As the third most populous county in Pennsylvania, it’s no surprise that Montgomery County would be home to countless artists, activities and creative opportunities. To celebrate the impact of and build awareness for the local arts, more than 100 arts and culture influencers from across the county and throughout the region helped kick off the new Arts Montco brand at the Berman Museum.
Arts Montco is designed to inspire visitors to explore Montgomery County’s more than 200 arts attractions, which feature live music venues, award-winning playhouses, historic movie theaters, amazing architecture, museums, gardens and arboretums.
“We are so grateful to count Ursinus as one of our more than 540 members with the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board,” said Edward Harris, VFTCB chief marketing officer. “With over 200 arts and culture attractions throughout Montgomery County, we had to invest in the arts as a key part of our strategy when marketing Montco.”
The presentation began with a vibrant and colorful video that featured clips of artwork, performances, and events from all across the county, including a peek at the Ursinus Love sculpture and Berman Museum.
“We have about 460 member organizations, which shows you how vibrant our cultural community is in the Philadelphia area,” said Michael Norris, the chief strategy officer for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “Many of those members are right here in Montgomery County and many of our members are right here in this room.”
“Arts Montco and the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board know that the arts are a cornerstone of the tourism industry and the region’s growing reputation as a vibrant, diverse and creative place to live, work, play and visit,” Norris said. “The cumulative impact of performing arts, historical museums, visual arts, public art, gardens and other organizations is profound and that impact is growing. In Montgomery County, the arts represent over $100 million dollars in economic impact. That’s why I’m so thrilled that Arts Montco is taking a regional approach to promoting the arts. This will generate future growth as we market Montco as an arts destination.”
Ursinus’s own Berman Museum, one of only three percent of the nation’s museums accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a large part of that arts destination. Guests at the Arts Montco launch were welcomed to explore the ongoing Real Estate exhibition and meet fellow artists and influencers from Ursinus and the surrounding region.
“The program at the Berman Museum is intended to engage the college community, but also to engage the local community and beyond,” said Charles Stainback, director of the Berman Museum.
Stainback encouraged the visitors to return to campus to take a walking tour of the more than 70 sculptures across campus. “It is a real treat for the art aficionado,” he said.
Jessica Willingham, VFTCB director of arts and culture, encouraged guests to “Make it Montco” for the weekend noting, “Valley Forge and Montgomery County have a really close connection to the arts.”
“We’ve really got it all here, from beautiful gardens and arboretums to live music and live theater. We really don’t need to go into the city to see these same talented actors and musicians. They’re right here in Montgomery County.”
Willingham also shared that the iconic Cirque du Soleil troupe plans to perform their latest show, Volta, in Oaks, Pa. in 2018.
The event shed light on the hundreds of creative opportunities right on our doorstep, starting here on campus and spreading to our neighboring towns within Montgomery County. —By Mary Lobo’15