Leading Social Justice Advocate Lateefah Simon To Speak At Montgomery County Community College March 28

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Lateefah Simon, a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, will discuss how solutions to big problems often begin with one person who is willing to act when she visits Montgomery County Community College on Tuesday, March 28, at 12:30 p.m. for the annual Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice. 

The lecture will be held in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, with a simulcast to MCCC’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. The community is invited to attend this free presentation, but tickets are required. To reserve seats, visit www.mc3.edu/BennettLecture or call 215-641-6518. 

Simon has more than 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities. She gives hope to thousands of families who are struggling to overcome the challenges of poverty and discrimination.  

She currently serves as president of the Akonadi Foundation, a charitable group that funds community projects in the San Francisco Bay area. She has received several honors for her work including being the youngest woman ever to be named a MacArthur “Genius” Grant Fellow. She also was included on the first ever Power List in O Magazine, received the Remarkable Woman Award from Lifetime TV, and was honored by JFK Presidential Library with a Fenn Award. 

This presentation is part of the ongoing Richard K. Bennett Distinguished Lectureship for Peace and Social Justice series which was established at the College in 1981. The lectureship reflects the ideals of Richard Bennett, a Quaker who devoted his life work to accomplishing peace and justice through non-violent efforts.   

West End Student Theatre Brings ‘Reckless’ To The Stage At Montgomery County Community College West Campus In April

Pottstown, PA —The Montgomery County Community College West End Student Theatre brings Craig Lucas’s comedy/drama Reckless to the stage April 20-22 at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown. 

On December 24, Rachel is informed by her guilt-ridden husband that he has hired a hitman to kill her – Merry Christmas! She scrambles out into the night alone, and finds a wild, wonderful web of people and events which allow her to become the hero of her own (almost sane) story. The production contains adult themes and language. 

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists’ Play Services, Reckless is directed by Tim Gallagher and assistant director Zach Clark, with stage direction by Jeff Chernesky. It is produced and designed by students in the Theatre Production Workshop and the West End Student Theatre. 

The cast and crew includes Maliah Buxton of Collegeville, Mika Cave of Bechtelsville, Sebastian Coates of Douglassville, William Cox of Red Hill, Tess Devlin of Collegeville, Duncan DeVore of Perkiomenville, Joseph Donley of Pottstown, Phoebe Kancianic of Pottstown, Derek Peterson of Reading, Shaun Reed of Lancaster, Erik Reyes of Pottstown, Toby Troyer, Hailee Tyson of Sanatoga, and Kayla Velasquez of Royersford. 

Performances will be held April 20 – 22 at 7 p.m., and a special daytime performance on April 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the South Hall Community Room at 101 College Drive in Pottstown, Pa. General admission is $10, and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, please visit www.mc3.edu/theater or call 215-641-6518. 

Proceeds from the production will benefit the Theatre Arts Merit Scholarship fund at the College. 

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 more than 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, visit http://www.mc3.edu.  

‘Wig Out!’ At Muhlenberg

Allentown, PA — Muhlenberg College takes a stroll down the runway and into drag ball culture, as the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department presents Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Wig Out!,” March 30 – April 2. Rarely produced since its 2008 premiere, “Wig Out!” offers an outlandish and high-style glimpse into the tight-knit world of Harlem drag balls. Muhlenberg theater professor Troy Dwyer directs.

“I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything quite like this on our stage,” Dwyer says. “It’s going to be an extremity of design — and a leap-of-faith undertaking for the department. It’s also an opportunity to accommodate our population of truly gifted students of color, who aren’t just actors, but a variety of theater-making artists.”

“Wig Out!” focuses on the intense personal connections of  “houses,” the family units at the heart of drag culture — families that typically include a mother, a father, and a group of “children,” while also upending traditional nuclear family roles in favor of something richer and more complex. At the core of “Wig Out!” is the fictional House of Light, with mother Rey-Rey (Cameron Silliman) and father Lucian (Alan Mendez).

“’Wig Out!’ is a quick Alice in Wonderland trip into this topsy-turvy world that’s nothing like ours but very much like ours,” McCraney says. “One of my professors who saw the original run said, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.’”

