|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!
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA – The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is presenting 3 complimentary workshops in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties in effort to support applicants in the planning stages of the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream grant application process.
“The PPA Project Stream is a critical source of state and federal funding for eligible individuals, community groups and nonprofit organizations interested in conducting arts projects with a clear public component,” stated Randall Forte, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “As our region’s partner, we have accepted as many as 60 requests in any given year, awarding grants to community projects including, but not limited to exhibitions, films and performances that impact a wide range of constituents from young children to senior citizens, regardless of ability, ethnicity, culture or socioeconomic status.”
The keys to successfully navigating the Project Stream application process lie in a deeper understanding of content, format and fiscal expectations set forth by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. By attending one of the following workshops, applicants will gain a thorough understanding of review criteria, suggestions for constructing compelling and comprehensive narratives and guidance in building detailed project budgets.
Applicants are encouraged to RSVP and attend one of the following workshops:
May 10, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Lehigh Valley Arts Council; 840 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA
May 12, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation; 20 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA
May 24, 2016 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Touchstone Theatre; 321 E. Fourth Street, Bethlehem, PA
Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College Foundation recently awarded $19,705 in grants for the 2015-16 year to support programs and initiatives that will improve student success and access, enhance students’ educational experience, promote sustainability and engage the community.
Grants were awarded for the following programs and initiatives:
- Veterans Retreat – A $5,000 award will allow 20 veteran students to attend a two-night Mindfulness Retreat in Bangor, PA, during which attendees will participate in activities to help build physical, cognitive and emotional resiliency; decrease levels of stress; improve quality of sleep; and improve emotional well-being. The program will be led by Ann Marie Donohue and Deborah Greenspan, MCCC psychology professors, with Veterans Services Coordinator Michael Brown.
- Reading Community of Practice: Reading in the Content Areas – A $3,779 grant will support this reading program designed to introduce and engage participants in active reading and critical thinking to help increase student success in the classroom. Through workshops, one-to-one faculty collaborations and ongoing support, students will learn to model reading strategies as demonstrated through best practices. The program will be led by Assistant Professor of Reading Barbara Maurer.
- Creating Accessible Videos with Closed Captioning – A $3,776 grant will enable MCCC’s Information Technology department to create closed captioning for course content videos used by faculty to increase access and student success. The grant funding will cover software costs and allow IT to hire students to learn and work alongside the academic training team, led by MCCC Instructional Designer Joshua Eckenrode.
- Software Development Academy Pilot Equipment Support – A $3,000 grant will enable MCCC’s Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Jim Stasik in IT to purchase additional computers and iOS devices to support MCCC’s proposed Software Development Academy pilot. This proposed pilot program will increase student access and success in the IT field by providing and innovative delivery of curriculum in a high-performance culture.
- The Betzwood Silent Film Festival – A $3,000 grant will enable MCCC’s Lively Arts Series under the direction of Interim Director Brent Woods to continue the presentation of The Betzwood Silent Film Festival on May 7, 2016. This annual festival informs the community about the unique history and culture of the silent film industry that developed in Montgomery County and engages the audience through the lively narration and presentation of silent films. The Betzwood Silent Film Archive is housed in MCCC’s Brendlinger Library at its Central Campus in Blue Bell.
- Bike Maintenance Station – A $1,150 grant will enable MCCC to provide a bicycle maintenance station at its Central Campus in addition to the station at West Campus in Pottstown. Nationally recognized as a Bike Friendly University by the American Bicyclists, MCCC encourages bicycling as an alternative form of transportation for nearby students. The initiative supports MCCC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007.
Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation provides student scholarships; grants for projects, equipment and technology; student emergency funds; support for cultural enrichment activities and financial resources for programs and activities. The Foundation makes a difference in the lives of students thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, community friends, private foundations and corporations. For more information, contact the Foundation at 215-641-6530.
FREE for Members of the Arts Council & Grant Recipients
$10 Nonmembers & Guests
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council observes National Arts and Humanities Month with Arts Count 2015, an arts rally and awards ceremony, on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
This year’s gathering also celebrates the new and expanded Charter Arts facility at Third and Polk Streets in South Bethlehem. Join us for the opportunity to tour the 80,000 square-foot facility, now equipped with a recording studio, a black box studio, four dance studios, expanded art studios and gallery, and a 350-seat performing arts theatre.
