Gertrude Stein’s challenging ‘Listen To Me’ finds Vivid Adaption On Muhlenberg College Stage, Feb. 22-26

Allentown, PA — “Listen to Me” is a bittersweet adventure by Gertrude Stein — a love story and a cerebral frolic, in the face of planetary crisis. Directed by James Peck, Stein’s evocative, rarely produced play will be presented at Muhlenberg College, Feb. 22-26.

Written in 1936, Stein’s play is a piece of experimental staged poetry, in which characters laugh, love, philosophize, and struggle heroically to hold onto hope as their prospects dim.

“It has these themes of environmental catastrophe and looming disaster,” says Peck, a theater professor at Muhlenberg. “It asks some questions about the ways in which romance, love, and art matter in the context of a dire planetary situation.”

Peck has directed Stein before, and has also published articles about her theatrical work. He calls her “one of the most original and important theater thinkers of the 20th century,” and says that he wanted to share the experience of working on her plays with students.

In a few words, according to Peck, “Listen to Me” is arguably, partly, possibly a love story at the end of the world — but he resists the effort to impose a synopsis. The play is unusual in several ways: it has only a couple of clearly defined characters; most of the text isn’t so much dialog as it is poetry; and its scenes unfold with only the suggestion of a linear course of events. But Peck says that audience members who have the idea that the play is difficult or inaccessible will be quite surprised.

“I want people to understand that it’s not just ‘weird,’” Peck says. “It’s very deeply felt, it really starts from feeling — that Stein is deeply concerned about how people treat each other and about fairness in human relationships. I want them to know how moving her plays are and how accessible they are once you start to put them on their feet and figure out ways to put the language into actors’ bodies and create stage pictures around the words.”

To that end, the cast of 15 have been collaborating and experimenting their way through the text, finding the moments and phrases that resonate, and exploring ways in which to communicate that resonance to an audience.

“It’s a cooperative process,” says Xavier Pacheco, who plays Sweet William, one of the show’s two named characters. “The only way to rehearse this play is to work consistently through it all together and see where we end up. It’s a brilliant cast. It feels good to be working with people in a way that we’re all in it together.”

Scenic designer Tim Averill has found a design solution that echoes both the circumstance of the play and the process of its creation. It’s a dock, extending off stage from the top of a sphere — the earth, perhaps — on which words and images will be projected. It suggests the last visible piece of a sinking ship, on which the actors perch apprehensively.

“It’s a desperate place where people are trying to live,” Averill says. “It’s about too many people and too much stuff and too much light.”

The production also features an original score by Doug Ovens, who also collaborated with Peck on last season’s “Ulysses in Nighttown.” Ovens says the score will feature a “virtual chamber ensemble” of prerecorded woodwinds, percussion, and piano, as well as a “celestial soprano” derived for samples from recordings of his vocal pieces.

“My music revisits Modernist styles while striving to amplify ideas of love as well as confusion, conflict, and, hopefully, survival,” Ovens says.

Peck says he hopes all these elements will come together in a theatrical experience that feels, on the one hand, cautionary and anxious, and on the other, hopeful and celebratory — because, in these days, that’s how he feels as an artist and global citizen.

“Can we feel love and existential dread at the same time?” he asks. “I think that’s what Stein wants to know. It’s what I want to know. How do those things fit together? I think we can; I think we have to. And that’s what we’ve set out to do.”

“Listen to Me” plays Feb. 22-26. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8. The production is recommended for mature audiences. 

Tickets and information are available online at muhlenberg.edu/theatre or by phone at 484-664-3333. Performances are in the Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

MCCC, Pottstown Organizations Hold Children’s Dental Sealant Program

Pottstown, PA — The Dental Hygiene program at Montgomery County Community College is partnering with the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation and Community Health and Dental Care to offer a free Children’s Dental Sealant program on Saturday, March 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During this community outreach event, children ages 6 to 14 will received free oral examinations and sealant application performed by licensed dental hygienists in consultation with a licensed dentist. The College’s dental hygiene students will provide support services. A dental sealant is a clear, preventive coating placed on permanent back teeth to prevent dental decay.

The sealant program will be held at Community Health and Dental Care, 11 Robinson St., Suite 100, Pottstown. Space is limited, and appointments are required. Call 610-326-7405 to make an appointment or for additional information.

About Montgomery County Community College

For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes nearly 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.

As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visithttp://www.mc3.edu.

Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre Announces Open Audition Dates

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre will hold open auditions on Feb. 26 and 27. Performers will be cast for the season’s mainstage productions: “Hair,” performing June 14 – July 2, and “My Fair Lady,” performing July 12-30.

The following audition details can also be found online, at muhlenberg.edu/smt.