Drag balls trace their roots to Harlem in the 1860s, flourishing during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ’30s. Today’s drag ball culture took shape in the 1960s, as black drag queens began hosting predominantly black drag events. In 1990, the drag scene achieved mainstream recognition with the release of the documentary film “Paris Is Burning,” along with pop star Madonna’s drag-inspired hit “Vogue.” The balls themselves are extravagant competitions, in which contestants “walk” and are judged on a specific set of criteria, including the “realness” of their drag, their movement and dance abilities, and their fashion choices.

“What I think is so vital about ‘Wig Out!’ is that it not only makes visible sides of queer culture that aren’t typically part of mainstream culture,” Dwyer says. “It shines a more inclusive light than, say ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ which is about the extent of many people’s familiarity with drag culture.”

“Wig Out!” was first produced at the Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre in New York City, and the same year at the Royal Court Theatre in London. It has been fully produced only once since, in any venue.

Playwright McCraney’s film “Moonlight” received 2017 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was written by McCraney and director Barry Jenkins, based on McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play. McCraney was also recently appointed chair of playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, beginning in July. His plays have been produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, among others.

McCraney got together with the Muhlenberg production’s cast and creative team in February, via Skype. He shared some insights, answered questions, and engaged with the actors’ responses to the play.

Dwyer has surrounded himself with an accomplished creative team — which he says has somewhat allayed his concerns as a white director about taking artistic leadership of this project, in which most of the characters are people of color.

“What feels risky to me is making sure my white male privilege doesn’t upstage the heart of the story,” Dwyer says. “I was committed to having the story told, thinking it was probably okay for me to be a creative leader, but not by myself. I’m so fortunate to have some really brilliant, passionate artists of color around me, who are significant creative leaders on the piece.”

The production team includes managing dramaturg Dr. Sharrell Luckett, a Muhlenberg theater professor; accomplished costume designer Andy Jean; and Broadway wig and hair designer Bobbie Zlotnik. Samuel Antonio Reyes, who choreographed last summer’s acclaimed Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre production of “In the Heights,” and a veteran of the ballroom scene himself, has created the show’s extensive choreography.

The show also features makeup design by Joe Dulude II, who designed make-up for the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of “Wicked” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Dulude is the Baker Artist-in-Residence for the 2016-17 academic year, thanks to a grant from the Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation. He says his own involvement in the drag scene heavily influences his approach to the work.

“My drag is often about playing with the masculine and feminine,” Dulude says. “Since my own experiences in drag and working with other drag queens is so diverse, that’s what I’m bringing to the show: not just one style of drag but a combination of styles.”

Muhlenberg Junior Evan Brooks, who plays Ms. Nina/Wilson, one of the children of the House of Light, says the production is a vital performance opportunity for theater students at Muhlenberg.

“At this moment in our nation’s history, being able to participate in this production is nothing less than a gift,” Brooks says. “I think it’s essential to provide theatrical and educational experiences for under-represented artists, who aren’t acknowledged in the same way as majority-identifying students — and that’s what the production is doing.”

Dwyer says the show’s second act will feature a drag ball performance for which audience members will be invited onstage to serve as the crowd for the ball. The production also will feature a lobby display about the history of drag, coordinated by Luckett, and a uniquely interactive intermission.

“We want the audience to leave with an appreciation for drag culture, in all its spectacular diversity,” Dwyer says. “The mainstream gets an exceptionally narrow version of queer culture, when they get any version at all — and often it comes at the expense of other, more marginalized versions. We want to broaden their horizons a bit.”

“Wig Out!” plays March 30 – April 2. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. 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 Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.

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 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.

Mark Your Calendar For Another Spectacular Pottstown ArtsWalk – A Free Event – Saturday, May 6, 2017!

Pottstown, 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, May 6, 2017 from 12 pm to 9 pm. 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.

Viewing the art in a kind of “pub crawl” format adds to the fun and energetic quality of this event. Family-friendly activities are being planned. 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.”

While 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, May 6, 2017, and you can order as many as you need. Visit http://www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Get a taste for all the activities, food and arts presentations. Here is a list of venues joining us Saturday, May 6th to showcase Pottstown and all that our community has to offer:

@107, 107 E. High St. and Advantage Insurance
ArtFusion 19464, 254 E. High St.
Ballroom on High, 310 E. High St.
Beverly’s Pastry Shop, 322 E. High St.
Connections on High, 238 E. High St.
Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches, 137 E. High St.
High Street Music, 135 E. High St.
iCreate Cafe, 130 King St.
Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine, 235 E. High St.
Lily’s Grill, 115 E. High St.
MCCC North Hall Gallery, 16 E. High St.
Memory Madness Photo Studio, 16 N. York St.
MOSIAC Community Land Trust, 10 S. Hanover St.
Potts & Penn Family Diner, 80 E. High St.
Smith Family Plaza, 100 E. High St.
Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High St.
The Carousel at Pottstown, 30 W. King St.
The Hill School Center for the Performing Arts, 780 Beech St.
Weitzenkorn’s, 145 E. High St.

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

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

TriCounty Community Network News And Events

PA Neighborhood Assistance Program 


Health Lifestyles Expo
May 5, 2017
9:30am – 1:30pm
Sunnybrook Ballroom


Boyertown Multi-Service


Amity Place

Managing Heart Failure in the Senior Patient

By Dr. Linganathan, Medical Director Heart Failure Clinic at Phoenixville Hospital

Thursday, March 16 @ 2-3 p.m.

Light refreshments

Red Cross Blood Drive

Wednesday, March 22 @ 1-6 p.m.

Free Community Bingo

Friday, April 21 @ 1:30

Prizes Galore!

RSVP for all events at 610-385-7600


Pottstown Families


Montgomery County Advisory Council


Domestic Violence Legal Network


TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce


Western Montgomery Career & Technology Center


Delos Workshops


Montgomery County Community College




Wellness Council of Boyertown
Wellness Fair


Public Citizens for Children & Youth




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


Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Task Force


Women’s Center of Montgomery County


Springford Chamber of Commerce


Edward Jones Investments with Bonnie L. Thompson


Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities


Gilbertsville & Kutztown


Precision Polymer Products, Inc.

Local Entrepreneurs Make Pitch For Start-Up Funding At Montgomery County Community College

Jennifer Green (on stage, right) and service dog Echo are joined by Christina Finello (on stage, left) to make their pitch for start-up funding for Alpha Bravo Canine to the panel of judges Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College.

Blue Bell, PA — Jennifer Green doubled over in her chair, breathing rapidly with her hand to her face. Echo, a 16-month-old chocolate lab, recognized the signs of a panic attack and sprang into action, nuzzling his owner’s hand and climbing onto her lap to apply pressure to her chest to help calm her down.

Green, however, wasn’t really having a panic attack, she was demonstrating the training Echo received to assist military veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The demonstration was part of her pitch to receive up to $20,000 in funding for her non-profit business, Alpha Bravo Canine.

Alpha Bravo Canine was one of six start-up businesses which made their pitch for funding to a panel of judges on Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell as part of the Karen A. Stout Start-Up Accelerator Fund, named for the College’s former president.

Now in its second year, the Fund provides fledging businesses with much-needed capital to help take them to the next level in their business development. The Fund is run by the Montgomery County Community College Foundation and the College’s Division of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives.

After giving their presentation, the entrepreneurs faced questions from a panel of judges that included Jay Bown, president of Industrial Investments, Inc. of Blue Bell; Bob Rosenthal, partner in the real estate firm of Envision Land Use in Wayne; Gaetan Giannini, dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives at MCCC; Arline Stephan, vice president for Institutional Advancement at MCCC; and Phil Needles, vice president of Student Services at MCCC.

Josh Hoffman, co-founder of Game Plan, a mobile-app that helps people make personalized group decisions on where to dine, pitched his business to the panel and said he was very pleased with the feedback and advice he received.

“I thought it went pretty well,” Hoffman said. “When you get me up there, that’s what gives me energy.”

“Having their feedback is crucial for us growing and understanding what we need to work on,” Green said. “We appreciate the opportunity to do this no matter the outcome.”

That outcome will be determined in the next few weeks as the judges review each entrepreneur’s presentation and proposal and make decisions about funding. After receiving funding, those businesses will continue to work with the College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies to set key milestones and deliverables in the start-up of their business and to monitor their progress and outcomes.

