EXPERIENCE ARTS & ACCESS

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community are pleased to announceExperience Arts & Access on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. at the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem. This mid-winter festive gathering celebrates the achievements of Arts & Access midway through a year of offering greater accessibility.

Arts & Access launched last July to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. Currently, thirty arts organizations have teamed up with social service agencies to offer more than fifty events through June 2016, that intentionally reach people with disabilities and their family and friends. The diversity of programming include live theatre performances that are audio described and open captioned for people with visual and hearing loss; sensory friendly performances for children with autism, and a dance workshop for Parkinson patients and their caregivers.

“Cultural access is really about customer service,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “It’s about making your customers feel welcome and comfortable.”

Experience Arts & Access seeks to raise awareness of the needs as well as the abilities of persons with disabilities. Featured artist and National Storytelling Champion Anne Thomas will perform autobiographical stories crafted with a mix of dark humor, high energy and rare common sense. She speaks not only to survivors of disability, illness and tragedy, but to everyone who has a body, a dream, obstacles, hope and determination.

Experience will also allow visitors to explore an arts experience through the simulated reality of a person with a physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation. Guests will be encouraged to test the different technologies that are available, such as audio description and open captioning, voice activated wheel chairs, plus a tactile exploration of a 3-D image of a painting.

The event is free and open to the everyone, particularly someone with a disability. Please RSVP your intention to attend at http://info@lvartscouncil.org or 610-437-5915. Light refreshments will be provided.

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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.

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Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org
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ARTS ALIVE SERIES CELEBRATES FINE ART

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is pleased to announce the new line-up for the fourth annual Arts Alive Series 2016, “Fine Art: Curating, Collecting & Creating.” Three events will explore the passion for fine art from the perspectives of a curator, an artist and a collector within the intimacy of the artist’s studio and the collector’s home.

An Artist Rediscovered: On Sunday, February 21, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, art historian and curator Dr. Christine I. Oaklander will lead visitors on an excursion into the life and art of 19th century artist, Henry Grant Plumb. An international artist, Plumb was born in 1847 in the central New York town of Sherburne and maintained a studio in New York City until his death in 1930.

In the spring of 2014, Dr. Oaklander discovered a treasure trove of Plumb’s works on paper, forty oil paintings, letters, photo albums, awards, and personal belongings—packed under a dealer’s table at the Great Eastern Paper Show in Allentown. Her discovery has prompted a personal quest to revive Plumb’s reputation, which includes arranging scholarly exhibitions and writing a catalog.

Portraiture: The Artist Within invites guests into the Allentown studio of figurative painter Dan Van Horn on Sunday, April 10, 2016, from 10:30 to noon. Van Horn will speak about the fascinating challenge to capture the reality and personality of his subjects.

Dana received an M.F.A. from Yale University and is on the faculty of the Baum School and Moravian College. His work is featured in various museum and private collections.

The series finale, The Personality of a Collection, occurs on Saturday, June 25, 2016, and features arts enthusiasts Bruce and Pamela Loch, who lead a private tour of their fine art collection and share stores about a few favorites. The collection spans a twenty year history of accumulating more than eighty, two- and three- dimensional works from around the country. In 2013, the Lochs built a new one-story Bauhaus-style home in Lower Macungie township designed by well known architect Larry Berman; the house showcases their extensive collection of oil paintings, watercolors, prints and glass and bronze sculptures.

Attendance is limited for these behind-the-scenes cultural tours to only twenty-five visitors at each event, so reserve your tickets soon at LVArtsBoxOffice.org. All three events occur from 10:30 a.m. to noon; all three locations are in Allentown and your tickets will provide directions to the three venues. Light refreshments will be served at each event in the series. Fees for each event are $15 for Arts Council members; $25 for nonmembers. Enjoy a special $10 discount if you purchase the series ticket to all three events.

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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.

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Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

MCCC Is Designated A ‘Military Friendly School’ For Sixth Time

2016_MFS_Logo_HRBlue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Making the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging for many veterans. Introducing college into the mix can make that transition even harder. While key services like veteran-specific orientation and advising can help veterans start their academic careers on the right foot, many challenges they face go beyond homework and test scores.

