Destination ARTS! Continues Mission in Downtown Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Last July, an initiative called Destination ARTS! launched in Waynesboro. Now, months after its introduction, the project is still going strong.

Most of the seven original art spaces filled through Destination ARTS! last summer have now been leased out to other businesses.

And that is exactly what the borough is aiming to do: attract businesses to Waynesboro through their arts initiative. It's a project organizers say was a huge success last year.

"[We brought] thousands of people downtown, people from 35 different states, eight different countries,” said Scott Hershberger of Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc. “There was a buzz in the air. People were saying, ‘Hey what's this art thing you have going down?’"

With the help of dozens of volunteers, the initiative has grown. Marjorie Tressler is the head curator at Destination ARTS!’s flagship gallery, Gallery 50. She says visitors are most surprised by the quality and variety of their artwork.

"When people come, they're seeing art that is normally seen in the big city,” said Tressler. “A lot of these artists are showing in the New York City, Baltimore, Washington area."

But still, organizers say they would like to see more visitors, especially during these winter months.

"We’re hoping that we can stay in business, flourish, and hopefully more co-ops will open,” said Donna Bingaman, a gallery coordinator at 42 West Arts Co-op.

Although no official plans have been made for this coming summer, they are hoping to keep Destination ARTS! alive for years to come.

"We look forward to continuing to build on the initiative,” said Hershberger. “We're really trying to transform Waynesboro into an arts destination. I think the first year was very successful, the word is out."

The art galleries say they are constantly coming up with new events and activities to make art fun and increase foot traffic.

"That’s what it's all about. If art isn't fun, why bother?" said Tressler.

The art galleries are open from Thursday through Sunday every week. For more information about Destination ARTS!, click here.

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