Arts Count serves as the occasion for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council to distribute grant awards to the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream recipients in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. The Project Stream is open to individual artists and community groups who apply for support of an arts-related project with strong public impact. More than $34,000 in state funds will be awarded to twenty-six applicants for activities September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.
Supported by Gross McGinley, LLP and PPL, this event is free to Arts Council members and grant recipients; the cost to guests and nonmembers is $10. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to 610-437-5915 to attend.
|The Lehigh Valley Arts Council observes National Arts and Humanities Month with Arts Count 2015, an arts rally and awards ceremony, on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This year’s gathering also celebrates the new and expanded Charter Arts facility at Third and Polk Streets in South Bethlehem.
“We are very excited to offer the arts community an opportunity to tour this 80,000 square-foot facility,” says Forte, “now equipped with a recording studio, a black box studio, four dance studios, expanded art studios and gallery, and a 350-seat performing arts theatre. Wow!”
ARTS COUNT serves as the occasion for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council to distribute grant awards to the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream recipients in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. The Project Stream is open to individual artists and community groups who apply for support of an arts-related project with strong public impact. More than $34,000 in state funds will be awarded to twenty-seven applicants for activities September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.
“Arts Count celebrates the public/private partnerships that fuel the arts in our region,” says Executive Director Randall Forte, “and features local business and foundation leaders giving testimony on the value and impact of the arts.” Locally elected officials are invited to present checks to the grant recipients from their districts. In keeping with the spirit of fellowship, Arts Council members are encouraged to bring a guest and rally for the arts.
PPA, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, is designed to widen the circle of funding opportunities in support of arts activities throughout the Commonwealth. 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 for artistic excellence and public impact.
This year, grant activities will reach a wide range of constituents, from young children to senior citizens, and engage audiences in projects that include Latin, Native American, and Asian cultural festivals; multidisciplinary endeavors in dance, theatre, film, photography and music; public arts events, classes, and exhibits in sculpture gardens, heritage centers, county museums and campus galleries, bus shelters, and city streets. Among this year’s grantees, there are ten first-time grantees.
The grant awards recipiencts are:
The October reception is supported by Gross McGinley, LLP and PPL, and is free to Arts Council members and grant recipients; the cost to guests and nonmembers is $10. Refreshments will be served. R.S.V.P. to 610-437-5915 to attend.
For information about the PPA grant application, contact PA Partners in the Arts Coordinator Marilyn Roberts at ppa@LVArtsCouncil.org.
FREE for Members of the Arts Council & Grant Recipients
$10 Nonmembers & Guests
Refreshments & fellowship provided
The Bethlehem Parking Authority is moving forward with a study for a new South Side parking garage despite any concrete plans for the major buildings for which the garage is supposed to be needed.
Authority Executive Director Kevin Livingston said the authority can’t wait for developer Dennis Benner to have signed tenants for his planned South Side buildings because the authority could lose the state grant funding set aside for the garage.
Bethlehem has filed for an extension for the $5.2 million in state grant funding but isn’t sure if the extension will be approved, Livingston said.
“We’re obviously afraid of losing it,” he said.
United States Steel Corp. is committed to keeping its headquarters in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett said Friday as he announced the state was providing $30.7 million in grants for the Fortune 500 company to help rehabilitate some of its plants.
The company has not said publicly that it was looking to relocate from Pennsylvania, but there has been speculation about whether it would move to another site in the region when its lease at U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown, expires in 2017.
Corbett and administration officials acknowledged that they acted to secure a commitment from the company to stay in Pennsylvania based on fears — and not any knowledge — that it would exit the state.
“I think they were considering it,” said Corbett. The governor cited Chicago and Indiana, where U.S. Steel has its largest mill, as places where he thought it might relocate.
Sept. 3, 2014, Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will continue to offer its popular Career Transition Workshop for adults who may be thinking about returning to college.
The next workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m.-noon. in the Advanced Technology Center, room 101, at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
The workshop is open to all adults and is free of charge, although pre-registration is requested. For more information or to RSVP, contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the workshop, prospective students will get an overview of the resources available to help them transition into college. Topics include using MCCC’s website and online registration tools, financial aid, assessment of credits for prior learning, stackable credentials, career pathways and job search tools.
After the initial session, MCCC advisors will follow up with participants one-on-one to help them identify programs and pathways that are right for them.
“Our goal is help adult learners be comfortable and successful at the College. We want this to be a place where they can get back on track with their education and transition into new careers,” said Denise Collins, who manages the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant at MCCC.
The grant is helping MCCC to develop a robust Prior Learning Assessment model and stackable credentials for adult students as part of the JobTrakPA framework—a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.
The workshop also connects to MCCC’s participation in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, which looks to train 10,000 baby boomers for high-demand jobs through 2015.
BOYERTOWN, PA — Progress on the revitalization of the Colebrookdale Railroad these days means more than pulling refurbished passenger cars along the picturesque 9-mile track on the shores of Manatawny Creek.
These days progress is being measured in cars and engines acquired, being fixed up and put into service.
And Wednesday marked another milestone on the railroad’s journey to full service when Executive Director Nathaniel Guest announced last week’s awarding of a $200,000 grant to begin construction of “railroad station infrastructure right here in Boyertown.”
The announcement came after the train — pulling cars packed with more than 70 federal and state legislators, county commissioners and municipal officials of all stripes — arrived at the downtown yard to the applause of a crowd that had gathered to welcome it.
When Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology officials came to City Hall and asked the city to sell them the former National Guard armory site, Mayor Rick Gray’s answer was “no.”
The armory was an unexpected windfall for the city, but the city needed it badly.
The buildings which had been used to service military vehicles would become a new maintenance garage to replace the city’s crumbling facility.
But, eventually, college officials persuaded Gray an expansion of the technical school was in the best interests of the college and the surrounding neighborhood.
The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) 2014-2015 Project Stream will provide funds of up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects. These projects must take place between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, and each project (a single event or a series of activities) must have a significant public component.
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council has accepted project grant requests from as many as 60 applicants in one cycle; and in the most recent fiscal year, we awarded grants to 24 projects (click HERE to view the awards). Activities successfully receiving PPA project funding have reached a wide range of constituents, from young children to senior citizens, and this year’s projects are engaging audiences in activities that include visual arts exhibitions; photography; musical performances from opera to jazz; documentary film; storytelling and dance.
The deadline for the next round of Project Stream grants is June 20th, so apply today!For more information on the PPA, the criteria and guidelines for applying to Project Stream, and review of the online application process, view the PPA Project Stream Prezi presentation (requires Adobe Flashplayer).
For more information on the PPA visit: www.lvartscouncil.org/programs
At first glance, the Coraopolis Railroad Station appears rundown, but a closer look reveals a piece of history that Coraopolis residents have rallied to save.
Named by Preservation Pennsylvania this year as one of the most endangered historical sites in the state, the train station was built in 1895 in Richardsonian Romanesque style based on a design by architects Shepley Rutan and Coolidge.
About eight years ago, four families who wanted to help restore the station bought the building that had been abandoned about 30 years ago and began what came to be known as the Coraopolis Community Development Foundation. The organizers are planning a video, an online fundraising campaign and other efforts.
Allentown, PA – Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) is a partnership connecting local artists and nonprofit organizations to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA). PPA re-grants state funds to support a wide variety of local and community arts activities through its regional partners; Lehigh Valley Arts Council is entering its 10th year as the PPA Partner who administers these funds in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon County.
The PPA 2014-2015 Project Stream will provide funds of up to $2,500 to eligible individuals, community groups, and non-profit organizations to conduct arts projects. These projects must take place between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, and each project (a single event or a series of activities) must have a significant public component. PPA Project Stream applications are reviewed by an invited panel of Lehigh Valley artists and arts advocates according to criteria provided by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council has accepted project grant requests from as many as 60 applicants in one cycle; and in the most recent fiscal year, we awarded grants to 24 projects. Activities successfully receiving PPA project funding have reached a wide range of constituents, from young children to senior citizens, and this year’s projects are engaging audiences in activities that include visual arts exhibitions; photography; musical performances from opera to jazz; documentary film; storytelling and dance. Visit http://www.lvartscouncil.org/programs for more details on the award recipients and their projects.
