a road trip to tour colleges.  I was pretty sure I wanted to go to the University of Maryland at College Park – it was my dad’s alma mater, and the charm of the “south” with its beautiful campuses appealed to me (I am from NJ, so Maryland is “south”).  From College Park, we headed further south to check out the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia.  Our plan was to head home from Charlottesville, but when we found ourselves on a two-lane highway in the lovely rolling hills of Virginia, we realized we had missed an exit or made a wrong turn somewhere. Looking at the map, taking I-81 home made more sense than trying to work our way back to the I-95 corridor, so we re-routed our trip.  When we started seeing signs for James Madison University, we detoured to stretch our legs and check it out. I had never heard of JMU, and was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon the beautiful campus and talk to some folks in the theatre department.  We picked up an application on a whim and continued home.

I applied to three of the four schools we visited that weekend, including JMU, but I was still fairly set on going to College Park. However, when the acceptance letter came from JMU, my trajectory changed in a split second. I am not sure why.  Maybe the pretty bluestone buildings appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities.  Maybe it was the appeal of a theatre department that boasted several student-produced productions each year.  Whatever it was, I decided to go to JMU instead of U of MD.  My life changed because my dad and I turned left when we were supposed to turn right. (Side note: I met my husband at JMU. There are also two children who exist in the world because my dad and I got lost.)

We aren’t always conscious of the impact small choices make in our lives or the lives of others, but there are times when we have an opportunity to make those choices knowingly.

Today is a day like that.

Today, you have an opportunity to click a few buttons and change lives.  Today you can share this post with your friends and family and donate a small amount towards an art-scholarship for a child.  The children who receive these scholarships would not otherwise be able to participate in the summer camps and classes offered by the Adams County Arts Council.

Where would that dollar, or five dollars, or ten dollars burning a hole in your pocket go if you didn’t send it to ACAC?  Maybe it would go toward an extra cup of coffee late in the afternoon, which would in turn, keep you up at night and make you grumpy tomorrow and more likely to yell at your kids.  Maybe it would go towards a pack of gum that somehow ends up chewed and stuck to the rug in your car.


You can send it the Adams County Arts Council, and know that your pocket change can make our community better by strengthening and enriching its youngest citizens.  Your few dollars and clicks could be the turning point that determines where a child in our community decides to go to college later.  It could be the miniscule thing that makes it possible for the next Ansel Adams or Georgia O’Keefe to discover his or her talent.  At the very least it could be the opportunity for two siblings to find something in common that they like to do together, building family connections.  Your pocket change has infinite possibility today.

How can you get involved?  It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A.  Click here:
Donate $10.  Don’t have $10 to spare?  Donate $5. Or $1.  Every dollar counts – a click and a dollar or two makes a difference with unlimited potential.

B.  Share this story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email, and encourage them to play along and donate, too.

C.  Watch our progress on the blog and social media over the next 48 hours as we strive to meet our goal of $4,800 in 48 hours.  We’re hoping to reach 480 people who will donate $10 each.

“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.” –Danny Wallace



Meet Mira and Avery

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by Lisa Cadigan

Regardless of whether one child is the next Van Gogh or whether she just likes to draw stick people, offering children artistic opportunities serves two purposes:

  1. A child is given the opportunity to find a medium for self-expression.
  2. A child is exposed to creative ways people can connect with each other.

The result is people who practice the arts, and people who appreciate them.

Mira's birdhouse from "Dirty Hands Pottery," summer 2013

Mira’s birdhouse from “Dirty Hands Pottery,” summer 2013

Mira is seven, and she loves art.  She is also very good at it.  Last year, thanks to a scholarship awarded through the Adams County Arts Council, she and her brother Avery participated in Jack Handshaw’s “Dirty Hands Pottery” camp and Sara Little’s “Magic Art Time Machine” camp.  Their mother Heidi expressed her gratitude, as she would not have been able to send both kids to camp without the scholarship, which provided a unique opportunity for the siblings to participate in an activity together.  Upon completion of the “Magic Art Time Machine” camp, Sara Little, having seen something promising in Mira’s work, offered Mira private lessons. Mira also won a coloring contest at school and an award for a painted Christmas ornament through the Hanover Area Arts Guild.  Keeping budding artists like Mira involved in art is important.

Avery learns about Edvard Monk's "The Scream" in Sara Little's camp, summer 2013

Avery learns about Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” in Sara Little’s “Magic Art Time Machine” camp, summer 2013

Avery is pretty good at art, too, but more importantly, he loved camp. Heidi confides that Avery usually wouldn’t choose art as “his thing,” but the camps provided exposure to activities he had never tried before, and he enthusiastically produced some impressive work.  He learned about artists like Edvard Munch and his famous painting, “The Scream;” he made a birdhouse; he and his sister shared their versions of the same subjects, a flower and the tree of life – each reflecting a unique interpretation.  Keeping art-enthusiasts like Avery excited about art is also important.

Avery's flower

Avery’s flower

As human beings, we accomplish nothing without creativity.  Whether is it picking out something to wear in the morning, or assessing the quality of your morning coffee by the perfect tint, determined by just the right amount of creamer; whether it is how you will approach a difficult conversation, or how you will let a loved one know you are thinking of her on her birthday; whether it is what you will cook for dinner, or the restaurant you choose if you don’t want to cook – every decision requires a creative impulse.  Our ability to make decisions beneficial to ourselves and to the people around us is largely dependent on our experiences.  Offering a variety of creative experiences to young people promises a future generation with tools to build a rich quality of life.

Mira's flower

Mira’s flower

Beginning May 20 through the 22nd, you will have the opportunity to help children in our community experience not only a rich summer, but also plant the seeds for future creative impulses.

What is your creative impulse telling you to do right now?  I bet it’s telling you to share this post with your friends – go ahead and swirl your mouse with a flourish to the “share” button.  Mark your calendar for our online event May 20-22 (will you draw a star or a heart on the calendar square?).  We are hoping to raise $4,800 in 48 hours for kids like Mira and Avery.  We hope you’ll join the celebration.



The A, B, C’s of Arts Education

Posted on: May 14th, 2014 by Karen Hendricks


School is almost out, but here at the Arts Council we are gearing up for a new kind of “A,B, C’s.”

The Arts Benefit Children (ABC) is an online fundraising event, set for May 20-22, to raise critical funds for summer camp and class scholarships–to benefit disadvantaged youth.

Why is arts education so important?

Consider these facts from the non-profit organization Americans for the Arts:

  • Arts education “makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.”
  • Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • And arts education can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning.

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

How can you contribute to arts education for the youth of Adams County? It’s as easy as A-B-C:

A. Starting at 8 a.m. on May 20, visit and make your donation.  If just 480 people donate $10 each, we will meet our goal.  Every dollar counts!

B. Share and tweet this information with your friends on all of your social networks.  We will be sharing blog posts and stories leading up to the event, so there will be many opportunities to help us spread the word and invite your friends to participate.

C. Be sure to watch our progress online!  We will update ACAC’s sponsorship page and social media outlets regularly throughout the 48-hour period to let you know how we’re doing.  The event begins at 8 AM on May 20, and ends at 8 AM on May 22.  Don’t miss out on this amazing and fun opportunity to help a child access the arts.