The year was 1938, and a young John D. Hesselbein plied his trade as a street photographer. At the age of 24, John felt there was a need to create a club for like minded people interested in the art of photography in Johnstown. This idea propelled him to hold an organizational meeting of local camera buffs in November of 1938. The new alliance would be known as the Johnstown Camera Club. The stated aim of the organization was "the enjoyment, mastery, and furtherance of photography through cooperation, effort, and good fellowship."
Interest in the new society was good, and on January 22nd, 1940, the club produced its first public exhibition of 100 photographs at the Franklin Street Methodist Church. That first showing was the foundation of the club's traditional "members only" exhibition, which continues unto this day.
Despite all of the radical changes that the world of photography has experienced over the years, the Greater Johnstown Camera Club remains an effervescent force for area photographers in the twenty-first Century. Its members, who hail from both Johnstown and the surrounding areas, come from all walks of life and all professions. Among the current member, one finds physicians, judges, computer professionals, human services professionals, artists, and teachers, as well as students and retired people. The photographic skill levels among its members vary from beginning hobbyist to polished professional, and embrace all stages in between. The one common denominator among this diverse group of people is a love of photography.
In November of 2018, the Greater Johnstown Camera Club celebrated eighty years of members sharing creative possibilities. It remains a vibrant force in the community's arts scene and maintains a strong advocacy for photographic excellence in both the Johnstown area and Cambria County.
Learn more about the Greater Johnstown Camera Club, and find out how you can join today by visiting their website!
In the 19th Century women did not come easily by formal education; however, across the country they organized their own literary societies and all manners of study clubs. “In 1892, abolitionist, suffragist, and keeper-of-her maiden name, Lucy Stone, credited the literary societies of her youth as the basis for her fame and success, saying that’s where she learned to stand and speak.
Years before—as early as 1884 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania—a group of young women had gathered on February 22 in the Chess Room of the Cambria Iron Company Library at the intersection of Washington and Walnut Streets. Some had ties through blood or marriage to the iron works. All were pupils, alumnae, or friends of the English and Classical School, located on Locust Street.
Emma Baker and Clara Alexander, instructors in the School, were named founders of the Johnstown Art League. The other 11 or 14 women became Charter Members of the League founded that evening.
A committee was appointed to draft a Constitution. The purpose of the young organization was to study the polite or liberal arts; the motto, Vive l’ Art; an emblem, a gold pin shaped like a palette with 3 brushes; and the color blue. That is why in these days our handbooks and yearbooks have blue covers.
Our League was the first such organization to be founded in the 19th Century in Pennsylvania and is the longest continually-meeting group in the Commonwealth.
The Arts Coalition is a collective group of artists and arts organizations among Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties, all looking to jointly promote and protect the Arts community
PRAA, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, was founded in 1988 with a mission to develop and promote the arts throughout rural areas of southwestern Pennsylvania.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), a state agency, is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania.
Vision 2025 is a community-based effort that has created a vision around bettering the Greater Johnstown community and our region.
Connecting your best ideas and leaders from the arts, communities, and business, together we can work to ensure that every American has access to the transformative power of the arts.
Advocating for public policies and funding all to ensure the vibrant practice and appreciation of arts and culture across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.