Free Grant Writing Workshops Offered By Lehigh Valley Arts Council In 2017

In an effort to assist applicants with the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) Project Stream grant application process, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council will offer free grant writing workshops in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties in May of 2017.

“The PPA program initiative 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 the regional partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 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 in the grant guidelines by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. By attending one of the 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 4, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation; 20 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA, 18229

May 9, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Lehigh Valley Arts Council; 840 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA. 18101

May 16, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Arts Establishment; 945 Broadway, Fountain Hill, PA, 18015

For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact:
Zach Kleemeyer, Community Engagement Coordinator
Lehigh Valley Arts Council
ppa@lvartscouncil.org | 610-437-5915

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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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ARTS COUNCIL ANNOUNCES ANNUAL MEMBER RALLY AND GRANT AWARD CELEBRATION

ALLENTOWN, PA – Dragon sightings are on the rise in the Lehigh Valley and that is exciting news for our arts community! On the big screen, movie-goers are enjoying the performance of Allentown child actor Oakes Fegley in the title role of Pete’s Dragon. Another fire-breathing beast greets visitors at the entrance of the new manufacturing facilities of Smooth-On, Inc. in East Texas. Dragons are powerful, mythological creatures that epitomize courage, vigor, and unbridled imagination—vital attributes for risk-takers like artists.

In homage to the dragons in our midst, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council invites you to ignite your imagination at ARTS COUNT 2016, the annual arts rally and grant award ceremony. The magic happens on October 19, 2016, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Smooth-On, 1725 Willow Lane, East Texas, PA 18046.

“We are very grateful to Smooth-On for hosting this event,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “This international arts business is a giant in the realm of special effects.“ Smooth-On’s technologies and materials have been used to make movie figures and props for Star Wars, The Hobbit Trilogy, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, and many other films and TV shows. (As a special treat, the Smooth-On staff will be on hand to give you scars, bruises, and bloody gashes.)

ARTS COUNT also 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. 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 22 applicants for activities held from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017.

“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.

The October reception 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 more information about the PPA grant application, contact PA Partners in the Arts Coordinator Zach Kleemeyer at ppa@LVArtsCouncil.org.

List of 2016-17 PPA Grant Awardees:
Allentown Public Theatre
Anthony Smith
Arts Academy Charter School
Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission
Buchanan Elementary School
Concord Chamber Singers
DanceLink
Emmaus Recreation & Entertainment Commission
Fairfield Duo
Friends of the Allentown Parks
Jennie Gilrain
Jim Thorpe Film Festival
Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange
Marilyn Hazelton
Moravian College
Pennsylvania Jazz Collective
Puertorrican Cultural Preservation
Sarah Steele
Summit Hill Heritage Center
Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation
WDIY 88.1 FM
West Park Civic Association

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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.

Jim Thorpe, Pa., Fights To Keep Body Of Namesake

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a "...

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a “bird’s eye view” of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as “Mauch Chunk”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jim Thorpe, PA (AP) The hand-lettered donation jar on Anne Marie Fitzpatrick’s store counter says what many residents of this well-preserved Victorian-era town are thinking and feeling lately: “Keep Jim Thorpe in Jim Thorpe.”

The surviving sons of the famous American Indian athlete have long fought to get the remains of their father moved from Jim Thorpe, Pa., to tribal lands in Oklahoma, where he was born, and they recently won a crucial legal victory that put them close to their goal.

But Jim Thorpe isn’t letting its Olympian namesake go without a fight.  Residents and business owners are helping to raise money for the town’s appeal to be filed later this month saying they have honored, appreciated and respected a man long considered one of the 20th century’s best athletes.

Hence the donation jar on the counter of Fitzpatrick’s gift shop, prominently displayed between the cash register and a rack of cat figurines.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/apsports/9991496451882158/Jim-Thorpe-Pa.-fights-to-keep-body-of-namesake

Borough To Appeal Jim Thorpe Ruling

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a "...

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a “bird’s eye view” of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as “Mauch Chunk”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jim Thorpe Borough Council has voted to appeal a federal judge’s order to relinquish the famed athlete’s remains so they can be reinterred on American Indian land in Oklahoma.

Thorpe’s sons sued the borough claiming the town amounts to a museum under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

Jim Thorpe council met on Thursday and voted 6-0, with Councilman Jay Miller absent for a medical reason, to appeal a federal judge’s decision to comply with NAGPRA.

“I feel council made the right decision,” Jim Thorpe Mayor Michael J. Sofranko said on Friday.

Read more:  http://standardspeaker.com/news/borough-to-appeal-thorpe-ruling-1.1487343

Jim Thorpe Faces Losing Its Namesake

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a "...

English: Postcard picture from 1915 of a “bird’s eye view” of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, then known as “Mauch Chunk”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JIM THORPE, PA – Stewart Counterman stopped by Jim Thorpe’s tomb Monday afternoon after hearing the legendary athlete’s body might soon be moved.