For the sixth time, Victory Media has designated Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) as a “Military Friendly School,” positioning the institution among the top 15 percent of colleges and universities in the country for its veteran support services.

MCCC takes its commitment to student veterans a step beyond orientation and advising—although those services are part of the mix. A Veterans Resource Center, located in a small, renovated farmhouse at MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, plays an important role in the lives of the institution’s veterans. Here, students can meet with Veterans Services staff, participate in study groups and tutoring, and build an important support network with their peers.

For student veteran Joe Long, having such a network made a world of difference. Long and other student veterans shared their experiences with the MCCC community during a Veterans Day panel discussion in November.

“It’s challenging to fill the time when no one is telling you what to do. I didn’t know how to be on my own, how to be a student. It’s why I wasn’t successful the first time I came back [to college],” shared Long, who served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force.

Today, with a supportive network he built at MCCC, Long is a successful engineering major and works part-time as an assistant in the VRC.

“For me, it started by stumbling on to another veteran in one of my classes, then going to the Veterans Resource Center, then being more active on campus by getting involved in the veterans club,” he shared.

The Student Veterans Organization meets weekly in the VRC and functions like a student club. The group engages in advocacy and education around veterans’ issues and participates in a variety of community service opportunities. This fall, the SVO partnered with MCCC’s Student Nurses Club to tag and donate Trees for Troops. Members have also been working with Shamrock Reins, a non-profit organization in Pipersville that provides equine assisted activities and therapies for veterans, active duty and reserve service members, first responders and the families of veterans, military personnel, first responders and fallen heroes.

MCCC also thinks outside the box when it comes to positioning veterans for success. For example, the College offers free yoga and meditation sessions each semester for student and community veterans. Also, this spring, Psychology faculty members Dr. Anne Marie Donohue and Dr. Deb Greenspan will team-teach a special Intro to Psychology (PSY 101) course section for student veterans. The Psychology department will also partner with the SVO to offer a Veterans Mindfulness Retreat for 20 students.

Veteran enrollment at MCCC has more than doubled over the past decade, with 505 veterans enrolled this fall. To learn more about Veterans Services, visit http://www/.mc3.edu/student-resources/vrc.

Pottsgrove Manor To Host Spinning Demonstrations Saturday, January 9, 2016 From 11:00 am To 3:00 pm

Pottstown, PA  – On Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host “Distaff Day,” showing the art of spinning fibers into thread.

From medieval times, the day after the Feast of the Epiphany was known to many Europeans as “Distaff Day.” The distaff, a tool used in spinning, was a symbol of female industry, and Distaff Day was traditionally when women resumed their work after the Twelve Days of Christmas. During this program, visitors will see demonstrations of traditional spinning techniques and learn about the natural fibers that were used to make yarn and thread for textiles. This event will also give guests a chance to enjoy a guided tour of the manor house for the holidays, in the final “Twelfth Night Tours” of the season.

There is a suggested donation of $2.00 per person for this program. The museum shop will also be open throughout the event and will be having a special one-day-only sale – 10% off everything in the store!

The seasonal “Twelfth Night Tours” are running now through Sunday, January 10, 2016 during regular museum hours: 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. 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 http://www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

MCCC Student Nurses Club Donates 25 ‘Trees For Troops’

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) tagged and donated 25 trees at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lansdale on Dec. 5. Pictured (from left) Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; SNC members and Nursing majors Leigh Ronnan, Aimee, Augstine, Emily Odom and Liz Martinez; and Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) tagged and donated 25 trees at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lansdale on Dec. 5. Pictured (from left) Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; SNC members and Nursing majors Leigh Ronnan, Aimee, Augstine, Emily Odom and Liz Martinez; and Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Worcester, PA —Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) selected and tagged 25 trees on Dec. 5 at Bustard’s Christmas Trees as part of the national Trees for Troops initiative.

The Student Nurses Club raised $600 for this year’s 25-tree donation, bringing the total number of trees it donated over the past four years to 100. The club raised money by selling raffle baskets on and off campus, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Trees for Troops.

“The student nurses, like most of our population, have come to a greater realization of the sacrifices those in the armed forces make. Through our participation in Trees for Troops, via the association with Bustard’s Christmas Trees, the students feel they are assisting the families of individual service members,” explained Connie Fiorentino, assistant professor of nursing and SNC faculty advisor at MCCC.

After the first year of tagging and donating the trees themselves, the student nurses have since invited MCCC’s student veterans to join them, building an important connection between the two groups and the national movement.

“Trees for Troops is a well-attended event by both the student nurses and student veterans because there is a direct personal connection. They feel there is something very special about this event. When they personally tag a tree, they know they are doing so for a family who may suffer the loss of their service member during the holiday season. The students are proud of their part in assisting these service families,” shared Fiorentino.

The relationship forged with Bustard’s Christmas Trees over the past several years earned MCCC nursing and veterans students an invite to a special press event in September when White House officials selected the 2015 White House Christmas tree at Bustard’s farm in Lehighton, Pa.

For MCCC’s Nursing program, Trees for Troops aligns with its participation in other veterans causes, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Joining Forces. Over the past several years, the Student Nurses Club raised over $3,000 for Lansdale’s Hometown Hero Walk and sponsored donation drives for personal care items that were delivered to military troops stationed abroad and to the Veteran’s Center of Montgomery County.

Trees for Troops was launched by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation in 2005. Since then, more than 157,000 real trees have been delivered to military families at 60-plus bases throughout the United States and overseas. Trees are contributed by Bustard’s and about 30 other Christmas tree growers and retail lots in the U.S. To learn more, visit http://www.treesfortroops.org.

Berks County Resident Starts Nonprofit To “Pay It Forward” By Helping The Homeless And Underemployed With Job Training In The Food Industry

Nom ProphetsWhat do you do when you have worked your way out homelessness and turned your life around? You help others achieve the same goal, of course.  And if you are Julia Zion, you start Nom Prophets.

Nom Prophets was formed in November of this year and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Nom Prophets has a 6-person Board of Directors who work with Julia towards this goal.

Julia wants to give back for all the help she received along the way.  Being homeless and lacking job skills is a vicious cycle.  Unless someone takes a chance on hiring you, many doors are closed.  Without a job, you cannot afford basic necessities like food and shelter.  Without a permanent residence, it is hard to get a job.

As Julia pointed out in our interview, there are jobs in the food industry and with some training and experience those jobs can be had.

This new venture is an extension of what Julia has been doing for the last several years serving meals to the poor/homeless and helping in shelters.  Julia’s ultimate goal is to expand on those kinds of services through the use of food in the general area of food and food services.  Pottstown residents may remember the meals at Washington Street Park, for example.

The short-range goal is to buy a food truck through fundraising.  It would either be new or a retrofitted truck, depending on the results of the fundraising.  Zion hopes they can get a food truck operational by the summer.

By going out and using the food truck she hopes to fund the nonprofit.  The food truck will also enable Nom Prophets serve the poor in parks, churches and or shelters.  Food trucks are certified and inspected kitchens which guarantee food safety and permit issues (in many cases).

Nom Prophets sauce 2Nom Prophets sauce 1There are several ways Nom Prophets is trying to raise money.  They are selling homemade salsa, which you can buy at iCreate Café, 130 King Street, Pottstown and Daniel’s Produce and Dairy at 219 High Street, Pottstown.  They also hope to have gift baskets available in the near future.

Nom Prophets is scouting other locations, in the Berks County area, to sell their salsa and gift baskets.  If your business or organization would like to stock these items, you can contact Nom Prophets.  They would be glad to work with you!

Having experienced homelessness herself, Julia feels people need compassion, stability and a self-esteem boost.  Being poor, disadvantaged and/or homeless is demoralizing.  The shelter system is temporary and there is no sense of stability.  This causes anxiety and low self-esteem.