Preliminary vocal auditions will be held for both “Hair” and “My Fair Lady” on Sunday, Feb. 26, from 12 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 11pm, and Monday, Feb. 27, from 5 to 10 p.m. All auditions will take place at Muhlenberg College, at the Baker Center for the Arts and the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance.

All auditioners must register in advance and schedule an audition. Auditioners should visit the Summer Music Theatre website, at muhlenberg.edu/smt, and follow the link to the registration form. Auditioners without internet access may call the Theatre & Dance office at 484-664-3087, during regular office hours before Thursday, Feb. 23.

All auditioners should prepare a 32-bar song selection from a Broadway musical written before 1975. Auditioners should bring properly marked sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Dance will not be a part of the preliminary audition, but will be included in callback auditions. Auditioners should bring two copies of their resumes and headshots.

For “Hair,” performers ages 18-30 are encouraged to audition.  For “My Fair Lady,” the director will be casting actors ages 16 and up, and older auditioners are encouraged to attend. Auditioners may audition for both productions.

All actors participating in Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre productions are paid a stipend. Out-of-town actors are provided with free housing. We will consider casting Equity members on guest artist contracts.

Auditioners who live too far away from the Allentown area or who are unable to attend auditions may submit a preliminary video audition. The video should consist of one song (see guidelines above). Please send a link to a video hosted on the internet; e.g., YouTube or Vimeo. Do not send attached files via email.

Auditioners who receive a callback must attend in person to be considered for a role. Callbacks will include dance and acting auditions, reading from the script.

Callbacks will be held on Monday, March 13, for “Hair” and Tuesday, March 14, for “My Fair Lady.” Auditioners must attend callbacks in person (not by video submission) unless previous arrangements have been made.

“My Fair Lady” will be directed by Charles Richter, with choreography by Karen Dearborn and musical direction by Ed Bara. Rehearsals are June 20 through July 11, Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.  Performances are June 12 through July 30, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Hair” will be directed by James Peck, with choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ken Butler. Rehearsals are May 23 through June 13, Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m and 7 to 11 p.m. Performances are June 14-July 2, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Non-performing opportunities are available for technicians and costumers. Carpenters, electricians, props technicians, light board and sound board operators, and stage crew are needed for productions. Costumers, first hand, stitchers, and wardrobe running crew are needed in the costume shop.

The application deadline for technicians, costumers, and administrative personnel is March 9. Applications can be found online at muhlenberg.edu/smt. Completed applications can be sent to smtcompany@muhlenberg.edu.

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017

Randall 2 crop

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

At only 46 cents per citizen, one has to ask “What does the National Endowment for the Arts actually do for the citizens of this country?” Surprisingly, a lot.

The 2016 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts was $148 million dollars. Annually, the NEA awards more than 2,200 grants and cooperative agreements exceeding $130 million, funding the arts in all 50 states and six U.S. jurisdictions, including urban and rural areas, and reaching civilian and military populations.

As determined by the Americans for the Arts in their Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States generates $135.2 billion dollars of activity annually. This activity supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion dollars in revenue to local, state and federal governments.

That’s quite a healthy return on investment at less than four bits.

Economics aside, public funding for the arts validates the important role that the arts play in our lives. Arts are the highest form of expression. They have the power to make our lives better, heal emotional wounds, and spark initiatives, As a citizen, I would gladly support $5 of my tax dollars toward increasing the budget for the NEA. It would go a lot further in bringing people together in this country than spending $30 billion dollars for a wall.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

***

Save the Date for Young at Art!

Young at Art Face Painting pic

You won’t want to miss this year’s day of creative fun for the whole family!

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm
Penn State Lehigh Valley
free admission for the community
lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art
The day will be jam-packed with hands-on activities and performances from the participating groups, from dance routines and theatre workshops to arts demonstrations and craft projects. Kids of every age and ability will find a way to sample the arts in all forms, while parents can gather information about classes and summer camps.

Meet Our Exhibiting Artist

Blue Glass

THOMAS AUGUSTA

January / February

“As a painter, I am more interested in how the subject appeals to me. I paint what I think is pleasing or compelling to the eye. My watercolors are more detailed than others, I try to bring in the viewer in with color, composition and detail.”

Thomas is a watercolor painter currently living in Bethlehem, PA, painting plein air and in his “Crow’s Nest Studio” at home. His inviting watercolor landscapes and still lives capture light and color, creating a balanced and interesting setting that tells a story.

Thomas’s exhibit will be on display in our office until the end of February – stop by and see the collection!

***

Arts Alive 2017

Arts Alive 2017

Engage Your Mind & Spirit!

