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Community Arts Center merger with Penn College proposed


Pennsylvania College of Technology is recommending a merger of its corporation with that of the Community Arts Center, a wholly owned subsidiary of the college, pending approvals by the college’s Board of Directors and state and county entities.

Costs related to both the operations and infrastructure of the Arts Center are largely, and increasingly, subsidized by Penn College, although the center also relies upon philanthropic support from the community (led by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania), as well as local government and Visitors Bureau grant funding, and investment from a partnership with Lycoming College, now in its fourth year.

Nevertheless, the venue’s closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the need to identify significant efficiencies for the long-term sustainability of the facility.

The Community Arts Center hosts a Penn College commencement ceremony in 2017.
The Community Arts Center hosts a Penn College commencement ceremony in 2017.

A merger allows the organization to leverage Penn College’s marketing, development, finance, human resources and hospitality resources, much in the same manner that the college already provides general-services support for the facility.

“A merger with the Community Arts Center allows us to continue to deliver on its promise to enhance the culture and quality of life for our region through the performing arts, entertainment and educational programming,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “It also creates an opportunity to extend the college’s brand, post-pandemic; permits the college to more directly demonstrate value to our students; and opens up the facility for better utilization by the college, while maintaining our partnership with Lycoming College for its curricular and co-curricular programs, which offer direct opportunities for cross-enrolled Penn College students.”

“The Foundation applauds Pennsylvania College of Technology’s continued support for the arts, and the positive impact we know that they have on our community,” said Jennifer W. Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. “The continued operation of the Community Arts Center has a direct connection to our region’s cultural and economic vitality.”

If the merger proposal is authorized by action of the Penn College Board on Oct. 1, it will also require notice and/or approval by various governmental entities or agencies, including the Charitable Trusts and Organization Section of the state Attorney General’s Office. Approval or authorization may also be required by the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas.

Any restricted funds will remain segregated and used for their restrictive purposes.

Since opening in May 1993, the Community Arts Center, the former Capitol Theatre, has hosted 155,506 patrons for movies and 1,621,504 for live events for a total of 1,777,010, as of August.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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