Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – February 2017

FEBRUARY 2017

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MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

At only 46 cents per citizen, one has to ask “What does the National Endowment for the Arts actually do for the citizens of this country?” Surprisingly, a lot.

The 2016 budget for the National Endowment for the Arts was $148 million dollars. Annually, the NEA awards more than 2,200 grants and cooperative agreements exceeding $130 million, funding the arts in all 50 states and six U.S. jurisdictions, including urban and rural areas, and reaching civilian and military populations.

As determined by the Americans for the Arts in their Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, the nonprofit arts and culture industry in the United States generates $135.2 billion dollars of activity annually. This activity supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion dollars in revenue to local, state and federal governments.

That’s quite a healthy return on investment at less than four bits.

Economics aside, public funding for the arts validates the important role that the arts play in our lives. Arts are the highest form of expression. They have the power to make our lives better, heal emotional wounds, and spark initiatives, As a citizen, I would gladly support $5 of my tax dollars toward increasing the budget for the NEA. It would go a lot further in bringing people together in this country than spending $30 billion dollars for a wall.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

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Save the Date for Young at Art!

Young at Art Face Painting pic

You won’t want to miss this year’s day of creative fun for the whole family!

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm
Penn State Lehigh Valley
free admission for the community
lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art
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. Kids of every age and ability will find a way to sample the arts in all forms, while parents can gather information about classes and summer camps.

Meet Our Exhibiting Artist

Blue Glass

THOMAS AUGUSTA

January / February

“As a painter, I am more interested in how the subject appeals to me. I paint what I think is pleasing or compelling to the eye. My watercolors are more detailed than others, I try to bring in the viewer in with color, composition and detail.”

Thomas is a watercolor painter currently living in Bethlehem, PA, painting plein air and in his “Crow’s Nest Studio” at home. His inviting watercolor landscapes and still lives capture light and color, creating a balanced and interesting setting that tells a story.

Thomas’s exhibit will be on display in our office until the end of February – stop by and see the collection!

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Arts Alive 2017

Arts Alive 2017

Engage Your Mind & Spirit!

Join us in exploring the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. Expand your appreciation for the arts by attending one (or all three) of our Arts Alive offerings!

SPECIAL MEMBER PRICING FOR SERIES TICKET
Enjoy all three 2017 Arts Alive events for the price of $60 (savings of $15)!

How Does Your Garden Show? Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Garden Design, Inc.
PURCHASE TICKETS
Music of Friends Saturday, June 17, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Home of Janet & Malcolm Gross
PURCHASE TICKETS
Wearable Sculpture Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 11 am – 12:30 pm | Studio of Loretta Tryon
PURCHASE TICKETS
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Upcoming Performances

MORAVIAN COLLEGE MUSIC INSTITUTE

February 18 at 7:30pm
Sounds of New Orleans
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 19 at 2:00pm
Gamelan Gita Semara
Foy Hall, Moravian College

February 26 at 4:00pm
An Afternoon of Jazz
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 16 at 7:30pm
Expressionism – The Art & the Music
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 19 at 7:00pm
Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Combo II
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 24 at 7:30pm
Moravian College BIG Band
Foy Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 4:00pm
Early Music Ensembles
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 26 at 7:00pm
Celtic Ensemble – “Heather & Thistle – Music of Scotland”
Peter Hall, Moravian College

March 31 at 7:30pm
Moravian College Dance Company
Foy Hall, Moravian College

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MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY

February 23 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 24 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 25 at 8pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

February 26 at 2pm
Boeing-Boeing
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

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PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA

March 5 at 4pm
An Afternoon with Mozart
Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown

Second Annual Young At Art Expo Is Back!

young-at-art-logoThe Lehigh Valley Arts Council is proud to present the second annual Young at Art Expo.on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Held at Penn State Lehigh Valley, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, this event invites families with children of all ages to enjoy music, dance, arts and exploration. Admission is free and open to the public.

Local arts providers will assist parents with selecting the right summer class for their aspiring creatives. Parents will witness first-hand how the arts ignite their children’s imagination, while their kids get the chance to explore their inner dancer, actor, musician, author or visual artist.

“Young at Art is a day devoted to curiosity and entertainment,” says Executive Director Randall Forte. “Last year, we welcomed over 300 guests to our inaugural event, and the positive response from local families was wonderful!”