Join us in exploring the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

SPECIAL MEMBER PRICING FOR SERIES TICKET
Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

How Does Your Garden Show? Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Garden Design, Inc.
PURCHASE TICKETS
Music of Friends Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross
PURCHASE TICKETS
Wearable Sculpture Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Studio of Loretta Tryon
PURCHASE TICKETS
2015-Box-Office-Patron-Header

Upcoming Performances

MORAVIAN COLLEGE MUSIC INSTITUTE

February 18 at 7:30pm
Sounds of New Orleans
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 19 at 2:00pm
Gamelan Gita Semara
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 26 at 4:00pm
An Afternoon of Jazz
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 16 at 7:30pm
Expressionism – The Art & the Music
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 19 at 7:00pm
Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Combo II
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 24 at 7:30pm
Moravian College BIG Band
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 4:00pm
Early Music Ensembles
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 7:00pm
Celtic Ensemble – “Heather & Thistle – Music of Scotland”
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 31 at 7:30pm
Moravian College Dance Company
Foy Hall, Moravian College

***

MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY

February 23 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 24 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 25 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 26 at 2pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

***

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA

March 5 at 4pm
An Afternoon with Mozart
Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown

Greater Pottstown Foundation Funds Free Spring Programs At ArtFusion 19464

teen-clay-studio-2Pottstown, PA – Applications are now being accepted for three free spring programs for kids and teens at ArtFusion 19464. These programs are generously sponsored by The Greater Pottstown Foundation. In Art Academy, students ages 8 to 12 will explore different mediums from drawing to recycled art. Clay Academy gives each 8 to 12 year old student the opportunity to create pottery using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. Older students ages 13 to 17 can participate in Teen Clay Studio. This programs gives each student the opportunity to design and create amazing self-directed projects in clay.

The application deadline for these programs is February 17, 2017. Applications can be downloaded at artfusion19464.org/classes/scholarshipsprograms/. Interested parents can also stop by 254 E. High St. to pick up a paper copy.  Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. While ArtFusion 19464 encourages everyone who is interested to apply, those students who qualify for free or reduced lunch and those who have not attended a free program at ArtFusion 19464 before will be given priority.

kids-pottery-hand-buildingArtFusion 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 19464’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am-5 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. Classes do run outside of gallery hours.

American Eon This Saturday Night In West Chester

Feel the love and the good vibes....sing along and dance, dance, dance! 🎼🎤🎸 Slow dance fast dance or just sit back and be part of the happiness quotient!

Feel the love and the good vibes….sing along and dance, dance, dance! 🎼🎤🎸
Slow dance fast dance or just sit back and be part of the happiness quotient!

This Saturday night, January 28th the music party starts at 8:30 at the Brickette Lounge,

1339 Pottstown Pike (route 100) in West Chester, 19380!!!

Since 1967 the Brickette has been bringing the best live music to the area. We Eoners love this place and the wonderful owners Karen & Dave Valentino!

Never a cover charge, plenty of free parking (top shelf tequila) a giant dance floor and great food.

We’ll be playing the best of Fleetwood Mac, The Kinks, Stones, Beatles, Linda Rondstadt, Todd Rundgren, Lily Allen,Santana, Doobie Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and so much more! Hold somebody close for a slow dance or swing that thing on the dance floor all night!

Much love to friends and family…looking forward to another magical night of music!

Pottsgrove Manor To Host Paper Marbling Workshop

Pottstown, PA – On Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host a paper marbling workshop, giving visitors a hands-on experience learning the art of paper marbling.

In this class, taught by Ramon Townsend of the Colonial Bindery, students will learn the art of paper marbling by designing colors on a base fluid and transferring the design to paper. Students will have the time to create 20-25 sheets of marbled paper.

Ages 14 and older are welcomed. There is a materials fee of $65 per person. Participants should bring a bag lunch. Class size is limited to 10 participants on a first-come first-serve basis. Pre-registration and payment are required by February 1, 2017. Pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Regular museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

Second Annual Young At Art Expo Is Back!

young-at-art-logoThe Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to present the second annual Young at Art Expo.on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Held at Penn State Lehigh Valley, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, this event invites families with children of all ages to enjoy music, dance, arts and exploration. Admission is free and open to the public.

Local arts providers will assist parents with selecting the right summer class for their aspiring creatives. Parents will witness first-hand how the arts ignite their children’s imagination, while their kids get the chance to explore their inner dancer, actor, musician, author or visual artist.

“Young at Art is a day devoted to curiosity and entertainment,” says Executive Director Randall Forte. “Last year, we welcomed over 300 guests to our inaugural event, and the positive response from local families was wonderful!”

“My girls loved the different activity tables and face painting,” said Hazel Singleton Chumo, mother of two fun-loving girls, ages 7 and 4. “They also enjoyed the live performances which made it more entertaining.”

The expo showcases twenty arts and cultural businesses in the region that offer a wide range of children’s programming, both for beginners and for kids at an intermediate level. Among them include Community Music School, Banana Factory, Allegro Dance Studio, Swain School, Mikayla’s Voice, and the Mayura Academy of Dance.

