A Brief Background of ArtSmart

ArtsQuest provides more than 4,000 programs, classes, and events, to the Lehigh Valley, with more than 40 percent presented at no charge to the community. One example of this programming is ArtSmart at the Banana Factory. This afterschool enrichment program exposes more than 500 middle and elementary school students annually to visual arts!

That’s incredible!!

The program is starting back up for its eight-week fall session, thanks to Fulton Bank, which sponsors ArtSmart! It has been an incredible partner for more than 5 years, helping to grow this educational afterschool program.

We recently caught up with Fulton Bank’s Senior Vice President, Commercial Market Executive, Chris Brown to learn about his company’s commitment to ArtsQuest, our mission and why it continues to invest in providing free arts and education to the Lehigh Valley.

Here’s what he had to say…

Q: How does Fulton Bank choose the organization you partner with?

We partner with local organizations that help us meet our mission of changing lives for the better. Generally, we try to partner with organizations that align with our Fulton Forward® initiative which is focused on programs, products, and services designed to foster affordable housing, drive economic development, and promote education and financial literacy in the neighborhoods we serve.

Q: Fulton Bank has been a supporter of ArtSmart for the past five years. What drove the decision to continue supporting this event?

ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. This mission aligns with our purpose of changing lives for the better and our Fulton Forward® focus on economic development.

Q: As a huge supporter of ArtsQuest for more than 25 years, what is your favorite program or event at ArtsQuest?

Fulton Bank has been a proud sponsor of ArtsQuest and Musikfest for more than 25 years, supporting numerous events and programs, including Musikfest Steel Stage performance sponsorships, The Banana Factory’s ArtSmart program, Summer Classic Movie Series Presenting Sponsor that runs from May through Musikfest at Frank Banko Ale House Theatres, as well as volunteering our time on various boards and committees over the years. 

It’s so hard to choose just one favorite! Art is a wonderful way for students to express themselves and find their passion, and it also helps them to explore culture, history and diverse points of view.  As a company focused on changing lives for the better, we support organizations that also are focused on making a difference in the communities we serve.

Q: What are some other initiative and community programs Fulton Bank is involved with?

Our employees volunteer their time throughout their communities to help support a specific organizations mission.  In fact, Fulton provides full-time employees with up to 16 hours of paid time off for volunteerism. We have volunteers supporting many noteworthy community-based organizations like ArtsQuest throughout the Lehigh Valley.  We encourage our employees to get involved with at least one community-based organization they’re passionate about at a leadership level on their board or serving on a committee. In addition to volunteering our time, we also provide significant financial support to local organizations through our discretionary contributions and giving, our EITC program and through our Corporate Wide Fulton Foundation.

Q: Many people know Fulton Bank just as a place for your financials, what’s one thing about Fulton Bank you wish more people knew about?

We offer a wide array of services, including personal wealth management and start-up small business advisory services. We’re a full-service regional bank, with local leadership, local decision-making authority and locally based teams that enable us to be more responsive to our client’s needs; all the services of a large bank, but delivered, with the customer focus of a smaller community bank.

To learn more about ArtSmart, please visit