Allentown’s Americus Hotel Revitalization Suffers Major Blow

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

Plans to revitalize Allentown’s historic Americus Hotel have suffered a major blow that could set the project back multiple years, according to the hotel owner.

Albert Abdouche said financing for the $16.5 million renovation project has fallen through due to an Allentown authority’s hesitation regarding his plans.

As a result, Abdouche said he is no longer seeking to tap into the Neighborhood Improvement Zone, Allentown’s 127-acre special tax district, to finance the project.

Instead, Abdouche plans to make $1 million in improvements to the first floor with private money, then perhaps return to the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development next year to finance the rest of the hotel renovations.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentowns_americus_hotel_revi.html

Six Lehigh Valley Foodie Events This Weekend And Next, That Will Leave You Stuffed

Dig in!

The next two weekends are jam-packed with tasty events.

Here’s your outlook this weekend:

Bacon 5K Challenge and Bacon & Brews Bash – Friday and Saturday, Allentown

Coca-Cola Park, 1050 Iron Pigs Way, is hosting a Bacon 5K Challenge on Friday where participants need to consume a half-pound of bacon when they reach the 2.5-kilometer mark. A post-race party follows.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/09/foodie_forecast_the_next_two_w.html

Allentown Police Hire New Officers, Implement New Training

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown Police Department added four new officers on Wednesday, as the police chief described for city officials new training and equipment the force has been implementing.

In the last few months the department has appointed its first liaison for the gay and lesbian community, and added training in Spanish language, emergency vehicle usage and riot policing.

The department has also received a $68,000 grant for the installation of audio and video equipment in 10 police cars, something Chief Joel Fitzgerald hopes will be implemented in all the city’s marked police cars.

“It’s a tremendous benefit for both the community, as well as cops because it insulates them from claims that might not be true,” he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_police_hire_new_offi.html#incart_river

A Festival Of Innovative One-Act Plays, Muhlenberg’s ‘New Visions’ Spotlights Inspired Work Of Talented Student Directors

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, PA – Emerging theatrical talents will be on display in Muhlenberg College’s “New Visions” Directors’ Festival, featuring plays directed by four senior directing students in the College’s Department of Theatre & Dance. “New Visions” plays Sept. 27-30 on Muhlenberg’s Studio Theatre stage.

The festival will be presented in two evenings. Evening A features Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belisa in the Garden,” directed by Allison Lloyd, and Romulus Linney’s “Hrosvitha,” directed by Julia Schneiderman. Evening B features “Out Loud: Three Short Plays,” directed by Michael Witkes, and Caryl Churchill’s “This is a Chair,” directed by Hayley Cooke.

“The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belisa in the Garden” tells the story of Don Perlimplin, a hopeless bachelor, who is convinced to marry the beautiful but promiscuous Belisa. Four potent scenes illustrate the tale of a man overcome by the spirits of passion and the desire to win the love of the woman to whom he is married.

The title character in “Hrosvitha” was a canoness at Gandersheim Abbey in 10th century Saxony, and is regarded as the first Christian playwright. By imagining the visit of a hostile monk and the conflict that unfolds, Romulus Linney examines the tensions that exist within and around Hrosvitha — a forward-thinking woman with an understanding of the world that didn’t always harmonize with her religious beliefs and deep faith.

“The play contends that we are the authors of our own stories,” Schneiderman says, “and that women, most of all, must struggle to rewrite the world around them.”

“Out Loud” comprises three short plays: “Black Eye” by Carolyn Gage, “Game On” by Gary Garrison and “Baby Steps” by Geoffrey Nauffts. The show explores the importance of overcoming the stigmatization of homosexuality and fighting for one’s sexual identity. One actor plays the lead in all three plays, following a journey from hiding his sexuality, to coming out with hesitation, to finally embracing his sexuality and standing up for himself as a proud gay man.

“This is a Chair” explores the relationship between language and meaning. Eight vignettes, juxtaposed with large title signs, look at the complexities of human relationships and the struggle to connect.