The day’s festivities will feature an arts demonstration or performance every fifteen minutes, so kids will have a chance “to imagine what kind of artist” they want to be this summer. Families will have the opportunity to meet different arts instructors and join in hands-on activities. Lunch will be available for purchase, and parking is free.

For more information, visit http://www.lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art/.

TCN News & Events!

Alliance for Nonprofit Management 
 
Voice of Board Chairs
A National Study on the Perspective of Nonprofit Board Chairs: How they prepare for and perceive their role in relation to the board, community, and chief executive officer.  More Information Here

The Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation and The Nonprofit Center 

are Announcing

New Programs in Pottstown for Board Members, Executive Directors, Emerging Leaders & Other Staff

Click Here for More Information

Women’s Center of Montgomery County – Fabulous Shoe Night

Springford Chamber of Commerce – Events

Edward Jones Investments with Bonnie L. Thompson – Upcoming Events

Pottstown Regional Public Library  – Job Opportunity
Member Spotlight

Introducing the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center! 

 Image result for western montgomery career & technology center

View Video Here

Western Montgomery CTC offers training to prepare tomorrow’s workforce and partners with organizations to provide quality employees for careers in health and dental, computer information systems, early childhood education, cosmetology, automotive care, manufacturing and biomedical science. Contact Chris Moritzen at CMoritzen@westerncenter.org to arrange a tour or discuss partnership opportunities.


Engage Your Mind & Spirit With Arts Alive 2017!

ARTS ALIVE 2017

Arts Alive 2017

Engage Your Mind & Spirit!

Each year, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council showcases the creative process of a working artist in the region by visiting them behind-the-scenes.

The 2017 series will explore the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

SPECIAL MEMBER PRICING FOR ALL THREE EVENTS!

Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

***
Garden-Design-Inc-image

How Does Your Garden Show?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Garden Design, Inc.

The series kicks off with the How Does Your Garden Show? event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Garden Design, Inc., with award-winning landscape architect Frederick Learey. Whether you like to entertain outdoors or seek sanctuary in nature or provide a playground for your family, you can make your landscape a reflection of your personality. Mr. Learey’s extensive experience from designing formal estate gardens to outdoor living projects including full outdoor kitchens and roof-covered spaces with outdoor heaters, sound and video, will captivate and inspire you.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

***
Untitled-2

Music of Friends

Saturday, June 17, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, experience the Music of Friends as SATORI introduces classical music selections in the ideal setting for chamber music. This quartet of flute, violin, cello, and classical guitar will showcase selections from a variety of musical periods and introduce new instruments.

Janet and Malcolm Gross welcome guests into their lovely home to enjoy the intimacy of SATORI’s music. By removing the stage in a salon-like atmosphere, guests will engage in a unique experience between artist and audience. The performance will be followed by a light luncheon.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

Wearable Sculpture

Sunday, October 15, 2017

11 am – 12:30 pm

Studio of Loretta Tryon

The final offering, Wearable Sculpture, is a visit to the Coopersburg studio of painter and metalsmith Loretta Tryon on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Tryon finds inspiration for her jewelry from the images in her abstract paintings, creating and embellishing three-dimensional shapes with patinas and engraving. Her process visually combines motion and gesture in metal. The studio tour will highlight the evolution of her thirty year career as an artist.

$25 for Arts Council members, $35 for nonmembers

Reggae Night At The Other Farm Features RED-I, Firefly Cafe

RED-I

RED-I

Boyertown, PA —The Other Farm Brewing Company, located at 128 E. Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, will host its monthly Reggae Night on Thursday, Jan. 26. The event will feature food from Firefly Cafe and music from local reggae band RED-I. Admission is $5. Doors open at 7 p.m., with music and food service beginning at 8 p.m. For information, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or call the cafe at 484-415-5066.

Boyertown’s own Firefly Cafe will offer vegan, Caribbean-inspired street food for purchase during the event. Music will be provided by RED-I, a Boyertown-based reggae band fronted by Firefly Cafe co-owner Michael Arcangel on guitar and vocals. Other members include Stephen Kurtz on bass, Paul Jameson on guitar, Kyle Seivard on keyboard, Jordan Lambert on percussion and Tim Leslie on drums.

This is the fourth collaboration between The Other Farm, Firefly Cafe and RED-I. Future Reggae Nights will be scheduled monthly.

Located in the heart of Boyertown, Firefly Cafe is a vegan restaurant that offers organic, gluten-free and locally sourced food options. For cafe hours, menus and catering info, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or join the cafe on Facebook, http://www,facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown]facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown; Twitter, @fireflycafeveg; or Instagram, @fireflycafeboyertown.