“My girls loved the different activity tables and face painting,” said Hazel Singleton Chumo, mother of two fun-loving girls, ages 7 and 4. “They also enjoyed the live performances which made it more entertaining.”

The expo showcases twenty arts and cultural businesses in the region that offer a wide range of children’s programming, both for beginners and for kids at an intermediate level. Among them include Community Music School, Banana Factory, Allegro Dance Studio, Swain School, Mikayla’s Voice, and the Mayura Academy of Dance.

The day’s festivities will feature an arts demonstration or performance every fifteen minutes, so kids will have a chance “to imagine what kind of artist” they want to be this summer. Families will have the opportunity to meet different arts instructors and join in hands-on activities. Lunch will be available for purchase, and parking is free.

For more information, visit http://www.lvartscouncil.org/young-at-art/.

Reggae Night At The Other Farm Features RED-I, Firefly Cafe

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RED-I

Boyertown, PA —The Other Farm Brewing Company, located at 128 E. Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, will host its monthly Reggae Night on Thursday, Jan. 26. The event will feature food from Firefly Cafe and music from local reggae band RED-I. Admission is $5. Doors open at 7 p.m., with music and food service beginning at 8 p.m. For information, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or call the cafe at 484-415-5066.

Boyertown’s own Firefly Cafe will offer vegan, Caribbean-inspired street food for purchase during the event. Music will be provided by RED-I, a Boyertown-based reggae band fronted by Firefly Cafe co-owner Michael Arcangel on guitar and vocals. Other members include Stephen Kurtz on bass, Paul Jameson on guitar, Kyle Seivard on keyboard, Jordan Lambert on percussion and Tim Leslie on drums.

This is the fourth collaboration between The Other Farm, Firefly Cafe and RED-I. Future Reggae Nights will be scheduled monthly.

Located in the heart of Boyertown, Firefly Cafe is a vegan restaurant that offers organic, gluten-free and locally sourced food options. For cafe hours, menus and catering info, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or join the cafe on Facebook, http://www,facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown]facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown; Twitter, @fireflycafeveg; or Instagram, @fireflycafeboyertown.

Three-Event Arts Alive Series

Arts Alive invites members who are eager to step behind the scenes of an arts experience and rub shoulders with the creative process. The 2017 series will explore the “intimacy of space” as imagined by a landscape architect, captured in a musical salon, and depicted in the wearable art of a metalsmith. All three events will take place at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

Seating is limited and preregistration is required at LVArtsCouncil.org. The admission fee for each event is $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. There is special pricing of $60 for members only who purchase a three-event series ticket.

The series kicks off with the How Does Your Garden Show? event on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Garden Design, Inc., with award-winning landscape architect Frederick Learey. Whether you like to entertain outdoors or seek sanctuary in nature or provide a playground for your family, you can make your landscape is a reflection of your personality. Mr. Learey’s extensive experience from designing formal estate gardens to outdoor living projects including full outdoor kitchens and roof-covered spaces with outdoor heaters, sound and video, will captivate and inspire you.

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, experience the Music of Friends as Satori introduces classical music selections in the ideal setting for chamber music. Janet and Malcolm Gross welcome guests into their lovely home to enjoy the intimacy of performance, followed by a light luncheon.

The final offering, Wearable Sculpture, is a visit to the Coopersburg studio of painter and metalsmith Loretta Tryon on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Tryon finds inspiration for her jewelry from the images in her abstract paintings, creating and embellishing three-dimensional shapes with patinas and engraving. Her process visually combines motion and gesture in metal. The studio tour will highlight the evolution of her thirty year career as an artist.

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

Firefly Cafe, Red-I Join The Other Farm For Reggae Night In Boyertown

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Boyertown based reggae band RED-I performs at The Other Farm Brewing Company on Nov. 25, 2016. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Boyertown, PA —The Other Farm Brewing Company, located at 128 E. Philadelphia Ave. in Boyertown, will host its monthly Reggae Night on Thursday, Dec. 22. The event will feature food from Firefly Cafe and music from local reggae band RED-I. Admission is $5. Doors open at 7 p.m., with music and food service beginning at 8 p.m. For information, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or call the cafe at 484-415-5066.