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of more than 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review has ranked Muhlenberg’s theater program in the top twelve in the nation for seven years in a row, and Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States. Muhlenberg is one of only eight colleges to be listed in Fiske for both theater and dance.

Performances of “New Visions” are Sept. 27-30. Evening A will be performed Saturday, Sept. 27, at 2 and 8 p.m and Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. Evening B will be performed Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 and 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for one evening and $20 for a combination ticket including both nights. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatreanddance or by phone at 484-664-3333. Performances are in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. For mature audiences.

Allentown Approves New Parking Garage Near Hockey Arena

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

Allentown officials have insisted they are prepared for the barrage of vehicles that will be coming into the city from the opening of the new PPL Centerhockey arena.

Now, those vehicles will have 1,000 additional spots to park in.

Allentown planners signed off today on a new seven-story parking garage at Sixth and Walnut streets, within walking distance of the arena and other major downtown development projects.

“The traffic’s coming, there’s nothing we can do about that,” said Oldrich Focuek, planning commission chairman. “You know ‘the British are coming?’ Well, the traffic is coming, and we’re trying to deal with that.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_approves_new_parking.html

Arts & Access: Celebrating Cultural Accessibility

LVAC-4LinesOn November 10, 2014, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Valley Partnership for a Disability-Friendly Community will co-host an exposition, Arts & Access: Celebrating Cultural Accessibility, at the Lehigh Valley Health Network, 2100 Mack Boulevard, Allentown, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The November 10th expo heralds the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act which occurs on July 26, 2015. The Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community are planning a yearlong celebration next year to unite the entire community around creating a more inclusive region and expanding access to the arts for all people.

“Let’s remove barriers and open our doors to persons with disabilities,” says Randall Forte, Lehigh Valley Arts Council Executive Director. “It’s easier than you might think, and this event will give arts groups the help they need.”

Additionally, the 2012 U.S. Census data estimates indicate the number of non-institutionalized people with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley is 81,000, or 12.7%, a figure that represents a significant number of potential new audience members for the cultural community.

Partnership member Jan Schwoyer sums it up best: “From my vantage point, the disability community is made up of people who have to do things differently. The arts community is a group of people who love to do things differently. These two groups were made for each other!”

Sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Health Network and Just Born, Inc., the November expo is free and open to the public. Featured guest, writer Shane Burcaw, will speak about his upcoming memoir, Laughing at My Nightmare, due out this October, and the importance of accessibility in the community. He writes an occasional column about life and disability in the Lehigh Valley in the Morning Call.

Exhibitors from local social service agencies and cultural organizations will be on hand to promote the consumer services and the specialized training they provide, including:

Empathy not Sympathy: Interacting Respectfully with People with Disabilities;

About Hidden Disabilities: Legal, Practical, and Human Considerations;

Audio-Described and Open-Captioned Performances.

Panel presentations will showcase recent collaborations between the cultural and disability communities that have extended access to the vision-impaired and to children with autism. Among the presenters are representatives from:

Center for Vision Loss

Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre

Arch of the Lehigh Valley

Act One, DeSales University Theatre

Lehigh University Art Galleries and Museum

If you are interested in getting involved, the Arts & Access planning committee meets on the first Monday of the month from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. to info@lvartscouncil.org.

What: Arts & Access Expo
When: November 10, 2014 / 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Lehigh Valley Health Network, 2100 Mack Boulevard, Allentown

Randall Forte, Executive Director
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
Phone: 610-437-5915.
Email: info@LVArtsCouncil.org
Web: www.lvartscouncil.org/access

Allentown Residents Benefiting From Hockey Arena Area Job Growth

English: City of Allentown from east side

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

When Oliver Velasquez arrived for a job fair earlier this summer at the new Allentown hockey arena, he was shocked by the number of attendees.

“I didn’t expect to see that many people; there must have been thousands,” the 26-year-old Allentown resident said. “The line actually wrapped around the block a couple of times.”

Velasquez waited in that line, and it paid off for him. He is now the PPL Center’s new suites and catering manager, providing banquets for catered events and overseeing food in the arena’s private suites.

