ArtFusion 19464 Announces Addition Of New Staff

Pottstown, PA – ArtFusion 19464 is proud to announce that Laura Cousins-Washington has joined their staff as Development Coordinator of the Beech Street Factory Community Programs. As Development Coordinator, Washington is responsible for identifying and engaging the nonprofit organization’s local business and community partners, members and their families, and other funders and constituents to build and maintain a broad and growing base of annual support, grant funding, and endowment funding.

Executive Director and Co-Founder Erika-Hornburg Cooper said: “We are so happy to welcome Laura officially as staff. We know she will have a big impact on our future, helping ArtFusion 19464 to grow and transition our educational programming to a new facility in the Beech St. Factory.”

Previously Laura Cousins-Washington worked as Garden Manager of MOSAIC Community Land Trust Community Gardens, located in the Borough of Pottstown, for the past four years. Her goal at MOSAIC was to engage families, volunteers and supporters in order to spread the word about gardening, fitness, healthy eating and healthy lifestyles choices. Washington has overseen the development of two community gardens located on Chestnut Street and one permaculture garden located on Walnut Street. She is also a personal fitness trainer at Pottstown Athletic Club and Body Go Fitness and works as the coordinator for Schuylkill River Athletics.  Washington has a good understanding the needs of the community as it relates to empowering individuals. Washington coaches children and adults of all ages throughout the year in personal fitness, gardening/nutrition and in making healthier, long-term behavior changes.

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 19464’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. Classes do run outside of gallery hours.

Advertisements

Mark Your Calendar For Pottstown ArtsWalk – A Free Event – Saturday, January 7, 2017!

Arts Walk FinalPOTTSTOWN, PA  –  “We have always recognized and embraced what the arts and collaboration can do for a community”, said Erika Hornburg-Cooper, ArtFusion19464. Join us for a day of discovery on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Arts and culture organizations, local businesses and restaurants are teaming up to bring you an amazing day of fun, food and entertainment. “The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) is excited to be a part in this venture. It has been very exciting to see our downtown community pull together with our arts and cultural organizations to create this amazing event,” states Sheila Dugan, PDIDA.

carouselViewing the art in a kind of “pub crawl” format adds to the fun and energetic quality of this event. Family-friendly activities are scheduled from 2 to 4 pm and from 4 to 8 pm more great activities designed for adults. Nearly 20 downtown business will be open to showcase original artwork displays and live musical entertainment.

 

“It all starts with the arts!” said Lauren Pierson-Swanson, Steel River Playhouse. “To know Pottstown is to love it. The people behind the businesses and attractions on and around High Street are smart, driven and dedicated to this beautiful historic town. Art has always been a catalyst in the rejuvenation of American communities and is the focus of Pottstown ArtsWalk.”

steel-river-facade-pictureWhile this event is free, we ask that you pre-register for your free ticket. Each is valid for one person to join the Pottstown ArtsWalk on Saturday, January 7, 2017, and you can order as many as you need. Visit www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Get a taste for all the activities, food and arts presentations. Here is a list of venues and artists joining us Saturday, January 7th to showcase Pottstown and all that the our community has to offer:

@107, 107 E. High St. and Advantage Insurance – music by Cordilla Arcay and Matt Asti and original artwork display from John Quinn; light refreshments; wine tasting

ArtFusion 19464, 254 E. High St. – local artists’ collections, an interactive art experience, and soup bowl glazing fundraiser

Ballroom on High, 310 E. High St. – free dance lesson and live band dance with Temple Avenue; refreshments

Beverly’s Pastry Shop, 322 E. High St. – discounts on sweet treats

Connections on High, 238 E. High St. – custom portrait making and local artists’ displays; hot holiday beverages

Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches, 137 E. High St.– Pottstown HS Culinary Arts students will be making/serving complimentary hors d’oeuvres; discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

