Muhlenberg College’s Camp Imagine Performing Arts Camp For Middle Schoolers Nurtures A Passion For The Arts

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, PA — This summer, Muhlenberg College’s Camp Imagine program celebrates its 16th year of educating and enriching the lives of the Lehigh Valley’s middle school students. Founded in 1999 the program provides young people in grades 6-8 with a month-long performing arts experience, which is free for students of the Allentown School District.

The program runs June 30 through July 25, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Camp Imagine provides invaluable opportunities to nurture a passion for the performing arts,” says the program’s education manager, Lindsay Quinn. “It also builds real-life interpersonal and expressive skills, which help students in all areas of their lives.”

Participants in 2013 said that the program helped them “to take risks and ask questions,” “to be confident and be loud,” and “to not be afraid to show my art.”

Camp Imagine will culminate in a free showcase performance for family and friends at the conclusion of the four weeks, on Saturday, July 26. Participants will be guided through creative arts experiences in the performing arts by talented teams of Muhlenberg College students and alumni. These teaching artists are experienced, professionally trained and supervised.

Camp Imagine students will explore their talents in acting, music, and dance in a safe and open environment, rotating through classes in drama, movement, and vocal expression. They will also get to work with Muhlenberg alumni and students to create a dynamic ensemble environment with their peers.

Camp Imagine meets 9:30 to 12:30 a.m, Monday through Friday, June 30 through July 25. There is no session on Friday, July 4. A lunch is provided for free to all participants, and free bus transportation is provided from all four Allentown School District middle schools. The camp is free for all students who attended Allentown School District middle schools in the 2013-2014 school year. For non-ASD students, tuition is $395; however, partial and full need-based scholarships are available.

Students must register to participate. Applications are available online at www.muhlenberg.edu/camp, and by request at camp@muhlenberg.edu or 484-664-3693. Students should enroll by June 1 to ensure availability.

The programs are made possible by underwriting support from Embassy Bank, Enterprise Car Rentals, Highmark Blue Cross, Lehigh Valley Educators Credit Union, The Foundation for Allentown City Schools, and individual donors.

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Allentown Mayor Announces Plans To Improve Poorest Neighborhoods

English: City of Allentown

English: City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski announced an initiative today to make health and safety improvements in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

The city has committed $2.5 million for such Center City improvements and has asked the business community to match or exceed that amount in donations.

Working with the Allentown School District, the city plans to focus on blight remediation, housing redevelopment, home ownership and streetscaping projects.

“I believe Allentown will become a beacon of hope and an economic model for redevelopment (that) can be replicated across the state and across the country,” Pawlowski said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/03/allentown_mayor_announces_plan.html

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Early Allentown School Budget Focuses On Hefty Layoffs, Tax Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If there was any doubt that the Allentown School District will impose layoffs as itgrapples with a $10.6 million shortfall next year, those doubts were all but erased tonight.

The school board considered a preliminary budget that could be described — officials hope — as a worst-case scenario: a $6.1 million cut to salaries, and a 9 percent property tax increase.

Those will almost certainly change by the time the final budget is passed in June. A preliminary budget is required this month by state law, and it must be balanced, so the district includes cuts to satisfy that deadline and then changes them later.

But if the $6.1 million salaries cut stays in place, with a district average salary of $65,000, it could mean at least 94 jobs getting eliminated, school union President Debra Tretter said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/01/early_allentown_school_budget.html#incart_m-rpt-1

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Fourth Annual ‘8×8’ Art Show And Sale To Raise Funds For Allentown Arts Academy

img8x8-2smAllentown, Pa. — Eight-inch-square canvases in a wide variety of styles and media will be on display Nov. 13 at “8 x 8,” the fourth annual art show and sale sponsored by the Allentown Arts Academy Alliance. Funds raised at the event will support the Allentown Academy of the Arts, at William Allen High School.

The show will include more than 50 works of art in a wide array of styles and media, created by the Arts Academy’s students, teachers and alumni, as well as artists from the community. Most of the artworks are paintings; however, some artists have mounted handcrafted jewelry or pottery on an 8-by-8-inch base. Artists this year include Nancy Bossert, Lee Butz, Fran Ackley, Claudia McGill, Jon Roylance, John Gaydos, Dana Van Horn, and many more.

The event will also include performances by Allen High School’s Chorale and Double String Quartet.

The event will be held at Muhlenberg College, in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, on the south side of Chew Street between 24th and 26th streets, Allentown. The address is 2400 Chew Street. The show takes place from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and purchases may be taken at 6 p.m.

The Academy of the Arts, William Allen’s magnet school program, offers studio instruction to Allentown School District students in theatre, dance, visual art, and music.

Allentown Schools Cut 151 Jobs, Hike Taxes 8.2 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown School Board approved a final 2013-14 budget Thursday that spares full-day kindergarten and most elementary school related arts positions but cuts 151 jobs, sending a ripple effect throughout the district.

School directors voted 5-4 to adopt a spending plan that slashes 127 teachers, 14 administrators and 10 maintenance/custodial workers from the district’s payroll.  The cuts are accompanied by an 8.2 percent tax increase and a $10 million contribution from the district’s savings to keep the district afloat for another school year.

The only change to the $242 million budget was elimination of two vacant administrative positions — director of special projects and director of professional development.  That decision saves about $200,000.

Full-day kindergarten and elementary school music, art and gym teachers, originally in jeopardy of being cut, are retained in the final budget.  But the district will eliminate all five of its elementary librarians along with 19 middle-school related arts teachers.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-schools-final-budget-20130627,0,7917258.story#ixzz2XWm7azLQ
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Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Announces Its 15th Summer Of Middle School Arts Camp

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, Pa  — This summer, Muhlenberg College‘s Camp Imagine program celebrates its 15th year of educating and enriching the lives of the Lehigh Valley’s middle school students.  Founded in 1999 the program provides young people in grades 6-8 with a month-long performing arts experience, which is free for students of the Allentown School District.

High school students can enroll in the Performing Arts Workshop.  Both programs provide invaluable experiences and opportunities to nurture passion for the performing arts and build real-life interpersonal and expressive skills.  The programs meet for three hours each week day, July 1-26.

“We all build confidence in each other,” said a former participant the Performing Arts Workshop.

Each program will culminate in a free showcase performance for family and friends at the conclusion of the four weeks.  Participants will be guided through creative arts experiences in the performing arts by talented teams of Muhlenberg College students and alumni.  These teaching artists are experienced, professionally trained and supervised.

“I think that the arts provide not only a tool for performance, but a tool for life,” says Renee Lorenzetti, related arts coordinator for the Allentown School District.  “It’s how we live and it’s who we are; and it’s what we need in our society.”

Camp Imagine students will explore their talents in acting, music, and dance in a safe and open environment, rotating through classes in drama, movement, and vocal expression.  They will also get to work with Muhlenberg alumni and students to create a dynamic ensemble environment with their peers.

The Workshop takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study, creation, and performance of theatre. Students will work in a professional studio setting, learning not only acting, dance, and voice, but also advanced audition technique, ensemble collaboration, and character development.  Sessions are modeled after college classes, providing students with the opportunity to experience college-level performing arts instruction.  The workshop experience will conclude with an original ensemble performance.

Camp Imagine meets 9:30 to 12:30 a.m.  A lunch is provided for free to all participants, and free bus transportation is provided from all four Allentown School District middle schools.  For students not enrolled in the Allentown School District, tuition is $395; however, partial and full need-based scholarships are available. The Camp Imagine showcase is Saturday, July 27, at 10 a.m.

The Performing Arts Workshop meets 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Tuition for all students is $465; however, partial and full need-based scholarships are available.

Both programs meet July 1-26, except for July 4.  Students must register to participate.  Applications are available online atwww.muhlenberg.edu/camp, and by request at camp@muhlenberg.edu or 484-664-3693.

The programs are made possible by underwriting support from Enterprise Car Rentals, Crayola, The Foundation for Allentown City Schools, and others.

 

Allentown Students To Wear Uniforms Next School Year

English: City of Allentown from east side

English: City of Allentown from east side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Allentown is the fourth largest school system in the state with nearly 18,000 students.

All Allentown students will be required to wear uniforms next school year under a plan the school board Education Committee approved Thursday.

The committee voted 8-1 for uniforms after hearing a presentation from Superintendent Russ Mayo, staff and students.  The board will formalize the committee’s decision at its Jan. 24 meeting.

The colors and styles of the shirts, pants, belts and shoes have not been decided for students.  Nor has the administration worked out the consequences for students who do not adhere to the uniform.

Those rules will be presented to the committee on Feb. 14 with a board vote to follow later that month.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-school-uniforms-20130111,0,6512385.story

Allentown School Taxes To Rise 2.6 Percent

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Questions. Motions. Votes.

Then silence swallowed the room as the audience counted and realized the Allentown School Board had rejected Russ Mayo’s first budget as superintendent in a stunning 5-4 vote Thursday.

“OK,” board President Robert E. Smith Jr. said. “Now what do we do? We need a budget. We need to do something.”

When another idea failed, the directors voted again on Mayo’s spending plan, which raises taxes 2.6 percent, or 1.3 mills, to 49.3 mills for the next school year. This time they passed it.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-allentown-schools-budget-627-20120628,0,4984180.story

Month-Long Performing Arts Camps At Muhlenberg Give Young People A Taste Of The Stage At Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Allentown, Pa.  — Every summer, Muhlenberg College plays host to dozens of young performers, participants in two month-long arts education programs that are part of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre program. Covering grades 6 to 12, the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs run July 2-27, and enrollment is still available in both.

Camp Imagine, now in its 14th year, gives middle schoolers a daily experience in drama, vocal expression and movement. About 60 participants rotate through the three activities, learning from Muhlenberg College students and alumni — and from each other. At the end of the four-week session, the ensemble presents a world premiere showcase performance, developed over the course of the program.

Founded in 1999 as a program to supplement the arts curriculum in the Allentown School District, Camp Imagine was originally conducted on site at Harrison-Morton Middle School. The camp has since both expanded and moved to the state-of-the-art performance facilities on the Muhlenberg Campus.

“We found that one of the most important aspects of the program was giving the students a chance to experience the college campus environment,” says Charles Richter, a Muhlenberg theater professor who helped found Camp Imagine. “Many have gone on to study the arts in college — and study other things in college — in part because they came to Camp Imagine.”

Camp Imagine remains free to Allentown School District students, and many other students benefit from full and partial need-based scholarships. The program participates in the District’s free lunch program, and provides free daily busing to and from all four ASD middle schools.

Camp Imagine runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, July 2-27, and a showcase on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m.

Camp Imagine’s sister program, the Performing Arts Workshop, is now in its fifth year. The Workshop gives high school students — many of them alumni of Camp Imagine — a chance to extend their performance training through intensive workshop performances taught by professional performers, as well as master classes with Muhlenberg faculty members.

The Workshop runs 1:30 to 4:30 daily, July 2-27, with a showcase Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m.

“The objective of both programs is to use the arts as a means of helping young people to nurture their passions and enhance their social and communication skills,” Richter says. “And also to build self-esteem, concentration, and confidence — all of which help them in the performing arts, in school, and in life.”

And it’s working. Parents of participants consistently report that their children are more independent, more self-confident, better able to focus on tasks, and better at cooperating and collaborating within their families.

“The best thing was that my child, who is usually negative, was positive, upbeat and excited,” wrote one parent. “He came home one day and said, ‘I asked my teacher if I could do this a certain way. The teacher said that not only could I be loud, silly and different, but that they encouraged me to be! It’s the first time that everything I do at school is right. There is no one saying, Don’t! Stop! Wrong!’ This camp was a very positive experience in my child’s life and for our family.”

Enrollment is still available in both the Camp Imagine and Performing Arts Workshop programs. Tuition for Camp Imagine is $365 for non-Allentown School District students. Tuition for the Workshop is $465. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available for both programs, based on financial need.

More information and enrollment forms are available online at www.muhlenberg.edu/camp, or by calling 484-664-3693.

Allentown School Taxes Could Rise Nearly 5%

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park

English: View of Allentown, Pa from Keck Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown School Board on Thursday approved a proposed $235 million spending plan for 2012-13 that includes a nearly 5 percent tax hike.

