PHOTO GALLERY | Community event unites downtown culture | New

JOHNSTOWN, PA – Angel Auxtero said that as soon as she saw the Downtown Johnstown Culture Crawl ad on Facebook, she must have been a part of it.

Thursday’s event, hosted by Chameleon Bookstore owner Mike Messina, started at 6 p.m. and invited residents and visitors to the city for an evening of “unique activities”.

Creator Square on Gazebo Park first opened to the public for a preview of manufacturers’ spaces, Classic Elements on Main Street hosted a wine tasting, and the Messina-based company hosted a slam poetry event at the exterior which featured Joyce, the City of Johnstown Poets Laureate. Robley and Michael Gruber.

It was this last event that intrigued Auxtero the most.

The nursing student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Somerset read an original article titled “Pickled Eggs on a Supermarket Shelf” and other books.

“I am here for the community that poets and poetry create,” she said.

Auxtero does not describe herself as a poet but as “a girl with great feelings and a pen”.

She said she liked the idea of ​​cultural exploration.

Sandy Wojcik and Karen Conlin accepted.

The couple traveled from Cairnbrook to attend the event.

“It’s so nice to see things starting to happen downtown,” Wojcik said.

She grew up in Johnstown but moved some time ago.

It was Conlin who recommended them to visit the crawl after seeing it advertised on Facebook.

“It’s so cozy,” she said of the downtown area.

For the Rudge family of Johnstown, the event was a perfect outing.

“We decided to go downstairs and check out,” LeAnn Rudge said.

She and her husband, Travis, took their daughters Berdie and Addie for a night out on the town.

Rudge said it was great to see people in the city center and noted that their daughters love art and music.

The family were eagerly waiting for Charisa The ViolinDiva to perform on ArtHouse6’s Top Deck on Walnut Street, which started at 7 p.m.

“I’m excited to bring artists and creative forces like this here,” said studio owner Marcene Glover.

ArtHouse6 also presented tours of the installations, a “Sip and Nibble” with the Flood City Cafe and the Metalwork Exibit gallery organized by Touchstone Center for Crafts.

“A lot of sites line up downtown to want to offer cultural enrichment to the community,” said Glover. “It’s great to be involved. “

Messina stood outside his store around 7 p.m. – after the initial rush of business – and monitored the event.

“It has been incredible,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.”

The Culture Crawl was inspired by a trip he and his late wife, Lorraine Bezy, took to the Pittsburgh Art Crawl in 2015.

“It just shows that people care about the culture,” Messina said.

He added that after Thursday he and the committee will be evaluating the event and planning to do it again – as soon as possible.

Messina said he didn’t want to wait a year for another crawl and that in the future he wanted to connect it to Cambria City.

Other venues that have hosted events include the Cambria County Library, State Theater, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Gallery on Gazebo, and GAR Post 30.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5054. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.