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Artisans Center of Virginia

 Spitzer Art Center

a home for the arts that fosters creation, understanding, and enjoyment of the arts

We provide art for the community by…

-Bringing workshops and speakers from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to our area
-Presenting workshops and events
-Providing classes to children and adults, taught by members with diverse artistic backgrounds

We provide support to artists in the community by…

-Publishing news related to the local visual arts scene, showcasing our members
-Focusing on the growth of the local art and culture in the Shenandoah Valley
-Giving our member artists ample exhibition opportunities
-Providing space that may be rented by artists as studio space

History of the Spitzer Art Center

In 2002, Mary Spitzer Etter, a retired educator, left her family’s historic residence, her birthplace, Spitzer House, to Central Shenandoah Arts to establish a community art center and gallery. Spitzer House is a two-story Victorian house in downtown Harrisonburg, a few blocks west of Court Square on the corner of West Market and Willow Streets. Central Shenandoah Arts honors both Mary Spitzer Etter’s memory and her gift’s purpose as a community art center. Much of Spitzer House’s historic character is being retained, while a location dedicated to creativity.
Volunteers have poured countless hours into maintaining the grounds and preparing the house to be open to the public.

History of Central Shenandoah Arts

The non-profit organization, Central Shenandoah Arts, traces its roots back over many years. Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundation award winner Crystal Theodore moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia in the late 1950s to lead the Madison College (now JMU) Art Department. On the college grounds she found creative activity, however in the city she found no art on exhibit - and no art groups. Around 1960, she and organizer Jimmy Terrell, who was connected to the Virginia Museum, started the Harrisonburg Art Association. This Virginia Museum-affiliated program changed its name later to Rockingham Fine Arts Association. Several years later, the name was changed to Central Shenandoah Arts.

Brandy Somers, Ashley Sauder Miller

Member of Trail Networks:
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Artisan Trail, site # 39





We are open during the First Friday of every month from 5-8pm, on Saturdays 10am-2pm, or by appointment.

486 W. Market ST
Harrisonburg, VA 22802