Boyertown’s Firefly Cafe Goes Fully Vegan, Plans For Expansion

Boyertown, PA — Firefly Cafe, located at 12 N. Reading Ave. in Boyertown, ushered in the new year with a fully vegan menu, replacing its dairy cheeses with plant-based alternatives. 

“This is something we always hoped to do,” explained Loriann Wade, who owns and operates Firefly Cafe with her husband Michael Martinez. “Since opening, we slowly started to remove dairy items from the menu with positive feedback from our customers.” 

The announcement drew high praise and support from Firefly’s Facebook community.

“The improved quality of vegan cheeses and our customers’ responses to those cheeses has made the transition from vegetarian to vegan pretty seamless,” said Wade.

Going vegan is only the first of several big changes in store for Firefly Cafe in 2017. Later this month, the cafe will introduce a grab and go section, featuring items such as vegan chicken and egg salad sandwiches, vegan sides like potato and quinoa salads and house-made vegan dressings.

Then, in fall 2017, Wade and Martinez have plans to open a vegan general store adjacent to the cafe. Here, customers will be able to purchase prepared grab and go items, specialty and hard to find vegan products, natural bath and body products and even holistic dog treats.

“Our expansion plans have drawn a positive response. There’s a huge need for this type of vegan outpost in the area,” said Wade.

To compliment the cafe and general store, Wade and Martinez look to expand Firefly’s catering services and introduce vegan cooking classes. Firefly will also continue to host vegan pop-up cafes throughout the region—like the Caribbean-inspired vegan fare the cafe offers during monthly Reggae Nights at The Other Farm Brewing Company.

Located in the heart of Boyertown, Firefly Cafe is a vegan restaurant that offers organic, gluten-free and locally sourced food options. For cafe hours, menus and catering info, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or join the cafe on Facebook, http://www,facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown]facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown; Twitter, @fireflycafeveg; or Instagram, @fireflycafeboyertown. 

Muhlenberg College ‘Master Choreographers’ Dance Concert, Feb. 9-11, Displays Talents Of Acclaimed Choreographers, More Than 70 Dancers

Allentown, PA — The Muhlenberg College dance program will showcase two iconic re-stagings and one original piece from three world-renowned choreographers, as well as four world-premiere works by accomplished returning contributors, in its annual “Master Choreographers” concert, Feb. 9-11.

This year’s “Master Choreographers” features restagings of “Radical Severance,” choreographed by Cristina Perera, and “When We Fly,” choreographed by Orion Duckstein. The concert also features an original balletic piece, “Without Words,” by Trinette Singleton, as well as new works by four Muhlenberg dance faculty: Heidi Cruz-Austin, alumna of the Pennsylvania Ballet; Shelley Oliver, director of Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers; Randall Anthony Smith, répétiteur and assistant to choreographer Donald McKayle; and Jeffrey Peterson, former dancer with Danny Buraczeski’s Jazz dance.

“This concert presents a spectacular evening of dance,” says Karen Dearborn, founding director of Muhlenberg’s dance program, and the concert’s artistic director. “We are thrilled to showcase new work from Trinette Singleton and guest works by Cristina and Orion, as well as our fabulous faculty choreographers.”

Perera’s piece is funded by a Mellon Choreographers on Campus grant. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation brings established and emerging choreographers to the classrooms, studios, and stages of area colleges. The collaborative program explores the use of dance as an art form and how its creative powers can be infused across a liberal arts curriculum.

Perera has performed as a soloist and principal dancer around the world, with some of the most notable figures in the performing arts. A veteran of the Alvin Ailey Dance School, she has choreographed ballets, concert dance pieces, dance theatre, musicals, film and music videos in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. In 2008 Perera became artistic director of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria.” Perera received the 2010 Aesthetics Interaction prize from the Brazilian National Arts Foundation FUNARTE for one of her production “Constructions.”

“You’re going to see the kind of movement and dancing that you do not often see,” says the Lansing State Journal, “What Cristina does is very unique. She has a strong choreographic style.”

Duckstein’s “When We Fly” was originally choreographed in 2006 for Adelphia University, where he is currently a member of the dance faculty. Duckstein danced for the Paul Taylor Company for 11 years, and before that with Taylor 2, the outreach and performance arm of the company. During his tenure he danced pivotal roles in nearly every major Taylor work and served as Taylor’s choreographic assistant for several major works. Duckstein has set his own works in New York and throughout the country.

Trinette Singleton was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet for nearly 20 years. She was thrust into national prominence in 1967, appearing in Robert Joffrey’s multi-media ballet “Astarte.” She was also the first dancer to appear on the cover of the national news magazine “Time.” Currently, Trinette is co-artistic director of Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown, and she serves on the dance faculty at Muhlenberg and at DeSales University, Center Valley.

