About

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts

For more information on concert schedules and ARCA membership, please contact ARCA Executive Director, John Soroka, at (724) 659-3153 or info@alleghenyriverstone.org.

 

Inspiring Music and Art in the Beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley

Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit arts organization founded in 2004 and located in Foxburg, Pennsylvania.  ARCA’s mission is to provide stimulating and enriching professional arts and education programs, touching the lives of thousands of people living in the six county, Allegheny Valley Region – Clarion, Venango, Armstrong, Butler, Mercer and Crawford counties – and thereby contributing to the economic growth, vitality, and quality of life in the region.

ARCA produces an annual series of concerts and events in various idioms, including classical music recitals, chamber music, bluegrass, jazz, R&B and Soul, Celtic music, and Wurlitzer Theatre Organ concerts; cabaret; dance; drama; literature; film and visual arts.  Fine arts exhibits are presented in The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop on Main Street in downtown Foxburg.

Concerts are presented in Foxburg at Lincoln Hall – ARCA’s home and have been performed at The Episcopal Memorial Church of Our Father; the Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School Auditorium; on the Foxburg Green and on the grounds of RiverStone Estate. The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass at Christmas is a perennial favorite in the Church of our Father and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra has performed at A-C Valley.

Beginning in 2014, ARCA also has presented concerts in Emlenton – Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Ringers hand bell choir at the United Methodist Church and River City Brass and a Beatle Tribute Band, the Billy Price Band and Pure Gold Doo Wop and Golden Oldies at The Crawford Center. The popular Madrigal Dinner has been performed in Lincoln Hall and at the Wolf’s Den in Knox.

River City Brass @ The Crawford Center
River City Brass @ The Crawford Center

ARCA’s first performance season was inaugurated in 2006 in its home, the recently restored Lincoln Hall performance space located atop the Foxburg Free Library. Built in 1909, Lincoln Hall has retained its nineteenth and early twentieth century charm with many authentic design features, as well as an original hand painted stage curtain that now serves as the stage backdrop.  Lincoln Hall houses the McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, and a seven foot Steinway grand piano graces its stage.

Beautiful Foxburg, Pennsylvania
Beautiful Foxburg, Pennsylvania
Our seven foot Steinway grand piano.
Our seven foot Steinway grand piano.
Trying The Cello
A-C Valley Students “Trying the Cello”

Internationally renowned performers have included the Alexander String Quartet, Violinist Andres Cardenes, theatre organist David Wickerham, Chatham Baroque, Pittsburgh Symphony chamber musicians and Pianists David Allen Wehr, Cynthia Raim, Alec Chien, Frederick Moyer, Gayle Martin and Nathan Carterette. Popular musical attractions have included Organists Ken Double and Brett Valliant, Carnival of Souls, Cahal Dunne, Shane Alexander, Benny Benack Jr. & Benny Benack III, The Allegheny Drifters, High Fidelity Bluegrass, Akropolis Reeds, Tom Roberts & the Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra, Bob Milne, Deanna Witkowski and Cabaret singers Dane Vannatter, Judi Figel, Daphne Alderson, Tania Grubbs, Lisa Bleil, Chantal Joseph, TAKE3, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, and David Mayfield Parade,  In 2023, presents Van Cliburn medalist pianist Sean Chen, Brazilian recording legend Kenia and Grammy Award winning bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland.

Outdoors at picturesque RiverStone Farm, ARCA presented the Scottish Festival for five years, featuring Scottish athletic competitions, soccer clinics, sheep dog demonstrations, and Scottish dogs agility and obedience shows – with Celtic music concerts abounding in Lincoln Hall and outdoors on the Foxburg Green and at RiverStone Farm.

In 2013 ARCA presented the Scottish rock band, Big Country in the RiverStone outdoor arena. Since then, ARCA has shifted its summer events at RiverStone Farm to outdoor concerts, bringing nationally acclaimed popular artists to perform in RiverStone’s scenic beauty.  In 2014 ARCA presented the DePue Brothers Band, acclaimed “grassical” recording artists; and in 2015 the funk, rhythm and blues recording artists, WaterSeed; as well as international thumb picking guitar virtuosos and recording artists, Loren and Mark.  In 2016, Nashville recording artists The Black Lillies were opened by local country singer Isaac Cole.

In 2017 and 2018, the John Burgh Big Band had the audience dancing until dark on the grass by the H-Barns. In 2019, ARCA members flashed back to the past with the classic rock of Marquis 66. After a two-year hiatus during COVID, the RiverStone outdoor concert resumed in 2016 with The InTransit Band, which is returning by popular demand in 2023 following the ARCA membership picnic and pig roast in the H-Barns, presented again as a thank you to ARCA members thanks to the generosity of the new owners of RiverStone Estate.

