Founded in 1975 as the Monroe County Arts Council, PoconoArts is the oldest and most established local arts service organization in the Pocono region of northeastern Pennsylvania. It serves as a ‘Chamber of Commerce’ or umbrella organization for artists and arts organizations in all disciplines, as well as the resident and tourist populations of the area.
Continued growth, support, and diversification of the region’s cultural community led PoconoArts to move to professional status and appoint a full-time Executive Director in 1992. Today, the Council staff, along with a volunteer board and committee members, works diligently to promote the Council as the region’s leading art service, education, and advocacy organization.
Culture Builds Community
The Mission of the Pocono Arts Council is to build our community artistically and culturally by providing leadership, service, and education.
The Pocono Arts Council will be the leading advocacy organization offering inspiration, direction, and coordination for arts and cultural activities in the Pocono region.
The Pocono Arts Council will foster communication, cooperation, and collaboration between the arts community and the public through funding, information services, and support.
The Pocono Arts Council will provide art education opportunities and nurture growth in individuals and organizations offering instruction and participation in arts and cultural activities.
By resolution dated January 13, 1975, the Monroe County Commissioners established an organization for the purpose of fostering cultural arts, the Pocono Arts Council (PoconoArts). 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, PoconoArts 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; Students’ Juried Exhibition; Annual Members’ Exhibition; Studio Classes; ARTSPACE Gallery; cultural planning; arts advocacy; and technical assistance. Yearly events sponsored by the Council include the Pocono State Craft Festival; Festival of Wood; Spring for the Arts; and Starving Artist Mac & Cheese Bake-Off.
Council membership has grown dramatically over the years. As the Council grew, its achievements were 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 PoconoArts as one of four pilot sites for its Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program in 1997. Through this program, over $1,845,234 has been granted to grassroots organizations in a five county region.
The Pocono Arts Council is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Department of State by calling toll free 1-800-732-0999.