High Street Music, 135 E. High St. – original artwork display by Pottstown HS students and the Craig Clemens Jazz Trio

iCreate Cafe, 130 King St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine, 235 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Lily’s Grill, 115 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

MCCC North Hall Gallery, 16 E. High St. – staged reading of A Bright Room Called Day by Tony Kushner

Memory Madness Photo Studio, 16 N. York St. – open house

MOSIAC Community Land Trust, 10 S. Hanover St. – painting Schuylkill River rocks for placement in gardens around town

Potts & Penn Family Diner, 80 E. High St. – discounts on food/meal during the ArtsWalk

Smith Family Plaza, 100 E. High St. – view sculptures by Eric Berg

Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High St. – hand-made theatrical costume display by Ally Boughter; artwork by Thomas Poplawski

The Carousel at Pottstown, 30 W. King St. – meet artists of the all-volunteer organization and hear presentations on the project’s history

The Hill School Center for the Performing Arts, 780 Beech St. – paper lantern art activity and backstage tours

Weitzenkorn’s, 145 E. High St. – view works by our families fifth generation, light refreshments

To get the latest update on locations and activities, visit artfusion19464.org or www.steelriver.org. Don’t forget to pre-register for Pottstown ArtsWalk! Visit www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Pottstown ArtsWalk is brought to you in partnership through ArtFusion19464, Steel River Playhouse, @107, Proudly Pottstown and Advantage Insurance Group.

P.S. A great ending to a great day with lots of laughs! The N Crowd Improv Group from Philly will be at Steel River Playhouse for an 8 pm show! Tickets available at www.steelriver.org

New Show Features Best In Show Winners At ArtFusion

Self Portrait 2016 by Gwendolyn Lanier

Self Portrait 2016 by Gwendolyn Lanier

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

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

Above and Below by Joe Hoover

Above and Below by Joe Hoover

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

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

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

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

ArtFusion Executive Director Wins Person Of The Year Award

cropped-artfusion-color600.jpgErika Hornburg-Cooper, ArtFusion 19464’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, was presented with the Pottstown Rotary Person of the Year Award on September 10, 2014. This is the sixth year for this particular award. Erika was honored for her commitment to Pottstown and for the great work ArtFusion has done in their 10 years to make the arts accessible to everyone in the community. In her remarks at the award ceremony, Erika thanked her family and the ArtFusion staff and board of directors for their support and credited them with having a large part in her receiving her award.

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

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs.

The main objective of Rotary is service- in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.

A Must See Video About A Rental Unit In Pottstown – Contains Adult Language

3rd Annual Soup Bowl Fundraiser At ArtFusion 19464 In Pottstown

Pottstown, PA – Winter Chill + Warm Soup = Perfection

ArtFusion’s popular fundraiser returns for a third year. The Soup Bowl fundraiser will take place Saturday, January 25 from 11am-1pm at 254 E. High St. in the ArtFusion facility. This year’s event will be even bigger and better than last year, with the Soup Bowl event taking over the entire building. Different soups will be set up on the first floor and also upstairs on the second floor, with more seating to accommodate a lot more soup lovers!

Guests will be able to try an amazing variety of home-cooked soups, created by local volunteer chefs and donated by local restaurants. Lunch will also include bread, beverages and homemade desserts. As a thank you for supporting the fundraiser, each guest will take home a handcrafted ceramic bowl, created by volunteers from the community throughout the previous year.

sb13bEach bowl is an artistic collaboration: one volunteer created the bowl from clay and another added the colorful decorations. Guest artists included Girl Scout troops, high school students, volunteers from local businesses, members of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and more. This event is truly a community effort, from the soups to the bowls.

This event was a sell-out in 2013. 2014 tickets are now available for purchase at ArtFusion’s 254 E. High St. location, and also online at their website http://www.artfusion19464.org The number of tickets is limited, so ArtFusion recommends purchasing your tickets early. All proceeds benefit the non-profit community art school.

