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Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) is a community art museum founded in 1976. SAMA successfully operates the nation’s longest-running museum satellite system with five museum facilities in the southwestern Pennsylvania cities of Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier and Loretto. The Museum maintains a permanent collection of more than 7,500 works of local, regional, national and international artists. SAMA’s five museums offer award-winning education programs, special events, and approximately thirty to forty exhibitions annually. 

"Unpacking and putting papers away after this journey reminds me of the high point of my visit. Your museum is one of them."

- Grier S., SAMA visitor feedback


The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art exists to preserve, exhibit, and advance American art and is dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania. By establishing and maintaining a museum of art and by providing programs and activities of a public, charitable, civic, cultural, literary, and educational nature, the Museum serves the people of the region. Charged with the development, maintenance, and perpetuation of a permanent collection, the Museum mounts exhibitions designed to evoke an interest in and an understanding and appreciation of American art. As well, it serves as a repository for distinctive collections.



  • June 1976 SAMA opened its doors with a permanent collection consisting of 47 paintings, drawings, and sculpture, and a collection of 20 etchings by John Sloan

  • Michael M. Strueber was appointed as SAMA’s first Director, with the Rev. Sean M. Sullivan, T.O.R., the first President of the Board of Trustees

  • 1979 the Altoona museum opens *moves to Brett Building in 1995

  • 1982 the Johnstown museum opens *moves to Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1990s

  • 1996 SAMA received accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM)

  • 1997 the Ligonier Valley museum opens *Donald M. Robinson Sculpture Park is added in 2018

  • 1998 SAMA became a partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts 

  • 2018 the Bedford museum opens

  • The Museum welcomes approximately 81,000 visitors annually

  • SAMA’s service region covers Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties


  • 2018 Initiative Awards in Community Involvement, Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards

  • 2011 Blair County Arts Hall of Fame inductee

  • 2011 President’s Award of the Allegheny Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • 2002 National Award for Museum Service, Institute of Museum and Library Services

  • 2001 “Power of Creativity” Community Arts Education Award Initiative, Americans for the Arts and Binney & Smith

  • 1997/98 Best Practice in Pennsylvania Arts Education Award, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Pennsylvania Department of Education 

Museum Staff


Danté DiAndrea


Site Director

Christi Draves


Site Director

Sandra Hampton

Director of Operations

Beverlie Hartnett


Hannah Harley

Director of Development and Curator, SAMA-Loretto & Johnstown

Erica Kilbride

Director of Marketing and Engagement

Kristin Miller

Education Coordinator and

SAMA-Ligonier Valley

Site Director


Lee Rummel

Facilities Manager

Michael M. Strueber

Director Emeritus

Board of Trustees


Barry Newborn


Ann Benzel

Vice President

Larry Savino



Gerald Hawk


Karen Azer

Meghan Bardell
Nicole Clark 

Abigail Cook
Hon. Timothy Creany

Fred Danziger
John K. Duggan, Jr.
Glenda Forosisky
Stephen George
Jeanne Gleason, Emerita
Dede Kazmaier
H. Dean Lemley
Joan McCreary, Emerita

Br. Shamus McGrenra, TOR
Joan Mudge

Michelle Passarello
Terri Nicole Sawyer, LCSW

Stephen Sloan

Chantel Ventura

Ehrin Ward

Aimee L. Willett
Gerald P. Wolf, Emeritus

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