The annual “Master Choreographers” concert features premiere dance performances in a diverse selection of styles and genres, ranging from classical ballet to contemporary jazz, pointe, modern dance, and tap accompanied by live jazz music.

Performances of “Master Choreographers” will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for patrons 17 and under. Performances are in the Empie Theatre, in the Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. Information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 or muhlenberg.edu/dance.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, PA., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

Muhlenberg 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 eight 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.

Choreographer Bios

Heidi Cruz-Austin began her dance training at the age of four at the Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy in Allentown. She went on to study at the School of American Ballet and the Pennsylvania Ballet. Cruz-Austin received an apprenticeship with the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1994 and joined the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 1995. She danced numerous featured roles in her tenure there including leads for various choreographers such as George Balanchine, Val Caniparoli, Ben Stevenson, Alvin Ailey, Margo Sappington, Christopher d’Amboise and Matthew Neenan. In addition to dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Cruz-Austin danced with the Philadelphia-based company Ballet X and has performed as a guest artist throughout the United States and Europe. Cruz-Austin currently teaches for the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Muhlenberg College, The University of the Arts, and Temple University. Heidi received a 2008 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for her choreography and is currently the co-artistic director and resident choreographer of DanceSpora dance company.

Orion Duckstein danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 11 years, and before that with Taylor 2, the outreach and performance arm of the company. During his tenure he danced pivotal roles in nearly every major Taylor work, such as “Company B,” “Esplanade,” “Cloven Kingdom,” and Taylor’s own role in “Aureole.” Near the end of his performing career with the Taylor Company, Mr. Taylor chose Duckstein as his choreographic assistant for several dances. Before dancing for Taylor, Duckstein danced for noted choreographers Sung Soo Ahn, Peter Pucci, Robert Wood, and Margie Gillis. He still performs professionally, most recently joining Take Dance NY with choreographer Takehiro Ueyama for their 2015 New York season and summer tour. Duckstein has set his own choreography on New York-based companies Mazzini Dance Collective and Patricia Kenny Dance Collection and shown his work in many venues in New York and beyond, including the Downtown Dance Festival and the Jacob’s Pillow International Dance Festival. Duckstein has been artist-in-residence at colleges in Texas, California, and New England.

Shelley Oliver is a Canadian-born tap dancer, choreographer and educator. She has appeared internationally with some of the legends of the tap world, including Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Buster Brown, Jimmy Slide, and Chuck Green. She is a founding member of Manhattan Tap and served as a co-artistic director and choreographer with the company touring concert halls and festivals in Europe, China, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.  Oliver was the artistic director of the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers for 15 years, touring with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group throughout the northeast. Her television appearances include “Tap Dance in America” with Gregory Hines and “Star Search.” A dedicated teacher and educator, Oliver has conducted lecture demonstrations for Lincoln Center, New York City Public Schools and various universities throughout the United States. On faculty at Muhlenberg College, she directs the Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble, providing community outreach in the Allentown area. Oliver has produced a series of Tap Music for Tap Dancers CDs that have become a standard pedagogical tool in the tap dance world. More recently as a soloist she toured as guest artist with the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh and with Le Sextet Clic-Clac-Cloc in Geneva, Switzerland. She is the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Dance Educator Award from the Lehigh Valley Dance Consortium.

Cristina Perera had her dance education in classical ballet at the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Salle Pleyel in Paris, France. Her modern and contemporary education started in London at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre School and continued in New York at Alvin Ailey Dance School with a full merit scholarship. Perera has performed as a soloist and principal dancer around the world with various companies, as she has worked with some of the most notable figures in the performing arts, including Frederick Ashton, Flemming Flindt, Ulysses Dove, Judith Jamison, Mark Morris, Peter Sellars, Robert Wilson, John Adams, Philip Glass, George Tabori, Marcia Haydee and many others. She has choreographed ballets, concert dance pieces, dance theatre, musicals, film and music videos in many European countries, in Asia, North America and South America. Perera was one of eight choreographers chosen by Ballet Builders in New York to present original works, debuting her piece “Under Time.” In 2008 she became the artistic director of Cirque du Soleil’s “Alegria.” In 2010, Perera received the Asthetics Interaction prize from the Brazilian National Foundation for the Arts, FUNARTE, for one of her productions in Brazil. As a teacher she has taught in the School of Performing Arts Vienna, Austria; dance Festivals such as ImPuls Tanz (Vienna) and Tanz Bozen/Bolzano Danza (Italy); Dance Theatre Bralen (Bratislava, Slovakia); SUNY Purchase; and many other schools in Europe and the United States alike. Perera has given workshops and master classes at the National Theatre in Weimar, Germany; Maxim’s Dance Company (Brno, Czech Republic); the National Theatre of the Czech Republic; and Duncan Dance Conservatory in Prague, Czech Republic, among many others. Currently she is working on her own projects, teaching and choreographing in Europe, the United States and Brazil.

