Pottstown, 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 artfusion19464.org, in person at ArtFusion, or over the phone by calling 610-326-2506. Guests can choose a barbeque entrée, or a vegetarian option.
Victory 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.
Guests 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.
|MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: What I Did This Summer
This summer I have been out front in the Lehigh Valley more than usual, surveying audiences at various arts events. The study, Arts & Economic Prosperity V, is part of a national study to determine the economic impact of the nonprofit arts industry.
Sounds dry, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s been fun to mingle with arts patrons and bump into old friends at the theatre or a concert. It is too early to tell, but attendance at these events seems very strong.
The data collection continues through 2016, and the results of the analysis will be released in Spring 2017 at a public forum, Whose Business is the Arts? For the past twenty years, the Lehigh Valley region has enjoyed double-digit increases that are far above the national average. The previous study in 2012 determined that arts and culture was a $208 million industry. It will be fascinating to see what the numbers tell us this time. Maybe I am turning into a data-geek!
Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce that Jodie Scharadin has won a Best in Show award for her collagraph titled Bullrush Tops. The piece is part of the Summer Member Show currently on display in the ArtFusion main gallery through August 20. The show features work by ArtFusion’s Working Artist Members, a group of talented and dedicated local artists who work in a variety of different mediums. The show can be seen during their summer gallery hours: Wednesday-Friday 10 am-5 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm.
The prize was judged by Susan Biebuyck, gallery director of Studio B in Boyertown. As the winner, Scharadin will be a featured artist in Studio B’s annual holiday show.
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 am-5 pm and Saturday 10 am-3 pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.
Pottstown, PA 19464
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 – 10:00am – 11:30am
If you are a parent (age 24 or under), join the Pottstown Family Center for FREE Summer Playgroups at the Spray Park!
Playgroups take place in a relaxed setting and feature a discussion topic for parents, a parent/child activity, and snacks for children and parents to enjoy.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Fountain of Youth Spray Park
King and Manatawny Streets
Pottstown, PA 19464
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Kari Williams at 610-326-1610 ext. 326 or email@example.com.
Genesis Housing is joining with the Hill School, Art Fusion 19464, Pottstown Athletic Club, Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, CustomFit and others to create a day for families to spend time together learning about low-cost outdoor and indoor activities available in our area.
The Pottstown Community Field Day will take place on Saturday, August 27th from 11 AM – 2 PM (Rain date: Sunday, August 28th) at the Chestnut Street Park (Washington & Chestnut Streets). There will be 15 stations of fitness/sports or other activities for group participation for about 5 minutes. The DJ will play family appropriate music continuously until the 5 minutes are up. At that time, the DJ will use audio equipment to announce SWITCH and each group will move on to a new station. Each participant will receive a coin for every station they complete. When they complete 10 stations, participants will receive a free gift. We will track how many people completed the minimum challenge equating to at least 45 minutes of fitness.
We are asking for area businesses and organizations to participate in the 3-hour event by making a donation, facilitating fitness stations and setting up information tables. In appreciation for any organization that donates and/or participates, we will advertise their company in social media outlets and in printed materials. We will also provide the opportunity to set up an information table and include coupons or other information in the free gift packs.
For more information or to support the event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 300-2410. Please join us and be a part of this great day!
Pottstown, PA – On August 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Pottsgrove Manor’s living history volunteers, dressed in colonial period clothing, will be living life the 18th century way.
Come spend a casual summer Sunday afternoon at historic Pottsgrove Manor and enjoy the 18th century surroundings as volunteers demonstrate colonial trades and pastimes. Activities may include needlework, tape weaving, hornsmithing, cooking, and more. Visitors can watch, learn, and even join in! Activities will vary from week to week, so call ahead or check the site’s webpage at http://www.montcopa.org/PottsgroveManor to find out what will be offered each day.
A donation of $2.00 per person is suggested for this program. Guests can also tour the manor house, see the museum’s current exhibit, “Potts & Family: Colonial Consumers,” and shop in the museum store during their visit.
