Are you CreACTive? More than three hundred sponsors, donors, and guests attending our 2024 Gala Dinner & Auction on Saturday, April 13, were among the first to consider the question. Following the toast to this year’s Gala honorees, Jamie Musselman and Jim Edwards, longtime Museum supporter, Board member, and advertising executive Jamie Musselman explained the origin of the word CreACTivity, and how it can help us personally and collectively:

I grew up at the Museum. My brother Jim, who is here tonight, and I spent so many happy hours here with our parents, Jim and Bertie Musselman, exploring individual works of art, savoring the peace and serenity of the Museum, listening to lectures, participating in the children’s programs, and even watching silent movies in the community room. When my husband Jim moved to the Lehigh Valley, he became an ardent supporter of the Kress Society, attending events, hosting events, and even encouraging Kress to raise the minimum giving amount for Kress members. Thanks, Jim! With all of this, it is truly a privilege to be standing here tonight.

2024 is a very unique year.

Ninety years ago TODAY, a group of CreACTive community members, lead by the painter Walter Baum, founded the Allentown Art Museum, making art accessible to the citizens of Allentown and beyond.

Eighty years ago this June, the Allies CreACTively changed the course of World War II with the D-Day invasion. Take a moment to reflect on the monumental sacrifice made by so many by visiting the photography exhibit downstairs in the Fuller Gallery, curated by our own Claire McRee from photos in the Museum’s collection.

Seventy years ago on Monday, Jim’s parents started a typewriter-repair company in West Reading, PA, and CreACTively the company has been managed and grown to be one of the largest office technology companies in the country.

Sixty years ago, the Society of the Arts, our SOTA, was formed and has become the preeminent CreACTive volunteer organization in the Lehigh Valley, delivering educational, volunteer, and support services to the Museum and acting as a major fundraising entity for us.

Eleven years ago, my father was celebrated by the Museum as the 2013 Gala honoree.

And in August of 2024, we will reach two full years of being an admission-free Museum. Under the incredible CreACTive leadership of our president, Max Weintraub, and with the CreACTive funding from the Century Fund and other generous donors, our Museum can be an important resource to all.


You heard correctly. I am saying CreACTive. It’s a word my father coined and had hanging in his art studio above his drawing boards and in his classrooms. Francie Bishop Good, one of our Trustees, will remember this.

CreACTive. It’s not creativity. It’s more than that. Create can be an inspiration, create can be a spark, create can be the drive, the imagination, the dream. But the word ACT requires that we do SOMETHING with our inspiration, with our spark, with our dreams.

A creative idea will languish if you don’t feed it, support it, grow it. Jim knows that with his business. My father knew this with his students. A painter knows that with their canvas. And the Museum knows that by being open and welcoming it can bring Creative thought to all.  The Museum should never be an impregnable house of culture. It cannot thrive if it is not open, welcoming, and inspirational. It is incumbent on all of us to be CreACTive to help build the quality of life for all members of our community, and this Museum is vital to that.

Jim and I want to thank all of you for being here, participating in the auction and being CreACTive by supporting this great institution, helping it grow and helping it continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

Here’s to the next ninety years of the Allentown Art Museum! We can’t wait!