Nov. 5-6 – “At Table With Mrs. Potts” Program At Pottsgrove Manor

news_colonial-diningPottstown, PA – Learn about colonial hospitality at historic Pottsgrove Manor on
Saturday, November 5, 2016 and Sunday, November 6, 2016 during “At Table with Mrs. Potts: A Georgian Dining Experience.”

Historic foodways expert Niel V. de Marino will be on site focusing on the foods and dining experience of a colonial household like that of the Potts family. The Saturday workshop will allow participants to prepare 18th-century dishes and the demonstration on Sunday will allow the public to see how a dinner party would have come together in the Georgian era.

The Saturday workshop runs from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and is open to participants ages 14 and older.

There is a fee of $60.00 per person for the workshop. The class size is limited to 10. Registration and payment are required by October 28, 2016. A printable registration form is available online at

The Sunday demonstration runs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and is open to the public of all ages. A $2.00 per person donation is suggested for the demonstration. No registration is needed.

Regular museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00 pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten 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 Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at

‘Pirates Of Penzance’ At Muhlenberg, Oct. 28 – Nov. 6

Muhlenberg’s ‘Pirates of Penzance’

features high seas and high Cs,

Oct. 28 through Nov. 6

Samuel Reyes’ choreography, Charles Richter’s direction

propel Gilbert and Sullivan’s 136-year-old comic opera

out of the past and into the mainstream

Allentown, PA — Fresh direction and choreography will paint a new face on a classic Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta this fall, as the Muhlenberg College theater and dance department presents “The Pirates of Penzance,” Oct. 28 – Nov. 6.

“Expect a night of great family entertainment,” says theater professor Charles Richter, who directs the production. “It’s a work of comic genius and a real pleasure to direct.”

Music director Ed Bara and choreographer Samuel Antonio Reyes add a modern spin while also highlighting the original conventions of the play. Reyes choreographed Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, this past July. Bara, a member of the music department faculty, also played the lead as a guest artist in the 2014 Muhlenberg production of Kurt Weill’s American opera, “Street Scene.”

“Ed has been a mainstay of the music department for years, and is an expert at coaching students to produce the sort of sound that this show demands,” Richter says. “Sammy is our hip-hop teacher. His choreography is very spunky — really different and interesting.”

Reyes says he loves “Pirates” as much as he loves working with Richter, and that he expects that audiences will be excited by his choreography.

“It’s challenging to perform opera while you’re also moving to very specific stylized movements, gestures, and rhythms,” Reyes says. “This show features such amazing young talent.”

“Pirates” tells the story of an accidental pirate’s apprentice named Frederic and his swashbuckling misadventures on the high seas. Along the way, he encounters the beautiful Mabel, the deceitful Ruth, the powerful Pirate King, and the absurd Major-General Stanley, who patter-sings the famous “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” towards the end of the first act.

“It’s a right work out,” says Nicky Rosolino, one of the two actors who will play Major-General Stanley, of his big song. “There is nothing quite like standing on top of a barrel and boasting about your range of talents to a crowd of pirates and adopted daughters.”

Jake Parisse, the other Major-General, says, “Charlie makes sure that the comedic rhythm of the character is maintained while encouraging Nicky and me to make very different and unique choices.”

Two sets of principal actors will alternate performances to allow vocal rest between shows — and to showcase the talents of the theater and dance department. The cast performs the show’s demanding score with a 21-piece orchestra — and without benefit of microphones.

“I’d think about coming twice,” Richter says. “The show is different with each cast. I think both of them have some really great comics and some really great singers. There are bright futures here.”

Between the Mainstage season and Summer Music Theatre, this is Muhlenberg’s fifth production of “Pirates.” Members of past productions are invited to return to campus for a reunion reception after the performance on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The last production, in 2005, featured what Richter calls “an all-star cast” of actors who have gone on to high-profile success, including Frankie J. Grande (“Rock of Ages,” “Mamma Mia!” on Broadway), George Psomas (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “South Pacific” on Broadway), and Michael Biren (national tour of “Billy Elliot”), among others.

“The Pirate King was one of my favorite roles at Muhlenberg,” say Psomas, who played the fierce but loveable rogue in Richter’s last production. “Who doesn’t want to sing that incredible music, lead a band of pirates, and carry a sword? The experience taught me so much about playing into the unique style and comedy of Gilbert and Sullivan, and it also taught me that I am capable of growing mutton chops.”

