You’re Invited – Free Arts Education Event For The Whole Community!

Three YAA photos

Hello Lehigh Valley Families!

Back by popular demand, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to present the second annual Young at Art Expo on March 11, 2017. Won’t you join us?

Our goal is to connect families to the arts community in an expo-style event that’s both engaging and educational. Held at Penn State Lehigh Valley from 10:00am to 2:00pm, we invite children of all ages and abilities to enjoy an entertaining and creative day – FREE to Lehigh Valley families!

The day will be jam-packed with hands-on activities and performances from the participating groups, from dance routines and theatre workshops to arts demonstrations and craft projects. Information will be available for classes and camps that are perfect for creative learners.

Come dance, sing, create and play! Enjoy fun with the whole family!

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS AND EXPLORE THE ARTS WITH:

Allegro Dance Studios
The Art Establishment
Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley
Banana Factory Arts Center
The Baum School of Art
Community Music School
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
The IceHouse Performing Arts Consortium
Let’s Play Books!
Mayura Academy of Dance
Mikayla’s Voice
Nurture Nature Center
Penn State Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Puertorrican Culture Preservation
Roey’s Paintbox
School of Rock
The Swain School
TLC Charter Arts

Enjoy FREE face painting provided by Funtastic Faces and Body Art!

young-at-art-logo

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Whose Business Is The Arts?

Throughout 2016, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has been gathering data for the Americans for the Arts national economic impact study, Arts & Economic Prosperity V. Once every five years the Arts Council participates in this research by collecting information from cultural nonprofits and their audiences in the counties of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton. Thanks to your participation, we were able to provide nearly 100 organizational surveys and 800 audience surveys from the Lehigh Valley.

Americans for the Arts will analyze the data over the next several months and provide our region with its own detailed report in June 2017. At that time, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Lehigh Valley Partnership will co-host the Whose the Business is the Arts? public forum to release the results to the community and address challenges of mutual concern.

You are invited to serve on the planning committee for creating the agenda for the Whose Business is the Arts? Public Forum. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 23, 2017, from 4:00 to 5:30pm, in the 2nd Floor conference facility in the Butz Corporate Center, 840 Hamilton Street in Allentown.

Please RSVP your intention to attend to rforte@lvartscouncil.org by January 18, 2017. I look forward to working with you.

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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.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council Joins Americans For The Arts’ National Study Of The Economic Impact Of Spending By Nonprofit Arts And Culture Organizations And Their Audiences

Allentown, PA — The Arts in the Lehigh Valley mean business—and jobs. That is the message being delivered today by Lehigh Valley Arts Council who announced it has joined the Arts & Economic Prosperity® 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences. The research study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization advancing the arts and arts education. It is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents, and revenue generated to local and state governments.

As one of nearly 300 study partners across all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Lehigh Valley Arts Council will collect detailed financial data about our local nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as our theater and dance companies, museums, festivals, and arts education organizations. “Many people don’t think of nonprofit arts organizations as businesses,” said Mike Stershic, President of Discover Lehigh Valley, “but this study will make clear that the arts are a formidable industry in our community—employing people locally, purchasing goods and services from local merchants, and helping to drive tourism.”

Lehigh Valley Arts Council will also collect surveys from attendees at arts events using a short, anonymous questionnaire that asks how much money they spent on items such as meals, parking and transportation, and retail shopping specifically as a result of attending the event. Previous studies have shown that the average attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission. Those studies have also shown that, on average, 32 percent of arts attendees travel from outside the county in which the arts event took place, and that those cultural tourists typically spend nearly $40 per person—generating important revenue for local businesses and demonstrating how the arts drive revenue for other businesses in the community.

Surveys will be collected throughout calendar year 2016. The results of the study will be released in June of 2017.

“Arts are key to the economic development in the Lehigh Valley and have never been more important,” says Randall Forte Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “Hundreds of creative industries, nonprofit cultural organizations, and thousands of individual artists of all disciplines—dance, musical, theatrical, visual, literary and media arts—are invested in our community.”

The 2010 economic impact study of the Lehigh Valley’s nonprofit arts industry revealed a $208 million industry—providing 7,114 full-time jobs and generating $21 million in state and local taxes annually. “Our Arts & Economic Prosperity series demonstrates that the arts are an economic and employment powerhouse both locally and across the nation,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Leaders who care about community and economic vitality can feel good about choosing to invest in the arts. Nationally as well as locally, the arts mean business.” Complete details about the fiscal year 2010 study are available atwww.AmericansForTheArts.org/EconomicImpact.

Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study is supported by The Ruth Lilly Fund of Americans for the Arts. In addition, Americans for the Arts’ local and statewide study partners are contributing both time and a cost-sharing fee support to the study. For a full list of the nearly 300 Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study partners, visit www.AmericansForTheArts.org/AEP5Partners.