Since 2009, ARCA has presented a sequential arts education program in the Allegheny Clarion Valley Schools, funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 2013, the cross over music group, Cello Fury, presented workshops in the elementary schools, offering a ‘cello petting zoo’, followed by assembly concerts in the elementary and high schools. A family concert in the AC Valley High School auditorium in the evening drew a large audience to experience the musical magic of Cello Fury and to “try the cello” at intermission.

ARCA has built on this success with a partnership program originated in 2014 by arts professional Katherine Soroka with the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools: The Music That Makes Us Dance brought professional dancers and teaching artists to present movement and music workshops and assembly concerts, plus a community concert designed for families in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School Auditorium – all on the theme of music and the dance.

In Dancing Off the Canvas in 2015, Attack Theatre (dance) performed H.S. workshops and an assembly concert and ARCA exhibited A- C Valley student art at the Red Brick Gallery and in Foxburg businesses during the summer. In 2015 & 2016, the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra performed concerts in the A-C Valley High School Auditorium. In recent years innovative educators, C Street Brass, Akropolis Reeds, Beo String Quartet, Aria412 and the Renaissance City Winds served grades K to 12 via small group Informances, assembly concerts and after school workshops, providing instrumental coaching for Jr. & Sr. High School band students.

During COVID, internationally renowned violinist & teaching artist Monique Mead & Trio con Brio produced the educational video “Spark your Creativity”, which was shown to elementary students in their classrooms and is now posted on YouTube.  In 2022, students from A-C Valley Schools from grades K to 6 and Jr. and Sr. High school students in music, theatre and dance were bused to Lincoln Hall for four educational programs performed by internationally acclaimed theatre organist, David Wickerham.

Lincoln Hall is home to a 1929 Wurlizter Theater Organ – The McKissick Mighty Wurlitzer – which was originally installed in Cleveland’s Uptown Theater.  It is one of twenty-four built in this style and size.  The instrument retains its ornate French console and was painstakingly rebuilt by Paul McKissick.  Lincoln Hall’s Mighty Wurlitzer contains seventeen ranks of pipes and is characterized by a balanced blend of unmistakable Wurlitzer ‘sounds’.   It was purchased by Patricia and Dr. Arthur Steffee, ARCA’s Founders, to enhance the newly restored Lincoln Hall.

Since the series was inaugurated, ARCA has presented concerts featuring nationally acclaimed organists, including David Wickerham, Martin Ellis, Walt Strony, Scott Foppiano, Donna Parker, Jelani Eddington, Ken Double, Clark Wilson and Brett Valiant.

The Red Brick Gallery and Gift Shop, founded in 2010, is Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts’ boutique fine art gallery and gift shop located in historic Foxburg. The Red Brick Gallery exhibits in a charming and historic, 136 year old building at 17 Main Street in downtown Foxburg. The building, once the business office of the Fox Family from Philadelphia, was restored recently and has reopened as both a Gift Shop and Gallery and with an inspired use – as an Artist Cooperative.

With the help of local artist volunteers, The Red Brick displays and has for sale on consignment on the first floor, works of local painters, photographers, and artisans. Their work also is featured in a special holiday exhibit annually. The Red Brick Gallery strives to nurture artistic creativity by providing a venue for viewing works by local artisans and other emerging art talent from the surrounding region and to provide a sales outlet for their works.

Art works are displayed in the shop space on the first floor and the second floor is used as a gallery space for various exhibitions.  Red Brick Gallery exhibits have featured Sigrid Piroche, Doug Elder, Stacie Johnson-Leske, James Stewart and Anna Singer, among many others others. Music & Art concert openings have featured poetry readings by Phil Terman and the Clarion Poetry group and musical performances by Mark DeWalt, Tom Panei and Max Schang. RBG Cooperative Artists are featured in special exhibits and a holiday exhibit: Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell, Karin Arnds, Taylor Banner, Jeffrey Calta, Mark DeWalt, Donna Edmonds, Angela Taylor Hardwick, Kathy Hogg, Andy Johnson, Nick J. Karellas, John Karian, Dennis Keyes, Jason Floyd Lewis, Karen Mortland, Nissa Rappoport, Linda Thompson, and Cathy & Jack Trzeciak.

In the 2023 season, the Red Brick Gallery will be open for weekend hours beginning with the weekend of April 7, 2022 through December: Fridays, 1 PM to 6 PM; Saturdays, 11 AM to 7 PM; and Sundays, noon to 5 PM; or by appointment.

Cooperative Membership is open and interested artists may apply.

For more information on concert schedules/exhibits or becoming a Cooperative Artist, volunteering for ARCA, or becoming an ARCA member, please consult the website categories or contact ARCA Executive Director, John Soroka, at (724) 659-3153 or via email at info@alleghenyriverstone.org.

PSO Brass Christmas Concert
Pittsburgh Symphony Brass Christmas Concert
Red Brick Gallery
Red Brick Gallery