Boyertown’s own Firefly Cafe will offer vegan, Caribbean-inspired street food for purchase during the event. Music will be provided by RED-I, a Boyertown-based reggae band fronted by Firefly Cafe co-owner Michael Arcangel on guitar and vocals. Other members include Stephen Kurtz on bass, Paul Jameson on guitar, Kyle Seivard on keyboard, Jordan Lambert on percussion and Tim Leslie on drums.

This is the third collaboration between The Other Farm, Firefly Cafe and RED-I. Future Reggae Nights will be scheduled monthly.

Located in the heart of Boyertown, Firefly Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant that offers organic, vegan, gluten-free and locally sourced food options. For cafe hours, menus and catering info, visit fireflycafeboyertown.com or join the cafe on Facebook, facebook.com/fireflycafeboyertown; Twitter, @fireflycafeveg; or Instagram, @fireflycafeboyertown.

RUSH For $15 Tickets For Bach Choir Christmas Concert!

RUSH TICKETS AVAILABLE

Last-Minute Discount!

$15 Adult / $4 Student

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Christmas Concert

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Parts 4, 5 and 6 presented by The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

Saturday, December 10, 2016
8:00 p.m.
West End of Allentown
First Presbyterian Church of Allentown
3231 Tilghman Street, Allentown PA 18104

(Sunday’s performance is SOLD OUT!)

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Soloists: Ellen McAteer, soprano Laura Atkinson, mezzo-soprano Benjamin Butterfield, tenor David Newman, bass-baritone

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Sing ye heavens, tell the story
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Following up last year’s concert of Parts 1, 2 and 3, this year’s performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio offers the final three cantatas. Choir member and writer David Ruhf characterized the work in this way:

“The Christmas Oratorio includes many kinds of joy and devotion, from ecstatic rhapsody to hushed bliss. … no better way to begin December’s festivities than to encounter this radiant music, offered with love and passion in an atmosphere of celebratory and appreciative engagement.”

More info on 2016 Christmas Concerts

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Facebook

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RUSH PRICES: $15 Adult / $4 Student

price of regular General Admission ticket: $37 Adult / $9 Student

Rush Tickets available online only through Lehigh Valley Arts Council Box Office

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PLEASE NOTE:

Rush Tickets are available for General Admission seating.
Convenience fee ($3 or $2.50, depending on price level) is charged at checkout in addition to the price of a standard Rush Ticket (total ticket price + convenience fee = $18 Adults; $6.50 Students)
For additional information, please visit The Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Website or call: 610-866-4382.

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Rush Ticketing is a service of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

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Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – December 2016

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DECEMBER 2016

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MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season will shine a little brighter because I will be witnessing it through the eyes of my new grandchild. He teaches me about wonder and renews a sense of hope for the future. What a piece of work is a child. The beauty of the world.

Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season.

Randall Forte, Executive Director

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Joy-to-the-Arts

The most wonderful time of the year…to enjoy the Arts and Culture of the Lehigh Valley! These festive months are full of chances to celebrate, creating memories to last a lifetime. Catch a holiday themed dance or theatre performance, listen to the songs of the season, shop handmade for cherished gifts, or create a holiday craft perfect for giving.

Here’s your guide to get into the spirit of the season with the Arts!

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Save the Date for Young at Art!

You won’t want to miss this year’s day of creative fun for the whole family!

SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm
Penn State Lehigh Valley
free admission for the community
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. Kids of every age and ability will find a way to sample the arts in all forms, while parents can gather information about classes and summer camps.

Join us as an Exhibitor!

The deadline for early registration is Friday, December 2nd!

Advertising is available for our full-color program!

Our event brings in local families with children of all ages – reach this target audience with an affordable ad, while supporting arts education in our region!

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Kiddos enjoying an interactive performance with Mock Turtle Marionette!

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Upcoming Performances

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BACH & HANDEL CHORALE

December 3 at 12pm
Christmas Concert
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

December 3 at 3pm
Christmas Concert
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

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MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY

December 1 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 2 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 3 at 8pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

December 4 at 2pm
Everyman on Trial
Arena Theatre, Moravian College

Arts Advocate – October 2016

MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Despicable Me

Data collection and analysis are essential advocacy tools. It requires a certain amount of ruthlessness however, to collect information from the arts community.

Every five years the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has undertaken research to track the state of the arts in the region and compare the results to national trends. The findings from the 2012 Arts & Economic Prosperity study of the region’s nonprofit arts industry revealed a $208 million industry—one that provides 7,114 full-time jobs and generates $21 million in state and local taxes annually. Very impressive, don’t you think?