Other business making pitches to the judges on Tuesday included Cryten, Inc., which provides information technology staffing and recruitment services to organizations; NeuroFlow, a software solution which promises to change the way we see brain health; Reentry USA, a reentry database for ex-offenders which promises to help reduce recidivism and improve public safety; and iCareQuality.us, which develops scalable, open source technology to advance the science of the healthcare industry.

“This Fund is about identifying and working with start-ups with strong potential and helping them grow and prosper so they can have a greater impact on Montgomery County and the region,” Stephan said.

PLAYHOUSE ACCEPTING ENROLLMENT FOR SPRING CLASSES, PRODUCTION WORKSHOPS, HOME SCHOOL DRAMA WORKSHOP AND SUMMER CAMP!

Pottstown, PA — Steel River Playhouse, at 245 E. High Street in Pottstown, PA is now accepting enrollment for the Spring term and summer program, which includes private study in guitar, piano, voice, trumpet and acting, along with group classes in acting, performance, improvisation and much more.

Steel River’s spring term began on Monday, March 28. Classes are available in Acting, Improvisation, Broadway Cabaret, and the popular Flights of Fancy and Imagination Theater programs for young actors to create and perform original works and perform for an audience. A home school drama club original production workshop is also accepting enrollment.

Students may also enroll NOW for workshop productions beginning in mid-March including productions of THE TEMPEST (classical workshop for dramatic actors), A CHARM SCHOOL WITCH (musical workshop for young performers), BANG BANG, YOU’RE DEAD (a contemporary drama workshop) and Broadway Cabaret workshop (Summer Lovin’ Cabaret). For more information on these productions, email the education department at education@steelriver.org.

Summer camp enrollment has also begun, and students may register for three different two week camps.

  • Camp one offers a Variety Show theme, and runs from July 11 to July 22.
  • Camp two runs from July 25 to August 8, and offers students the opportunity to work an original musical theme of global awareness, which explores a variety of cultures from around the world.
  • Camp three offers students to create original one act plays, from August 8 to 19.

Camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (with option for half day camp for younger students). Each camp culminates in an original work that is performed for parents, and includes workshops in specialty skills that will be used in that performance, such as juggling, Broadway dance styles and more, while also incorporating lessons in confidence, cultural awareness and collaboration.

Steel River Playhouse employs educators who are regionally and nationally renowned in their fields with many holding advanced degrees. The facility is also renowned as one of the highest rated theatrical venues in PA, featuring state of the art performance spaces, studios, classroom space, sound reinforcement equipment and seating, full set, costume and prop shops as well as the best green room of any theater in the area. Steel River’s goal is to provide the highest possible educational experience for students and participants in the tri-county area, focused on every level of training from beginner to expert!

About Steel River Playhouse – Steel River Playhouse is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable education and performance facility that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and education for diverse audiences. Designated as a “gateway” performing arts center, Steel River provides affordable, high quality performances, comprehensive educational offerings, and enriching volunteer opportunities in all aspects of theatre arts. Students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to explore and grow their skills by working side-by-side with professional instructors, performers, directors, and designers.

Young Artists To Show Their Creations At 39th Annual High School Exhibition And Competition At MCCC

“Staring Back” a mixed media sculpture by Natalie Rock of Germantown Academy.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA –Budding artists from Montgomery County will exhibit their multi-media creations during the 39th Annual Montgomery County High School Exhibition & Competition from March 8 to 31 at the Montgomery County Community College Fine Arts Center Gallery, 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, Pa. 

The juried show will include about 150 pieces by 144 artists representing 17 different high schools in the County. Schools were permitted to submit up to 10 works selected by art teachers at those schools. The creations were then juried by Linda Crane an independent artist who taught art for 33 years in local school districts.   

“After teaching art locally for more than three decades, I continue to be impressed by the creativity and breadth of our young artists in the region,” Crane said. “I am confident that art enthusiasts who visit the exhibition will be similarly impressed with and inspired by these artists and their creations.” 

A reception and awards ceremony featuring the artists will be held on Wednesday, March 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Gallery. 