Julia found a new sense of self-worth and happiness once she was gainfully employed and had her own place to live.  She wants to help others find their way out of homelessness and poverty so they can lead full, productive and happy lives.  After all, we are talking about human beings.  Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

The common misconception is that people in these circumstances do not want to work and are lazy.  The problem is without job skills, and in many cases experience, you are unemployable.  You cannot be self-supporting on minimum wage.  Without skills you cannot get a better paying job.

Another employment barrier is the cost of obtaining a Safe Serve certification.  Having this certification helps you land a job and command more money in the food industry.  However, it can cost several hundred dollars.

For many, this may not seem like much money.  But if you have no money, it might as well be a million dollars.  Nom Prophets wants to help people get this certification along with teaching them knife skills and giving them experience in a professional kitchen so they can apply for a get a job in the food industry that pays a living wage.

The long-range goal would be to eventually have a brick and mortar location with a professional kitchen, restaurant and housing for those in the program while they train.

You can contact Nom Prophets on Facebook if you would like to buy their products, sell their products, donate or see if there is any way you can help out by clicking https://www.facebook.com/NomProphets/

More Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

If you are looking for something unique, check out Nom Prophets: Helping people through food.  Nom Prophets is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in need through food. They provide meals, job training and self confidence.

This company is based in Kutztown, Berks County and sells food products you can use for gifts.  With Christmas just 13 days away, we thought you might enjoy something inexpensive and unique for those special people in your life.

Nom Prophets: Helping people through food will be selling their Red Hot Cayenne Pepper sauce at iCreate Cafe, in Pottstown (130 King Street) AND Daniel’s Produce in Pottstown (219 E. High Street). It’s $7 per 16 ounce jar and all the proceeds go towards the non profit. Owner Ashraf Khalil has generously donated shelf space.   They will be stocking a second flavor, Tangy Tomatillo, after next Friday.

I don’t know about you, but I have people in my life who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hot sauce!  We are buying some!  Buy local and help others.  What could be better!!

Nom Prophets sauce 2

Nom Prophets sauce 1

The Holiday Spirit Comes To iCreate Cafe, Pottstown

iCreate Christmas

Exterior, iCreate Cafe

With the Holiday Season upon us, many folks are busy preparing for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza. If you live in the Tri-County area or are adventurous and don’t mind making a trip, iCreate Cafe, located at 130 King Street, in historic Pottstown, is open to serve your holiday needs.

Whether you need a break from shopping and want a healthy meal alternative; if you are looking for a great gift to give the people you care most about or if you are looking for a place to gather with friends to celebrate the season, iCreate Cafe can fill all your needs.

Gift certificates are available and you select the amount.  Nothing says, “I love you” like the gift of great food!  Take the worry out of your holiday shopping!

iCreate Cafe, Vegan Heaven

iCreate Cafe, Vegan Heaven

If you are looking for a unique space to gather with friends, look no further.  The spa-like atmosphere and amazing vegan cuisine are a winning combination.  The food is filling as well as healthy.  The prices are reasonable and the portions are generous.  The new iMenu 5 food menu has been expanded, the drink menu has been expanded and more dessert options are available to please the most discriminating palate.

The owner and vegan chef, Ashraf Khalil (you can call him Ash) has created one of the most unique dining experiences in the Philadelphia region. The food is made from scratch, made with love and beautifully presented.  A feast for the eye as well as the mouth!

The cafe, located at 130 King Street in Pottstown, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.  Friday and Saturday the cafe is open from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm.  You can view the menu online at http://www.icreatecafe.com.  You can also check out reviews of the cafe on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Happy Cow.  If you want to inquire about gift certificates or make reservations you may call the cafe at (484) 312-0404 during business hours.

New Partnership With Ursinus College Streamlines Transfer Process For MCCC Graduates

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College and Ursinus College signed a transfer articulation agreement on Dec. 3. Pictured, James Linksz (left), MCCC Interim President, and S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, shake hands following the signing. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College and Ursinus College signed a transfer articulation agreement on Dec. 3. Pictured, James Linksz (left), MCCC Interim President, and S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, shake hands following the signing. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) graduates can now count Ursinus College (Ursinus) among their seamless transfer options, thanks to a new transfer articulation agreement signed by college officials on Dec. 3. The agreement encourages and facilitates the transfer of qualifying MCCC graduates to Ursinus, located in Collegeville, Pa., to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

Under the agreement, MCCC students who graduate with Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.), Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.) degrees and have a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) may transfer to Ursinus with junior status, given they meet Ursinus admissions requirements and complete a transfer admissions intent form prior to applying.

