A Community
alive with the arts

Mission, Vision & History

of the Allegany Arts Council

The Allegany Arts Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of and access to the arts in Allegany County, Maryland. We have served as one of 24 County arts agencies in the state since 1975.

As a non-profit organization, we are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations and grant funding, which comprise a significant part of our annual operating budget. The remaining funds are from membership dollars – community members who graciously support our work throughout the year.

Our Mission

The Allegany Arts Council cultivates the arts to enrich the quality of life in Allegany County.

Our Vision

A Community Alive with the Arts!

The Allegany Arts Council creates a strategic plan which defines and directs our mission-oriented work.

Our strategic goals include:

  • Promoting awareness, appreciation, and engagement in the arts
  • Supporting local artists and arts organizations
  • Sustaining our operations
  • Promoting health and well-being through the arts
  • Contributing to economic development through the arts

History of

9 N. Center Street

The Allegany Arts Council is located on the first floor of 9 N. Centre Street in Cumberland, Maryland, an historic office and gallery space which serves as an anchor in downtown Cumberland’s daily life, business and activity.

Records indicate the original building was constructed in the 1890’s and thought to have had four floors originally, but today occupies only three. Some evidence suggests a fire destroyed the uppermost floor in the late 1890’s, not long after it was built.

Through the years, several businesses have occupied the building, including a casket maker and Consolidation Coal, which was once headquartered here. In 1914, Bernstein’s Furniture opened in the location and remained here until 1981, when it relocated. The building was then sold to Goodwill Industries, which used the location for retail space and other functions.

In 2005, the stars aligned when the Arts Council began seriously looking for a new home which would provide more gallery space and an additional performance area. Local benefactors, Doug Schwab and Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab, purchased the building and began renovations with the Arts Council in mind. For the next two years, renovations were underway with the intention of maintaining the integrity of the historic building. The original flooring along with the tin ceilings were able to be saved; windows previously bricked over due to a nearby gas explosion were once again opened, and a new, beautiful entrance was created. The Allegany Arts Council moved into its new home in 2008 and remains here today.