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

ArtFusion 19464 Seeking Donations Of Military Uniforms For Exhibit

cropped-picture-578.jpg

Pottstown, PA –  ArtFusion is in need of old military uniforms for an upcoming educational art exhibit. The uniforms will be used in an amazing interactive art project with local veterans.  They are able to use any size, condition or clothing item you may have (pants, shirts, etc.).  We are specifically looking for Vietnam era uniforms but will accept all types from any era.  Uniforms can be dropped off at their 254 E. High St. location during regular business hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm

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

WE NEED A FEW MINUTES OF YOUR TIME

Editor’s note:  This grant is explained in detail in the post below.  If you could take a few moments and vote online it could be the difference between this money coming to Pottstown or going to another community!

The Gallery School of Pottstown has applied for a grant from LiveStrong Foundation to expand our Healing Arts program. The Creative Center’s Hospital Artist-in-Residence Program works bedside and in small group settings with men, women, and children in oncology units, bone marrow transplant units, intensive care/respiratory units, hospice and palliative care programs, & pediatrics offering their patients the opportunity to learn about and become absorbed in their own creative resources as they meet the challenges of diagnoses, treatment and survivorship.

On-Line voting begins today, March 7th and runs through March 23rd. We hope you will help support our mission by casting a vote:

http://vote.livestrong.org/vote2012/ PLEASE Click the PA map and then CHECK THECreativeCenter: Hospital Artist in Residence Program – you will see The Gallery School of Pottstown, and please don’t hesitate to forward this email to help spread the word.. Note if you are sharing your computer for voting you have to disable your cookies.

Thank you in advance for supporting your community.

Artfully,

Erika Hornburg-Cooper

Executive Director/Co-founder

The Gallery School of Pottstown

254 E High Street

PottstownPA 19464

610-326-2506

www.galleryonhigh.org

Erika@galleryonhigh.com

Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center Joins With The Gallery School Of Pottstown To Fight Cancer

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Pottstown, PA – March 7, 2012 – Gallery School of Pottstown in partnership with the Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner has been selected as a candidate for the 2012 LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project, which was created to bring proven cancer support programs to communities across the United States. Finalists will be determined through an online voting campaign that begins on Wed., Mar. 7 at 10am CST. Applicants with the top votes per region will receive a financial award of support to replicate and implement a sustainable program dedicated to supporting families fighting cancer. Finalists will also receive tools and resources from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the organization established in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action against the world’s leading cause of death. The foundation is now known publicly by its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today.

Hundreds of qualified hospitals, cancer centers, universities and non-profits from across theUnited Statesapplied to be part of four different programs:

* The Creative Center – Hospital Artist-in-Residence Program: Since its inception in 1994, The Creative Center has been dedicated to bringing the arts to people with cancer and chronic illness through all stages of life as a way to help them discover their own creative resources while meeting the challenges of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. The Artist-in-Residence program helps cancer survivors deal with the stresses of treatment through artistic expression. The program will work bedside and in small group settings with men, women and children – in oncology units, bone marrow transplant units, intensive care/respiratory units, hospice and palliative care programs.

* LIVESTRONG at the YMCA: LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a research-based program that offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem.

* Advanced Certification for Palliative Care: The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Palliative Care is designed to set standards and acknowledge hospitals providing state-of-the-art palliative care services that relieve symptoms and stress of serious illness and improve quality of life for patients. The Center to Advance Palliative Care will provide tools and training to 20 hospitals and cancer centers across the country to assist in their efforts to qualify for the Certification.

* Pillars4Life: Pillars4Life is a patient/caregiver support program that has been proven to enhance quality of life for cancer patients and allows hospitals and their social workers to more efficiently triage and attend to the psychosocial needs of a much greater number of patients.

