EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Hazleton Art League has been providing arts instruction to the greater Hazleton community for more than 75 years.
It houses space for artists, musical performances, and many other cultural programs. Hazleton is home to many Hispanic people who are showing off their creativity.
Creativity can be seen and heard all throughout the Hazleton Art League.
Located in the Hayden Family Center of the Arts, it’s a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds can come together to create.
“It’s been an amazing transformation. People have been able to come to the art league, have events here, we really have a place where people can come and be creative and feel like they’re at home,” said Mark Peterson the executive director of Hazleton Art League.
The mission of the Hazleton Art League is to promote the arts through education, exhibitions, and cultural events for the enrichment of the greater Hazleton Area community.
“This is absolutely a community center. As a matter of fact, I like to think of this as the heart of the downtown area,” continued Peterson.
Drawing, painting, and photography are just a few of the programs offered here.
Artist Alba Perez, who is of Dominican descent, has been attending classes at the art league since she was 14 years old.
“Now as an adult, I do some classes at the art league, I attend a lot of events and competitions that they put together and then now I just opened up my own art gallery two blocks down,” says Perez.
Perez painted this mural behind the art league with the help of students at the neighboring Immanuel Christian School.
The art league teaches and inspires people of all ages.
“Hazleton is the fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania. There are so many opportunities here, and there’s been a huge influx of new people in this city, adding new energy, starting new businesses, and coming together, looking for community fun,” explained Hil Eldridge, marketing & events coordinator for Hazleton Alliance For Progress.
Perez says the art league changed her life and encourages others to check it out.
“We need art. Art is a way of getting everybody together, no matter where you’re from or what you’re into. I’ve noticed that whenever people are at a gallery and they’re looking at a painting, that painting could say something to you and it could say something to me too and we could just be standing there, you know, just having all these feelings from what we’re looking at and we’re not thinking about anything else but what’s in front of us,” continued Perez.
The Hazleton Art League hosts many events throughout the year.