Along with “HMS Pinafore” and “The Mikado,” “The Pirates of Penzance” stands the test of time as one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most widely produced and well-received operettas, Richter says. Its wry humor, clever lyrics, and catchy tunes make it popular even 136 years after its premiere.

“The play was written by the best comic writer of his time and the best composer of his time,” Richter says. “It’s a parody of 19th century melodramas and 19th century grand opera. All kinds of zany plot devices happen. Modern audiences have the best time with it. It’s opera for people who think operas are ridiculous.”

The production is family friendly, and young audiences are encouraged to attend. Children who attend the matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 6 dressed as pirates can attend for just $4.

Thursday, Nov. 3 will be an Accessible Performance, with Open Captioning for patrons with hearing loss and Audio Description for patrons who are blind or low-vision. Please reserve tickets in advance for the accessible section of the performance by calling Jess Bien at 484-664-3087 or emailing

“The Pirates of Penzance” will be performed in the Empie Theatre, in the Baker Center for the Arts. Performances are Friday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m.; Nov. 3-5, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m. Regular admission is $22. Youth and student tickets are $8, and groups of 15 or more can purchase discount tickets for $16. Tickets and information are available at or 484-664-3333.

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 No. 1 in the country in its 2017 edition, and has consistently ranked the program in the top twelve in the nation. The 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.

Mosaic Community Gardens News

Mosaic Community Gardens are always “popping up” with opportunities to become a member or join the Community Land Trust board.

Join us for a social evening at our newest garden location, Elizabeth B. Barth Elementary School, to find out more about the organization or to reserve your garden bed for the 2017 growing season.  The FREE evening social takes place on Friday, October 28 from 5-7 PM. We will be inside the school – meals will be served and information offered!  Please plan to join us!

Contact our garden manager at 484-300-2410 if you have any questions or need additional information.

Also, our next workshop is in the “works”, please be on the lookout for more details in an upcoming email, Facebook post and on our website!

Arts Advocate – October 2016


Data collection and analysis are essential advocacy tools. It requires a certain amount of ruthlessness however, to collect information from the arts community.

Every five years the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has undertaken research to track the state of the arts in the region and compare the results to national trends. The findings from the 2012 Arts & Economic Prosperity study of the region’s nonprofit arts industry revealed a $208 million industry—one that provides 7,114 full-time jobs and generates $21 million in state and local taxes annually. Very impressive, don’t you think?

Currently, the Arts Council is in the midst of gathering data for the 2017 study. Throughout 2016, I have been urging cultural nonprofits to complete an organizational expenditure survey, as well as assist me in surveying audiences at 16 various performances or events. We now have 40 groups onboard and 500 audience surveys completed. That leaves another 60 groups and 300 audience members to chase down.

The more data we collect will translate into a bigger story about how the region’s nonprofit arts industry boosts our economy. Heads up! I’m coming for you!
Randall Forte, Executive Director

ARTS COUNT: Get fired up for Arts Count at Smooth-On!

“What’s the deal with this place, Smooth-On?”

It’s okay to wonder what Smooth-On, Inc. is and how it relates to our upcoming event, Arts Count! We’ve received a few inquiries about this company and it’s location with a huge warehouse in Macungie (formerly Day-Timers) that doesn’t appear to be a place to host a celebration. However, when you see the work of Smooth-On products, it will all make perfect sense! The entrance alone is sure to wow our guests.

Trust us, you won’t want to miss the Arts Count fun!!

Head over to Smooth-On’s Facebook page and you’ll get a taste of how their products are used for movie props and characters!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
5:30–7:30 PM
Smooth-On, Inc., 5600 Lower Macungie Road, Macungie, PA

Don’t forget to RSVP at 610-437-5915 by Friday, October 14th!



AUDIO DESCRIPTION TRAINING: Two-Day Workshop Opportunity

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

Audio Description Training

Two-Day Workshop
NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 2016
9am to 4pm (both days)
Muhlenberg College | Allentown, PA

As an introduction to the training, students of the workshop will enjoy an audio-described performance, Pirates of Penzance, on
Thursday, NOVEMBER 3, 2016
Trexler Pavilion | Muhleberg College | Allentown, PA


We are pleased to have our newest Featured Artist’s work displayed through the end of October.

Dattatreya Phadke is a local pathologist by training, but he also has an artistic side that he dedicates much of his free time to producing beautiful, intricately constructed work – ALL IN FABRIC! His work is quite mesmerizing – at first glance it appears to be a painting, but when the viewer steps forward, the thousands of tiny fabric scraps (some brought over directly from India) are visible. His work is truly a must-see!