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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

Celebrate And Advocate! ARTS COUNT 2015 – Join Us To Celebrate And Rally For The Arts!

arts count

Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
321 E. Third Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Parking is available at 3rd and Polk Streets, in the ArtsQuest overflow lot.
Follow 3rd Street to Polk and turn North between Northampton Community College and Charter Arts, turn right on 2nd Street and parking is available in the ArtsQuest overflow lot. There is also street parking available close by.
 
FREE for Members of the Arts Council & Grant Recipients
$10 Nonmembers & Guests

Fly Magazine Keep South Central Pennsylvania Up To Date On Entertainment, Dining and Nightlife

http://flymagazine.net/ is a great site to visit if you live in or visit Lancaster, York or Harrisburg.  Keeps you up to date on what’s going on, events, dining, music and arts and culture.  Happy Friday!

Three Rivers Arts Festival Lays Out Dance, Art Offerings

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust estimates 400,000 people will attend the 55th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

So, the Trust’s staff has packed the 10-day festival running June 6 to 15, at Point State Park, Downtown, with a diverse schedule of music, visual arts, dance and drama to make sure everyone has a good time.

”It has been our challenge to present a program that provides something for everyone, whether you are new to the arts or a longtime aficionado,” says Veronica Corpuz, director of festival management and special projects for the Trust and the arts festival.

In February, the Trust revealed the free musical-performance headliners, which include a solo performance by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (June 6), bluegrass artists Sam Bush and Trampled By Turtles (June 7 and 8) and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (June 9).

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/6075554-74/dance-festival-june#ixzz31KEegwsh
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

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Planning Underway For 25th Anniversary Celebration Of The Americans With Disabilities Act

Allentown, PA – The Lehigh Valley Arts Council, in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community, announce their plans to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. On July 26, 2015, a year-long celebration will commence with a series of varied arts events that highlight the accessibility and inclusiveness of the region’s cultural organizations. Members of the community are welcome to help plan for this significant undertaking.

The mission is “to engage all citizens of the Lehigh Valley, intentionally securing the participation of persons of all abilities, regardless of physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation, both as audience members and/or providers in the dance, theatrical, musical, visual, literary and media arts.

The first step is to conduct an audit of current accessibility practices in the region among two hundred cultural nonprofits and social service agencies.

The goals include the following:

  1. Strengthening accessibility at cultural nonprofits;
  2. Increasing arts audiences; and
  3. Making the Lehigh Valley more inclusive.

According to U.S. Census data estimates from 2012, the number of non-institutionalized people with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley is 81,000, or 12.7%, which represents a significant number of potential new audiences for the cultural community.

In addition to surveying, the planning committee is arranging for several focus groups with persons with disabilities and their caregivers, and representatives from cultural organizations. The sessions will pinpoint the needs and interests of persons with disabilities as well as the specific challenges still to be implemented by cultural entities.

This is an exciting opportunity to work together and contribute to a future that includes all of us. If you are a caretaker or an artist or person with a disability who would like to participate in a focus group, please contact the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at (610) 437-5915 or rforte@lvartscouncil.org.

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit 501(c)3, membership-supported organization that serves as a regional advocate and ambassador for the Lehigh Valley arts community. Its 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. Through collaborative partnerships, it continues to provide access to the local arts community through education, research, professional development seminars and cooperative marketing initiatives.

Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201

Allentown, PA 18101

610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org

http://www.LVArtsCouncil.org  / http://www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

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A Hard Look At The Future Of Chinatowns

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People who stroll through Chinatown on Saturday nights bathe in the lights of intriguing new restaurants, hip tea shops, and stylish lounges.

But moving beneath that shiny exterior, as strong and powerful as an underground river, is a torrent of forces that threaten the neighborhood’s very existence.

An influx of luxury housing, rising rents and land values, a soaring white population, and slipping Asian population could mean the end of Chinatown’s 140-year role as a gateway for immigrants and a regional hub for culture and family.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by a civil rights and education group that examined two decades of property and demographic records in the three big eastern Chinatowns – New York’s, Boston’s, and Philadelphia’s.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131111_A_hard_look_at_the_future_of_Chinatowns.html#ra7F8e0Rev0gffuc.99

Pittsburgh’s ‘Knit The Bridge’ Project Declared A Success

Seventh Street Bridge (aka Andy Warhol Bridge)...

It was covered by the BBC and NPR, Time.com and the Huffington Post and by media in Europe and Israel.

The vast, improbable, record-breaking Knit the Bridge project — in which the 1,061-foot-long Andy Warhol Bridge was covered with 580 knitted and crocheted blankets during the second weekend of August — is officially a success, according to organizers, public officials, knitting enthusiasts, yarn bombers and people on the streets of Downtown.

