© 2013 by Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center

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Proud partner of the United Way of Chester County

The Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center

501 E Miner Street

West Chester, PA 19382

Dr. Leslie Pinckney Hill

Our History

Dr. Leslie Pinckney Hill

In 1917. Dr. Leslie Pinckney Hill, President of Cheyney State Teacher’s College (presently, Cheyney University), envisioned a community-based institution that would help address the unmet needs of citizens who were traditionally marginalized by and disenfranchised from society based on their economic status, gender, or race.


The guiding principle of Dr. Hill’s visionary idea was to foster and promote a greater understanding among and cooperation between all citizens through education. On August 2, 1918, Dr. Hill’s vision became a reality with the official adoption of the West Chester Community Center’s articles of incorporation Center. In 1934, the “Center Committee” broke ground in the heart of the Borough of West Chester. A brand new building was constructed at 501 E. Miner Street.

Charles A. Melton was an activist and executive director of the West Chester Community Center from 1966 to 1980. He was always a leading citizen of West Chester. Mr. Melton was a teacher, coach, counselor, disciplinarian and friend to many, many young people. He was a spokesman for the African American Community on many critical issues involving race relations during the difficult times of the 1940’s through the 1970’s.

Charles A. Melton

Charles A. Melton

Mr. Melton helped shape the black community who were shut out from any kind of social activity in the Borough of West Chester.   According to the Daily Local News in 1987, “he fought long and hard to make the borough and the county a better place to live for African Americans, and he would not back down from his stance, even when threatened.” In the early 1960’s he became involved in the Civil Rights movement. He had long talks about Civil Rights with his childhood friend, Bayard Rustin. ” In the 1960’s he organized many protests against discrimination.


Charles received a distinguished Service Award from Cheyney University in 1977. The citation read: “To an upright and fearless man, who, time and time again, had the courage to stand up for all equal rights for all Americans.” He was all of that, and more!


On August 14, 2004, the West Chester Community was renamed to the Charles A. Melton Arts and Education Center in a formal ceremony  to  honor and pay tribute to the invaluable contributions  that Mr. Melton made to the community of West Chester.

Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center

Our guiding principle was, is and always will be the same – promote understanding and cooperation between all people.  The Melton Center is the center for personal, professional, cultural, and spiritual growth for the entire community.  Ownership and pride have been the fuel that has kept the fire burning at “The Center” for decades. Our work now has the Goal of instilling those values into a new generation.

From yesterday to today to tomorrow

Mission Statement

The Mission of the historic Charles A Melton Arts and Education Center is to contribute to the quality of life for all people of the greater West Chester community by continuing its long commitment to providing educational, recreational, cultural and civic services.

Charles A Melton Arts & Education Center

Our Board of Directors

Executive Director – Ken Winston



Lisa Dorsey - Board President
Deborah Fell - Vice President
Tim Treston - Treasurer
Mallory Perrotti - Secretary



Richard Boclair
Daryl Durnell
Glenn Fricke

Matt Holliday
Jonathon Long
Jean Newsome
Deb Sahjiwani
Mark Stevens
Alice Thomas
Thomas Walsh
Darryl McClain
Larry Washington


Advisory Board:


Sam Stretton (Legal Counsel)

Dr. Koreem Bell

Alice Thomas

Office Staff:


Brad Steese - Director of New Directions

Renee Washington – Rental/Office Manager

Emery Richardson - Evening Rental

Ramzee Stanton - Weekend Rental

Robert Brisbon - Weekend Rental


Baskeball Commissioners:


Jamal Nero

Aaron Simpson