Project Stream Applicants, both new and returning, are encouraged to attend one of the May planning workshops which are sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at no charge to the public. Three LVAC Workshops will be held in the region this year:
- May 6th: Lehigh Valley Arts Council office in Allentown, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
- May 8th: Sigal Museum in Easton, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
- May 15th: Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, noon to 2 pm.
Conversations will include a review of the grant application, plans for constructing your narratives and budgets, and expectations for best practices for preparing work samples and supplemental materials. There will be an additional drop-in session for applicants to review their progress on June 3rd, from 11:30 am – 4:30 pm in our office at 9th & Hamilton Streets in Allentown. Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas, plans, and questions.
Email Marilyn J. Roberts, PPA Coordinator, email@example.com or call 610-437-5915 to share your interest in applying for a Project Stream Grant and attending one of these beneficial workshops. Include your organization and/or artist name, preferred email address, and a brief description of the project you are considering as well as your choice of workshop.
Link to the PCA’s eGRANT website after May 1st (http://ppa.egrant.net) to register on the application site and to access news about current PPA grant applications. June 20th, 2014 is the deadline to submit Project Stream Applications to the PCA electronically and to postmark the required forms and supplemental materials to the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.
For more information:
Attendance: Free, Reservations requested
May 6, 2014 – 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 200 Conference Room
Allentown, Pa. 18101
May 8, 2014 – 4:00 to 5:30 PM
342 Northampton Street
Easton, Pa. 18042
May 15, 2014 – Noon to 2 PM
Mauch Chunk Opera House
14 W. Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
The Lehigh Valley Arts Council invites you to apply for up to $2,500 from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Project Stream to fund arts projects or activities benefiting the communities of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Anyone interested in applying is encouraged to join us for one of our free PPA grant workshops.
May 6th, 4 PM to 5:30 PM: Lehigh Valley Arts Council (Allentown)
May 8th, 4 PM to 5:30 PM: Sigal Museum (Easton)
Mark your Calendar! The PPA deadline for Project Stream Applications is June 20th, 2014!
Click here for more information: http://lvartscouncil.org/programs/workshops.html
Uniting to be a stronger force for good in the community, two Steinman family foundations are now one.
Tuesday, the James Hale Steinman Foundation and the John Frederick Steinman Foundation, operating separately for 62 years, became simply the Steinman Foundation.
The new charitable organization, with combined assets of more than $85 million, will be one of the largest private foundations in the area, certainly the largest in Lancaster County.
The mission of the foundations has always been to improve the quality of life for people who live here.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — The city’s director of Economic and Community Development on Wednesday detailed how his office spent nearly $2 million in federal money throughout the city last year.
The city receives three types of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Decelopment each year and is required to hold a public meeting to explain how the money was spent in the previous year.
Office of Economic and Community Development Director Kurt Sauer presided over that meeting Wednesday in council chambers. The spending is detailed in a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report, which is available for review.
In 2013, the city received $1,563,671 in Community Development Block Grant funding, $112,690 in Emergency Solutions funding and $264,880 in HOME funding.
Church & Dwight plans to construct a new production line for gummy vitamins at its facility in Jackson Township.
A $55 million investment, the new production line will lead to the hiring of approximately 180 people, according to the company.
Construction will begin in January and the line is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2015, according to a news release.
The company will also receive some state funds for the project via the Governor’s Action Team, which works with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer said his staff knew they were in for a fight if they were going to beat out other Pennsylvania cities for two City Revitalization and Improvement Zone designations.
Today, Spencer said an application for the designation had been submitted and it was time to take the gloves off.
“It was a Herculean task from the start,” Spencer told a gathering in the former Citizens Bank building near the corner of Fifth and Penn streets.
Guidelines for the grants were issued Oct. 31, leaving only weeks to select an authority to oversee the CRIZ program; chose the 129 acres comprising 260 parcels; draw up a redevelopment strategy for the zone; and draft an application. The designation will allow the authority to take state and local taxes generated by properties in the zone and reinvest them in properties in the zone.