Despite never having set foot in the town that now bears his name, the pro football pioneer and double-Olympic gold medalist provided the community a sense of purpose when it seemed to have none.

“It’s something that is really important,” said Counterman, of Lehighton, standing in the shadow of Thorpe’s red granite mausoleum.  “It’s something that we’re going to miss if it’s not here.”

In 1954, the struggling mining towns of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were looking for a way to put themselves back on the map.  They made a deal with Thorpe’s widow Patricia, united under Thorpe’s name, and gave him the fitting tribute and final resting place his native Oklahoma would not.

Read more:   http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/456773/Jim-Thorpe-faces-losing-its-namesake

Jim Thorpe: Revitalization Success Story – Pottstown: Umm, No…

Postcard picture from 1915 of a "bird's e...

Image via Wikipedia

I drove up to Jim Thorpe today thinking it would be cooler in the mountains (not) and because it is a funky place (this was not my first visit, hence I already knew it was funky).

Jim Thorpe is the county seat of Carbon County.  Carbon County has a total land area of 387 square miles and 65,249 residents, based on the 2010 Census (a population density of 171 persons per square mile).  Jim Thorpe’s population was 4,804 (2000 census) with a land area of 14.5 square miles (mostly undeveloped, obviously).  Carbon County borders Lehigh County to the south and Luzerne County to the north.

Jim Thorpe was originally two towns across the Lehigh River from one another – Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk.  The two towns merged and adopted the name Jim Thorpe, after famed Native American Olympian Jim Thorpe who is buried in the borough.  Originally, what is now Jim Thorpe was a railroad and coal-shipping center.  Like many Pennsylvania towns, Jim Thorpe found itself on the downside of post-industrialization and languished for many years.  Becoming Jim Thorpe was the first attempt to boost the local economy.  This offered only limited success and so the town leadership needed to find other means of ramping up their economy.

Today, Jim Thorpe is a bustling small town that has become a destination (are we paying attention Pottstown?) using its natural surrounding, its heritage and some good marketing. 

Jim Thorpe has capitalized on being a former railroad town.  You can take an awesome train ride along the Lehigh River.  During the trip you learn about local history, play games and answer questions.  It is very enjoyable and affordable.  Asa Packer and his son Harry Packer have mansions in Jim Thorpe.  Asa’s mansion is a museum and Harry’s mansion is a B&B.  Asa Packer founded the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University.

Jim Thorpe is a river town.  The Lehigh River runs between both sides of town.  Taking advantage of being a river town, Jim Thorpe offers whitewater rafting on the Lehigh. 

Jim Thorpe is also a mountain town.  It’s called the “Switzerland of America”.  Taking advantage of being in the mountains, the town offers mountain biking and hiking.  They threw in paintball just because.  And don’t forget the Anthracite Triathlon, paying homage to being a coal-shipping center and part of the Coal Region.

Jim Thorpe is a historic town, full of 19th century architecture.  One can see examples of Federalist, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne and Richardsonian RomanesqueSt. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Carbon County Courthouse, the Packer Mansions, the Train Station, the Hotel Switzerland, historic Broadway, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Building and the Carbon County jail are some of the architectural attractions in town.

Jim Thorpe is so cool.  How cool is it??  Jim Thorpe was listed as number 7 on Budget Travel magazine’s America’s Coolest Small Towns in 2009.

Downtown Jim Thorpe is full of restaurants, bars, boutiques and stores of all kinds.  No empty buildings or mental health drop-in center.  Everything is clean and neat.  There is signage every where so you can find your way.  There is plenty of cheap parking…you have to pay but it is only a few dollars for the day.  There is plenty of foot and vehicular traffic coursing through the downtown.  Keep in mind this town has 4,804 people (or there about – not finding 2010 census results yet) and their downtown puts Pottstown’s to shame.  What’s wrong with that picture?  Jim Thorpe is 4 ½ time smaller than Pottstown, off the beaten path (Carbon County is not exactly Montgomery County with 800,000 people) and yet this town still finds ways to revitalize and thrive, even in a bad economy.

Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe nuzzles the ear of the Carbon County Commissioners at local events and undermines the borough council’s downtown revitalization strategy and possibly harms a local business?  Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe goes on the local radio station and bad-mouths borough council or that his/her spouse calls borough council a bunch of idiots while storming out of a meeting?  Would you suppose the Mayor of Jim Thorpe blows off out-of-town visitors and embarrasses borough council by promising to do something and then not doing it?

What do you suppose Jim Thorpe’s secret it?  Would you think the borough leadership came up with a plan and sticks with it?  Would you think there is a vision for Jim Thorpe and that the leadership works together and speaks with one voice?  Would you think taking advantage of a town’s history and natural surroundings is as good idea? Would you think creating a destination environment to attract repeat visitors is a good strategy?  Do you think embracing art and culture is a good strategy?  Jim Thorpe does.

Obviously, we are doing something very wrong in Pottstown that we are put to shame by a little mountain town in rural Carbon County.  They have left us in the dust.