Johnstown Area Heritage Association needs community support for fund drive

Local News

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) kicked off its 2022 Annual Fund Drive, and it’s asking the community to help support upcoming projects.

JAHA has an extensive record of completed projects related to historic preservation, heritage tourism and community development since it was founded in 1971, according to the JAHA website. The yearly fundraising drive supports its operations and special projects.

The goal for the 2022 fund drive is $100,000. So far, they said $12,000 has been raised. Supporters can donate online by clicking the “donate” button.

In 2021, they accomplished the following projects using donations:

  • An online ticketing platform, Bandwango, which enables them to offer guided tours of the Center for Metal Arts and Wagner-Ritter House & Garden
  • Three temporary exhibitions at the Heritage Discovery Center – Earthwalk Explorer, #150mmchallenge, and Machines of Interest: The Collected Works of Stephen Mallon
  • The restoration of the Heritage Discovery Center’s elevator, restoring accessibility to all five floors
  • Coordination of a project to install a new sign at the corner of 6th and Broad marking the Cambria City National Historic District
  • A full season of programming at Peoples Natural Gas Park — the Path of the Flood Races, three free concerts, multiple community-produced events — capped off by the return of the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival
  • A comprehensive Historic Buildings Survey of Johnstown to identify important buildings and districts, helping the city plan for their preservation and use

“Last year when we announced the Annual Fund, we had just come through months of pandemic-related closures and struggle,” JAHA President Richard Burkert said. “The pandemic is not completely behind us, of course. But JAHA is looking back on a really successful year, and we have big plans for 2022. With the community’s support, we’re going to continue building momentum.”

The Johnstown Train Station, which JAHA owns and worked to save, is the next in line for redevelopment into a community asset.

According to the JAHA website, other major projects in its history include:

  • 1989: JAHA reopened the Johnstown Flood Museum with a Charles Guggenheim-produced documentary that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary – Short Subject
  • 1991: JAHA completed the Johnstown Heritage Development Plan, which focused the organization’s efforts on preserving and interpreting the Cambria City and Downtown Johnstown neighborhoods, calling for the development of a Heritage Discovery Center, a “festival park,” and local historic preservation district guidelines. JAHA also researched and successfully nominated six historic districts in Johnstown to the National Register of Historic Places
  • 2001: JAHA opened the first phase of the Heritage Discovery Center, featuring a permanent interactive exhibition on immigration
  • 2006: JAHA obtained much of the grant funding to conserve the 1864 Blacksmith Shop, which is owned by the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority
  • 2006: JAHA restored and opened the Wagner-Ritter House & Garden
  • 2009: JAHA opened the Johnstown Children’s Museum and Iron & Steel Gallery in the Heritage Discovery Center
  • 2010: The Johnstown Train Station was donated to JAHA by Carole Furst Gigliotti as well as Harvey and Katherine Supowitz, and JAHA begins efforts to conserve the building
  • 2011: With the help of a community committee, JAHA premiered the Stone Bridge Lighting Project
  • 2012: JAHA completed and opened Peoples Natural Gas Park as a home for the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival, other existing large events, and as a catalyst for new events
  • 2016: JAHA raised funds for repairs to stabilize the Johnstown Train Station, including a new roof
  • 2018: The Center for Metal Arts moved to Johnstown, drawn by the opportunity to reuse the Blacksmith Shop

For more information on the JAHA, click here to visit their website.

Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter for the latest local news, weather, and community events that matter to you.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss