Pow Wow On Mantawny Creek Celebrates Pottstown’s Native American Heritage

Pottstown, PA - In 1859, workers clearing a mound in an area on the south side of the borough unearthed skeletal remains and artifacts of an ancestor of the Lenni-Lenape people.  Over the next twelve years many more remains and artifacts were unearthed in this area.  Many of the remains and items were initially exhibited locally, but over time they have been lost.

memorial

memorial.jpg an image of the memorial on Industrial Highway

In 2000, then mayor Anne Jones headed up a campaign that resulted in the Memorial currently located at the intersection of South Franklin Street and Industrial Highway. The site sits on land generously donated by the family of Mr. Tim O’Conner, owner of Humphrey Flag Company.

The memorial, which was originally dedicated on May 5, 2000, is an acknowledgement and a recognition of the people whose spirits inhabit those grounds.  Unfortunately, in recent years, the memorial has been neglected. In an effort to bring new life and attention to this memorial, Ron Williams and Clanmother Star Harbach have organized a re-dedication of the memorial on May 3 and a pow wow on May 3 and 4. Williams says: “The Memorial is my primary objective.  The Pow Wow is a way of creating interest. I am hopeful that in time we can do more to make this memorial a local landmark that we can be proud of. It should be a place of cultural awareness.  Future plans will include warm weather monthly story-telling circles, new plants representing the indigenous  features of the pre-colonial period, a medicine wheel, lighting and a sculpture representing the culture of the Native Americans, for starters.”

The rededication ceremony will begin at 9am on Saturday, May 3 at the site, which is at the corner of Franklin St. and Industrial Highway near the river. Frankie and Johnnie’s has generously offered the use of their parking lot for those who want to attend. Afterwards the festivities will switch to Memorial Park.

The pow wow will take place from 10am-6pm on Saturday and from 10am-5pm on Sunday at the Veteran’s Memorial in Memorial Park. Visitors will be treated to dances from many different tribes. In between the dances, a storyteller will entertain and educate with traditional tales. Guests will be able to shop at different Native American vendors, who will be selling leather crafts, jewelry, beadwork, instruments, wood sculptures, herbal teas and more. Author Gretchen Hardy will be selling signed copies of her book. Buttons & Beads: Lenape Princess Wynonah and the Future President, an historical fiction book illustrated by Zoungy Kligge, takes what is known of these intrepid ancestors and weaves them into one Lenape woman, Wynonah, who becomes their collective voiceA portion of the sales of her book will be donated to the Memorial fundraiser.  There will also be an interactive education tent run by Laura and Ron Buckwalter where visitors can learn more about the Lenape people. Outside of the main pow wow site, other local groups including ArtFusion 19464 will be set up.

SpritWing.jpg the group giving a free concert at the pow wow on Saturday night

SpritWing.jpg the group giving a free concert at the pow wow on Saturday night

The event will begin with a Grand Entrance and opening ceremony at 12pm on Saturday. Following the opening ceremony, there will be a Veteran’s Dance, where military veterans and those currently serving are invited to participate to honor their service. The dancing will continue until 6pm. At 7pm, group Spirit Wing entertain the community with a free concert open to the public. The pow wow on Sunday will also begin with a Grand Entrance at 12pm. The events that day will end at 5pm.

Clanmother Star will MC the event and Joe Camaho will be whip man for the event, a ceremonial position responsible for lining up the dancers for the Grand Entrance. Medicine Horse Singers will drum for the dancers.

The entrance fee for the pow wow is $5, cash only. Children 6 and under are free. Visitors can park in the Memorial Park lot and at the lot by the Carousel building on King Street. There will be a free trolley running from the Carousel parking lot up to Pottsgrove Manor, where the annual May Day festivities will also be taking place on Saturday.

Please note that the back gate at the Veteran’s Memorial in the park will be closed to the public. All events will run rain or shine.

The organizers and dancers ask that visitors only take pictures when they are told it is allowed, as a matter of respect. Those who do not follow these rules will be escorted from the event. This is a pet friendly event. Well-behaved pets on a leash are welcome, and owners are asked to be courteous and clean up after their pets.

All funds raised during this weekend will go toward establishing an annual celebration and the maintenance and improvement of the monument. The site will be updated to make it a place of learning, with a regular schedule of storytelling and other events that will take place on site. The pow wow will be an annual event, in an effort to continue the recognition of what was lost.

In conjunction with this effort to create the awareness of the Native American contribution to the history of this nation, Representative Mark Painter will also be presenting a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 2, to recognize this year as the 90th anniversary since Native Americans were granted full United States citizenship.  Until 1924, Native Americans were not citizens of the United States, but on June 2, 1924 Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. under the Indian Citizenship Act.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Trashy Art Returns To ArtFusion

ReSourced3

ReSourced3.jpg butterfly sculpture by Juanita Gaspari, made from recycled wire and handpainted paper

POTTSTOWN, PA – The latest show at ArtFusion helps prove true the old adage that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Titled ReSourced, the show will be an amazing display of creative reuse. Local artists have created work from recycled, upcycled and salvaged items. Visitors to ArtFusion will be delighted by the wide range of pieces on display, from functional clothing to gorgeous free-standing sculptures.

Each visitor will also have a chance to contribute to a fun public art project. Throughout the show, which runs from March 21 through May 3, visitors will have a chance to add to a large scale, recycled weaving project. The weaving will be created from plastic bags, paper, VCR tapes, and more. The piece can be seen as it grows in the front window of the ArtFusion gallery.

Participating artists are: Alita Abruzzzese, Lisbeth Bucci, Robyn Burckhardt, Tom Carroll, Arline Christ, Maggie Creshkoff, James M. Enders, Juanita A. Gaspari, Robert Hakun, Heidi Hammel, Joe Hoover, Millie Lea, Dora Siemel, Carla Schaeffer, Teresa Shields, Donna Steck-McMahon, and Julie Tonnessen.

There will be an opening reception for ReSourced on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. All receptions are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A $100 Best in Show prize, sponsored by the NARI-BIE Green Team, will be presented at 6:30pm.

In conjunction with this show, ArtFusion is offering free field trips to local schools. Over 550 children have currently signed up for a fun, interactive experience. Students will learn about and discuss recycling, why it is important to the future of our planet, and how artists create with objects other people throw away. Each student will also create their own unique piece of recycled art. This show will help teach local children the importance of caring for our planet and will inspire them to look at the world–and how people create art–in a whole new way.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Enhanced by Zemanta

$10,000 Art Scholarship Expanded For 2014

ArtFusion-color600Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is partnering for the fourth year in a row with the Greater Pottstown Foundation to present an amazing $10,000 scholarship to a local high school student. The Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in obtaining a degree from accredited academic institutions of higher learning for study in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, The Hill School, or Owen J. Roberts high school senior student preparing to enter or already accepted to an accredited degree-granting college or university.

The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria:  artistic performance at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship Art Exhibit at ArtFusion 19464, and an essay on why the applicant wants to continue their education in the arts. For the first time, this year the scholarship will be open to those pursuing an arts minor as well as those who will pursue a major in an arts-related field.

Interested students must submit a completed application and essay by February 28, 2014. In addition to submitting the application and essay, students must also participate in the exhibit scheduled from May 31 to June 14. Applicants must submit a total of three pieces in specific mediums.  Artwork that will be submitted for the scholarship need not be completed until dropoff for the exhibit in May.

The award recipient will be notified at the reception to be held at ArtFusion 19464 on May 31, 2014 from 1-2pm. Applications can be picked up at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location, or downloaded from their website at http://artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/.  Students can also call 610-326-2506 or email info@artfusion19464.org with any questions.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Enhanced by Zemanta

3rd Annual Soup Bowl Fundraiser At ArtFusion 19464 In Pottstown

Pottstown, PA – Winter Chill + Warm Soup = Perfection

ArtFusion’s popular fundraiser returns for a third year. The Soup Bowl fundraiser will take place Saturday, January 25 from 11am-1pm at 254 E. High St. in the ArtFusion facility. This year’s event will be even bigger and better than last year, with the Soup Bowl event taking over the entire building. Different soups will be set up on the first floor and also upstairs on the second floor, with more seating to accommodate a lot more soup lovers!

Guests will be able to try an amazing variety of home-cooked soups, created by local volunteer chefs and donated by local restaurants. Lunch will also include bread, beverages and homemade desserts. As a thank you for supporting the fundraiser, each guest will take home a handcrafted ceramic bowl, created by volunteers from the community throughout the previous year.

sb13bEach bowl is an artistic collaboration: one volunteer created the bowl from clay and another added the colorful decorations. Guest artists included Girl Scout troops, high school students, volunteers from local businesses, members of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and more. This event is truly a community effort, from the soups to the bowls.

This event was a sell-out in 2013. 2014 tickets are now available for purchase at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location, and also online at their website http://www.artfusion19464.org The number of tickets is limited, so ArtFusion recommends purchasing your tickets early. All proceeds benefit the non-profit community art school.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Local Artist Featured In ArtFusion Solo Exhibit

“Disavowing Bear” by Richardson ComlyPottstown, PAA Tribute to My Youth: The Artwork of Richardson Comly will run in ArtFusion’s main gallery from November 12 through November 30. Richardson is a local Pottstown artist and University of the Arts graduate with a BFA in animation. He mainly creates in acrylic paints but has also experimented with oil and watercolors. Richardson also likes to craft some of his own frames, and works with his stepdad, who is a carpenter by hobby, in creating them.

This show will feature original artwork that he created for the Weyerbacher Brewing Company select beer labels, classic pieces from his personal collection as well as all new artwork created just for his ArtFusion show. Richardson describes his artistic process: “My art is an expression of my subconscious. Almost every step of my creative process is left to ideas arriving by chance. I’ll do research on the painting’s subject and even sometimes create multiple thumbnails and sketches. These aren’t necessarily ideas that I will use for the painting, but more an exercise for my brain. Some artists sketch out their ideas, do their research, and reference their subject before starting a painting. I do it during. I become comfortable with what I am painting as I paint from background to foreground.”

ArtFusion will host an opening reception for this show on November 15 from 7-9pm. This free event is open to the public. Musicians Josh Jones (Univox) and Brandon Morsberger will be performing live.  Weyerbacher Brewing Company will host a beer pouring, and the Sunflower Truck Stop food truck will be parked in front of the ArtFusion building, open for business. Sunflower Truck Stop is a mobile cafe operated by Shorty’s Sunflower Cafe, a local Pottstown institution. Complimentary wine and light refreshment will be served in the gallery. The artist will also be on hand to answer questions about his work. RSVPs to 610-326-2506 are appreciated.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Local Singer Songwriter To Perform At ArtFusion 19464

mike hollidayPottstown, PA – Local singer-songwriter Mike Holliday will perform two original one act plays in ArtFusion’s main gallery on Saturday, October 19. The performance will begin at 8pm. Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location. Tickets are cash only. The event is a fundraiser for the non-profit community art center.

The first piece Mike will perform is titled Marching Back to Woodstock and is a journey of hope in songs and stories. This show is filled with songs and personal insights about peace, the ecology, and social awareness. It is meant to reawaken the spirit of the march and ask people to take that first step.

The second piece is Coffeehouse Songs & Diner Stories, a mixed menu of songs and stories. This show is filled some of Mike’s more personal songs and stories. Some will touch your funny bone. Some will touch your heart.

Mike Holliday is a singer-songwriter from Pottstown PA and has been singing for a long time. Only recently has he pursued it full time. Mike has performed at Listen Live Music in Macungi, PA, Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA, Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, PA, and Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA, among others.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

ArtFusion 19464 To Host Reception For Education Vietnam Exhibit

When We Were Soldiers

Personal Stories of Our Vietnam Veterans

ImageProxyYou are cordially invited to the opening reception for our upcoming educational exhibit. The reception will be held September 20 from 5-8pm. This event will be a welcome home celebration for the veterans, showing them thanks and appreciation for their service.

