Meadville Council on the Arts Provides Classes,Performances for Area Residents

April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm EST


Each Wednesday afternoon, upward of 20 people gather to strum their stuff on the second floor of downtown Meadville’s historic Market House. For the past quarter-century, the Market House has served as home base for the Meadville Council on the Arts, a nonprofit organization supporting the arts in the Meadville area.

The weekly jam session is part of the group's community outreach program that includes a guitar clinic and a variety of other classes and events for residents of all ages. The council works to bring visual and performing arts to Meadville. Its headquarters include the Heeschen Gallery, the Gardner Theatre and a dance studio.

The gallery hosts monthly exhibitions featuring the works of local and regional artists. Each show opens with a Friday night reception where guests can enjoy wine, beer, food and live music. Every fall the MCA hosts October Evenings, an event for which local artists submit work for a juried show.

The 80-seat Gardner stays busy year-round with theatrical and musical performances. On one Saturday night each month, the venue becomes the Blue Planet Café, where youth bands perform. A Sunday afternoon Jazz Jam each month is popular with adults, and on two weekends a year, the council hosts sold-out performances by the Allegheny Jazz Society. MCA frequently hosts benefit concerts where local bands perform as well as poetry readings, lectures and a summer camp for kids.

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