Hank Knerr, director of the Lively Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was recently invited to join the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance (PRAA). The invitation was extended by PRAA board president Richard Bryant, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
PRAA, with offices at the Southern Allegheny Museum of Art in Loretto, Pa., provides funding and other support for arts organizations and arts-related activities across the region. PRAA services sixteen Western Pennsylvania counties, including Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Indiana, Lawrence, McKean, and Westmoreland.
Established in 1997, the program expands access to the arts for all Pennsylvania citizens through local decision-making and provides arts services to under-served constituents. It is also one of thirteen arts organizations across the state that administer the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts’ Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts re-granting program.
Knerr has served as president of PA Presenters, a state organization dedicated to presenting touring performing artists. In 2009, the organization bestowed him with the first Presenter of the Year Award. He currently sits on advisory committees for several organizations, including an arts teaching certification program at the University of the Arts through the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership. He has also served as a board member with the Indiana County Humane Society, Indiana Arts Council, and Indiana County Tourist Bureau.
Knerr participates regularly as a conference panelist and consultant in the fields of performing arts presenting, community outreach, and arts-in-education and has twice chaired statewide arts conferences.
Others on the PRAA board include Jacquelyn Cavanaugh, a theater director from Greensburg; Noel Feeley, from the Misciagna Arts Center at Penn State–Altoona; Jeanne Gleason, an arts consultant and vice chairperson of the governor-appointed Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Steven Helsel, Altoona Community Theater; Patricia Hofscher, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra; Nancy MacRae, Pennsylvania Consort in Bedford; and Rosemary Pawlowski, Bottleworks Ethnic Arts Center in Johnstown.