He is one of more than 300 city residents to find employment as part of an effort by community activists and city officials to ensure people living in Allentown get a fair shot at the jobs being created by downtown redevelopment.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_residents_benefittin.html

Creating Your Legacy Program On September 20th

LVAC-4LinesCreating your Legacy
Lehigh Valley Arts Council

September 20, 2014 10:30 AM

How will you be remembered? History comes alive on Saturday, September 20, 2014, with “Creating your Legacy,” at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Chief Curator Jill Youngken will explore rarely seen relics of distinguished Lehigh Valley individuals. Learn how to uncover your family roots and enshrine your life and ultimate legacy.

September 20, 2014
10:30 AM – 12:00 NOON
Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W Walnut St, Allentown, PA 18102

The member fee for each session is $10; nonmembers pay $15. Attendance is limited to 25 persons, and reservations are required. Light refreshments will be provided.

http://www.LVArtsCouncil.org

Click Here to
Buy Tickets!
$10 for members / $15 for nonmembers

“Creating Your Legacy,” At The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

Saturday ◊ September 20, 2014
10:30 AM – Noon

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W. Walnut Street
Allentown, Pa. 18101

How will you be remembered?

History comes alive on Saturday, September 20, 2014, with “Creating your Legacy,” at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Arts Alive! is a three event series of behind the scenes cultural tours for members and their friends eager to engage their mind and spirit by rubbing shoulders with the creative process. Tickets $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers. Limited availability!

Learn how to uncover your heritage, enshrine your life and create your ultimate legacy!

The Lehigh County Heritage Museum touts itself as a “facility that houses one of the finest historical research libraries in the state of Pennsylvania,” with 6 galleries encompassing 13,000 square feet. The Heritage Museum is one of the Lehigh Valley’s greatest treasure troves; the entire 30,000 square foot facility houses a collection with “more than 35,000 historical artifacts, 80,000 vintage photographs, and nearly 3-million documents.” The Heritage Museum is also home to the caretakers of Lehigh Valley’s history—seven employees are responsible for maintaining the collection’s integrity.

Creating your Legacy, on September 20th, will be led by one of the Heritage Museum’s proud caretakers, Chief Curator Jill Youngken. She was awarded the “History Prize” for outstanding scholarship during her undergraduate education at Moravian College, before completing her Master’s Degree at Rutgers University. Certified in Archival Studies, she has presided over the Lehigh County Historical Society’s unique antiques for 17 years. Youngken began her career at the Historical Society as an educator before becoming the director of the Heritage Museum’s library and archives; her responsibilities now include overseeing the museum’s 3-million historical documents.

Chief Curator Jill Youngken will offer attendees a glimpse into the lives of notable Lehigh Valley natives through rare personal relics. She will show attendees how to uncover their family legacy—and leave one for future generations!

Click Here to
Buy Tickets!
$10 for members / $15 for nonmembers

LVAC-4Lines

Audio-Description Training To Be Held In Allentown

Audio DescriptionThe Lehigh Valley Arts Council is offering affordable audio description training to the theatre community in order to help them increase attendance to their productions by becoming more disability-friendly.

Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers, educators—are encouraged to enroll in the upcoming audio description training sessions and acquire new performance skills.

Fee: $25. Typically, this workshop costs $590. Thanks to the underwriting support of LVCIL and an anonymous donor, the Arts Council is able to offer it at a very reasonable price. Audio description assists patrons who are blind/low-vision to access the visual elements of stage productions through live narration provided by trained describers. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

This two-day audio-description training for the Performing Arts will be held:

  • October 3 & 4, 2014 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Lehigh Valley Arts Council
    840 Hamilton Street
    2nd Floor Conference Room (Suite 200)
    Allentown, PA 18101

Includes Audio Described performance of “Harvey” at DeSales University (2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, Pa. 18034) on October 2, 2014 at 8:00 PM

REGISTER NOW FOR THE TRAINING!

Arts Alive! Creating Your Legacy – September 20th

Arts AliveHow will you be remembered by future generations? History comes alive as the 2014 season wraps up on Saturday, September 20, 2014, with “Creating your Legacy,” at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Chief Curator Jill Youngken will explore rarely seen relics of distinguished Lehigh Valley individuals. Learn how to uncover your family roots and enshrine your life and ultimate legacy. Tickets $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers.