The board’s 8-1 vote means a property owner’s tax bill would rise about $86, to $1,890, on a home assessed at the district’s $37,500 average. The millage rate would go up 2.3 mills to about 50.4.

Superintendent Russ Mayo faulted Gov. Tom Corbett for shifting a greater financial burden on school districts.

He said the governor’s proposed state budget for 2012-13 has about $100 million less for kindergarten, tutoring and class-size programs. That’s on top of the $900 million in school funding he cut statewide in 2011-12.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-school-budget-0524-20120525,0,4061905.story

Allentown School District Moves Closer To Student Uniforms

Allentown charter school students wear them. So do Catholic school students. Now, Allentown School District students could one day wear them too.

Uniforms.

The school board’s Education Committee on Thursday again scratched the itchy subject of requiring student uniforms. But unlike uniform debates that have taken place in the last decade or so, this one seems more real as anger and frustration boils over scantily clad students who ignore the district’s unenforceable dress code to either act sexy, defiant or think their particular style is just fine.

A growing number of school directors, administrators, students and teachers voiced strong support for establishing a mandatory, homogeneous clothing style for schools, beginning in September 2013 for elementary schools, 2014 for middle-schoolers and 2015 for Allen and Dieruff high schools.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-school-uniforms-20120510,0,2595084.story

Art Show And Sale ‘8 X 8 = 50+’ Allentown Arts Academy

Art show and sale ‘8 X 8 = 50+’
to raise funds for Allentown Arts Academy

Nov. 17 event will feature 8-inch art by students, teachers, alumni of William Allen High School arts program

Allentown, Pa. (Oct. 13, 2011) — Eight-inch-square canvases in a wide variety of styles and media will be on display Nov. 17 at “8 x 8 = 50+,” the second annual art show and sale sponsored by the Allentown Arts Academy Alliance. Funds raised at the event will support the Allentown Academy of the Arts, at William Allen High School.

The show will include more than 50 canvases in a wide array of styles and media, created by the Arts Academy’s students, teachers and alumni, as well as artists from the community and local colleges and universities. Artists include Joe Skrapits, John Gaydos, Ann Lalik, David Lee, Ron De Long, Kathy Alvaro, and many more.

Canvases will be auctioned starting at $50 each. The event will be held at the newly renovated art center at William Allen High School, entrance on Linden Street at the mosaic. The show takes place from 4 to 7 p.m., and purchases may be taken at 6:30 p.m.

The Academy of the Arts, William Allen’s magnet school program, offers studio instruction to Allentown School District students in theatre, dance, visual art, and music.

Photos of paintings and artists, as well as interview opportunities with Arts Academy students and teachers and with featured artists.

’8 X 8 = 50′ Art Show And Sale Benefits Allentown School District Arts Program

Nov. 18 event will feature 8-inch art by students, teachers, alumni of William Allen High School arts program.

Allentown, PA (Nov. 15, 2010) – Eight-inch-square canvases in a wide variety of styles and media will be on display at “8X8=50,” a Nov. 18 art show and sale in support of the Allentown Academy of the Arts, at William Allen High School.

More than 50 canvases will be on sale at the show for $50 each. Funds will go to student programs of the Academy of the Arts, William Allen’s “school within a school” offering Allentown School District students instruction in theatre, dance, music and visual arts.

Canvases have been created by students, teachers and alumni of the Academy as well as artists from the community and local colleges and universities, all of whom are interested in supporting arts education in the Allentown School District.

“Work for this event is exceptional,” says Joan Gaydos, president of the Allentown Academy of the Arts Alliance, The Arts Academy advisory board that sponsors the event. “The strong support received from within the community demonstrates how important the youth of Allentown and the arts in public education are.”

The exhibit includes canvases by Jim Musselman, Jill Pecklum, John Gaydos, Ann Lalik, Rudy Ackerman, Lucy Gans, Heather Sincavage, and many more.

The exhibit and sale will be held Thursday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Antonio Salemme Foundation, 542 Hamilton St., Suite 208. Purchases may be taken at 6 p.m