Society of the Arts (SOTA)

A dynamic group of today’s women volunteering time and spirit to the Allentown Art Museum.





SOTA offers a wide variety of fun and fulfilling volunteer opportunities to fit an array of talents, schedules and interests. 

Whether you want to learn more about art or simply enjoy interacting with others in a dynamic organization, there is something for everyone.

SOTA members lead gallery tours, assist with children’s programs, work behind the scenes with Museum staff, help man the Museum Store, and provide extra hands for Museum events, to name just a few of our many volunteer roles.

” When I step into the Allentown Art Museum my everyday world falls away because I am surrounded by beautiful art from around the world and I get to work with really talented volunteers & staff.  For me it is refreshing to be part of a group which is made up of highly educated, kind-hearted women who have no other agenda other than to help make a difference in the operations of the Art Museum.”

~ Diana Hodgson, SOTA Member

Download our SOTA brochure to learn more about our organization.



2017-2018 Volunteers of the Year

Bonnie Baca & Nancy Bleam


Each year at the May luncheon, SOTA recognizes one or more persons from among the SOTA general membership who have offered exceptional service to the organization and community through volunteering. Nominations are made by peers who have observed their dedicated work in action, and champion their fellow members for the honor of Volunteer of the Year.

There were a couple deserving candidates this year, representing various aspects of SOTA undertakings. Happily, we’ll name two Volunteers of the Year.

The overall impression this person gives is being amiable, genuine, and eager to be involved. She jumped right in, making meaningful contributions on her educational committee and general committee. She is a committed Docent, putting in the requisite research and preparation, and using a creative approach to giving tours. On the SOTA Program committee, this member offers plenty of good ideas and culinary skills for successful general meetings.

She doesn’t stop there, however. She took on added, ongoing responsibilities for two more important projects. On the Admissions committee she has been a terrific mentor to this year’s apprentices. She did a great job preparing publicity and origami for Luncheon with the Authors last October, and now has taken on the position of co-chair for the 2018 Luncheon with the Authors.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because these were the attributes of our November SOTA Star, who has continued to impress everyone around her with her enthusiasm and dedication. Congratulations to one of our Volunteers of the Year for 2018, Bonnie Baca

Unless you have been in the South Pacific for the past month, and totally sequestered from SOTA activities, chances are that you witnessed at least a smidgen of this volunteer’s industriousness yourself. Long before the SOTA Idea House at HoudenHAL opened its doors to the public, people were there transforming the space. Many people were there–volunteers and designers, tradesmen and landscapers. The project truly was, as all showhouses are, a group effort.

There is one lady, however, who took on a task and attacked it with unwavering energy. She was on site practically around the clock, or at least it seemed that way. Up and down, back and forth. She had two bases of operation; three if you count a cleverly disguised secret room. With a dogged determination to raise as much money as possible for this SOTA project, she personally processed thousands, and thousands, of gently used treasures. She was the mastermind behind SOTA’s Attic.

I know you all know who I mean, but bear with me while I tell you something you may not know. Another significant, educational and enjoyable project this SOTA member did was to personally arrange for the Print Committee to take a field trip in April. Literally only one mile from the Allentown Art Museum, on North 4th Street, is an old cigar factory, where some enterprising young artists and printmakers run the Alternative Gallery. The committee received a warm welcome there, a real behind-the-scenes tour, and an up-close look at some present-day printing techniques–thanks to the initiative of their fellow Print Committee member.

It goes to show, this lady isn’t ALL about shopping, but she brought out the shopper in all of us who set foot in SOTA’s Attic: a second deserving Volunteer of the Year for 2018, Nancy Bleam.


Allentown Art Museum Affiliation

For more than 75 years, the Allentown Art Museum has been a place where inspiration is born and lifelong memories are made.

Our mission is to enrich the lives of the widest possible audience of visitors by engaging, informing, and inspiring them through the activities of collecting, preserving, studying, exhibiting, and interpreting important works of visual art.