“This agreement could not have been accomplished without the great collaboration of faculty from Ursinus and Montgomery,” said Dr. James Linksz, MCCC Interim President. “Collaboration created this bridge between the two institutions, which are both in the business of helping students succeed.”

While MCCC’s graduates have successfully transferred to institutions across the country and world, building formal relationships with select colleges and universities streamlines the transfer process. These partnerships also introduce students to transfer destinations they may not have considered, such as select liberal arts institutions like Ursinus.

“This is an important day, marking the beginning of our journey and celebrating our partnership,” said S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, also acknowledging the contribution of the late Ursinus President Dr. Bobby Fong with this agreement. “Since its inception, Ursinus has the philosophy of creating a wider bandwidth of opportunities, like this one. This is the first articulation agreement with any community college, and we’re glad it’s with Montgomery.”

This transfer agreement is not the first time the two institutions have collaborated. Over the summer, two MCCC STEM students—Sean Heron, of Royersford, and Rachel Simon, of Bensalem—participated in Ursinus’ Pilot Program for Community College Research, where they worked on original research projects alongside teams of Ursinus students and faculty mentors as part of the institution’s competitive Summer Fellows program.

“This was a great experience,” said Heron. “I was able to use the techniques I learned at MCCC and adapt them for what was needed in the lab. It helped me to grow as a student, and it also verified the career path I want to pursue.”

The latest agreement is the fifth between MCCC and a highly selective institution; other such partners include Bucknell University, Bryn Mawr College, Dickinson College and Lehigh University. In total, MCCC has transfer agreements with close to 60 colleges and universities. MCCC is Ursinus’ first formal community college partner.

To learn more about transfer opportunities at MCCC, visit mc3.edu/student-resources/transfer-services/transfer-agreements.

Ursinus College is a highly selective, residential college with 1,650 students that is widely recognized for its Common Intellectual Experience. Founded in 1869, Ursinus is an undergraduate liberal arts institution that provides a rigorous curriculum that empowers the intellect, awakens moral sensitivity and challenges students to improve society. The tree-lined, 170-acre campus abounds with sculptures and artwork, and is located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit ursinus.edu.

Montgomery County Community College offers a comprehensive curriculum of more than 100 degree and certificate programs, a Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, a Municipal Police Academy, and specialized workforce development programs, all of which leverage the College’s nationally ranked use of innovative technology. An Achieving the Dream (AtD) Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for more than 24,000 students annually. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, and community service and service learning opportunities. Visit mc3.edu or join us on Twitter @mccc.

MCCC Earns Communities In Motion Star Award For Green Office Initiative

PHOTO: Communities in Motion CEO Rob Henry (far left) and COO Maureen Farrell (far right) present members of Montgomery County Community College’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council with a 2015 Star Award. Accepting the award on behalf of MCCC are (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of government relations and special, projects; Alana Mauger, director of communications; and Joshua Eckenrode, instructional designer. Photo courtesy of Communities in Motion.

PHOTO: Communities in Motion CEO Rob Henry (far left) and COO Maureen Farrell (far right) present members of Montgomery County Community College’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council with a 2015 Star Award. Accepting the award on behalf of MCCC are (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of government relations and special, projects; Alana Mauger, director of communications; and Joshua Eckenrode, instructional designer. Photo courtesy of Communities in Motion.

King of Prussia, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a Star Award for its Green Office Initiative from Communities in Motion, a Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF) foundation, on Dec. 7 in King of Prussia. The foundation presented a total of 32 Star Awards during its second annual ceremony, given in recognition of projects, plans and people who demonstrate leadership in sustainability planning and implementation.