Come visit our office and view Dattatreya’s work during normal business hours until the end of October. Our parking lot is open for visitors now (it had previously been under construction)!

To view images of Dattatreya Phadke’s work, visit his Exhibiting Artist page!



Aizuri Quartet
October 14, 2016 at 7:30pm

Foy Hall | Behtlehem

Modigliani String Quartet
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Cathedral Church of the Nativity | Bethlehem


“A Boo-Roque Hallowe’en II” – Baroque & Monteverdi Ensembles
October 23, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Behtlehem

Moravian College Celtic Ensemble & Guitar Ensemble
October 30, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Vocal Ensemble
November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Combo I & Jazz Combo II
November 5, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Flute Troupe – Saxophone Quartet – Woodwind Ensemble
November 6, 2016 at 4:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Delta Omicron Musicale
November 6, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

M.I.M.E. – Moravian Improvised Music Ensemble
November 9, 2016 at 9:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Community Orchestra
November 13, 2016 at 7:00pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Salon Ensemble
November 14, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College BIG Band
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Trombone Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble
November 21, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem


Murdered to Death


not-just-Art Auction
October 21, 2016 at 7:00pm
Brookside Country Club | Macungie

Enchantment Times Three
November 19, 2016 at 7:30pm
First Presbyterian Church | Allentown

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊

MCCC To Celebrate 30 Years Of Arts Excellence With 2016-17 Lively Arts Season

Blue Bell, PA —Montgomery County Community College will celebrate three decades of bringing world-class entertainment, soul-enriching music, peerless comedy and thought-provoking discussion to the community through its 2016-17 Lively Arts season.

Since 1986, the Lively Art series has connected the community through electrifying musical, dance and theater performances, stimulating workshops and lectures, Young Arts Explorers events and meet-the-artist receptions. This year’s season promises even more with its family series and a new film series. Visit or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

The series continues with a host of musical, theater and comedy performances, including:

·      The Capitol Steps (Oct. 16) – The popular, award-winning group will share its special brand of satirical political humor – just in time for the presidential election – through song parodies and skits that play off recent headlines.

·      Repertorio Español’s Production of “El Quijote” (Oct. 22) – The classic story of the Man of La Mancha is told in Spanish with English captions by experienced and emerging Latino theater artists.

·      The Joey Alexander Trio (Nov. 6) – Child prodigy Joey Alexander, a 13-year-old self-taught Indonesian jazz pianist who released his first album in 2015, has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton and at prestigious jazz festivals.

·      Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland (Dec. 4) – Venerated Memphis-born jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd, who has played with such legends as B.B. King and Bobbie “Blue” Bland and has recorded with The Doors and the Beach Boys, brings his mastery of tenor saxophone, flute, piano and more to audiences in a blend of jazz, world music and other genres.

·      Aaron Diehl Quartet featuring Warren Wolf (Feb. 11) – Diehl, a Juilliard grad and Cole Porter jazz fellow who has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is joined by Berklee-trained multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Warren Wolf for an evening of jazz blended with hip-hop, funk, rock and world music.

·      Cyrille Aimée (Feb. 18) – The jazz vocalist and French native, who has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “astonishingly creative…with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas [and] impeccable rhythm,” brings a gypsy sensibility to her singing.

·      James “Blood” Ulmer Odyssey Trio (Feb. 25) – Ulmer, a jazz and blues guitarist, singer and recording artist, applies his southern roots in gospel toward a highly individualized sound described as “a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield.”

·      Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit “Chord Nation” (Mar. 4) –Philadelphia-native guitar expert Monnette Sudler will present “Chord Nation,” featuring M’OUD Swing Moroccan Oriental Jazz, Paul Bollenback Portraits of Space and Time Quartet with Orin Evans, Mike Boone and Byron Landham, Gloria Galanta Harp Jazz Ensemble featuring Monnette Sudler and introducing Nasir Dickerson, soloist bringing his African melodies on the African harp-Kora.

·      Sébastien Lépine (Mar. 12) –  Lépine – the award-winning Canadian cellist, chamber musician, conductor and composer who breathes new life into classical music – will join forces with 4 Ailes, a string quartet that has performed all over Quebec and shared the stage with Ingrid St.-Pierre and other accomplished artists.

·      Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (Apr. 1) – The Grammy-winning pianist, composer and founding artistic director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance performs with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has preserved the music of his father, the legendary Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill.

