Board authorizes Penn College/Community Arts Center merger

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Community Arts Center, its wholly owned subsidiary, can proceed with plans to merge their corporations, which will effectively transfer administrative oversight of the CAC to the college.

The Penn College Board of Directors today approved the consolidation proposal. Before being finalized, the merger must also be approved by the Charitable Trusts and Organization Section of the state Attorney General’s Office and the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas.

Since opening in 1993, the Community Arts Center, formerly the Capitol Theatre, has seen its operational and infrastructure costs largely, and increasingly, subsidized by the college. In the wake of the facility’s closure in March for the pandemic, the college has explored efficiencies to support the Arts Center’s long-term sustainability. Consolidation allows for leveraging of the college’s marketing, development, finance, human resources and hospitality resources.

The Arts Center also relies upon philanthropic support from the community, led primarily by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. Additional funding is derived from local government and Visitors Bureau grant funding, as well as an investment from crosstown education partner Lycoming College.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said the merger with the Community Arts Center allows the college to continue to deliver on its promise to enhance the culture and quality of life in the region through high-quality performing arts and educational programming.

“The Community Arts Center is a jewel – a magnificent entertainment and educational resource for the Greater Williamsport Area and beyond,” Gilmour said. “Bringing the Arts Center fully under the college’s umbrella and uniting its very capable staff with our own employees makes perfect sense as we plan for the future.”

“Few communities of this size are blessed to have a cultural venue like the Community Arts Center,” the president added.

The merger allows for Lycoming College to continue its use of the 2,100-seat Arts Center for its own curricular and co-curricular programs – which, in turn, offer valuable opportunities for cross-enrolled Penn College students.

“Lycoming College is pleased to continue its support of the Community Arts Center,” said President Kent C. Trachte. “We regard the CAC as a remarkable asset for our students and faculty, especially our choral and instrumental programs. We are grateful to Pennsylvania College of Technology for its almost 30-year commitment to the CAC. It reflects their desire to provide meaningful opportunities in the arts for Williamsport and our region that would not otherwise be possible. It is a privilege to partner with Pennsylvania College of Technology in maintaining this vital community asset.”

Jennifer W. Wilson, president and CEO of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, expressed similar support.

“The Foundation applauds Pennsylvania College of Technology’s continued support for the arts, and the positive impact we know that they have on our community,” she said. “The continued operation of the Community Arts Center has a direct connection to our region’s cultural and economic vitality.”

Since 1993, the Community Arts Center, located at 220 West Fourth St., has hosted more than 1.77 million patrons for live events and movies. For more, visit

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