Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Nature and Art at the Ned Smith Center

Written by Cary Burkett, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Jul 9, 2015 2:23 PM

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Millersburg, PA is proud to be the hometown of noted wildlife artist, Ned Smith. Born there in 1919, he lived his entire life there, married there and died there in 1985. He also received continual inspiration for his art and writing from hiking areas there around Wiconisco Creek and Berry's Mountain.

After his death, the community rallied around his wife to build a center to display his art and celebrate his goals of nature conservation. Some 500 acres of forest, meadows and trails in the areas he used to hike were set aside as a preserve.

On the southern edge sits the Ned Smith Center. It has two galleries, one a permanent exhibit of Smith's art, and the other displaying exhibits by other artists.


The goal is to use the art as a catalyst to encourage education about nature conservation. The Center hosts a multitude of events year-round from star-gazing to bird identification walks.

Recently the DeSoto Amphitheater was completed at the Center, and a series of live performances have been scheduled, from folk music to Shakespeare.

On July 25, the Ned Smith Center presents its free annual Nature and Arts Festival. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. over 70 programs will be presented in a series of tents and pavilions around the area as well as in the new amphitheater. Outdoor survival skill lessons, old-time folk music, birding programs, a bamboo fly rod building demonstration, pony carriage rides and children's theatre will be just some of the many presentations and activities.

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