Jeffrey Peterson is an assistant professor of dance at Muhlenberg, teaching studio coursework in jazz, modern, partnering, composition, and Laban Movement Analysis. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a certification in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals from Integrated Movement Studies. Early performing highlights include works by Chris Aiken, Zvi Gotheiner, Bill T. Jones, José Limón, Doug Varone, and Johannes Wieland. Peterson began his professional dance career in national tours with JazzDance by Danny Buraczeski. Since then, he has performed in the work of Clare Byrne, Edisa Weeks, and Stephan Koplowitz, and with the Minnesota Opera, among others. His choreographic work, called “poetic precision” by the Minneapolis StarTribune and “moving and heart-racingly joyous” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, has been commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research at Judson Church, and Rhythmically Speaking. His choreography has been seen in venues in Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and around the Lehigh Valley. At Muhlenberg, he has choreographed for the last four “Master Choreographers,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Chicago.” Peterson’s ongoing creative and scholarly work includes choreographic projects as well as research on the application of Laban and Bartenieff Studies to dance and life.

Trinette Singleton was a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet for nearly 20 years. She was thrust into national prominence in 1967, appearing in the multi-media ballet “Astarte,” created on her by her mentor, Robert Joffrey. Singleton was the first American dancer to appear on the cover of the national news magazine Time. Following her performing years, she was administrative assistant to Robert Joffrey and ballet mistress for the company from 1979 to 1984.  In 1984, Singleton joined the faculty of The Joffrey Ballet School, New York City, teaching until 2004. In 2008, Trinette appeared as a guest artist in the Joffrey Ballet Company’s Tudor Centennial, in Chicago. Since 2000, she has been on the faculty of The Joffrey Texas Workshop, in San Antonio. She is prominently featured in the documentary, “The Joffrey Ballet: Mavericks of American Dance. Singleton serves as a director on the Arpino Foundation; she is also a member of Cecchetti USA and an honorary member of Cecchetti International Classical Ballet.  In 2014, she served as a judge during the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition. Currently, Singleton is co-artistic director of Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown. She is also on the faculty at Muhlenberg College and DeSales University, Center Valley. She holds her Licentiate, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London, England, and her Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, DeSales University.

Randall Anthony Smith is a current dancer with Armitage Gone! Dance (New York City), Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre (New York City), and the Megan Flynn Dance Company (Philadelphia). He  serves as a répétiteur and assistant to choreographer Donald McKayle, having performed for McKayle’s Etude Ensemble for four years. Smith earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of California, Irvine. He maintains a practice of performing, restaging, and interpreting McKayle’s repertory, creating his own dance works, and teaching dance nationally. In 2012, Smith performed with acclaimed ballerina and choreographer Jodie Gates in “Mein Zimmer.” Other recent performances include works by Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Shen Wei, and zoe|juniper, as well as “WOW” (2014), an experimental opera created by Joe Diebes, Christian Hawkey, and Adam Levin. Smith’s recent credits include a restaging of McKayle’s “The Fight” (from the musical “Golden Boy,” starring Sammy Davis, Jr.) for the American Dance Machine of the 21st Century (2015). Last summer Smith performed in Philip Glass’s opera “Witches of Venice,” commissioned by Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York. On May 12, 2016, Smith received a Distinguished Alumni Award at the 46th Annual Lauds and Laurels Awards Ceremony at the University of California, Irvine.

Three-Event Arts Alive Series

Arts Alive invites members who are eager to step behind the scenes of an arts experience and rub shoulders with the creative process. The 2017 series will explore the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. All three events will take place at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Seating is limited and preregistration is required at LVArtsCouncil.org. The admission fee for each event is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. There is special pricing of $60 for members only who purchase a three-event series ticket.

The series kicks off with the How Does Your Garden Show? event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Garden Design, Inc., with award-winning landscape architect Frederick Learey. Whether you like to entertain outdoors or seek sanctuary in nature or provide a playground for your family, you can make your landscape is a reflection of your personality. Mr. Learey’s extensive experience from designing formal estate gardens to outdoor living projects including full outdoor kitchens and roof-covered spaces with outdoor heaters, sound and video, will captivate and inspire you.

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, experience the Music of Friends as Satori introduces classical music selections in the ideal setting for chamber music. Janet and Malcolm Gross welcome guests into their lovely home to enjoy the intimacy of performance, followed by a light luncheon.

The final offering, Wearable Sculpture, is a visit to the Coopersburg studio of painter and metalsmith Loretta Tryon on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Tryon finds inspiration for her jewelry from the images in her abstract paintings, creating and embellishing three-dimensional shapes with patinas and engraving. Her process visually combines motion and gesture in metal. The studio tour will highlight the evolution of her thirty year career as an artist.

Whose Business Is The Arts?

