Welcome to Harmer's Town
Harmer’s Town Art Center, Inc. exists to create, develop, support, and promote a vibrant ecosystem of creativity – in the form of an artist park and associated facilities - in which artists can live, work, create, perform, and market their art, all while preserving and celebrating the history and traditions of Havre de Grace, Maryland.
The first recorded history of Havre de Grace can be traced back to the mid-1500s when various explorers traveled into the Chesapeake Bay area. A map of the Bay was produced in 1585 by an Englishman named Wyth, but it was not until John Smith's exploration of the Upper Bay and Susquehanna River area in 1608 that a detailed description of the area was recorded.
In 1658, the land on which Havre de Grace is now located was granted to Godfrey Harmer, and he called the site Harmer's Town. The following year, Harmer transferred his land to Thomas Stockett, and the site became known as Stockett's Plantation. During the Revolutionary War, French General Lafayette visited the area several times and remarked that it reminded him of Le Havre in France. Following his suggestion, the town of Havre de Grace was incorporated in 1785. Four years later, after George Washington passed through on the way to his inauguration and during the First Congress, Havre de Grace was one vote shy of becoming the capital of the newly formed United States of America.
From a boy working at The Graw horse racetrack to the visionary philanthropist behind the Harmer's Town Art Center concept, Allen Fair has spared no expense of coin or heart when it comes to supporting the arts and traditions of his beloved hometown of Havre de Grace. Teaming together with imaginative local artist Ezra Berger, the duo first aimed to simply brighten up a forgotten alleyway in the city's historic district with a mural to cover up cinderblock and perhaps pass along some local history. As a team of artists grew and the possibilities expanded, the idea of the Graw Alley mural park took shape. The park concept was soon enveloped into a grand vision of a complete artist ecosystem. Other founders joined the effort, a nonprofit entity - Harmer's Town Art Center, Inc. - was formed, and the organization began work on what they envisioned as a place where artists could work, teach, showcase, and sell their pieces and where
the community could visit to have a picnic, enjoy a performance, watch the artisans at work, peruse and purchase their wares, and even take a class or rent equipment or studio space to work on their own artistic endeavors.
Harmer's Town Art Center will be a first of its kind in the region arts complex. While the complex is still in development, it is fully
underway in research, planning, design, and initial implementation of property renovation. A nonprofit organization, Harmer's Town Art Center, Inc. has been formed to manage and oversee the vision and the complex. It is the mission of that organization to ensure Harmer's Town Art Center develops into and remains a safe, welcoming, and diverse environment that offers equal opportunity for artists and visitors of all backgrounds and walks of life.
Harmer's Town Art Center will be a vibrant hub of creativity that will make visitors out of artists and artists out of visitors.
Board of Directors