Category — News

Tourist Bureau Hires Executive Director

Indiana, PA – The Board of Directors of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau recently named a new Executive Director.  Denise Liggett, a Homer City native, was hired for the position after acting as Interim Director for the past six months.

Liggett previously worked for the Bureau for three years as Advertising Associate/Office Coordinator.  She brings a wealth of experience to the county through her knowledge of the area and from her 19 years with an Advertising agency in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her role as Interim Director prepared her well for the permanent position as she succeeded in transitioning the projects and mission smoothly and exceeding expectations set by the board.  “We were very fortunate to have Denise join us, as she knew the inner workings and interacted well with area partners,” said Board President Gregg Van Horn.  Liggett stepped in just as the County got word from the state that IUP would host the 2014 Governor’s Award for the Arts this September.  The event is a huge recognition for the area as it opens up opportunities for tourism, the arts, and economic growth.  “I was honored when asked to have a part in the planning of this event to advance the wonderful offerings the community and IUP provide to our state!” Liggett stated.

The Tourist Bureau promotes Indiana County through their mission statement:  to draw visitors to the Indiana County area and to promote the region’s unique character and attractions.  Members receive support through advertising and promoting, as well as marketing efforts taken towards attracting group tours and conventions to the area, and representation at travel shows. Individuals or businesses interested in promoting the town can obtain a yearly membership by calling 724.463.7505.




April 16, 2014   No Comments

Leader’s Circle Awards 2014 – Winners Announced

The Tourist Bureau was proud to be part of this wonderful event. This event took place at the KCAC to recognize our community volunteers and civic leaders in Indiana County.  Mark Bertig with Renda Broadcasting was the evening emcee and Jonathan Mack was the keynote speaker.

Athena Award: Kelly Polando (Smith, Lewis and Chess nominated by Indiana Business and Professional Women’s Club) Commissioner Rod Ruddock (nominated by Quota Club) were tied for the Athena Award.
Male Civic Leader Award: William Stancombe (nominated by the Indiana Lions Club)
Female Civic Leader Award: Vera Bonnet (nominated by the Federation of Democratic Women)

IUP President’s Medal of Distinction Award: Sam Smith, Speaker of the House Representative (presented by Dr. Michael Driscoll)

Congratulations to all of the finalists and recipients!!

April 15, 2014   No Comments

Tourist Bureau Attends Travel Shows

The Indiana County Tourist Bureau has been promoting heavily this year attending various travel shows in Ohio and Pennsylvania.    Maria Jack, Group Tour/Conference Associate attended the Heartland Travel Showcase in Toledo, Ohio, North Coast Golf Shows in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Pennsylvania Bus Association/Maryland Motorcoach Marketplace in Valley Forge, and Breakaway Show in New Castle.  Groups traveling by bus have seen continued growth, and the interest in visiting Indiana County has been part of that.  “It is refreshing and exciting to hear groups from all over the country inquire about the unique offerings our county has from the Jimmy Stewart Museum to Smicksburg, to Blairsville Underground Railroad Museum and all our outdoor venues from the Rails to Trails to Christmas Tree growing. I have met former residents, city dwellers looking for the small-town atmosphere, and golfers all hoping to share in the beauty and history of our area,” Jack remarks.  Tourism is the largest industry in the United States and the third largest industry to generate retail sales.  That all breaks down to dollars and jobs for our county and the Tourist Bureau works hard to secure our place in the market.  The shows brought together tour operators from Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.

March 31, 2014   No Comments

Downtown Exhibit – The Artists Hand Gallery

Downtown Exhibit Features Museum Permanent Collection

Fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act ended legal discrimination against people of color and against women, bringing American society closer to realizing the promise of its Constitution. This year, the University Museum goes downtown to the Artists Hand Gallery with an exhibit titled “Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Celebration.” The exhibit, comprised of works from the museum’s permanent collection, will run April 1 through May 3, 2014. A free public reception at the Gallery will be held Friday, April 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Movements to abolish slavery and establish rights for all citizens of the United States recurred throughout our nation’s early history, with limited results. Although the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1868, extended “equal protection of the laws” to all citizens, prejudice and social customs denied people of color and women full legal rights well into the second half of the 20th century.


During the 1950s and 1960s, various local efforts to achieve equal rights converged in a Civil Rights Movement of national influence that changed hearts and minds. In 1964, Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation making it illegal to discriminate against citizens based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 opened new opportunities to women and people of color.

With the exhibition at Artists Hand Gallery, the University Museum at IUP celebrates this progress with a selection of American art from its permanent collection. The works on display include eight pieces created by African American women and a suite of nine prints by artist Ben Shahn that commemorates the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

The Artists Hand Gallery, located at 732 Philadelphia in downtown Indiana, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Student Cooperative Association at IUP and by private donations. The museum also receives grant support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance.



March 28, 2014   No Comments

First Lady Susan Corbett Announces 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts to be Held in Indiana

Harrisburg– First Lady Susan Corbett today announced that the 2014 Governor’s

Awards for the Arts will be held Sept. 28 at Fisher Auditorium of the IUP Performing Arts Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This will be the first time the state arts event has been held on a university campus.

“As the birthplace of Jimmy Stewart, the first recipient of Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts, Indiana holds special meaning for this occasion,” said Mrs. Corbett, who chairs the Arts Council. “It’s a tradition that the host community is named the ‘Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth’ for the day and Indiana’s vibrant arts community, the ongoing commitment to the arts demonstrated by the University, and the fact that we’re in Jimmy Stewart’s hometown makes this designation particularly appropriate.”

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts originated in Harrisburg in 1980 and were held there until 1996. The ceremony was then taken on the road and is now held in a different city across the state each year.

The event has allowed multiple regions of the state to share in this celebration of the arts and to showcase their unique cultural assets.

The awards recognize artistic accomplishments in four categories:

  • Distinguished Arts Award
  • Patron Award
  • Artist of the Year Award
  • Innovation in the Arts/Outstanding Leadership & Service Award

Past recipients of the Distinguished Arts Award include Marian Anderson, Andrew

Wyeth, James Michener, Chaim Potok, Fred Rogers, M. Night Shyamalan, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, August Wilson, Rob Marshall, Jeff Koons, and Michael Keaton. There have been 178 honorees to date.

An open call for nominations goes out to more than 1,800 Pennsylvania arts professionals and is now open to the public online. Last year nearly 200 nominations were received.

The award recipients will be announced this summer and will be posted on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ website,

Private contributions support the awards and related expenses.


The Governor’s Awards for the Arts are administered by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency under the Office of the Governor. The Council’s mission is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania, and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.


Media contact:   Heather Doughty, PA Council on the Arts; 717-787-1517



February 26, 2014   No Comments

ICTC agrees to host Challenger Center

Indiana County Technology Center and a community-based panel promoting science and space education have agreed to basing the Challenger Learning Center at the tech center campus north of Indiana. A reception in celebration of the Challenger Center was held Friday, January 10 at the ICTC, and what an amazing event it was!!

The students of ICTC did a wonderful job with the stage set, food and programs!  

It is overwhelming to think of the educational opportunities this center will offer our area students, let alone the impact this center will provide for Indiana County! The people of Indiana County owe a great deal of “thanks” to the many people who worked hard to make this all happen!

January 16, 2014   No Comments