Bill Strickland, nationally known advocate for the arts in education, founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in 1968 to help combat the economic and social devastation experienced by residents of his predominantly African-American North Side neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Nearly 40 years later, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild has become a model for other programs throughout the nation and a destination point for individuals interested in studying and celebrating community development through the arts.

Strickland’s visit to Seton Hill University is sponsored by the arts seminar “Arts Transforming the Community,” the latest addition to the University’s curriculum. This seminar is the starting point for students interested in participating in the Seton Arts Service Corps, a newly announced collaborative effort of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and Seton Hill University.

Following the fall semester, seven SHU students who have been named Seton Arts Scholars will lead classes for adults and children in Pittsburgh's Wilkinsburg and Swissvale neighborhoods.

The goal of the Seton Arts Service Corps is three-fold:

First, to offer children and adults in under-served communities an opportunity to transform themselves and their community through the arts;

Second, to teach the generations that follow ours about the Vincentian-Setonian tradition of service to others;

Third, to identify and grow collaborative partnerships with other organizations that will help advance transformational learning and service to those in need.