Students with works in the exhibition represent Abington High School, Calvary Baptist School, Cheltenham High School, Germantown Academy, Hatboro-Horsham High School, Jenkintown High School, La Salle College High School, Lower Moreland High School, North Penn High School, The Pathway School, Perkiomen Valley High School, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Souderton High School, Springfield Township High School, Spring-Ford High School, Upper Dublin High School and Upper Merion Area High School.  

The social media hashtag for the show is #mcccarts. 

The Fine Arts Center Gallery, features the artwork of local, regional and national artists through an array of exhibitions. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Gallery will be closed March 13-19 for spring break. For more information, visit the website at www.mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts/art-wc, or follow us on facebook.com/destinationarts. 

For more information on Linda Crane and her art work, visit www.lindacranestudio.com. 

Montgomery County Community College Central Campus Presenting Short Play Festival In April

Blue Bell, PA —Could you confront a person who tried to destroy you? How about leave your life a solar system away to be with someone you love? Six one-act plays explore these questions and more in the Short Play Festival coming to the stage at Montgomery County Community College April 6-9.

Chosen and directed by student artists at Montgomery County Community College, the Short Play Festival offers young, fresh productions by playwrights ranging from Chekhov to Neil LaBute.

Performances will be held April 6-8 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 12:30 p.m., and the finale on April 9 at 2 p.m. in the Science Center Black Box Theatre at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell.

The student directors are drawn from the Directing: World of the Stage course at the College, and the plays are produced and designed by students in the Theatre Arts Production Workshop and the Drama Club. Two of the plays are directed by theatre faculty member Rob Heller, who also oversees the entire project.

Selected plays include:

·         Dancing with the Devil by Brooke Berman, director by student Dajzane Meadows-Sanderlin of Upper Darby, Pa.

·         I’m Going to Stop Pretending (That I Didn’t Break our Heart) by Neil LaBute, directed by student Alondra Santos-Castillo of Norristown, Pa.

·         The Proposal by Anton Chekhov, directed by student Kevin Sene of Norristown, Pa.

·         Under Lubianka Square by Constance Congdon, directed by student Shelby Poston of Pottstown, Pa.

·         Fledging by Nathan Alan Davis, director by Rob Heller

·         Space by Kelly P. Luck, directed by Rob Heller

Cast members for the six plays include Dee Brown of Philadelphia, Kaeleigh Dequevado of Springfield Township, Luke Fletcher of Ambler, Amber Grier of Philadelphia, Matt Heller of Erdenheim, Kalif Johnson of Lansdale, Alex Kilcullen of King of Prussia, Lauren Ralston of Horsham, Gordon Rose of Fort Washington, Jordayn Ross of Norristown, Bill Smith of Rockledge, Shea Walker of Blue Bell, Jess Weigand of Norristown and Dan Wurtz of Jenkintown.

General admission is $10, and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.mc3.edu/theater or call 215-641-6518. Proceeds from the production will benefit the Theatre Arts Merit Scholarship fund at the College.

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 more than 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, visit http://www.mc3.edu .

The Culinary Arts Institute Of Montgomery County Community College Hosting Culinary And Hospitality Job Fairs 

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA —Area residents interested in career opportunities in restaurants, casinos, corporate dining operations, grocery stores or senior living facilities are invited to attend two upcoming job fairs hosted by The Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College in Lansdale, Pa. on March 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Dress for success, bring an updated resume and get ready to meet employers, gather information and apply for jobs. 

The Culinary Arts Institute is located at 1400 Forty Foot Road in Lansdale. For more information, call 267-646-5970. 

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, visit http://www.mc3.edu.    

You’re Invited – Free Arts Education Event For The Whole Community!

Three YAA photos

Hello Lehigh Valley Families!

Back by popular demand, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to present the second annual Young at Art Expo on March 11, 2017. Won’t you join us?

Our goal is to connect families to the arts community in an expo-style event that’s both engaging and educational. Held at Penn State Lehigh Valley from 10:00am to 2:00pm, we invite children of all ages and abilities to enjoy an entertaining and creative day – FREE to Lehigh Valley families!

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. Information will be available for classes and camps that are perfect for creative learners.

Come dance, sing, create and play! Enjoy fun with the whole family!

