By resolution dated January 13, 1975, the Monroe County Commissioners established an organization for the purpose of fostering cultural arts, the PoconoArts Council. From its inception, artists and arts organizations in all disciplines benefited from the Council's mission to service and advocacy. Additionally, the Council endeavored to enhance the county's image through cooperative efforts with area civic organizations and agencies and contribute to the quality of life of county residents and visitors.
Over the years, the PoconoArts Council has originated and developed many services and programs that enrich the cultural atmosphere for artists, residents and visitors to the Poconos. Its monthly newsletter has long been a source of information on cultural activities and opportunities. Other important services include county-wide Public Gallery Spaces; Youth in Music Excellence Awards; High School Students' Juried Exhibition; Annual Members' Exhibition and "Evening on Main" Artwalk; Arts in the Poconos Brochure; Studio Classes; ARTSPACE Gallery; cultural planning; arts advocacy; and technical assistance. Yearly events sponsored by the Council include the Pocono State Craft Festival; Masked Ball; and Party for the Arts.
Council membership has grown dramatically to 60 corporate and municipal sponsors. As the Council has grown, its achievements have been recognized at both the national and state levels. In 1992, the Council received an NEA salary support grant which enabled it to move from volunteer and part-time status to full-time executive leadership. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts selected MCAC as one of four pilot sites for its Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program in 1997. Through this program, over $284,000 has been granted to grassroots organizations in a five county region over the past six years. Additionally, the Council sponsors an Arts in Education Regional Residency Program supported by the PA Council on the Arts. This program places professional artists in classrooms throughout Monroe & Northampton County as well as social agencies such as Head Start and Wordsworth Treatment Center. The Arts in Education program added after school programming in 2002 through a grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NE PA. The PoconoArts Council moved to a new location in downtown Stroudsburg in 1999.
The Mission of the PoconoArts Council is to build our community artistically and culturally by providing leadership, service, and education.
The PoconoArts Council will be the leading advocacy organization offering inspiration, direction, and coordination for arts and cultural activities in the Pocono region.
The PoconoArts Council will foster communication, cooperation and collaboration between the arts community and the public through funding, information services and support.
The PoconoArts Council will provide art education opportunities and nurture growth in individuals and organizations offering instruction and participation in arts and cultural activities.