September 20, 2014 Black diamond (cards) 10:30 AM – NOON
Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum
432 W Walnut St. Black diamond (cards) Allentown, PA 18102

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR CREATING YOUR LEGACY! LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

Lehigh Valley Arts Box Office Upcoming Performances

 

Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra:
Black diamond (cards) August 17, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Wesley Church: Valley Vivaldi IV
Black diamond (cards) October 18, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Christ Lutheran Church: Emerging Genius

Chamber Music Society:
Black diamond (cards) September 5, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Foy Hall: Horszowski Trio
Black diamond (cards) October 10, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Foy Hall: Arianna Quartet

Lehigh Valley Arts Council:
Black diamond (cards) September 20, 2014 | 10:30 AM @ Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum:Creating Your Legacy
Black diamond (cards) October 3 & 4, 2014 | 10:00 AM @ Lehigh Valley Arts Council: Audio Description Training

Moravian College Music Institute:
Black diamond (cards) September 13, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Foy Hall: A Night of Moravian Stars
Black diamond (cards) September 14, 2014 | 4:00 PM @ Foy Hall: “Czech Dreams” w/ Skip Wilkins, jazz piano, & Libor Smoldas, jazz guitar
Black diamond (cards) September 19, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Peter Hall: “Seasons of the Heart” w/ Suzanne Kompass, soprano
Black diamond (cards) September 21, 2014 | 4:00 PM @ Peter Hall: “Mostly Modern” w/ The DeMarina Trio
Black diamond (cards) October 3, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Foy Hall: Moravian Works for Choir & Orchestra
Black diamond (cards) October 5, 2014 | 4:00 PM @ Foy Hall: “Cowboys in Capes” Neil Wetzel, saxophone
Black diamond (cards) October 26, 2014 | 7:00 PM @ Peter Hall: Moravian College Early Music Ensembles
Black diamond (cards) October 31, 2014 | 7:30 PM @ Peter Hall: Moravian College Celtic Ensemble & Guitar Ensemble

LEHIGH VALLEY IS HOME TO 1,405 ARTS BUSINESSES THAT EMPLOY 7,714 PEOPLE, ACCORDING TO A NEW ANALYSIS OF DUN & BRADSTREET DATA BY AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS

Arts Industry Comprises 3.8% of All Businesses and 2.3% Percent of the Employment in the Lehigh Valley region

Lehigh Valley, PA – A new research study published by Americans for the Arts uses statistical data to quantify the scope and economic importance of the arts in the Lehigh Valley region, or Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. The Creative Industries are defined as arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.

The Creative Industries in the Lehigh Valley include 1,405 nonprofit and for-profit businesses, employing 7,714 employees—comprising 3.8% of all businesses and 2.3% of the people they employ, according to the Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts in the Lehigh Valley report. The findings are based on an analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data, the most comprehensive and trusted source for business information in the United States. The study was conducted by Americans for the Arts—the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education—and includes analyses of 11,000 unique political and geographic regions in the U.S. The data are current as of January 2014.

The analysis demonstrates a larger-than-expected prevalence of arts business establishments, while the mapping analysis shows that these businesses are broadly distributed and thriving throughout the Lehigh Valley and not, as is sometimes believed, strictly in the downtown areas.

“The scope and numbers of the arts businesses represented in the Creative Industries Study reinforce the importance of the arts to our local economy and quality of life.” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “The arts are about jobs, jobs, and more jobs and deserve a seat at the economic development table.”

Arts Industry Resilient

Nationwide, the Creative Industries reports reveal that arts businesses are formidable: 750,453 businesses involved in the creation or distribution of the arts employ 3.1 million people. This represents 4.2% of all U.S. businesses and 2.1% of all U.S. employees, respectively. One of the remarkable national findings from the research, which dates back to 2004, is that arts businesses and employment have maintained this share of businesses and employment during the nation’s up and down economic cycles—demonstrating that the Creative Industries are as resilient and durable as other sectors of the economy.