This amazing event will include a motorcycle ride, bagpipers, color guard from the Junior ROTC, a long overdue welcome home for our Vietnam veterans, and musical performances by Margie Nace, and Haven’t You Heard, a men’s ensemble made up of talented singers from several local churches.

Please RSVP by calling 610-326-2506 or http://artfusion19464.org/contact/

We would like the thank the following businesses and individuals for supporting the reception:  VideoRay, Fitch Electronics, Hamlin Hogs Motorcycle Club, Hurter’s Meats, North Coventry Police, Pottstown Police, Gear Jammers, Santina’s Kitchen, Ice House, Grumpys, Penny Batista, Lindt Chocolates, Gourmet Cupcakes, Hurter’s Meats, The Very Best, DVD Video Albums/Tom Carbo, AFJROTC, Margie Nace, and Haven’t You Heard.

POW/MIA Flags To Be Hung In Downtown Pottstown

Art fusionIn preparation for ArtFusion 19464’s fall educational exhibit When We Were Soldiers, downtown Pottstown will soon be flying POW/MIA flags.  The flags will be hung the week of July 4th and be on display through Veterans Day.

This display was made possible through the support of the greater Pottstown community and beyond. Representative Mark Painter’s office donated 2 flags.  Generous donations were also made by the following individuals and organizations: David Garner , Esq., Pottstown Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Positively Pottstown, Federation of Concerned Organizations, POW/MIA Forget Me Nots, American Legion Post 244 and Jack and Cathy Paretti, Theresa Orlosky, Sharon Shulby.  Billy Worrell, member of American Legion Post 244 and a Vietnam Veteran, was very instrumental in getting the donations and arranging the purchase of the flags.

When We Were Soldiers will focus on the personal recollections of veterans of the Vietnam War.  The show will open September 20 with a Welcome Home reception and run through Veterans Day.  As part of the reception, local motorcycle clubs will be participating in a welcome home ride.  The reception will run from 5-8pm. Light refreshments will be served.  While this reception is free, ArtFusion will be collecting donations for a free arts program for veterans as well as to fund maintenance for the Pottstown Vietnam Memorial.

The Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 of Vietnam Veterans meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7PM at the VFW located on High Street in Pottstown.  Anyone is invited to attend a meeting.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown.  The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Attached:  POWMIA flags.jpg: presentation of flags at Borough Hall; Frank Strunk, President of Pottstown Keystone Chapter 565 of Vietnam Veterans of America; Billy Worrell, of American Legion Post 244; and Mark Flanders, Pottstown Borough Manager.

ArtFusion 19464 Gets Jazzy For A Good Cause‏

musician.jpg painting by Destiny Garcia, Teen Studio student

musician.jpg painting by Destiny Garcia, Teen Studio student

Pottstown,PA – ArtFusion’s seventh annual Fashion Plates fundraiser will take place on Saturday, April 20 at Brookside Country Club from 6-9pm.  This year’s theme is Fashion Notes, and the event will be an amazing fusion of food, fashion and music.

ArtFusion 19464, formerly The Gallery School of Pottstown/Gallery on High, is a charitable 501(c)3 non-profit community art center. Proceeds from this event help them not only to continue to offer a great selection of classes for all ages, but also to expand their free programs and scholarships.  ArtFusion has been bringing the arts to the greater Pottstown community for almost 8 years, and relies on major fundraisers like Fashion Plates to help keep their doors open.  Generous community sponsors of this event include: Heartland Abstract, S&H Interiorscapes, Dolan & Mayerson, PC and Genesis Housing.