Currently, the Arts Council is in the midst of gathering data for the 2017 study. Throughout 2016, I have been urging cultural nonprofits to complete an organizational expenditure survey, as well as assist me in surveying audiences at 16 various performances or events. We now have 40 groups onboard and 500 audience surveys completed. That leaves another 60 groups and 300 audience members to chase down.

The more data we collect will translate into a bigger story about how the region’s nonprofit arts industry boosts our economy. Heads up! I’m coming for you!
Randall Forte, Executive Director

ARTS COUNT: Get fired up for Arts Count at Smooth-On!

“What’s the deal with this place, Smooth-On?”

It’s okay to wonder what Smooth-On, Inc. is and how it relates to our upcoming event, Arts Count! We’ve received a few inquiries about this company and it’s location with a huge warehouse in Macungie (formerly Day-Timers) that doesn’t appear to be a place to host a celebration. However, when you see the work of Smooth-On products, it will all make perfect sense! The entrance alone is sure to wow our guests.

Trust us, you won’t want to miss the Arts Count fun!!

Head over to Smooth-On’s Facebook page and you’ll get a taste of how their products are used for movie props and characters!


ARTS COUNT
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
5:30–7:30 PM
Smooth-On, Inc., 5600 Lower Macungie Road, Macungie, PA

Don’t forget to RSVP at 610-437-5915 by Friday, October 14th!

MEMBERS FREE
NONMEMBERS $10

PURCHASE TICKETS

AUDIO DESCRIPTION TRAINING: Two-Day Workshop Opportunity
INCREASE YOUR JOB SKILLS!
BUILD YOUR RESUME!

Theatre practitioners from all walks of life—actors, students, volunteers, educators—are invited to enroll in the upcoming audio description training session and acquire new performance skills.


Audio Description Training

Two-Day Workshop
NOVEMBER 4 & 5, 2016
9am to 4pm (both days)
Muhlenberg College | Allentown, PA

As an introduction to the training, students of the workshop will enjoy an audio-described performance, Pirates of Penzance, on
Thursday, NOVEMBER 3, 2016
8:00pm
Trexler Pavilion | Muhleberg College | Allentown, PA


MEMBERS $35
NONMEMBERS $50
 
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER FEATURED ARTIST: Dattatreya Phadke

We are pleased to have our newest Featured Artist’s work displayed through the end of October.

Dattatreya Phadke is a local pathologist by training, but he also has an artistic side that he dedicates much of his free time to producing beautiful, intricately constructed work – ALL IN FABRIC! His work is quite mesmerizing – at first glance it appears to be a painting, but when the viewer steps forward, the thousands of tiny fabric scraps (some brought over directly from India) are visible. His work is truly a must-see!

Come visit our office and view Dattatreya’s work during normal business hours until the end of October. Our parking lot is open for visitors now (it had previously been under construction)!

To view images of Dattatreya Phadke’s work, visit his Exhibiting Artist page!

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF BETHLEHEM presents:

Aizuri Quartet
October 14, 2016 at 7:30pm

Foy Hall | Behtlehem

Modigliani String Quartet
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Cathedral Church of the Nativity | Bethlehem


MORAVIAN COLLEGE MUSIC INSTITUTE presents:

“A Boo-Roque Hallowe’en II” – Baroque & Monteverdi Ensembles
October 23, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Behtlehem

Moravian College Celtic Ensemble & Guitar Ensemble
October 30, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Fusion Ensemble & Jazz Vocal Ensemble
November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Jazz Combo I & Jazz Combo II
November 5, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Flute Troupe – Saxophone Quartet – Woodwind Ensemble
November 6, 2016 at 4:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Delta Omicron Musicale
November 6, 2016 at 7:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

M.I.M.E. – Moravian Improvised Music Ensemble
November 9, 2016 at 9:00pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Community Orchestra
November 13, 2016 at 7:00pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Salon Ensemble
November 14, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College BIG Band
November 18, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Concert Hall | Bethlehem

Moravian College Trombone Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble
November 21, 2016 at 7:30pm
Peter Hall | Bethlehem


MORAVIAN COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY presents:

Murdered to Death


PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

not-just-Art Auction
October 21, 2016 at 7:00pm
Brookside Country Club | Macungie

Enchantment Times Three
November 19, 2016 at 7:30pm
First Presbyterian Church | Allentown

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

MCCC To Celebrate 30 Years Of Arts Excellence With 2016-17 Lively Arts Season

Blue Bell, PA —Montgomery County Community College will celebrate three decades of bringing world-class entertainment, soul-enriching music, peerless comedy and thought-provoking discussion to the community through its 2016-17 Lively Arts season.