The “Colonial Consumers” exhibit can also be viewed during a guided tour of Pottsgrove Manor during regular museum hours now through November 6th. Regular museum hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of ten or more should preregister 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
Malvern, PA – Hoover Financial Advisors, PC was been named to the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers earlier this month (June). The list recognizes top independent RIA firms from across the U.S.
This is the third annual FT 300 list, produced independently by the Financial Times Ltd. in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides business intelligence on the investment management industry.
More than 1,500 pre-screened RIA firms were invited to apply for consideration, based on their assets under management (AUM). Applicants that applied were then graded on six criteria: AUM; AUM growth rate; years in existence; advanced industry credentials of the firm’s advisors; online accessibility; and compliance records. Neither the RIA firms nor their employees pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 300.
The average FT 300 firm has been in existence for 22 years and manages $2.6 billion in assets.
The 300 top RIAs hail from 34 states and Washington, D.C.
HFA, which is headquartered on Moores Road in Malvern, was launched in 2005 by Pete Hoover, who has been an independent financial advisor for more than 30 years. Since its inception, HFA has quadrupled in size. Staff members include certified financial planners, financial advisors, investment analysts, insurance and tax specialists, attorneys, a certified portfolio manager, and an information services manager. In 2012, HFA was selected as Small Business of the Year by Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. For more information, visit its website at http://www.petehoover.com or call 610.651.2777.
The attached PDF file is a wealth of information about summer events for the whole family that are going on in Pottstown this summer.
Allentown, PA — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights” — the precursor to his blockbuster Broadway hit “Hamilton” — runs July 13-31 as the second production of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre season. The show tells a story that many of its cast hold close to their hearts: the story of families and cultures that have been transplanted from far away.
Many of the show’s 20 actors and dancers can tell you a story about their families coming to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico, or Cuba, or the Dominican Republic. For some, that story is not so long in the past. Wilma Rivera, for example, is a professional actress, a Muhlenberg College alumna, and a first-generation American. She says “In the Heights” is the story of her family.
“When I saw ‘In the Heights’ on Broadway, there was this moment when the music of the first number started, and it captured so beautifully the experience of what it’s like to be a Latino,” says Rivera, who plays Camila. “It’s that struggle to maintain an identity and also to assimilate — especially in New York City.”
“In the Heights” was a hit when it opened in 2008, running more than a thousand performances and bringing its composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to the attention of theatergoers. Miranda’s innovative score melded the rhymes and rhythms of hip-hop with the Latin-style music of salsa and merengue, and, together with Quiara Alegría Hudes’ book, captured the sights, sounds and stories of the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.
The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was short-listed for a Pulitzer Prize the following year. Miranda also won the Tony for Best Score. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director Alex Lacamoire also won Tony Awards for their Latin- and hip-hop-inflected choreography and orchestrations. The three would reunite with director Thomas Kail to create “Hamilton.”
“Miranda is deeply versed in ’90s hip-hop,” says James Peck, who directs the production for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. “He picks up beats and rhythm structures and song structures from hip-hop, and he incorporates salsa, merengue, and other Latin styles — but he’s also a musical theatre fanboy from the age of five. The results are really a musical tour-de-force.”
MSMT’s production features choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara. John Raley designed the set, Lex Gurst designed costumes, John McKernon designed lights, and Patrick Moren designed sound.
Peck credits choreographer Reyes as a driving force behind bringing the show to the MSMT stage.
“Sammy is a hip-hop dancer, a theater artist, and a Puerto Rican. He has a deep understanding of the cultural dynamics at work in this piece,” Peck says. “I wouldn’t have had the temerity to the play without him. It was Sammy saying, ‘I’ve got to do “In the Heights”‘ that made it come together.”
“In the Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood — a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
Miranda himself was born in Washington Heights, and grew up in Linwood, one neighborhood over. His parents had moved to New York from Puerto Rico, and every summer, he visited his grandparents back on the island.
Wilma Rivera’s classmate at Muhlenberg, Gabe Martínez, also remembers feeling like he was watching his own family’s history on stage when he first saw “In the Heights.” Martínez saw the show for the first time a year to the day after his grandmother passed away.
