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Arts on Allegheny seeks donations for summer concerts

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Co-chairs of the Arts on the Allegheny committee are Candace Graff and Mary Ann Valasek.

KITTANNING – Snow flurries may still be swirling outside, but volunteers from one local organization are preparing for the sweet sounds of summer.

Arts on the Allegheny, the volunteer organization responsible for bringing free concerts to the John P. Murtha Amphitheater in Kittanning Riverfront Park, is accepting donations for this upcoming season.

“We can't book talent until we have an idea of how much funds we have to work with,” said Chairwoman Mary Ann Valasek.

“We encourage anyone who is considering making a contribution to do so as soon as possible so we can secure the talent.”

This will be the sixth season of free concerts and Arts on the Allegheny usually places around $60,000 for each season, said Valasek.

And since there are no overhead costs, all of the money goes directly to the concert season fund, she said.

“Businesses and individuals have been quite generous in the past and we're hoping that the support will continue, so Arts on the Allegheny will remain viable and continue to grow,” she said.

Valasek said they have gotten some corporate sponsorship and donations. Sponsorships begin at $500, but, she said, Arts on the Allegheny receives individual donations in all amounts.

“No contribution is too small, and each and every one is appreciated and used carefully,” said Valasek.

Last year, well-known artists Buckwheat Zydeco, Ronnie Spector and Mitch Ryder performed at the amphitheater. Concert-goers also had a chance to hear local talent perform, like violinist Matt Janovsky as well as Chet Hogue, a band member with Midnight Drive.

When Gaelic Storm came to play, fans came to Kittanning from as far away as Nevada, said Valasek.

“We try to have a diverse slate so there's something for everyone,” said Valasek.

“This type of free concert series is unique for a small community and is something that we can all enjoy and be proud of. It sets us apart in a positive way.”

Contributions can be sent to Arts on the Allegheny, P.O. Box 1015, Kittanning.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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