“The Creative Industries reports are powerful tools for understanding what a major force arts and culture businesses are for the economy—not only nationally, but also locally, in every community across our country,” says Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These reports should be in every legislator’s office and every city hall, reminding community leaders that the arts are key drivers of the local economy, new employers, jobs, and improvement of the quality of life through their work. The Creative Industries say one thing loud and clear: the arts mean business!”

ABOUT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES REPORTS

The Creative Industries reports are created by Americans for the Arts using Dun & Bradstreet business data. Downloadable reports for the nation’s 435 federal legislative districts, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 3,144 counties, and 7,400 state legislative districts, along with national comparative reports, can be freely downloaded at http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org/CreativeIndustries.

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations and the community. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.

Lower Macungie Approves 3 Million Square Feet Of Warehouses

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

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

Lower Macungie Township officials signed off tonight on plans to construct just under 3 million square feet of warehouses.

The plans by developer Liberty Property Trust call for the buildings to be developed on 225 acres in the western part of the township, near Spring Creek and Mertztown roads.

The project includes three warehouses which are 1.2 million, 1.1 million and 650,000 square feet in size, as well as a 10,000-square-foot office building, township planning director Sara Pandl said.

Township commissioners voted 5-0 tonight to approve the project. Construction is expected to begin as early as this year and could conclude by 2015, according to Bill Bumber, Liberty Property Trust’s vice president of development.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2014/07/lower_macungie_approves_3_mill.html

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Presents: ‘The Great Divorce’

Monday, June 23, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
DeSales University
Labuda Center for the Performing Arts
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, Pa. 18034

“Unmissable! From the quiet, seemingly casual beginning to the unforgettable final moments, Lawton has us in the palm of his hand.” –  Philadelphia City Paper

 “Brilliantly conceived and performed…as intelligent and provoking an evening as I’ve spent at the theater in a long time.”  – Broad Street Review 

“Passionate acting combined with riveting storytelling.”  – Philadelphia Inquirer

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
The Great Divorce
Based on the novel by C.S. Lewis The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival presents
The Great Divorce – back by popular demand for one night only! Lauded by The Philadelphia Inquirer in this “masterful solo show,” actor Anthony Lawton “delivers a wondrous ride filled with dazzling insight and language.”

An allegorical journey, The Great Divorce weaves philosophical imaginings with theatrical magic!

Lehigh River Blues Jam

ImageProxy (11)The Lehigh River Blues Jam is a three day, family oriented, celebration of the blues presented by the 2nd Story Blues Alliance and the borough of Catasaqua.

Immediately following this event on June 22, is the 2nd Story Blues Alliance International Blues Challenge held at Pitcher’s Sports Bar and Grill.

The Lehigh River Blues Jam helps raise awareness for 2nd Story Blues Alliance’s new 3 Chords Medical and Insurance Member Advocacy Program and the John Ott Sr. Fund for musicians who need medical financial assistance.

For more information: http://www.lehighriverbluesjam.com

This RUSH TICKET is for a weekend pass for the Lehigh River Blues Jam, giving you access to ALL of the following events!!!

Thursday June 19th ◊ 6:00 – 10:00 PM
◊ PREVIEW NIGHT JAM with The BC Combo!

Friday June 20th ◊ 6:00 – 10:00 PM
◊ 6:00 – 6:50: Little Buddy
◊ 7:10 – 8:10: Dugan/Thomas
◊ 8:30 – 10:00: CLARENCE SPADY

Saturday June 21st ◊ Noon – 10PM
◊ 12:30 – 1:15: Kim Brewer Band
◊ 1:35 – 2:20: Scoville Blues Band
◊ 2:40 – 3:25: Pork Roll Project
◊ 3:45 – 4:30: Sterling Koch
◊ 4:50 – 5:35: Octavia Blues Band
◊ 5:55 – 6:50: Friar’s Point
◊ 7:10 – 8:10: Bob Lanza
◊ 8:30 – 10:00: URSULA RICKS

