Lancaster’s downtown art scene has something for everyone, from stunning galleries to jam-packed entertainment.
LANCASTER, Pa. — From groceries to gasoline, inflation has driven up the price of almost everything in recent weeks and months, including travel. That’s why we’ve taken you to destinations right in your own backyard, perfect for day trips or weekend getaways.
This week, we show you that you don’t have to travel far to experience the arts.
Whether you’re an admirer of creativity, a gallery aficionado, or an avid actor, Lancaster’s downtown arts scene has something for everyone, from stunning galleries to top-notch performances at the historic Fulton Theatre.
“Lancaster City really packs an arts and entertainment punch,” said Joel Cliff, communications director for Discover Lancaster.
“It probably has the most thriving art scene in the state outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.”
A stroll down Prince Street’s row of galleries gives you the opportunity to peek into a variety of shops created by local artists. While taking the time to admire the masterful pieces that fill the walls, you can even chat with their creator.
“The gallery scene in Lancaster County, and in particular the city of Lancaster, is very vibrant and for the most part very local,” Cliff described. “What’s interesting is that many of these artists – although they are local and provide local artwork, they are quite renowned in the region, nationally and even internationally.”
In addition to the variety of galleries, you can also check out the art exhibits made by students at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design or stroll around town to soak up some of the beautiful murals and sculptures on public display.
“It’s not Los Angeles or Chicago or New York and yet you can really find world-class art that’s produced and that draws people here, not only locally and regionally, but also all over the country and in the world,” Cliff said.
If the stage is faster, the Fulton Theater brings the stories to life.
Built over a century and a half ago, the Fulton is considered by many to be the oldest operating theater in the country and has entertained audiences of all ages ever since.
“The Fulton is definitely a downtown hub,” said Nicole Hackmann, director of communications and advancement at the Fulton. “We have 131,000 square feet in our performing arts center, three performance centers in our square block, our main stage and our fourth-floor theater studio, and we typically serve between 160 and 180 visitors a year.”
Enter the historic theater and marvel at the ornate fixtures and detailed craftsmanship that make the Fulton so unique. You don’t have to travel all the way to New York to experience world-class acting. The Fulton produces Broadway-caliber musicals, comedies and dramas right here in Central Pennsylvania.
“We have a lot of people coming here from Broadway shows,” Hackmann said. “They will take a break from a Broadway show to come and spend eight weeks in Lancaster. They love living downtown, they love market access, and they love the community of Lancaster. »
Art is all around Lancaster, just waiting to inspire beauty and spark your own creativity.
“Art is a great way to show you around the city, to see who we are today, and to explore some of the other things we offer,” Cliff said.
And a special treat for theatergoers this summer. The Fulton don’t normally do summer shows, but to celebrate a return to theater after two and a half years of the pandemic, they’re bringing Jersey Boys to the stage.
You can find more information on how to get tickets here.
Download the FOX43 app here.