At the Susquehanna Art Museum, dreams become reality. In 1989, SAM began as a mere dream in the minds of a group of central Pennsylvania art educators who felt strongly that the capital city needed an art museum. Guided by a desire to provide a forum innovative, relevant and engaging exhibitions and experiences that foster life-long learning, these educators, supported by community leaders, businesspersons and a group of dedicated volunteers worked to make this dream reality.
A little more than two decades years later, SAM is central Pennsylvania’s only dedicated art museum, mounting exhibits that reflect the diverse cultural heritage of the community as well as a wide range of aesthetic interests. The main galleries feature the artworks of nationally and internationally recognized artists. The DOSHI Gallery for Contemporary Art, which has a rich history in the Harrisburg community, spotlights the works of more than 110 regional artists annually.
Inspiring and enriching lie at the heart of SAM’s innovative cultural arts program, the VanGo! Museum on Wheels. Reaching 20,000 students each year, VanGo! brings original works of art to students who otherwise lack such opportunities and provides an incredibly entertaining, educational and powerful program that connects the visual arts and academics. VanGo! teaches all children that creativity lies within every human being, and provides a forum for further development of important problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
SAM is dedicated to encouraging and inspiring visitors of all ages to become more familiar with; knowledgeable of and appreciative of the art and culture that surrounds them. Educational programming is developed to enhance and enrich the visitor experience, providing a wide variety of classes, lectures, workshops, discussions, critiques and more for adult learners. SAM’s youth art programs explore drawing, painting, sculpture, art history and art appreciation and provide a unique educational experience where students can learn from original works of art in a museum setting.
Today, the Susquehanna Art Museum occupies a unique place in our Commonwealth as central Pennsylvania’s leading visual arts resource for excellence and innovation in art education. What began two decades ago has blossomed into an organization rich in its dedication to the arts and providing a forum for all to discover, explore, create and inspire new dreams that with guidance, can bloom into exciting realities.