Gallery School of Pottstown in partnership with the Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Partner is among hundreds of organizations still in contention for the award. If selected, they will use the awarded funds to expand on the Healing Arts program that is currently offered to cancer patients at the hospital.  The Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center serves the tri-county area with award winning traditional (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) and complimentary/integrative care (Reiki, harp, massage) treatments. The Healing Arts program’s focus is on using different art modalities, group discussions, and workshops that utilize mental, physical, and creative exercises to explore the person the patients want to be or used to be in the context of cancer diagnosis and recovery. If awarded the funds we will be able to expand on patient perceptions of well-being and lift their spirits, whereby making treatment outcomes more successful.

“We are thrilled and honored to be selected as a candidate for the Community Impact Project,” said Erika Hornburg-Cooper, Executive Director of the Gallery School of Pottstown. “We share LIVESTRONG’s passion for inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer and look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors and their families.”

The 2012 Community Impact Project will offer nearly $1.4 million in implementation awards to 90 finalists. This represents the largest number of financial awards LIVESTRONG has granted in a single year in the history of the foundation. LIVESTRONG is committed to supporting community organizations in their efforts to help cancer survivors face the challenges and changes that come with cancer and has invested more than $70 million in community-centered organizations.

Voting ends on March 23, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. CST. For more information about the 2012 LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project and to vote, visit http://vote.livestrong.org/. For more information about The Gallery School of Pottstown visit http://www.galleryonhigh.com or about the Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center visit http://www.pottstownmemorial.com.

About the Gallery School of Pottstown is a non-profit community art center. Our mission is to provide a solid educational foundation to youth and adults alike, regardless of income level. We help students foster their creativity and develop their talents both for personal enrichment and as a foundation for advanced studies in the arts.

The mission of the Gallery School of Pottstown is to enrich the lives of the residents in the greaterPottstownarea through the visual arts, regardless of ethnicity and economic situations. Our goal is to spark creativity, build self-confidence and develop community bonds through education, mentoring and community service. 

About LIVESTRONG/Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world’s leading cause of death. Created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the organization is now known publicly by its powerful brand — LIVESTRONG — and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. Known for its iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world. Since its inception, the organization has raised $450 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org. 

Since 2001 LIVESTRONGhas funded the development of more than 200 programs across the United States providing direct support to hundreds of thousands of people affected by cancer. Beginning in 2010 our Community Program evolved into a mechanism to replicate many of these programs in new communities.  The Lance Armstrong Foundation focuses on survivorship as an actual aspect of the cancer treatment. The foundation has invested more than $104 million in education and programs, $65 million in grants and awards and $33 million in advocacy and engagement. 81 percent of the money we raise is devoted to serving people and families with cancer.

If you are a cancer patient/caregiver; newly diagnosed, in treatment, or living as a survivor and need any assistance, please contact local LiveSTRONG Leader Ashley Spurlock, SpurlockA@comcast.net, 610-513-4076.

$10,000 Art Scholarship Deadline Extended For Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship For The Arts

Pottstown, PAThe application deadline for the 3rd annual Greater Pottstown Foundation Scholarship for the Arts has been extended until March 10, 2012.  This $10,000 scholarship is designed to financially assist a qualified applicant in pursuing their further education in the arts. The program is open to any Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Hill School or Owen J. Roberts High School senior.  The scholarship is awarded based on two criteria: artistic performance as displayed at the Greater Pottstown Foundation Senior High School Art Exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown, and an essay on why an applicant wants to continue their education in the arts.  The applicant’s intended field of study must include a major in an arts related field.

In addition to submitting a completed application form and essay, each student must also participate in the art exhibit at the Gallery School of Pottstown.  Students must create pieces of art from three of four categories: watercolor or pastel; pencil, charcoal or ink; oil or acrylic; and sculpture, which include pottery, stone, glass, metal, fiber or wood. The application and essay must be received by March 10. Artwork does not need to be completed until the art show in May. 