Since 1986, the Lively Art series has connected the community through electrifying musical, dance and theater performances, stimulating workshops and lectures, Young Arts Explorers events and meet-the-artist receptions. This year’s season promises even more with its family series and a new film series. Visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts or call 215-641-6518 for more information and tickets.

The series continues with a host of musical, theater and comedy performances, including:

·      The Capitol Steps (Oct. 16) – The popular, award-winning group will share its special brand of satirical political humor – just in time for the presidential election – through song parodies and skits that play off recent headlines.

·      Repertorio Español’s Production of “El Quijote” (Oct. 22) – The classic story of the Man of La Mancha is told in Spanish with English captions by experienced and emerging Latino theater artists.

·      The Joey Alexander Trio (Nov. 6) – Child prodigy Joey Alexander, a 13-year-old self-taught Indonesian jazz pianist who released his first album in 2015, has performed for Herbie Hancock and Bill Clinton and at prestigious jazz festivals.

·      Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland (Dec. 4) – Venerated Memphis-born jazz musician and composer Charles Lloyd, who has played with such legends as B.B. King and Bobbie “Blue” Bland and has recorded with The Doors and the Beach Boys, brings his mastery of tenor saxophone, flute, piano and more to audiences in a blend of jazz, world music and other genres.

·      Aaron Diehl Quartet featuring Warren Wolf (Feb. 11) – Diehl, a Juilliard grad and Cole Porter jazz fellow who has toured with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, is joined by Berklee-trained multi-instrumentalist and recording artist Warren Wolf for an evening of jazz blended with hip-hop, funk, rock and world music.

·      Cyrille Aimée (Feb. 18) – The jazz vocalist and French native, who has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “astonishingly creative…with a brilliant sound, fresh ideas [and] impeccable rhythm,” brings a gypsy sensibility to her singing.

·      James “Blood” Ulmer Odyssey Trio (Feb. 25) – Ulmer, a jazz and blues guitarist, singer and recording artist, applies his southern roots in gospel toward a highly individualized sound described as “a cross between Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Mike Bloomfield.”

·      Monnette Sudler’s Philadelphia Guitar Summit “Chord Nation” (Mar. 4) –Philadelphia-native guitar expert Monnette Sudler will present “Chord Nation,” featuring M’OUD Swing Moroccan Oriental Jazz, Paul Bollenback Portraits of Space and Time Quartet with Orin Evans, Mike Boone and Byron Landham, Gloria Galanta Harp Jazz Ensemble featuring Monnette Sudler and introducing Nasir Dickerson, soloist bringing his African melodies on the African harp-Kora.

·      Sébastien Lépine (Mar. 12) –  Lépine – the award-winning Canadian cellist, chamber musician, conductor and composer who breathes new life into classical music – will join forces with 4 Ailes, a string quartet that has performed all over Quebec and shared the stage with Ingrid St.-Pierre and other accomplished artists.

·      Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (Apr. 1) – The Grammy-winning pianist, composer and founding artistic director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance performs with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which has preserved the music of his father, the legendary Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill.

·      Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Apr. 7) – Known as the “bad boys of jazz,” this troupe of seven brothers from the south side of Chicago formed a group as children under their trumpet-playing father, Kelan Phil Cohran, and has played with everyone from Prince to Mick Jones of The Clash.

·      Koresh Dance Company (Apr. 29) – Now in its 25th year, this acclaimed dance company led by Israeli founder Ronen “Roni” Koresh has toured extensively and been praised for its “rich, multicultural blend of intensity and physicality” offering “all the finesse and grace of a ballet with the athleticism of an Olympic sport.”

New this year in honor of the Lively Arts’ 30th anniversary, the College will debut a film series sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation On Screen/In Person. Films include:

·      You Belong to Me (Oct. 18, 3 p.m.), an expose of what it meant to be an African American in the Jim Crow South in the 1950s as seen through the lens of a bizarre sex- and race-related murder.

·      Love thy Nature (Nov. 8, 4 p.m.), a cinematic journey narrated by Liam Neeson about the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world.