Sunday June 22nd ◊ 1:00 – 4:00 PM
◊ 2nd Story Blues Alliance’s International Blues Challenge

* RAIN LOCATION: PITCHER’S SPORTS BAR & GRILL
570 UNION BLVD, ALLENTOWN PA 18109, 610.841.4001
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
http://www.LVArtsCouncil.org  ◊ http://www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:
http://www.lvartscouncil.org/RushTicketing.html

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council Presents: Behind The Scenes

ImageProxy (10)Allentown, PA – The second installment of the Arts Alive! 2014 series,“Behind the Scenes” features Curtis Dretsch, stage designer for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Dretsch is the Director of Design and Technical Theatre for Muhlenberg College, and has designed sets, costumes, and lighting for more than 100 theatre and dance productions on local and national stages. He is known for creating lavish colors, spectacular designs, and architectural magic that amazes audiences, and he continues to build precise models of each project. Guests will get a glimpse into his design process—from concept to scale model to the completed stage set.

Written by Monty Python’s comic genius Eric Idle and composer John Du Prez, the 2005 Broadway production of Monty Python’s Spamalot was “lovingly ripped off” from the classic 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The stage musical parodies the legend of King Arthur and his band of lunatic knights as they sing and dance their way through a ridiculous divine quest. The show, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was seen on Broadway by more than two million people, is providing Dretsch the opportunity to tackle its wacky story and outrageous landscape for the 34th Season of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre.

“Behind the Scenes” is intended to spark everyone’s creative process by spending time with performers and designers who are willing to share personal insights and experiences.

“Behind the Scenes” will take place July 12, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, located on the Muhlenberg College campus at 2400 W. Chew Street, Allentown, Pa.

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council member fee for each session is $10; nonmembers pay $15. Attendance is limited to 25 persons, and reservations are required. Email James Ravelle at operations@lvartscouncil.org, call 610-437-5915 or visit www.LVArtsCouncil.org.

Call: 610-437-5915.
Email: operations@LVArtsCouncil.org 
Web: www.lvartscouncil.org/ArtsAlive.html
Tickets: www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1804136&cobrand=lvartsboxoffice 

Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: 
Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance
Muhlenberg College Campus
2400 W. Chew Street, Allentown, Pa.

Audio Description Training For Theatre Practitioners

July 18 & 19, 2014
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, Pa. 18101

Increased Access = Increased Attendance

Allentown, PA –The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is offering audio description training to the theatre community in order to help them increase attendance to their productions by becoming more disability-friendly.

Audio description assists patrons who are blind/low-vision to access the visual elements stage productions through live narration provided by trained describers. Patrons use headsets to hear the audio description.

According to U.S. Census data estimates from 2012, the number of non-institutionalized people with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley is 81,000, or 12.7%, which represents a significant number of potential new audiences for the cultural community.

The Arts Council has contracted Mimi Kenney Smith, Executive Director of VSA Pennsylvania, to provide the training over the course of two days, July 18 &19, 2014. Smith, a veteran describer for more than two decades, is also the producing director for Amaryllis Theatre, a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly includes artists with disabilities. She will introduce the class to the foundational skills—Observe, Analyze and Communicate— necessary to audio describe a play. At the end of the first day, the class will experience an audio described performance of Monty Python’s Spamalot at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre.

Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers, educators—are encouraged to enroll and acquire new performance skills.

Reservations required, reserve your spot today!
Fee: $25. For more information and to reserve your spot:

Call: 610-437-5915.
Email: operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
Web: http://www.lvartscouncil.org/Access/training.html
Tickets: http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1821982&cobrand=lvartsboxoffice

Location: Butz Corporate Center, 840 Hamilton Street (2nd Floor conference Room), Allentown Pa. 18101
Date / Time:
July 18, 2014:
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Lehigh Valley Arts Council; 2nd Floor conference Room
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Monty Python’s Spamalot; Baker Theatre/Trexler Pravilon

July 19, 2014:
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Lehigh Valley Arts Council; 2nd Floor conference Room

***
About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations and the community. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.

***

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
http://www.LVArtsCouncil.org / http://www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org 

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