Today is the last day to see the largest such “yarn bombing” of a structure in the United States and possibly in the world, before a team of volunteers arrives at 5 a.m. Saturday to start dismantling the project. The bridge will be closed until 7 p.m. Sunday as volunteers undo the thousands of plastic ties fastening the acrylic yarn panels to the structure, said Amanda Gross, a local fiber artist who came up with the idea for the Knit the Bridge project.

As the city basked in warm September sunshine Thursday, those strolling near the 87-year-old steel suspension bridge gave the project rave reviews.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/knit-the-bridge-project-declared-a-success-702219/#ixzz2e8uj3g5u

West Reading’s 19th Annual Art On The Avenue

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SAVE THE DATE:  SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2013 11:00 AM-6:00 PM (RAIN OR SHINE)

The West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation is proud to present the nineteenth annual Art on the Avenue.  The community’s premier family festival features fine arts and crafts made by local juried artists.  Each year thousands of people are drawn to Penn Avenue, West Reading as the event continues to grow.  Located in the Greater Reading hub for arts, culture, shopping, and dining, this event appeals to both novice buyers and experienced art patrons.  Additionally the venue features live music, street performers, local businesses, and specialty foods.

For more information visit www.ArtOnTheAvenue.wrcrf.org

Functionality And Beauty Are The Hallmarks Of StudioVB In Midtown Harrisburg

One of the many new businesses springing up in Midtown Harrisburg is StudioVB.  The interior design studio is co-owned by husband and wife team Logan and Valerie Betz.  Valerie is the Interior Designer and Logan is the Business Manager.

Valerie and Logan have beautifully renovated their own historic Midtown row house and are part of the emerging arts scene that is attracting hip, young professionals, who want the convenience of city living, to Midtown Harrisburg.

Valerie has two degrees, one in Fine Arts and one in Interior Design.   Valerie studied at the New York School of Interior Design and worked for several prestigious design firms in New York City before returning to her native Harrisburg.

Valerie’s love for design has grown into a passion and a great appreciation of the relationship between efficient functionality and beautiful design. She has a particularly strong talent for clean lines, small spaces, combining textures, and refined details.  In addition to being an interior designer, Valerie is a skilled artist.  Being a designer and an artist is a winning combination.

StudioVB is small enough to give you the personalized attention you deserve, yet large enough to tackle a full-scale interior design project.  No project or budget is too small.

StudioVB offers services such as:  interior design, home staging for sale, DIY design plans, re-design, green and sustainable design, e-design, event design, home organization and fine art.

StudioVB wants to help you with your design dilemma in an efficient and affordable way.  They want to make the most of your living space, while adding beauty and functionality to your life and home.

StudioVB serves Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Carlisle and Lebanon.  They will also consider projects across Pennsylvania and in surrounding states.

To learn more about StudioVB:

Internethttp://studiovbdesign.com/

Voice: (717) 884-8243

StudioVB, LLC

218 Verbeke Street

Harrisburg, PA  17102

Studio hours are by appointment only

Monday – Friday from 10am until 6pm

Please call to schedule an appointment.

The Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance

I recently learned of this organization and feel it is important to spread the word that this organization exists and what exactly they are doing to help Pottstown! 

So what exactly is the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance? 

According to their website it is:

The Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance is a result of the collective vision of its founding members: The Gallery School of Pottstown @ Gallery on High, Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, and Village Productions/Tri-County Performing Arts Center.

Our Mission

The mission of the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance is to bring together the arts and cultural organizations of Pottstown for the purpose of articulating and promoting a unified vision.

Our Vision

A cultural district in downtown Pottstown that will increase cultural tourism and awareness of the social and educational importance of the arts.

The arts, cultural activities and tourism are a means of revitalization and economic development for places like Pottstown.  Having a riverfront is a key part.  The Schuylkill River is Pottstown’s southern boundary and flows a few short blocks from High Street. 

An added benefit would be the Montgomery County Community College West Campus and the Hill School.  These two educational resources bring many people into Pottstown who would have an interest in arts, culture, tourism and entertainment (restaurants and nightlife).  The West Campus is strategically located across College Drive from the river.  Their annex building is on High Street, so the college ties the riverfront to downtown Pottstown.  The Hill School already has an excellent arts and culture program along with their own performing arts center and is located at 717 High Street.

The Urban Land Institute report advised Pottstown’s leadership that in order to revitalize this community, a strategy of arts, culture and entertainment should be embraced.  To that end, the Pottstown Arts & Cultural Alliance was formed in 2009 to act as an umbrella organization for transforming Pottstown into an arts and entertainment destination.