·      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Apr. 7) – Known as the “bad boys of jazz,” this troupe of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago formed a group as children under their trumpet-playing father, Kelan Phil Cohran, and has played with everyone from Prince to Mick Jones of The Clash.

·      Koresh Dance Company (Apr. 29) – Now in its 25th year, this acclaimed dance company led by Israeli founder Ronen “Roni” Koresh has toured extensively and been praised for its “rich, multicultural blend of intensity and physicality” offering “all the finesse and grace of a ballet with the athleticism of an Olympic sport.”

New this year in honor of the Lively Arts’ 30th anniversary, the College will debut a film series sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation On Screen/In Person. Films include:

·      You Belong to Me (Oct. 18, 3 p.m.), an expose of what it meant to be an African American in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s as seen through the lens of a bizarre sex- and race-related murder.

·      Love thy Nature (Nov. 8, 4 p.m.), a cinematic journey narrated by Liam Neeson about the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

·      Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save our World’s Children (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.), which profiles the man who led a revolution in vaccine innovation that saved millions of young lives.

·      Real Boy (Mar. 21, 7 p.m.), a coming-of-age story about a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man.

·      States of Grace (Apr. 13, 3 p.m.), an award-winning portrait of devotion and trust that documents one woman’s fight to restore her life with her partner and teenage daughter after a tragic accident results in a seven-week coma and a dozen surgeries.

In its annual Young Arts Explorers series, the College will engage children through highly entertaining, educational performances, including:

·      Janet’s Planets (Jan. 26), a live performance from Janet Ivey of the popular TV show in which she explores science, technology, engineering, art, math and the wonders of the galaxy through an imaginative, interactive learning adventure

·      Seussical (Jan. 27), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs

For its new Family Series, the College will engage audiences of all ages with:

·      Seussical (Jan. 28), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs ·

Okee Dokee Brothers (Mar. 11), the Grammy-winning performers who use family-oriented Americana folk music to inspire kids to go outside, be creative and gain a greater respect for the natural world and their communities

The Lively Arts Series events are held in the Science Center Theater at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

For more information, visit, email or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at

$9.99 RUSH TICKETS: Charley’s Aunt, Presented By Act 1 DeSales L

Act 1 DeSales presents

Charley’s Aunt

Friday, September 30, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Main Stage of the
Labuda Center of the Arts

2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034

Charley’s Aunt is set during the Victorian era at Oxford University, in the quarters of two undergraduates who frantically search for a way to express their love to their soon departing sweethearts. The solution to their problem comes in the form of Charley’s aunt who is visiting from Brazil. With her acting as a chaperone, the boys can invite their lovers to an official lunch and finally pop the question. However, all goes wrong when a message arrives informing the boys that the aunt is delayed and won’t make it in time. In a last ditch effort the young lads coerce their friend to don a dress and become “Charley’s aunt.” Throughout the afternoon the troublesome trio fumble through spastic conversations, unexpected suitors, cat-and-mouse meet-ups, and the occasional teatime mishap. Charley’s Aunt is a frenzied farce filled with so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.

Click Here to Buy
Last Minute Discount
RUSH Tickets
for ONLY

(price of regular General Admission ticket is $25.00)
Rush Tickets available online only
through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office

Please Note:
** Rush Tickets are available for Orchestra seating only.

** Convenience fee of $2.50 is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $12.49)

For additional information, please visit Act 1, DeSales University’s Website or call: 610-282-3192 .

Lehigh Valley Arts Council

Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. For more information, visit:

Muhlenberg College Directors’ Festival Features Will Eno Short Plays, World Premiere One-Act

Allentown, PA — An evening of visionary experimental theater will be on display as Muhlenberg College’s mainstage theatre and dance season opens Sept. 28, with “Attention: New Visions Directors’ Festival.” The directors whose work will be featured in the festival say they aim to shine a light on human behavior in a complicated, broken, beautiful society. The festival is the first of two on the Muhlenberg mainstage this fall and will showcase the work of two talented directors from the College’s Department of Theatre & Dance.

Running through Oct. 2, the evening includes short, relatable plays that use heightened, imaginative situations to offer witty and moving answers to questions about knowing each other. The world premiere of “The Imaginary Audience” by Mattie Brickman is directed by Emma Steiger ’17, and “Oh, the Humanity & Other Good Intentions,” three short plays by Will Eno, is directed by Sarah Bedwell ’17.

“The Imaginary Audience” tells the story of three adolescent ballet dancers learning the difference between performing onstage, performing in society, and performing identity, Steiger says.