·      Hilleman: A Perilous Quest to Save our World’s Children (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.), which profiles the man who led a revolution in vaccine innovation that saved millions of young lives.

·      Real Boy (Mar. 21, 7 p.m.), a coming-of-age story about a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man.

·      States of Grace (Apr. 13, 3 p.m.), an award-winning portrait of devotion and trust that documents one woman’s fight to restore her life with her partner and teenage daughter after a tragic accident results in a seven-week coma and a dozen surgeries.

In its annual Young Arts Explorers series, the College will engage children through highly entertaining, educational performances, including:

·      Janet’s Planets (Jan. 26), a live performance from Janet Ivey of the popular TV show in which she explores science, technology, engineering, art, math and the wonders of the galaxy through an imaginative, interactive learning adventure

·      Seussical (Jan. 27), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs

For its new Family Series, the College will engage audiences of all ages with:

·      Seussical (Jan. 28), a musical presented by TheatreWorks USA that takes audiences into the world of Dr. Seuss through a story of friendship, loyalty, the power of being unique and the importance of fighting for your beliefs ·

Okee Dokee Brothers (Mar. 11), the Grammy-winning performers who use family-oriented Americana folk music to inspire kids to go outside, be creative and gain a greater respect for the natural world and their communities

The Lively Arts Series events are held in the Science Center Theater at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

For more information, visit mc3.edu/livelyarts, email livelyarts@mc3.edu or call the Box Office at 215-641-6518. Follow the College’s “Destination Arts” page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DestinationArts.

CLASSICAL GUITARIST OPENS SEASON IN POTTSTOWN‏

Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Russell Ferrara performing classical guitar Lake Lanier, GA

Pottstown, PA –  Classical Guitarist Russell Ferrara begins the 2016 fall season with 3 formal and informal performances in Pottstown. He will perform for the Steel River Playhouse Gala on Saturday September 10 at 7:00 PM, for Pottstown FARM on High Street on September 15 with sets interspersed throughout the 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM event. On September 24 he will present informal performances as well as pop up classes on guitar and ukulele at the Pottstown Latin Festival. Information and
tickets to the Steel River Playhouse Gala are available at steelriver-playhouse.org. Pottstown FARM and the Pottstown Latin Festival are free and open to the public.

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

With Kim Robson: Lake Lanier, GA

These performances mark the end of a highly productive summer for Ferrara, who has been performing and teaching in and around Pottstown since the opening of Steel River playhouse in 2008. He began the summer with a 10 day trip to Georgia to perform, teach and direct guitar ensembles with his flute playing partner Kim Robson. Upon returning from Georgia he taught ukulele classes and workshops at Pottstown Middle School and Steel River Playhouse, made his first appearance at Pottstown FARM and went immediately into rehearsals for the Wings of Hope benefit concert at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville. From there he and Robson began sessions for their completed but as yet unreleased album. He took time away from the studio only to do a run in the pit band of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” at the SALT theater in Yellow Springs.

Ferrara begins this month presenting the class “Ukulele Fun” at Steel River Playhouse. Designed to provide an introduction to playing string instruments, “Ukulele Fun” uses music familiar to everyone to build solid playing skills. The format of the class is ensemble based with everyone playing together in a fast-paced fun environment. Ferrara brings his years of experience performing and directing guitar ensembles to the design and format of the class. Further information can be found at steelriver-playhouse.org.

Upcoming Music Classes And Performances‏ Flute Haven/Spirit Grass

Flute Haven Native Flute School Returns to Valley Forge

Do you love the soothing sounds of the Native Flute? Come to a workshop or concert this September!

Flute Haven is a retreat for musicians of all levels of experience. While our focus is the Native American flute, we seek to broaden all aspects of our musicianship and offer people the opportunity to go deep into many directions: flute playing, performance skills, percussion, voice, recording, facilitation, flute making, and jamming with other instruments. http://flutehaven.comCome to one of our concerts! SpiritGrass, comprised of staff members for Flutehaven, will appear at Steel City Coffeehouse Sept. Wed. 9/14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Spirit Grass: Live at Steel City Coffee House on Wednesday September 14th
$12 in advance, $15 at the door
Tickets
Free concert Friday Sept 16, 2:00 – 3:00 pm Rose Hall: Camphill Village,
1601 Pughtown Rd. Kimberton, PA.
Flutehaven Improv Orchestra,
40 orchestrated Native flutes
http://Spiritarts.us
Flute Haven Native Flute School September 11th ~ September 18th
Choose from 3 different programs: Leadership program 11-18, Week long program 13-18, Weekend program Sept. 16-18
Registration
Join us at the Bistro on Bridge Club 212, Bridge St. Phoenixville
Sat. Sept 17, 6:00 – 9:00 pm  for the Flutehaven Open mic. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the Native flute.  $26.  Dinner or just stop in for a drink.