For more information you can check out their website at:  http://www.pottstownarts.org/alliance

Lancaster And York: A Tale Of Two Cities

I just read a very interesting article from the York Daily Record comparing York and Lancaster.  I found the article very thought-provoking as a former Lancaster City and suburban Lancaster resident.  I also am somewhat familiar with York.

Of course, I will share my opinion with you since that IS what I do and offer some advice for York in the process.  There is a link at the bottom of this piece where you can read this article for yourself.

I must agree with Sonia Huntzinger, the Director of Downtown Inc. in York.  A comparison is not really fair.  Lancaster and York have some similarities and they are only about 30 miles apart, but that is about where it ends.  There are strategies York can use that Lancaster has already perfected and customize them for York, without reinventing the wheel.   BUT York must also embrace itself and be true to its own history.

The first thing that jumps out at me is that York needs to move on from its past.  Race riots in the late 60’s were 40 years ago and our nation and York have changed since then.  York was not the only city in America to have race riots and bad ones.  Pittsburgh had some humdingers and can anybody remember Watts!?!  But again, that is ancient history and holding on to a negative event from the past is unhealthy!  Let it go!

Secondly, York could be very successful and they are making great strides to that end.  Heritage Tourism in a historic city like York must be fully embraced.  It certainly worked for Lancaster and it will most certainly work for York.  Lancaster has been at this far longer so they are light years ahead of York because of a HUGE head start. 

More than 4 million people visit Lancaster each year as it is one of Pennsylvania’s largest tourist destinations.  York should piggy back on that phenomenon and say to those tourists visiting Lancaster, “Hey! Come on over!  York is only a short car ride away!”  It would enhance the experience for both 18th century cities.  (Lancaster being incorporated in 1742 and York being incorporated in 1787.)  If you take away the Amish factor, there are people who would be interested in touring another “period city” that nearby!

Thirdly, stop looking at each other as “foes” (White Rose vs. Red Rose) and look at each other as business partners.  Frankly, cooperation is a win-win for everybody.  That includes Harrisburg.  These three metropolitan areas are contiguous and should be marketed as a Triad like Winston-Salem, Greensboro & High Point, NC.  Between the Harrisburg, Lancaster and York metropolitan areas (latest population estimates) you have 536,919 HBG + 507,766 LANC + 424,583 YORK = 1,469,268 people!  This is a more accurate picture of what you really have to work with and market to. 

Leveraging all three areas as one tourist destination would totally make sense and everyone would benefit.  Combine resources folks!  Many hands make light work and all that.  From a financial prospective, during a recession, working together makes sense.  Combine budgets, cut costs and everyone benefits.

Fourth, I will disagree with Sonia Huntzinger on this point (no offense, Sonia).  She stated in the article that Central Pennsylvania can not support another arts district like Lancaster’s.  With a draw of 1,429,268 people you certainly can.  Furthermore, Harrisburg is going great guns in Midtown to set up a big arts community there as well (I guess they didn’t get the memo, haha).  Each city should have an individual, size appropriate, arts area.  The “arts” are a huge tool in the redevelopment process.

Fifth – “Eds and Meds” are vital to redevelopment.  I do not care if York Hospital and College are not downtown.  They are large employers and stakeholders whether they like it or not.  As downtown York prospers, so will they.  Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have made their colleges partners in their redevelopment.  A healthy York will help York College attract more students and help the hospital attract more young people as employees.  You want more young people downtown like Lancaster?  You must get the hospital and college onboard.

Sixth – the perceived safety issues in York need to be overcome.  Sorry but there are stabbings/shootings in Lancaster too.  Anybody who says not is delusional.  Lancaster has a lower crime rate than York because redevelopment does that.  In addition, Lancaster has a surveillance camera system in place and a noticeable police presence downtown.  Until York can get those numbers down, they need to beef up police foot patrols in the downtown to make people feel safer.  Those surveillance cameras only cost $9,000 a piece, installed.  They might be something for York to consider going forward.  Saying we have no money is not a solution.  Find money to pay for foot patrols and cameras.  There are grants out there.  You can not afford to not spend money on public safety if you want to be like Lancaster.  You must overcome the crime stigma yesterday!

Lastly, private sector funding is the wave of the future because of budget constraints with our state and federal governments.  There is still money available but finding ways to involve the private sector is becoming increasingly important.  Large employers in York County need to be made to understand the importance of “giving back” and that they will reap benefits by doing so.  Groups like YorIT will also play an increasing role in moving York forward (http://www.yorit.org/).

Here is a link to the article that spurred my post:

http://www.ydr.com/ci_17425140?source=rss_viewed

It is vital that Pennsylvania’s cities be robust and growing.