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS AND EXPLORE THE ARTS WITH:

Allegro Dance Studios
The Art Establishment
Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley
Banana Factory Arts Center
The Baum School of Art
Community Music School
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
The IceHouse Performing Arts Consortium
Let’s Play Books!
Mayura Academy of Dance
Mikayla’s Voice
Nurture Nature Center
Penn State Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Puertorrican Culture Preservation
Roey’s Paintbox
School of Rock
The Swain School
TLC Charter Arts

Enjoy FREE face painting provided by Funtastic Faces and Body Art!

young-at-art-logo

Exhibit Opening And Lecture At Pottsgrove Manor Saturday, March 4, 2016 At 1:00 pm

Pottstown, PA – Visit historic Pottsgrove Manor on Saturday, March 4, 2016 at 1:00pm for a historical lecture to open the site’s new exhibit, “Rise and Shine at the Manor,” which is set to run through November 5th.

At 1:00pm, visitors will have a chance to meet founding father Benjamin Franklin, as portrayed by Bill Ochester. Learn about Franklin’s contributions to everyday life, including the idea of Daylight Savings time!

After the lecture, visitors can take a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor and the new exhibit. As the first rays of the morning’s sun streamed through the windows of Pottsgrove Manor, the house would already be busy with a myriad of early morning household tasks and the rituals of starting another day. See how the humble activities of daily life differed from- or were often remarkably similar to- the activities we are familiar with today.

There is a suggested donation of $2.00 per person for the lecture and tour.

Visitors can also take a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor and the “Rise and Shine at the Manor” exhibit during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours begin on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm.

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. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

MCCC Center For Workforce Development Offers Professional Development Series For Business Owners, Entrepreneurs And Managers

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Area business owners, managers and entrepreneurs can prepare to take their businesses to the next level with a series of non-credit professional development courses taught by industry experts being offered by the Montgomery County Community College Center for Workforce Development.

The Center for Workforce Development will offer five seminars on timely, relevant topics including social media marketing, ESOPs and profitability, succession planning, employment law and strategic negotiation on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. from April 6 to May 4 on the College’s Central Campus at 340 DeKalb Pike in Blue Bell, Pa.

Social Media Marketing (April 4, Parkhouse Hall Room 309): Tap into the power of social media marketing through exploration of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. Learn how to establish a social presence that fits your brand, organic posting and scheduling techniques, and targeting paid social advertising. Taught by Devin Concannon, who has managed search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, paid search, and social media across a digital agency, a Fortune 500, a late stage, and early stage startup. (Course Code: BICBC 1041).

ESOPs and Profitability (April 13, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  As the Baby-Boomers age, tens of thousands of businesses will be sold over the next decade. Forward-thinking owners are looking for ways to grow their enterprises, take care of their families, and reward the employees integral to their success. This course, led by the Kevin McPhillips, CEO of the non-profit Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership, provides an overview of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan basics. Participants will learn how they can be paid handsomely for some or all of their business, while dramatically improving productivity, and rewarding and engaging employees. (Course Code: BICBC 1042).

Succession Planning (April 20, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Banks usually require key man life insurance on closely held corporations. Good companies always coach future leaders for success. Learn how to develop a succession plan within your organization and why it is important. Taught by Eapen Johnson, a senior level human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience. (Course Code: BICBC 1043).

Employment Law (April 27, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Stay abreast of recent changes in employment law that can affect your business. Taught by Meloney Sallie-Dosunmu, a national and international speaker, trainer, consultant and recognized expert on human resources, leadership and management.  (Course Code: BICBC 1044)

Strategic Negotiation (May 4, Parkhouse Hall Room 101):  Provides individuals at all career stages, including rising managers, with skills to improve negotiation and performance. Learn to approach transactions strategically, think critically, and motivate behavior. Taught by Jeffrey T. Tucker, chair of the Employment Law Practice Group and a member of the Education, Business, and Municipal Law Practice Groups of the Bethlehem, Pa. based law firm of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul. (Course Code: BICBC 1045)

Each session is $125, or you can register for all five sessions for $500 – a $125 savings. To register, call 215-641-6397, and provide the Course Code associated with each session for which you would like to register. If registering for all five sessions, use the Course Code BICBC 1040.

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 more than 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, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

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

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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!

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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
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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

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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

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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.