City of Oil

Artist Relocation Program

Artist Relocation Program

ARTS Oil City

Visit the ARTS Oil City webpage!

ARTS Oil City is Oil City’s Arts Revitalization and Artist Relocation program. Since 2006 Oil City has been re-inventing itself, and and the core of a committed arts community is growing in its distinctive, turn-of-the-century buildings. With urban markets in Erie, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo in easy reach, more and more artists are becoming small-town transplants — and small towns like Oil City are becoming vibrant centers of creativity.

Over the last few years, artists have taken over much of the historic National Transit headquarters and established studios for music, dance, and the visual arts. Area musicians have started annual festivals, and the Oil City Arts Council sponsors concerts, classes, and events throughout the year, including a First Night celebration, an Independent Singer Songwriter Festival, and a lively Bluegrass Festival.

“I moved to Oil City in 1996 because I could buy a house here for less than a year’s rent in Boston — and because I found a great combination of small town living and city amenities here,” says Joann Wheeler, the artist who is heading up the Oil City arts revitalization effort. “The area boasts an airport, a new regional medical center, safe schools, a branch campus of Clarion University, fine community theaters, a thriving music scene, excellent libraries, beautiful, affordable Victorian homes, and a well-equipped arts center and galleries, all in a breathtaking rural setting of wooded hills and pristine waterways. A former vaudeville theater restoration and pottery studios are under development downtown. And now that over 30 artists have moved here from all over the country, the arts are taking off in an exciting way!”

ARTS Oil City is currently a program of Oil City Main Street, 212 Elm Street, Oil City, PA 16301. Call 814-6776-3152 or email and put "artist relocation" in your subject line for more information.


See Oil City:
Oil City Facts and Photo Tour
Oil City film by artist Joanie Springer

Discover Main Street PA Visits Oil City: PCN August 18, 2013

Read About Oil City: 

PA Chamber features Oil City: Catalyst Magazine, 2012

OC’s “Little City” Feel Appeals: The Derrick and News Herald, 2011

How Oil City Turned Itself Around: Art Calendar February, 2010

Ten Great Towns for Working Artists: Art Calendar March, 2008