MCCC introduced its Green Office Initiative in 2012 to promote sustainable purchasing and practices in the workplace. Through careful implementation and employment of internal marketing and promotion efforts, the initiative grew from just four offices in its pilot semester to 11 participating areas in fall 2015. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment through the purchase and use of recycled and sustainable materials, the initiative also reduces costs, saving MCCC an estimated $50,000 to date

The Green Office Initiative incorporates mentoring as part of a continual review process to help offices meet each standard of the four-tier system. Mentors work with their designated areas to educate and improve on best green practices. Students also play an integral role. For example, MCCC’s student Environmental Club is working with interested faculty and Green Office participants on a program that pilots the use of refillable dry-erase markers.

This year’s Star Award is the latest honor for MCCC’s Green Office Initiative. The College previously received a “Green Spend Award” for “Highest Increase in Green Purchases” from the Philadelphia Collegiate Cooperative, and Office Depot’s national “Corporate Green Award.”

In planning for the next five years of sustainability work, MCCC hopes to build on the success of its Green Office Initiative to introduce a Green Classroom certification program.

MCCC is a charter signatory of both the 2007 American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the recent White House American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award.

MCCC To Hold Info Sessions For Aspiring Educators‏

Blue Bell, Pa.—From pre-k to high school, teachers play an integral role in shaping students’ lives. And for decades, Montgomery County Community College’s Education programs have helped prepare teachers for the task. That preparation starts with an innovative curriculum that keeps pace with industry trends and transfer standards.

The College will hold information sessions on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for prospective students and their families to learn about MCCC’s education programs. Sessions will be led by MCCC Education faculty in room 101 of the Advanced Technology Center at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

During the info sessions, participants will get a taste for what it’s like to be an education major at MCCC, and faculty will discuss job prospects in the education industry. Participants will also learn about MCCC’s three Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree programs in education—Education in the Early Years: Birth Through Grade Four, Education in the Middle Years: Grades Four through Eight, and Secondary Education.

All three of MCCC’s programs align with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) certification requirements and transfer seamlessly to programs at four-year colleges and universities. Regardless of the program, all MCCC Education students take Introduction to Education (EDU 100), which allows them to observe different classrooms at a variety of grade levels and to learn about certification options and requirements.

To learn more about MCCC’s Education programs, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics, then select Areas of Study, followed by Social Sciences.

Engineering Students Launch Campaign To Help Them Build Alt Fuel Vehicle‏

PHOTO: Members of MC3 Engineering INNOVA discuss design modifications to their urban concept vehicle. Students are raising money via Go Fund Me to purchase materials to complete their vehicle and to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016 in Detroit, Mich. this spring. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Members of MC3 Engineering INNOVA discuss design modifications to their urban concept vehicle. Students are raising money via Go Fund Me to purchase materials to complete their vehicle and to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016 in Detroit, Mich. this spring. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.—A team of 11 Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) engineering students are designing and building a hydrogen cell-powered urban concept vehicle that will allow them to compete in the “Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016” in Detroit, Mich. this spring.

The team—MC3 Engineering INNOVA—has launched a campaign on Go Fund Me to help raise the money needed to complete the vehicle. The goal is to raise $15,000, which will be used to help purchase materials and to pay for student travel expenses to Detroit. The campaign is coordinated with MCCC’s Foundation and First Giving, making all donations tax deductible. Visit the Go Fund Me campaign online at http://www.gofundme.com/projectinnova.

The campaign builds on the $10,000 in grant funding the team has secured to date, which has allowed them to begin vehicle design. The entire project is led by students under the guidance of Associate Professor William Brownlowe.

“The designing and building of INNOVA gives our students an incredible, hands-on opportunity to engage in real-world research & development not often found at a community college,” explained Brownlowe. “The vehicle will also serve as a valuable teaching tool for future students who will be charged with modifying and improving it as an integrated part of our engineering curriculum.”

With the projected depletion of oil and natural gas resources over the next 50 years, it’s critical that engineering students become familiar with alternative fuel options today.

“Engineering students have to train for the technology they’ll be using 15 years from now, not the technology that’s available today. Alternative fuel vehicles are the future,” said Brownlowe.