Students can email info@galleryonhigh.com to receive an application, or stop by the Gallery School at 254 E. High St. in Pottstown.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery. 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. The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items. The Gallery on High is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown
@Gallery on High
254 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-2506
www.galleryonhigh.org

New Exhibit At Pottstown’s Gallery On High

Stop by the Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown to check out the latest exhibit which pays homage to all things summer.  Twenty-five local artists have contributed works of art for this show!

Current Show

Bees, Butterflies, Beaches and Bridges
The Summer Member Show
June 18 – August 13

Reception Saturday, July 16 from 1 – 3pm

Put this on your summer “to do” list!  Cathy and Erika will be glad to see you!

The Gallery is located at 254 E. High Street in downtown Pottstown.  For more information:

Voice – (610) 326.2506

Internet – http://www.galleryonhigh.com

Lincoln Elementary School Second Graders Learn About Pottstown

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

It is always great to read stories like this.  Some of Pottstown’s second grade students learned about two import resources in their town – the Pottstown Regional Public Library (PRPL) and the Gallery School on High.  Both businesses are found on Pottstown’s main street, a few blocks apart, and both businesses can help Pottstown’s children learn and succeed.

Three teachers from Lincoln Elementary School Jill Bolonski, Heather Kurtz and Leslie Swartz took their students on an all day field trip to the PRPL and the Gallery School.  To read about what all the students did, click here:

http://pottstownschools.com/pottstown/In%20the%20Spotlight/LINCOLN%20ELEMENTARY%20STUDENTS%20EXPLORE%20%93IN%20TOWN%20CLASSROOM%94/

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to those awesome teachers at Lincoln!

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to the Pottstown Regional Public Library and the Gallery School for being incredibly welcoming and tremendous educational assets in Pottstown.

Links to the PRPL and Gallery School are found on the homepage of this blog under the category Important Pottstown Sites on the right side of your screen.

Cathy Paretti’s Speech As Read At Tonight’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting

Below are Cathy Paretti’s remarks, in their entirety, as read to Pottstown Borough Council!

June 13, 2011

I feel compelled to speak tonight so all facts are on the table concerning the Gallery School and what has happened with the county funding this year.  First, to get the information correct about the Gallery School of Pottstown, we are a 501c3 non-profit community art center.  We attained our non-profit status in 2005 in order to fulfill our mission of being a positive attraction not only for the downtown district but Pottstown as a whole.  We specifically kept the name Pottstown in our title, even though at the time it was more fashionable to claim to be a tri county entity.  We wanted to make Pottstown a name that was recognizable and associated with a positive reaction.  Erika Hornburg-Cooper and myself are the co-founders of the organization. The Gallery School rents 254 High Street from CLE Properties, of which Erika and myself are partners along with a third person who owns 51% of the property.  The third partner has no interest in the school.  The Gallery School is seeking to purchase the property from CLE in order to renovate the third floor of the building so we can expand our programming and also attain an asset to make us more financially stable.  Our board of directors will not invest in raising funds to renovate a building that it does not own, and the third partner of CLE will not invest money in the building, as she has no faith that Pottstown will pull itself out of its current downturn.  As per the guidelines of the county revitalization program, we are well within the parameters of applying for the funds to purchase the building, just as Tri Pac has done in the past.  Our current proposal only includes money to pay off the mortgage on the building, as well as any transfer fees that will occur from the transaction.  As for the payout of the partners, our board of directors will be responsible to raise those funds as agreed to by the partners.  All money secured by us from the county will go towards paying off the mortgage, and we provided ample evidence to the county to prove that this is the case.  Neither Erika nor myself will receive any financial gain from the funds.  We understand how this proposal may have raised some eyebrows, and went above and beyond to make ourselves available for questioning in the hopes of achieving maximum transparency in the matter.  In short, we have nothing to hide.  I have worked at this organization for the past seven years without taking a paycheck and am constantly paying out of my own pocket for expenses to keep the building and the organization running.  Our only interest is in making sure that the organization is secure for the future.