 

Lehigh Valley Arts Advocate – August 2016‏

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!
Randall Forte, Executive Director

SAVE THE DATE! Arts Count 2016

Arts Count celebrates the essential public and private partnerships that fuel the arts, engages business and foundation leaders as well as elected officials to be advocates for arts and culture, and acknowledges the year’s grant recipients.

Free to members of the Arts Council and grant recipients, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council event honors the Project Stream and Program Stream recipients awarded state arts grants through the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.


SAVE THE DATE!

ARTS COUNT 2016

October 19, 2016
Smooth On
5600 Lower Macungie Road
Macungie, PA 18062

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA presents:

Valley Vivaldi
August 21, 2016 at 7:30pm

Wesley Church, Bethlehem

Trio Solisti
September 16, 2016 at 7:30pm
Foy Hall, Bethlehem

Lehigh Valley Arts Council
840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201 ◊ Allentown, PA 18101
610.437.5915 ◊ info@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org
LVArtsBoxOffice.org

‘In The Heights’ Brings Latin Rhythms, Stories To Muhlenberg Summer Stage

Allentown, PA — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights” — the precursor to his blockbuster Broadway hit “Hamilton” — runs July 13-31 as the second production of the Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre season.  The show tells a story that many of its cast hold close to their hearts: the story of families and cultures that have been transplanted from far away.

Many of the show’s 20 actors and dancers can tell you a story about their families coming to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico, or Cuba, or the Dominican Republic. For some, that story is not so long in the past. Wilma Rivera, for example, is a professional actress, a Muhlenberg College alumna, and a first-generation American. She says “In the Heights” is the story of her family.

“When I saw ‘In the Heights’ on Broadway, there was this moment when the music of the first number started, and it captured so beautifully the experience of what it’s like to be a Latino,” says Rivera, who plays Camila. “It’s that struggle to maintain an identity and also to assimilate — especially in New York City.”

“In the Heights” was a hit when it opened in 2008, running more than a thousand performances and bringing its composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, to the attention of theatergoers. Miranda’s innovative score melded the rhymes and rhythms of hip-hop with the Latin-style music of salsa and merengue, and, together with Quiara Alegría Hudes’ book, captured the sights, sounds and stories of the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and was short-listed for a Pulitzer Prize the following year. Miranda also won the Tony for Best Score. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director Alex Lacamoire also won Tony Awards for their Latin- and hip-hop-inflected choreography and orchestrations. The three would reunite with director Thomas Kail to create “Hamilton.”

“Miranda is deeply versed in ’90s hip-hop,” says James Peck, who directs the production for Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. “He picks up beats and rhythm structures and song structures from hip-hop, and he incorporates salsa, merengue, and other Latin styles — but he’s also a musical theatre fanboy from the age of five. The results are really a musical tour-de-force.”

MSMT’s production features choreography by Samuel Antonio Reyes and musical direction by Ed Bara. John Raley designed the set, Lex Gurst designed costumes, John McKernon designed lights, and Patrick Moren designed sound.

Peck credits choreographer Reyes as a driving force behind bringing the show to the MSMT stage.

“Sammy is a hip-hop dancer, a theater artist, and a Puerto Rican. He has a deep understanding of the cultural dynamics at work in this piece,” Peck says. “I wouldn’t have had the temerity to the play without him. It was Sammy saying, ‘I’ve got to do “In the Heights”‘ that made it come together.”

 “In the Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood — a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

Miranda himself was born in Washington Heights, and grew up in Linwood, one neighborhood over. His parents had moved to New York from Puerto Rico, and every summer, he visited his grandparents back on the island.

Wilma Rivera’s classmate at Muhlenberg, Gabe Martínez, also remembers feeling like he was watching his own family’s history on stage when he first saw “In the Heights.” Martínez saw the show for the first time a year to the day after his grandmother passed away.