“The actress who played Abuela Claudia was the spitting image of my abuela,” says Martínez, who stars as Usnavi, the role that Miranda played on Broadway. “As soon as she walked out on stage, my father and I started weeping. We were at the matinee; I bought the cast recording on the way home and had it memorized by the time I went to bed.”
Martínez’s grandparents moved from Puerto Rico to New York in the 1940s, shortly after his grandfather returned from service in World War II.
“They wrote to each other every day, planning their move to New York, the American dream,” Martínez says. “When the war was over, he hadn’t been home a week when they bought a plane ticket and headed to the Bronx.”
Rivera has a similar connection to the material. Her father immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1970s. Her mother was born in East Harlem, but moved to Puerto Rico as a small child. Both came from poverty, she says. Her mother was the only one in her family to go to college. When Rivera went off to Muhlenberg to study acting, she was the first in her family to attend college on the mainland — and, like Nina in “In the Heights,” she almost gave it up after her freshman year. Department chair Charles Richter talked her into staying.
“‘We need you here,’ he told me.”
Rivera and Martínez were the only two Latino students in the theater program at the time. Neither of them ever had the chance before now to play a Latino character on the Muhlenberg stage — and the opportunity is what drew them back. Both of them have worked steadily as actors since graduating — Rivera in 2009, and Martínez in 2010 — but they have had to be flexible in order to do it.
“I’ve spent my entire professional career praying to see a casting call saying ‘ethnically ambiguous — slash — Latino,'” Martínez says. “We were the only two Latino kids in our class, and now there are lots of kids, and this is their first professional gig, and we’re just so happy for them to start out this way, that these kids are having this opportunity.”
Rivera echoes his enthusiasm.
“This department has really embraced students of color and encouraged their talents, and really raised them up,” she says. “I’m very proud of this college and to be an alumna of this college, and I just hope it continues to grow.”
Martínez and Rivera’s deep connection to “In the Heights” is a common thread through the entire cast, Peck says.
“When people have a chance to be part of a show that speaks to their own experience, they make a significant personal investment in that show,” he says. “It’s rare that these stories get told, and when people have the chance to be a part of these stories, they grab onto that chance.”
In fact, Rivera’s connection to the show runs so deep that she got a tattoo of one of its lyrics, “Paciencia y fe,” a song sung by Abuela Claudia. The lyric reminds her of her own abuela, who died in January.
“It’s heartbreaking to lose that matriarch of a Latin family,” Rivera says. “She’s the stone and we’re all the ripples of what she leaves behind. It holds weight, I think, in this world, that we remember who we are and where we’re from. Gabe and I are very lucky that we have that image of our parents and remember the struggle.”
The actor who plays Abuela Claudia in the production — jazz vocalist, scholar and activist Roberta Meek — agrees. Meek had only one grandparent growing up, and ike Abuela Claudia — and like Rivera and Martínez’s abuelas — she was the keeper of the family’s stories.
“My grandmother was literally the historian of the family,” Meek says. “Her father was born into slavery, and he had been searching for his mother ever since. My grandmother was the griot,” the person who maintains the oral history tradition in many West African cultures. “You came to her for school.”
“In the Heights” is Meek’s first musical theater performance, although she has been performing as a jazz vocalist in the Lehigh Valley for more than 20 years. She also contributed stories and songs to the Touchstone Theatre project “Another River Flows: a Celebration of the Lehigh Valley Black Experience.”
One of the things that “In the Heights” gets right, Rivera says, is the sabor — the flavor of Latin culture and of the Washington Heights community.
“This show is packed full of sabor,” she says.
Some of that flavor is visual; much of it comes from the rhythm and choreographic energy that choreographer Samuel Reyes has brought to the project.
“The blend of salsa, hip-hop and contemporary movement is very exciting for me as a choreographer — and we have found such a dynamic, crazy talented cast,” Reyes says. “This show is going to punch a hole in the wall, both visually and emotionally. I’m just so damn proud to be part of it.”
“In the Heights” plays July 13-31 at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. Performances take place in the Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre, in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices for the first four performances are $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. Prices for the rest of the run are $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20.
Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/smt or 484-664-3333.
