Allens Lane Art Center was founded in 1953 by an interracial group of Mt. Airy residents who were concerned about the dangers of increasing community tension. Most were parents of children attending local schools who felt that increasing access to the arts would be a way to bring people together as well as develop individual talents. "Living Together Through the Arts," a program of The Ford Foundation and the Henry Home & School Association, originally sponsored ALAC. It was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization on June 29, 1953.
ALAC's founders saw creative activities as an effective avenue for channeling the energy of youth in a constructive way. Developing artistic skills and appreciation for the arts would help round the education of local youth and build self-esteem in a non-competitive way. Most importantly, creative activities would bring people of diverse backgrounds together and help them overcome prejudices. Today, Allens Lane still promotes "living together in the community through arts" by offering programs and activities that enrich the lives of numerous children and adults.