“The actress who played Abuela Claudia was the spitting image of my abuela,” says Martínez, who stars as Usnavi, the role that Miranda played on Broadway. “As soon as she walked out on stage, my father and I started weeping. We were at the matinee; I bought the cast recording on the way home and had it memorized by the time I went to bed.”

Martínez’s grandparents moved from Puerto Rico to New York in the 1940s, shortly after his grandfather returned from service in World War II.

“They wrote to each other every day, planning their move to New York, the American dream,” Martínez says. “When the war was over, he hadn’t been home a week when they bought a plane ticket and headed to the Bronx.”

Rivera has a similar connection to the material. Her father immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1970s. Her mother was born in East Harlem, but moved to Puerto Rico as a small child. Both came from poverty, she says. Her mother was the only one in her family to go to college. When Rivera went off to Muhlenberg to study acting, she was the first in her family to attend college on the mainland — and, like Nina in “In the Heights,” she almost gave it up after her freshman year. Department chair Charles Richter talked her into staying.

“‘We need you here,’ he told me.”

Rivera and Martínez were the only two Latino students in the theater program at the time. Neither of them ever had the chance before now to play a Latino character on the Muhlenberg stage — and the opportunity is what drew them back. Both of them have worked steadily as actors since graduating — Rivera in 2009, and Martínez in 2010 — but they have had to be flexible in order to do it.

“I’ve spent my entire professional career praying to see a casting call saying ‘ethnically ambiguous — slash — Latino,'” Martínez says. “We were the only two Latino kids in our class, and now there are lots of kids, and this is their first professional gig, and we’re just so happy for them to start out this way, that these kids are having this opportunity.”

Rivera echoes his enthusiasm.

“This department has really embraced students of color and encouraged their talents, and really raised them up,” she says. “I’m very proud of this college and to be an alumna of this college, and I just hope it continues to grow.”

Martínez and Rivera’s deep connection to “In the Heights” is a common thread through the entire cast, Peck says.

“When people have a chance to be part of a show that speaks to their own experience, they make a significant personal investment in that show,” he says. “It’s rare that these stories get told, and when people have the chance to be a part of these stories, they grab onto that chance.”

In fact, Rivera’s connection to the show runs so deep that she got a tattoo of one of its lyrics, “Paciencia y fe,” a song sung by Abuela Claudia. The lyric reminds her of her own abuela, who died in January.

“It’s heartbreaking to lose that matriarch of a Latin family,” Rivera says. “She’s the stone and we’re all the ripples of what she leaves behind. It holds weight, I think, in this world, that we remember who we are and where we’re from. Gabe and I are very lucky that we have that image of our parents and remember the struggle.”

The actor who plays Abuela Claudia in the production — jazz vocalist, scholar and activist Roberta Meek — agrees. Meek had only one grandparent growing up, and ike Abuela Claudia — and like Rivera and Martínez’s abuelas — she was the keeper of the family’s stories.

“My grandmother was literally the historian of the family,” Meek says. “Her father was born into slavery, and he had been searching for his mother ever since. My grandmother was the griot,” the person who maintains the oral history tradition in many West African cultures. “You came to her for school.”

“In the Heights” is Meek’s first musical theater performance, although she has been performing as a jazz vocalist in the Lehigh Valley for more than 20 years. She also contributed stories and songs to the Touchstone Theatre project “Another River Flows: a Celebration of the Lehigh Valley Black Experience.”

One of the things that “In the Heights” gets right, Rivera says, is the sabor — the flavor of Latin culture and of the Washington Heights community.

“This show is packed full of sabor,” she says.

Some of that flavor is visual; much of it comes from the rhythm and choreographic energy that choreographer Samuel Reyes has brought to the project.

“The blend of salsa, hip-hop and contemporary movement is very exciting for me as a choreographer — and we have found such a dynamic, crazy talented cast,” Reyes says. “This show is going to punch a hole in the wall, both visually and emotionally. I’m just so damn proud to be part of it.”

“In the Heights” plays July 13-31 at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre. Performances take place in the Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre, in the Trexler Pavilion for Theatre & Dance. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices for the first four performances are $33 regular admission; seniors, $29; students and children, $18. Prices for the rest of the run are $39 regular admission; seniors, $36; students and children, $20.

Tickets and information are available at http://www.muhlenberg.edu/smt or 484-664-3333.