About SAMA

The 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. 

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) is a community art museum founded in 1976. 

Questions? Call 814.472.3920

Since 1976

Our Mission


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.


The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art is the proud recipient of the following awards:

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

  • Blair County Arts Hall of Fame inductee (2011)

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

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

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

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


  • 1976 SAMA opened its doors in June 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

  • 1982 the Johnstown museum opens

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

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

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

  • 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

Museum Staff


Jessica Campbell

Education Coordinator

SAMA-Johnstown & Loretto

Site Director

Sandra Hampton

Director of Operations

Beverlie Hartnett


Hannah Harley


Site Director

Erica Kilbride

Director of Marketing and Engagement

Kristin Miller

Education Coordinator

SAMA-Ligonier Valley

Site Director


Lee Rummel

Facilities Manager

Morgan Young


Site Director

Michael M. Strueber

Director Emeritus

Board of Directors


Barry Newborn


Ann Benzel

Vice President

Nancy Devorris

Vice President of Development


Larry Savino



Gerald Hawk


Karen Azer
Mari-Pat Beene
Mary Borkow
Nicole Clark 

George Conte
Hon. Timothy Creany
Fr. Richard Davis, TOR
John K. Duggan, Jr.
Glenda Forosisky
Stephen George
Jeanne Gleason, Emerita
Dede Kazmaier
Deborah Kimball
H. Dean Lemley
Joan McCreary, Emerita
Joan Mudge
Edward O’Brien
Michelle Passarello 
Blair Pawlowski
Shirley Pechter, Emerita
Br. Shamus McGrenra, TOR

Stephen Sloan
Chantel Ventura
Mary Weidlein, Emerita
Gerald P. Wolf, Emeritus