INNOVA is an urban concept vehicle designed for inner city use, which means it will travel a maximum speed of 25 MPH. A small hydrogen fuel cell engine powers two small motors on the vehicle’s back tires. To compete in the Shell Eco-marathon, the vehicle must be road legal, with working headlights, windshield wipers and turn signals. When completed, Brownlowe expects INNOVA to weigh around 400 pounds. The maximum weight to compete is 500.

To learn more and to help support MC3 Engineering INNOVA, visit http://www.gofundme.com/projectinnova or http://www.mc3.edu/innova.

UPCOMING HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY

BACH & HANDLE CHORALE presents:

 

December 12, 2015 | 3:00 pm @ St. John’s Lutheran Church
Christmas Concert – St. John’s Lutheran Church

December 13, 2015| 3:00 pm @ St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
Christmas Concert – St. Paul’s United Church of Christ


YOUNG PEOPLE’S PHILHARMONIC presents:

December 20, 2015 | 4:00 pm @ Miller Symphony Hall
The Young People’s Philharmonic and Junior String Philharmonic Holiday Concert

 

PURCHASE TICKETS AT OUR BOX OFFICE TODAY!

NOW ACCEPTING REGISTRATION FOR YOUNG AT ART

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council will present Young at Art, an expo of arts camps and schools, to assist parents with selecting the appropriate summer class for their child. This inaugural event will be held at Penn State Lehigh Valley, from 9:00am to 2:30pm, and feature thirty exhibitors who offer lessons in the performing, literary, media and visual arts. Free admission to the expo is provided to the public.

Families with children (ages four to eighteen years old) will enjoy meeting the various exhibitors and learning about the artistic opportunities for their aspiring creatives. The day’s festivities will showcase an arts demonstration, performance or activity every 25-minutes so children will have a chance “to try on what kind of artist” they want to be this summer.

“The idea for a children’s arts expo came from a parent of two small children who was having difficulty identifying a summer program for both her kids,” says Executive Director Randall Forte. “Bringing people together to engage with the arts is what the Arts Council does.”

A limited number of spaces are available for arts and cultural organizations to exhibit and promote their programs, and registration will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be opportunities for exhibitors to select a 25-minute time slot to showcase a demonstration or activity.

DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: January 20, 2016
Early Registration: December 15, 2015 (Members only)

Click here for more information on registering!

Lehigh Valley Arts Council Appoints New PPA Program Administrator‏

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA – As of November 1, Lehigh Valley Arts Council appointed South Bethlehem native, Carlos M. Barata, as the new Pennsylvania Partners in Arts (PPA) Program Administrator. Barata will follow in the footsteps of Marilyn Roberts, a Lehigh Valley native who has served the region’s arts communities for over twenty years, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council for three.

Barata joins a small, but dedicated team tasked with promoting arts awareness, advocating its value, and facilitating communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community at large. “I am delighted that Carlos has joined the team at the Lehigh Valley Arts Council,” says Executive Director, Randall Forte. “His background in marketing and communications, as well as being bi-lingual and a musician, will enable the Arts Council to further expand the PPA Program into our diverse community.”

Barata is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School, and Lafayette College, where he studied Music, Anthropology/Sociology, and Gender Studies. In addition to his role as an independent singer-songwriter and performer, his hands-on training and experience in music administration, communications, and event planning has afforded him positions throughout the Lehigh Valley with various organizations including Organizing for Action, ArtsQuest, Miller-Keystone Blood Center, and Klunk & Millan Advertising.

Barata will assist in coordinating the PPA Program, a state funding initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) designed to widen the circle of funding opportunities in support of arts activities throughout 67 counties. The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is entering its 11th year as the PCA’s regional partner of the PPA by re-granting state funds to applicants in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties through two streams of funding opportunities, Project Stream and Program Stream, which both expand community access and encourage local decision-making. The grant application and award process is administered by the Arts Council staff, who convene advisory panels from the cultural community to review the proposals. Panelists, selected to review applications according to guidelines provided by the PCA, provide the essential expertise, integrity, and commitment to the arts in the community.

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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.

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Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org