ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEMBER RALLY AND GRANT AWARD CELEBRATION

ALLENTOWN, PA – Dragon sightings are on the rise in the Lehigh Valley and that is exciting news for our arts community! On the big screen, movie-goers are enjoying the performance of Allentown child actor Oakes Fegley in the title role of Pete’s Dragon. Another fire-breathing beast greets visitors at the entrance of the new manufacturing facilities of Smooth-On, Inc. in East Texas. Dragons are powerful, mythological creatures that epitomize courage, vigor, and unbridled imagination—vital attributes for risk-takers like artists.

In homage to the dragons in our midst, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council invites you to ignite your imagination at ARTS COUNT 2016, the annual arts rally and grant award ceremony. The magic happens on October 19, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Smooth-On, 1725 Willow Lane, East Texas, PA 18046.

“We are very grateful to Smooth-On for hosting this event,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “This international arts business is a giant in the realm of special effects.“ Smooth-On’s technologies and materials have been used to make movie figures and props for Star Wars, The Hobbit Trilogy, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and many other films and TV shows. (As a special treat, the Smooth-On staff will be on hand to give you scars, bruises, and bloody gashes.)

ARTS COUNT also serves as the occasion for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council to distribute grant awards to the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream recipients in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Project Stream is open to individual artists and community groups who apply for support of an arts-related project with strong public impact. More than $34,000 in state funds will be awarded to 22 applicants for activities held from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017.

“ARTS COUNT celebrates the public/private partnerships that fuel the arts in our region,” says Executive Director Randall Forte, “and features local business and foundation leaders giving testimony on the value and impact of the arts.” Locally elected officials are invited to present checks to the grant recipients from their districts. In keeping with the spirit of fellowship, Arts Council members are encouraged to bring a guest and rally for the arts.

The October reception is free to Arts Council members and grant recipients; the cost to guests and nonmembers is $10. Refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. to 610-437-5915 to attend.

For more information about the PPA grant application, contact PA Partners in the Arts Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at ppa@LVArtsCouncil.org.

List of 2016-17 PPA Grant Awardees:
Allentown Public Theatre
Anthony Smith
Arts Academy Charter School
Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission
Buchanan Elementary School
Concord Chamber Singers
DanceLink
Emmaus Recreation & Entertainment Commission
Fairfield Duo
Friends of the Allentown Parks
Jennie Gilrain
Jim Thorpe Film Festival
Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange
Marilyn Hazelton
Moravian College
Pennsylvania Jazz Collective
Puertorrican Cultural Preservation
Sarah Steele
Summit Hill Heritage Center
Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation
WDIY 88.1 FM
West Park Civic Association

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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.

Muhlenberg College’s Acclaimed Theatre & Dance Department Announces 2016-2017 Season

ALLENTOWN, PA — Muhlenberg College’s nationally-ranked Theatre & Dance Department announces its 2016-2017 mainstage season. Highlights include classics by Gilbert & Sullivan and Anton Chekhov, a dance-theatre performance based on Harlem drag ball culture, a rarely produced Gertrude Stein play, and works by acclaimed guest choreographers.

The season features six fully mounted theatrical productions and three mainstage dance concerts, running from September 2016 through April 2017.

The season begins with “Attention: New Visions Directors’ Festival,” Sept. 28 through Oct. 2, featuring two short plays directed by senior Muhlenberg directing students: “The Imaginary Audience,” by Maddie Brickman, presented in its world premiere, directed by Emma Steiger; and “Oh, the Humanity, and Other Short Plays,” by Will Eno, directed by Sarah Bedwell.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic swashbuckling comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance” is presented Oct. 28 through Nov. 6, directed by Charles Richter, with choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara.

“Moving Stories,” Nov. 10-12, features original choreography by the department’s upper-class dance majors, in a variety of genres and styles. The concert showcases dance as storytelling, narration in human form, addressing themes as broad ranging as the students’ own diverse backgrounds.

“Falling: New Visions Directors’ Festival” continues this season’s series of short plays, with classic short works directed by talented senior directing students. The evening’s plays include “Salome,” by Oscar Wilde, directed by Simon Evans, and “Icarus’s Mother,” by Sam Shepard, directed by Karina Fox. The festival runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 4.