“The title of the play is taken from a psychological concept I think we all understand too well,” Steiger says. “Clinically, the Imaginary Audience comes from the way that adolescents perform in society due to a feeling of constant surveillance. But the concept has broader implications for all of us.”

The play invites us to eavesdrop on the three young dancers, desperate to meet the dance world’s harsh standards and to fit in. While flexing their internet muscle, the girls take things a step too far—and discover a shocking secret. 

Steiger worked with playwright Mattie Brickman in Los Angeles over the summer, and she and the cast will continue collaborating with her by email and phone. Brickman plans to attend a performance.

“I want the play to both resemble and mock reality,” Steiger says. “I want it to come as a shock.”

“Oh, the Humanity & Other Good Intentions” is a collection of three short plays in which the characters set out to present themselves in the best light, given some difficult circumstances—”or ultimately, desperately, any light at all,” says Sarah Bedwell, who directs the collection.

“I’m really interested in exploring how people deal with tragic events,” she says. “We often overlook the way we react to others in the face of those events.”

In “Enter the Spokeswoman, Gently,” an inexperienced airline spokeswoman gives a press conference to the families of victims immediately after a plane has gone down. In “The Bully Composition,” a photographer and his assistant seem to be asking the audience to recreate a famous photo from the Spanish American War. In the title piece, a husband and wife figure out that they can’t get where they want to go because they are in a play and their car is made of chairs.

“I want my audience to look at these absurd events and realize they are not so absurd,” Bedwell says. “In exploring that, we’re exploring what it means to be human.”

“Attention: New Visions Directors’ Festival” plays Sept. 28 – Oct. 2. For mature audiences. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Regular admission tickets are $15. Tickets for youth and LVAIC students and staff are $8.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 484-664-3333. Performances are in the Studio Theatre in Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 West 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.


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

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
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

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

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.

Pottstown Puts Best Foot Forward With Another Spectacular ‘Carousel of Flavor’ Food Festival

wp_20160918_13_13_20_proThousands flocked to High Street in downtown Pottstown today for the 13th Annual Carousel of Flavor. This event is the primary fundraiser for the Carousel at Pottstown and one of the largest events hosted in the borough.  It turned out to be a beautiful day after some rain overnight and early this morning seemed menacing.

The trolley was carrying people from the festival site to the carousel building on regular intervals.  When I went, the trolley was full.  I noticed many folks taking advantage of the free ride.

sight_2016_09_18_193433_675-1The carousel is hopefully going to be up and running by the end of October.  This has been a decade long project that has finally reached completion.  We congratulate the Carousel committee and everyone involved for making this project a reality!

Here is a link to the entire album of photos from today 

Training Workshop For Audio Description, Presented By The Lehigh Valley Arts Council‏

On November 4 and 5, 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in cooperation with Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance, will present a two-day workshop, “Audio Description for the Theatre,” from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. As an introduction to the training, attendees will also experience an audio-described performance of The Pirates of Penzance on Thursday evening, November 3rd at 8:00 p.m. in the Baker Center.

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

The Arts Council has contracted Mimi Smith, former Executive Director of VSA Pennsylvania, and her husband Steve Smith to provide the training. Both of them have been describers for more than two decades and were cofounders of Amaryllis Theatre Co., a professional Philadelphia theatre that regularly hired theatre artists with disabilities. They will introduce the class to the foundational skills—Observation, Analysis, and Communication—necessary to audio describe stage productions.

$35 for members; $50 for nonmembers. For additional information on location and registration, visit

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.


Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Pottstown, PA –  Classical Guitarist Russell Ferrara begins the 2016 fall season with 3 formal and informal performances in Pottstown. He will perform for the Steel River Playhouse Gala on Saturday September 10 at 7:00 PM, for Pottstown FARM on High Street on September 15 with sets interspersed throughout the 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM event. On September 24 he will present informal performances as well as pop up classes on guitar and ukulele at the Pottstown Latin Festival. Information and
tickets to the Steel River Playhouse Gala are available at Pottstown FARM and the Pottstown Latin Festival are free and open to the public.

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

These performances mark the end of a highly productive summer for Ferrara, who has been performing and teaching in and around Pottstown since the opening of Steel River playhouse in 2008. He began the summer with a 10 day trip to Georgia to perform, teach and direct guitar ensembles with his flute playing partner Kim Robson. Upon returning from Georgia he taught ukulele classes and workshops at Pottstown Middle School and Steel River Playhouse, made his first appearance at Pottstown FARM and went immediately into rehearsals for the Wings of Hope benefit concert at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville. From there he and Robson began sessions for their completed but as yet unreleased album. He took time away from the studio only to do a run in the pit band of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at the SALT theater in Yellow Springs.