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council announces to the community the release of the new ARTix Passport to the Arts, a buy-one, get-one-free ticket to eighteen arts and cultural venues through June 30, 2017. Dance, musical, theatrical, and historical offerings are just some of the travel destinations offered by the passport.
“This year marks the 18th anniversary of this successful arts marketing promotion,” says Randall Forte, Arts Council Executive Director. “The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to provide regional leadership that advances the arts in this growing community.”
Over the years, the Arts Council has increased the circulation of ARTix and opened the door wider for all people to enjoy the arts. Real estate and corporate relocation offices give passports to new residents relocating to the Valley. Local health networks encourage volunteers to enjoy the arts as part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the social service sector offers ARTix to their clients with disabilities, allowing them affordable access to disability-friendly events. There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy—from symphonic to folk music, fine arts to vintage cars, Shakespeare to Broadway musicals—fun and entertainment for the entire family.
The most direct way to receive your very own ARTix Passport to the Arts is simply join the Arts Council. An Individual Membership is reasonably priced at $40 annually. With passport in hand, start planning your itinerary today and build your circle of arts friends. Members also receive discounts to workshops and conferences, subscriptions to the bimonthly Inside the Arts, / Arts Calendar and Lehigh Valley Style, and free admission to the annual spring and fall membership receptions.
ARTix Passport is made possible through the support of Christmas City Printing, The County of Lehigh, and The Harry C. Trexler Trust.
LET’S GET READY TO RUUUMBLE!!!!!
Thousands will descend on Memorial Park in Pottstown this weekend for the Annual Pottstown Rumble Grass Volleyball Tournament. One of the largest such events in the country.
Memorial Park is located off King Street, along the Manatawny Creek, and can be easily reached from Routes 422 and 100. Spectators are welcome and there are food vendors for your convenience.
More information: https://pottstownrumble.com/index.php
Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) General Education Diploma (GED) program reached a milestone during its annual graduation ceremony on June 15. Among the 61 individuals who earned their diplomas was the program’s 1,000th graduate.
Introduced in 2006, MCCC’s six-week GED program is among the most accelerated in the state. Students spend one week of intensive study in each GED subject—reading and language arts, science, social studies and math—then they take the respective test. The program alternates between day and evening classes every six weeks to accommodate as many students as possible.
The GED program and tests are free to Montgomery County residents, thanks to generous sponsorship from Montco Works, Montgomery County’s Workforce Investment Board. The program costs $100 for out-of-county students.
At least 20 of this year’s graduates are already enrolled in credit courses at MCCC. Graduate speaker Timothy Ream, of Schwenksville, is one of them.
“In the last nine months, I have accomplished more than I did in nine years,” Ream told the audience of graduates, family and friends during his remarks. “I’m currently taking summer classes at Montco, and I have a 3.5 GPA. I know it’s not a 4.0, but it’s better than the 0.6 GPA I left high school with.”
Following his emotion-filled speech, Ream surprised GED Program Coordinator Ed Sasek by presenting him with a plaque on behalf of the graduates.
“This man has dedicated his whole life to adult education,” shared Ream.
MCCC Assistant Professor of Geography Samuel Wallace provided the keynote address, during which he shared the story of his father, who earned his GED after surviving polio.
“My father never attended a year of school, not uncommon in a 1940s Kansas dustbowl,” he said. “After surviving polio, he realized he would never again make money with his legs and back. He got a GED and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in science and engineering.”
Wallace shared that his father wrote the first set of guidelines for federal highway maintenance.
“Your career is not the one you thought you would have when you were 16. A GED is one way to get a second strike at the ball. It’s your jumpstart,” he said.
Janet Rojas, youth research and performance coordinator for Montco Works, presented the graduates with their diplomas. She was joined by Dr. David DiMattio, vice president of the West Campus; Nicole Henderson, dean of student affairs; and Peggy Schmidt, chair of the Workforce Investment Board Youth Council.
In her closing remarks, Schmidt drew applause with a reference to ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” television show.
“You, tonight, have in your hands your own Mirrorball Trophy,” said Schmidt. “You are on the steps of an exciting future. So get out and DANCE!”
To learn more about the GED program or GED testing services, visit http://www.mc3.edu/adm-fin-aid/ged.