I’d now like to discuss the events leading up to the mess we currently find ourselves in.  As the facts currently stand, on March 14th council voted on the prioritization of projects to propose to the county.  The results were that the Gallery School was chosen as the top priority and the Western Gateway was chosen as the second priority, with the vote breakdown being four for Gallery School, two for the Gateway, and none for the Skyline project.  The borough staff was also on board with this decision.  However, when it came time to present our projects to the county, they were to be presented in the order prioritized by council, and suddenly the Skyline project was now being presented as the second priority.  At the time I wondered why this would be but, against my better judgment, decided not to question it, as we were not involved with either project.  But now I can’t help but ask why, without a single vote from council, the Skyline project was suddenly presented as the second priority?  The only entity against council’s decision of prioritization was Mayor Heath, whose opinion in the matter does not override that of the council.

In addition to this, Mayor Heath then took it upon herself to contact Commissioner Hoeffel and advocate for a project that was not supported by one member of borough council as far as any record of the matter is concerned.  Her actions make our town look as if we do not have our so-called ducks in a row, and has once again cast Pottstown in a bad light with the county.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but I did not feel at any time that our council and our borough staff were at odds with each other over the decision of March 14th.

I would also like to speak about recent events which I believe call into question the extent of the Mayor’s involvement in the county’s decision.  On Friday, June 3rd, Mr. Mason Craig was approaching people in town and informing them that the Skyline project had been awarded funding by the county per recommendations by the county staff.  This is important because that information was not to be made public until Monday, June 6th, when the county staff’s recommendations would be emailed to all involved parties.  In those recommendations emailed on June 6th, it was outlined that the Skyline had been awarded $241,000, while the other two projects were not to receive funds.  It wasn’t until June 7th when the revitalization board made their first ever decision not to follow the county staff’s recommendation and instead leave the decision to the commissioners.  Still, I’d like to know how Mr. Craig was aware of the staff’s recommendations three days before they were to be announced.

To be clear, I have no political agenda.  I only want to ensure that the Gallery School of Pottstown can keep its doors open to serve the community and help the town move forward.  As for Mayor Heath, her actions may have serious consequences.  Because of her and Mr. Wildrick’s appeal to Commissioner Hoeffel, Pottstown is now in a position where we may not see any county funding at a time when the economy is in serious turmoil.  I understand that borough council cannot control the actions of its citizens, but Mayor Heath is an elected official.   You may correct me here, but I believe Pottstown has a council – manager form of borough government, which means that the mayor did not have the authority to go against borough council’s wishes.  Her interference in this process is, I believe, unethical, and I do hope that council reprimands her for her actions.

I have given all council members a copy of what I have said here tonight.   I have also included copies of letters that we receive from students and parents of the children that attend our programming and classes.  We have dozens more in our files.  I hope these speak to the impact that we do make and can continue to make in the Pottstown community.

Thank you all for your attention.

Cathy Paretti,

Co-Founder, Gallery Director of the Gallery School of Pottstown

Cathy Paretti Blasts Pottstown Mayor Bonnie Heath Over Gallerygate

Cathy Paretti, Co-founder of the Gallery on High/Gallery School of Pottstown read a prepared statement during the Comments from Citizens Present part of tonight’s Pottstown Borough Council Meeting.  Evidently only Councilors Weand and Rhoads were listening.  Bonnie appeared unphased (probably because she knew four members of council support her bad behavior).

Mrs. Paretti broke down the series of events which lead to Gallerygate.  Mayor Heath meddled in a council decision and caused the Gallery’s request for grant money (to pay off the mortgage on their building and expand their services) to be denied.  Mrs. Paretti also brought some interesting facts to light about an inappropriate release of information, by the mayor’s husband, before it was to be made public.

If Mrs. Paretti would like to have her remarks published on Roy’s Rants, in their entirety, we would be glad to do so!

