|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.
On Saturday night, Phil Walz, executive director of the Greater Akron Musical Association Inc., worked through a major symphony concert, then handed over his keys. On Sunday, he packed his truck and drove to Pennsylvania.
Today, he begins work as the new executive director of the eight-year-old GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, Second and Washington streets.
“I see the opportunity to work in Reading as a real honor,” said Walz, 54. “The GoggleWorks’ mission ‘to nurture the arts, foster creativity, promote education, and enrich the community’ is simple yet inspiring.”
He replaces Diane LaBelle, who had overseen the 2004 transformation of a vacant, four-story factory that once made safety equipment into a series of artists’ studios and public spaces, then led its operation for six years. She left in June 2010.