Ferrara begins this month presenting the class “Ukulele Fun” at Steel River Playhouse. Designed to provide an introduction to playing string instruments, “Ukulele Fun” uses music familiar to everyone to build solid playing skills. The format of the class is ensemble based with everyone playing together in a fast-paced fun environment. Ferrara brings his years of experience performing and directing guitar ensembles to the design and format of the class. Further information can be found at

Upcoming Music Classes And Performances‏ Flute Haven/Spirit Grass

Flute Haven Native Flute School Returns to Valley Forge

Do you love the soothing sounds of the Native Flute? Come to a workshop or concert this September!

Flute Haven is a retreat for musicians of all levels of experience. While our focus is the Native American flute, we seek to broaden all aspects of our musicianship and offer people the opportunity to go deep into many directions: flute playing, performance skills, percussion, voice, recording, facilitation, flute making, and jamming with other instruments. http://flutehaven.comCome to one of our concerts! SpiritGrass, comprised of staff members for Flutehaven, will appear at Steel City Coffeehouse Sept. Wed. 9/14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Spirit Grass: Live at Steel City Coffee House on Wednesday September 14th
$12 in advance, $15 at the door
Free concert Friday Sept 16, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Rose Hall: Camphill Village,
1601 Pughtown Rd. Kimberton, PA.
Flutehaven Improv Orchestra,
40 orchestrated Native flutes
Flute Haven Native Flute School September 11th ~ September 18th
Choose from 3 different programs: Leadership program 11-18, Week long program 13-18, Weekend program Sept. 16-18
Join us at the Bistro on Bridge Club 212, Bridge St. Phoenixville
Sat. Sept 17, 6:00 – 9:00 pm  for the Flutehaven Open mic. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the Native flute.  $26.  Dinner or just stop in for a drink.


ArtFusion Fundraiser Supports Free Field Trip Program‏

ArtFusion-color600 1Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464, Pottstown’s non-profit community art center, will be holding its summer fundraiser on Saturday, August 13 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the ArtFusion facility. This annual event gets a new twist this year, as the food offering has been expanded to three types of delicious barbeque.

Proceeds from this fundraiser are very important to ArtFusion’s upcoming fall programming. Funds raised help to provide free field trips to local schools in conjunction with ArtFusion’s fall educational exhibit. This year’s show is titled Reclaim and will feature artwork created from recycled, upcycled and salvaged materials. The artists have been challenged to reclaim the definition of art, to show that creativity and imagination can expand the view of art as just paint and canvas.

Each field trip is tailored to the age of the students and is a fun, interactive learning experience.  Students who visit during Reclaim will learn important facts about the environment, recycling and the newest inventions in the fight to tame our trash. They will also have an opportunity to create a piece of recycled art themselves. In keeping with the theme, field trip facilitators will talk with the students about how we can reclaim control over our how we interact with our world and how we affect the health and well-being of our planet.

Tickets for the fundraiser are only $25. If the event has not sold out, tickets will be available at the door. Tickets can be bought online at, in person at ArtFusion, or over the phone by calling 610-326-2506. Guests can choose a barbeque entrée, or a vegetarian option.

LowResVBCLogoVictory Brewing Company has once again generously donated their amazing beer for this event. The Butcher and The BBQ will be expertly crafting the entrees, and Montesano Bros. will again be creating their amazing side salads. The MOSAIC Community Gardens in Pottstown will be donating a fresh salad for everyone to enjoy. There will be soda and water in addition to Victory beer and homemade desserts to finish off the meal.

Along with enjoying great food and great beer, guests will have the chance to win fun door prizes.  Each guest will receive one door prize chance free with their paid ticket. Additional tickets will be on sale throughout the night. Those who are unable to make the fundraiser can still try their luck by purchasing raffle tickets at the ArtFusion website.

ArtFusionGuests could win a $50 Wegman’s gift card, a Bread of the Month gift certificate from Panera Bread, Steel River tickets, tickets for the Reading Fightin Phils, original artwork and special ArtFusion Experiences, where the winner will work with one of ArtFusion’s talented instructors for a one-of-a-kind creative experience. Topics include stained glass, pottery, fused glass and more.

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 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.