We applaud Cathy Paretti and Erika Hornburg-Cooper for not allowing the mayor’s highly inappropriate behavior to go unchallenged, and for all they have done to help the Borough of Pottstown and the Greater Pottstown Area.  You ladies ROCK!

Gallery School Of Pottstown To Offer Spring Classes

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Pottstown, PA – Come out of winter hibernation and celebrate the arrival of spring!  The Gallery School has great classes starting in April.  Engage your child in the arts with Creative Kids, a wonderful drawing and painting class, for ages 7 – 12, beginning on April 9.  Kids learn to create in glass with Fused Glass Suncatcher on April 14 or May 14.  For the young artist age 3-6, our Cray Pas class begins April 6.

Get your hands dirty too!  Our Mom and Me Pottery class is the perfect opportunity for a parent and child to create together.  Mom and Me Pottery begins April 7.  Rolley Poley Pals, on April 16, and a fun Canvas Tote class, on May 7, teach your child how to sew.  Does your child love manga or like to draw cartoon characters?  Then our Cartooning class, beginning April 7, is the perfect choice.  Teens can learn to express themselves through art in Teen Studio, beginning April 7 or April 9. 

We didn’t forget the adults either!  Join Introduction to Drawing, beginning April; 7, or learn to use watercolors, oils and pastels in Draw and Paint Studio, starting April 5.  Turn beautiful glass and tiles into art with Mosaics; you can join this fun class on April 2 or April 5.  Our Open Studio Fused Glass class allows beginners to create gorgeous glass art.  If fiber arts are more your style, try our Yo-Yo Flag class on April 5 and 7. 

Students can register online at www.galleryonhigh.org, over the phone at (610) 326-2506 or in person at 254 E. High Street in Pottstown.  Registering now to ensure your spot!

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery.  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.  The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists.  The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.

Cathy Paretti, Co-founder

Contact:  Julie Tonnessen

Email:  julie@galleryonhigh.com

The Gallery School of Pottstown @ Gallery on High

254 E. High St.

Pottstown, PA 19464

Voice:  (610) 326-2506 

Internet:  www.galleryonhigh.org

The Gallery School of Pottstown & Gallery on High – A Pottstown Jewel

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Pottstown is most fortunate to have an art school and art gallery on our main street.  The Gallery School of Pottstown & Gallery on High, located at 254 E. High Street, is a non-profit organization that includes a gallery featuring local/national/international art as well as an art school. 

The school’s main mission is to provide a solid educational foundation to youth and adults.  This school operates regardless of income levels as there are scholarships and tuition assistance available.  Classes are small and taught by professional artists to make sure students receive as much personal attention as possible.  The Gallery also has an after-school program, special programs during the school year and summer programs.

There are two galleries which showcase exhibits.  The upstairs gallery features a more permanent exhibit by member artists.  The downstairs gallery hosts theme exhibits and member exhibits which change often.  Styles and mediums vary.  Exhibits are open to the public and free of charge.

The Gallery on High’s Community and Education Partners are Creative Health Services, Inc., Pottstown School District and Brookside Montessori.

One way Pottstown will go about revitalization is to involve the arts.  Establishing and supporting an arts community will make Pottstown a destination that draws visitors from outside the borough into Pottstown to attend events.  The spin-off from hosting events is the additional spending that occurs in local bars, restaurants and shops.  The Gallery on High compliments the TriPAC Performing Arts Center, the Pottstown Symphony and other existing arts/cultural organizations in Pottstown.  The ability to attract and retain artists as residents, by providing assistance programs and housing/studio space, will fuel Pottstown’s efforts to become a destination.

We urge you to check out the website and take advantage of this unique downtown Pottstown resource.

For more information on the Gallery School of Pottstown/The Gallery on High:

Voice – (610) 326-2506

Email – info@galleryonhigh.com

Website – http://www.galleryonhigh.com/index.html

Gallery School Membership & Donations: http://www.galleryonhigh.com/memberships.html