Mount Gretna School of Art, Strategic Plan Overview, 3/10/2019


We provide pivotal opportunities for artists to develop from the time they are students through their emergent careers.

Key programs and their purpose:

  • Intensive program: An intensive summer program for talented and motivated students in harmony with the community.

    This, our founding program, attracts college through graduate-level students with a special interest in painting outside in the landscape from direct perception while living in the area’s iconic summer cottages. Students live, eat, and breathe art all day, every day.

  • Four Pillars: Named after the “Four Pillars” of Chautauqua, this month-long artist residency provides opportunities for artists to advance their work and connect with new audiences.

    While the residency is open to all working artists, a special purpose of the residency is to give Mount Gretna School of Art alumni a chance to reconnect with Mount Gretna after they are students.


To be the most transformative, equitable, and enduring residential arts program launched in the 21st century.

  • Develop new programs and services that complement and support our founding plein-air painting program.

  • Provide competitive compensation and artistic support to our faculty and staff.

  • Secure residential and creative spaces necessary for our operation and growth.

  • Stabilize our fiscal health through cash reserves and endowment building.


  • Quality through tradition: Excellence of expression is best achieved through the continuity, depth, and rigorous study of traditional sources such as nature, the human figure, and masterworks.

  • Goodwill gives us heart: Top quality programs like ours should be accessible to deserving individuals of all income brackets.

  • Connectivity makes us strong: The excellence of our cultural activities and the generosity behind our services form beneficial bonds with our local, regional, national, and global community.

Our Strategies:

Develop and Support Excellent Programming:

  • Preserve and strengthen the integrity of our founding plein-air painting program.

  • Complete the wheelchair accessibility features of our classroom space and at least one of our artist cottages.

  • Provide grant opportunities for alumni of the Intensive Program.

  • Build programming capacity at home and/or regionally that complements and fiscally strengthens our main-campus activities in Mount Gretna.

  • Develop a marketing plan to promote programming.

Ensuring the Financial Strength of MGSoA:

  • Grow and strengthen our relationships with donors.

  • Build an appropriate fiscal reserve for both emergencies and opportunities, then focus on endowment building.

  • Invest in residential, classroom, gallery, and studio properties so that we can stabilize our operations, lower our net operating expenses, enhance our existing programs, and/or develop new arts endeavors.

  • Develop a marketing plan to promote fundraising.

Providing support for our faculty and/or staff:

  • Build appropriate and competitive compensation for faculty and staff.

  • Provide regular, professional-development opportunities for staff.

  • Support the artistic endeavors of our artist faculty and staff.

  • Develop a comprehensive policies and procedures manual.