Arts and culture in Bucks County are critical to our lives and our local economy, and are a crucial part of our history and future.
The Bucks County Council on the Arts became the focal point for support of the arts in Bucks County in 1974. Photographer and former Michener Art Museum Senior Curator Brian H. Peterson notes in his book The Genius Belt: The Story of the Arts in Bucks County, the Bucks County Council on the Arts was “the focal point for the encouragement and promotion of the arts in the region.” The Council sponsored exhibitions and programs, published a bimonthly newsletter, and established extensive archival holdings representing over 1,500 Bucks County artists.
In 1985, the Council on the Arts joined forces with the Bucks County Commissioners to convert the Bucks County Prison into an art museum. Their dream was to preserve a historic landmark, while providing future generations with a place to look, learn, and celebrate their artistic legacy. These collaborative efforts led to the establishment of the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown.
With that great success as a backdrop, a steering committee was formed in the early 2000’s to re-establish The Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County. Guided by founder Katharine Steele Renninger, this group of concerned citizens, philanthropists, and government officials helped to lead the next stage of development and forged alliances with arts and cultural organizations throughout the county.