The Exchange began as a project of interested, concerned, active citizens in and around Bloomsburg who saw the need for an arts and community center on Main Street — the project catalyzed and fostered by a wonderful building, the former Moose Lodge. The name Moose Exchange paid tribute to the building’s roots as well as the vision for its future. (The photo here shows the building at the time of its opening in the spring of 1950.
Our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization took over ownership of the building in 2012 when its owner, Drue Magee, donated it to us free and clear. Drue's decision to buy the building from the Moose had ensured its long-term survival; her vision had made the Moose Exchange possible; and her outstanding generosity ensured the long-term strength of the organization that has become Exchange Arts, doing business as The Exchange.
Many who knew 203 West Main Street as “the Moose” continued to refer to it that way – but in its new incarnation, "exchange” more accurately described its function: Every day, people of all ages and backgrounds came into the building and their horizons expanded as information, knowledge, and ideas passed among them.
On the 30th of January, 2014, a fire of undetermined origin swept through the back of the first floor and most of the second floor of the building. Between the fire, smoke, and water (LOTS of water), the building required more renovation than our non-profit can afford, and in early 2016 we turned it over to Community Strategies Group. Although plans remain uncertain, CSG will one way or another make the building once again an asset on our Main Street.
The Exchange carried on in a storefront at 24 East Main Street, and under the guidance of our visionary board we developed programming that made us much more of an outreach organization.
The Exchange Gallery, operating year-'round in that storefront, serves as the heart of what we do: Since early 2014 and as of the spring of 2021, we have hosted almost sixty exhibitions, most of them open to artists of all ages and levels of experience; we have displayed 2-D and 3-D art by around seven hundred people -- everyone from Bloomsburg University art professors and their students to professional and amateur artists who have shown in our region for decades to preschool children and others of all ages sharing their creativity publicly for the very first time anywhere.
For our other programs, which include the Art Cart, the Listening Room, ArtFest, and ArtOfPA, please follow the navigation links elsewhere on this page. When you have questions, please get in touch with us through the Contact page or using the phone number or e-mail address below. We look forward to meeting you and having you involved here!