The first meeting of the Hershey Area Art Association took place on March 20, 1995, at the Hershey Public Library
with only 15 people present. Since then, we have increased to over 150 members.
The Hershey Area Art Association was founded in 1995 by four regional artists: Dr. Robert E. Brown, Janet M. Best, Glenn Koons, and Robert M. Nisley. They gathered around Dr. Brown's kitchen table to try and come up with a way for local artists to come together. They felt the area needed an arts group to complement its many attractions. The goal was to develop a forum to exchange ideas, enjoy fellowship and promote fine arts and fine arts education.
These four founders launched an organization that continues to grow to over 150 members. Such dramatic membership growth, at a time when many community organizations struggle to attract members, demonstrates that the association addresses and fills a community need.
Today, we continue this mission. We gather the second Tuesday of each month from September to May in the lower level Community Room of the Hershey Derry Township Historical Society. The meetings include a mixture of guest speakers presenting their artistic knowledge and members sharing their expertise. We attend local art events, work with venues to display our work, and keep our art in community spaces for all to enjoy. We teach art classes that anyone can attend. We build connections with local schools and their students.
Once a year we select a local high school senior who excels in art and plans on continuing on with their art education in college. This student wins a scholarship to help them get started on their path of keeping fine arts alive and relevant to the time period.