Through their ownership of the Mishler Theatre, the Blair County Arts Foundation is preserving one of the remaining links to the area's cultural past. This grand facility has served as the area's performing arts center since 1906 and is currently home to Allegheny Ballet Company, Altoona Community Theatre, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and the Blair Concert Chorale.
As a presenter of cultural programming, the BCAF offers area residents high quality and widely diverse opportunities. Renowned featured artists like Mandy Patinkin join the impressive roster of Mishler stars that includes greats Sara Bernhardt, Ethel Barrymore, Al Jolsen, Helen Hayes, Anna Pavolwa, and John Phillip Sousa. National touring company productions of "A Christmas Carol," "Beauty an the Beast," and "The Odd Couple," starring Jamie Farr and William Christoper, have energized audiences and continue to uphold the Mishler's rich tradition of live theatrical experiences.
The Children's Theatre at the Mishler series was developed by BCAF in 1986 to create more cultural opportunities for young people. With the consistently declining budget allocations for arts programs within the school district, the continuation of these valuable programs becomes an even greater priority. This annual series of professional productions attracts nearly 20,000 children, parents, and educators each season and makes a significant contribution to the early childhood educational process.