“Master Choreographers,” Feb. 9-11, will feature major restagings and original works in ballet, contemporary dance, tap, and jazz, showcasing work by nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists and faculty. Guest choreographers include Orion Duckstein, Cristina Perera, and Trinette Singleton.

Gertrude Stein’s “Listen to Me,” directed by James Peck, is a rarely produced avant garde play — a cerebral frolic in the face of planetary crisis, in which characters philosophize, laugh, and struggle heroically to hold onto hope as their prospects dim. The show runs Feb. 22-26.

“Wig Out!,” up-and-coming playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s tell-it-like-it-is look at the Harlem drag ball scene, is presented March 30 through April 2. The production is directed by Troy Dwyer and features choregraphy by Samuel Antonio Reyes.

“Dance Emerge,” April 19-22, showcases the ideas and talents of our brightest young choreographers. The intimate Dance Studio Theatre is the backdrop for innovative, explorative dance pieces. Jeffrey Peterson serves as artistic director.

The season concludes with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s classic “The Cherry Orchard,” a bittersweet comedy about love and loss, playing April 26-29. Matthew Moore directs, with a faculty spotlight performance by Holly Cate.

The mainstage performance series is produced by Muhlenberg College’s acclaimed Theatre & Dance Department, currently ranked the No. 1 production program in the country by The Princeton Review. The Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States.

Discounts are available for packages of four or more productions. Tickets and information: 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre&dance

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected pre-professional programs, including accounting, 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.

New Show Features Best In Show Winners At ArtFusion

Self Portrait 2016 by Gwendolyn Lanier

Self Portrait 2016 by Gwendolyn Lanier

Pottstown, PA – The Chosen Two, a new show at ArtFusion 19464, opened on September 17 and will run through October 1.  This show will feature artwork from the winners of a Best in Show contest from ArtFusion’s 2016 Winter Member Show. Visitors to the show voted for their favorite artists, and the two artists who received the most votes won their own show. Artists Joe Hoover and Gwendolyn Lanier will present an amazing collection of 3D and 2D artwork. Gwendolyn and Joe invite the community to a meet the artists reception on Friday, September 23 from 6-8pm. The reception is free and open to the public. RSVPs to 610-326-2506 or info@artfusion19464.org are appreciated.

With a strong interest in art since childhood, it was natural that, after retiring from teaching school and choral conducting, Joe Hoover would choose painting as a

Above and Below by Joe Hoover

Above and Below by Joe Hoover

hobby. Shortly thereafter, memberships with member of the Pottstown Area Artists’ Guild (PAAG), Berks Art Alliance (BAA), and Chester County Art Association (CCAA) changed this casual hobby into a year-round commitment to group, solo and juried shows. Joe’s initial focus was on floral subjects in transparent watercolor. More recently his is exploring more varied media and subject matter. Among recent honors were Excellence Awards in two CCAA Watermedia Shows, a Best in show at a PAAG Membership show, and a Purchase Award and Honorable Mention in BAA Regional Juried Shows. For Joe, perhaps the biggest honor of all is simply exhibiting in the company of an ever expanding group of fine artists. Joe has been a Working Artist Member at ArtFusion for over 10 years.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Gwendolyn Lanier began making art in 2000 at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 2009 Gwendolyn received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Arts degree at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston MA.  Her primary focus as an undergraduate was Ceramics Figurative Sculpture. In 2012 she received her Post Baccalaureate in Graduate Studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia PA, where her exploration of drawing led her to her current body of work.

Gwendolyn’s art has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lawrence Eagle Tribune, and at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts during the 2008 NCECA Confluence Conference. She has shown her work at the Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, Katherine Weems Gallery in Boston, and other galleries across the East Coast. Gwendolyn is currently a Working Artist Member and instructor at ArtFusion.

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

34th Annual Dinner -The Northeast Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall Of Fame Set For October

The 34th annual dinner of the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will be held on Sunday, October 2nd in the DeNaples Center of the University of Scranton, 800 Mulberry Street.  Cocktail hour begins at 4:45 PM with dinner at 6:00 PM.

This year the Northeast Chapter will induct 10 local athletes.  Tickets are $40.00 per person, $25.00 for children 10 years and up, and may be obtained by contacting Bob Walsh (570.346.2228) or Alice Foley (570.346.5796)