Throughout 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has been gathering data for the Americans for the Arts national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity V. Once every five years the Arts Council participates in this research by collecting information from cultural nonprofits and their audiences in the counties of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton. Thanks to your participation, we were able to provide nearly 100 organizational surveys and 800 audience surveys from the Lehigh Valley.

Americans for the Arts will analyze the data over the next several months and provide our region with its own detailed report in June 2017. At that time, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Valley Partnership will co-host the Whose the Business is the Arts? public forum to release the results to the community and address challenges of mutual concern.

You are invited to serve on the planning committee for creating the agenda for the Whose Business is the Arts? Public Forum. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2017, from 4:00 to 5:30pm, in the 2nd Floor conference facility in the Butz Corporate Center, 840 Hamilton Street in Allentown.

Please RSVP your intention to attend to rforte@lvartscouncil.org by January 18, 2017. I look forward to working with you.

***

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s 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. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.

Mark Your Calendar For Pottstown ArtsWalk – A Free Event – Saturday, January 7, 2017!

Arts Walk FinalPOTTSTOWN, PA  –  “We have always recognized and embraced what the arts and collaboration can do for a community”, said Erika Hornburg-Cooper, ArtFusion19464. Join us for a day of discovery on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Arts and culture organizations, local businesses and restaurants are teaming up to bring you an amazing day of fun, food and entertainment. “The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) is excited to be a part in this venture. It has been very exciting to see our downtown community pull together with our arts and cultural organizations to create this amazing event,” states Sheila Dugan, PDIDA.

carouselViewing the art in a kind of “pub crawl” format adds to the fun and energetic quality of this event. Family-friendly activities are scheduled from 2 to 4 pm and from 4 to 8 pm more great activities designed for adults. Nearly 20 downtown business will be open to showcase original artwork displays and live musical entertainment.

 

“It all starts with the arts!” said Lauren Pierson-Swanson, Steel River Playhouse. “To know Pottstown is to love it. The people behind the businesses and attractions on and around High Street are smart, driven and dedicated to this beautiful historic town. Art has always been a catalyst in the rejuvenation of American communities and is the focus of Pottstown ArtsWalk.”

steel-river-facade-pictureWhile this event is free, we ask that you pre-register for your free ticket. Each is valid for one person to join the Pottstown ArtsWalk on Saturday, January 7, 2017, and you can order as many as you need. Visit www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Get a taste for all the activities, food and arts presentations. Here is a list of venues and artists joining us Saturday, January 7th to showcase Pottstown and all that the our community has to offer:

@107, 107 E. High St. and Advantage Insurance – music by Cordilla Arcay and Matt Asti and original artwork display from John Quinn; light refreshments; wine tasting

ArtFusion 19464, 254 E. High St. – local artists’ collections, an interactive art experience, and soup bowl glazing fundraiser

Ballroom on High, 310 E. High St. – free dance lesson and live band dance with Temple Avenue; refreshments

Beverly’s Pastry Shop, 322 E. High St. – discounts on sweet treats

Connections on High, 238 E. High St. – custom portrait making and local artists’ displays; hot holiday beverages

Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches, 137 E. High St.– Pottstown HS Culinary Arts students will be making/serving complimentary hors d’oeuvres; discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

High Street Music, 135 E. High St. – original artwork display by Pottstown HS students and the Craig Clemens Jazz Trio

iCreate Cafe, 130 King St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine, 235 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Lily’s Grill, 115 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

MCCC North Hall Gallery, 16 E. High St. – staged reading of A Bright Room Called Day by Tony Kushner

Memory Madness Photo Studio, 16 N. York St. – open house

MOSIAC Community Land Trust, 10 S. Hanover St. – painting Schuylkill River rocks for placement in gardens around town

Potts & Penn Family Diner, 80 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Smith Family Plaza, 100 E. High St. – view sculptures by Eric Berg

Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High St. – hand-made theatrical costume display by Ally Boughter; artwork by Thomas Poplawski

The Carousel at Pottstown, 30 W. King St. – meet artists of the all-volunteer organization and hear presentations on the project’s history

The Hill School Center for the Performing Arts, 780 Beech St. – paper lantern art activity and backstage tours

Weitzenkorn’s, 145 E. High St. – view works by our families fifth generation, light refreshments

To get the latest update on locations and activities, visit artfusion19464.org or www.steelriver.org. Don’t forget to pre-register for Pottstown ArtsWalk! Visit www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Pottstown ArtsWalk is brought to you in partnership through ArtFusion19464, Steel River Playhouse, @107, Proudly Pottstown and Advantage Insurance Group.

P.S. A great ending to a great day with lots of laughs! The N Crowd Improv Group from Philly will be at Steel River Playhouse for an 8 pm show! Tickets available at www.steelriver.org