Jazz musician Adam Price and his band will perform musical hits from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Guests will experience a dynamic, multimedia fashion event with local student models wearing vintage costumes from several jazz eras.  The models will walk to the accompaniment of Adam’s jazz quartet performing musical hits from each era.  Visit his website to hear some of Adam’s musical talents: www.adampricemusic.com.

The event’s silent auction is based on the idea of Edible Art, with local bakers, confectioners and chefs creating mouthwatering items for guests to bid on, as well as locally crafted beer and wine. Among those donating their culinary talents are: Bause Catering, Montesano Bros., Sand Castle Winery, Stone Keep Meadery, Giant, Bridge Street Chocolates, The Baker’s Touch and many more.

Tickets are $70 each, or two for $120.  Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner and yummy dessert, a chance to win fun door prizes, an evening of live music and fashion.  A cash bar will be available. Tickets can be purchased online at artfusion19464.org, over the phone at 610-326-2506 or in person at 254 E. High St.

ArtFusion 19464 offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

New Free Program At ArtFusion 19464

cropped-picture-578.jpg

Local young artists will soon get a chance to expand their drawing skills while learning about a new language. Drawing with Hebrew Letters, sponsored by Sager and Sager and The Jewish Women’s League of Congregation Mercy and Truth, will introduce students to drawing using a creative language of letters and shapes.  The graphic quality of the Hebrew alphabet is the perfect inspiration for teaching language through art.  Students will create with ink, paper and color, learning to express with their hands what their imaginations see.

This free program is open to artists of all faiths.  No prior drawing experience or knowledge of the language is required, just a desire to learn and create. Applications can be picked up at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location or downloaded from their website at artfusion19464.org.  Applications are due by March 31.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center.  The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

ArtFusion Gets Jazzy Again

Pottstown, PA – On Saturday March 30, ArtFusion’s beautiful gallery will be the backdrop for an amazing night of jazz music. A reprise of a sold out event, Jazz Nite II will be a benefit show for the Give the Gift of Music Foundation.

Local musicians The High St. Swing Co., with special guest The Wilson Bros., will perform. Their jazz repertoire ranges from be-bop to classic. The music will last from 7-10pm. Light refreshments will be available for purchase, and the event is BYOB for those over 21.

Tickets are $10 (cash only please) and can be purchased in advance at ArtFusion during regular business hours: Tuesday-Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm. As this event sold out last time, they do recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible.

Give the Gift of Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Pennsylvania corporation organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. They support musical education for eligible children by providing donations of musical instruments and/or scholarships for lessons at approved providers, such as High Street Music Co., who share the belief in the importance of quality musical education for all children.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

The Secret Studio Returns To ArtFusion 19464 For A Third Year

GetAttachment 19464POTTSTOWN, PA – Looking for a way to make holiday gift shopping easier for your children?  Then be sure to check out VanGogh’s Secret Studio, a fun opportunity for kids 12 and under to shop for special gifts for family and friends.  The studio is fully stocked with goodies for everyone on their lists, from relatives to teachers and coaches.

All items are handcrafted and range in price from $1 to $5.  The Workshop will be open Saturday, December 15 from 10am to 3pm and Sunday, December 16 from 12-3pm at the ArtFusion building, 254 E. High St.

ArtFusion recommends children come with a list and a budget.  Parents can download a simple form from the ArtFusion website: www.artfusion19464.org.  The ArtFusion elves will help the children select gifts and stay within their budget.  Shoppers will even get their gifts wrapped for free! Parents must remain in the gallery while their children shop.  The Studio is a fundraiser for the non-profit ArtFusion 19464.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown.  The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages.  The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence.  ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.  The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

Live Jazz Event In Downtown Pottstown

ArtFusion 19464 in association whit Cheapniteout Productions presents Jazz Nite on Saturday, December 1 from 7-10pm.  Featuring the High Street Swing Company (Louis Rieger, Larry Marshall, Ben Bullock, Brian Langdon, Ben Britton) for an evening of JAZZ @ an unbelievable cost, just $5.00LIVE JAZZ in an Arts and Crafts Environment with free refreshments, door prize and BYOB.