Mark Your Calendar For Another Spectacular Pottstown ArtsWalk – A Free Event – Saturday, May 6, 2017!

Pottstown, 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, May 6, 2017 from 12 pm to 9 pm. 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.

Viewing the art in a kind of “pub crawl” format adds to the fun and energetic quality of this event. Family-friendly activities are being planned. 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.”

While 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, May 6, 2017, and you can order as many as you need. Visit http://www.artfusion19464.org/artwalk.

Get a taste for all the activities, food and arts presentations. Here is a list of venues joining us Saturday, May 6th to showcase Pottstown and all that our community has to offer:

@107, 107 E. High St. and Advantage Insurance
ArtFusion 19464, 254 E. High St.
Ballroom on High, 310 E. High St.
Beverly’s Pastry Shop, 322 E. High St.
Connections on High, 238 E. High St.
Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches, 137 E. High St.
High Street Music, 135 E. High St.
iCreate Cafe, 130 King St.
Juan Carlos Fine Mexican Cuisine, 235 E. High St.
Lily’s Grill, 115 E. High St.
MCCC North Hall Gallery, 16 E. High St.
Memory Madness Photo Studio, 16 N. York St.
MOSIAC Community Land Trust, 10 S. Hanover St.
Potts & Penn Family Diner, 80 E. High St.
Smith Family Plaza, 100 E. High St.
Steel River Playhouse, 245 E. High St.
The Carousel at Pottstown, 30 W. King St.
The Hill School Center for the Performing Arts, 780 Beech St.
Weitzenkorn’s, 145 E. High St.

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

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

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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

Special Project: Is Pottstown More Dangerous Than Other Towns?

Editor’s note:  A continuation of Evan Brandt’s series about crime in Pottstown.  Well worth the read.  The blogging community has been trying to get this problem addressed for a while now and it’s great that the mainstream media and Montco officials are getting on the bandwagon to clean up Pottstown.  We feel Pottstown has great potential but it can’t be realized until crime is brought under control.  When criminals learn that Pottstown isn’t open for business anymore, redevelopment can really take hold.

How many times have you heard it in the past year?

“Pottstown is turning into another Reading.”

It’s the kind of comparison not meant to reflect well on the Berks County seat, labeled in 2011 as the nation’s poorest city.

But comparisons are a way to put things in context.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150309/special-project-is-pottstown-more-dangerous-than-other-towns

Food Fridays In Downtown Pottstown, June 27th

Smith Family Plaza – 100 E High Street, Pottstown

Come Downtown and “Eat Like A Local!” 

Join our downtown restaurants, Argento’s, Grumpy’s, Lily’s Grill & The Milkmen Lunch Co. for a taste of their fare, LIVE music by ‘Bees in a Bottle’ and your community for lunch outdoors THIS FRIDAY, June 27th, between 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (music between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)

We promise nice weather and the perfect scenery to enjoy lunch, friends and neighbors!

p.s. The RESTAURANTS WILL ALSO BE OPEN if you want to visit them inside as well!

ADDITIONAL DATES PLANNED – July 18, August 15 & September 19th

We are looking for additional local bands – if you know someone and they can play any of the above

dates, please let Sheila Dugan know – 610-323-5400 / sheiladugan@comcast.net

Sponsored by Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority

Parking In Downtown Pottstown – Snow Rules Reminder

PLEASE REMEMBER SNOW RULES IF YOU ARE PARKING ON HIGH STREET IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

Parking areas should be left free of cars along High Street WHEN THE STORM ENDS – we do all we can to clear those areas, quickly and efficiently.

Any questions, feel free to contact Sheila Dugan at 484-948-6061. PLEASE USE THE LOTS AVAILABLE. Thank you in advance!

PS. Don’t forget to warm up this Saturday at The Soup Bowl Fund Raiser – www.ARTFusion19464.0rg

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A Public Service Announcement From The Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA)

POTTSTOWN, PA – SNOW IS ON IT’S WAY – PLEASE If you plan to park along High Street between York and Evan’s, please go to the various municipal lots so that the parking areas can be cleared of snow as easily as possible. PENNDOT only plows the center lane for us. PDIDA must do the rest, it will be best for all if we can manage a few hours in the lots, clear the streets without issue and then park again on High – Please share this information if you can so things go smoothly. If 5″ or more is laid, we will begin snow removal as quickly as possible. Thanks everyone for your cooperation!

Specific municipal lots are assigned to the 100, 200, and 300 hundred blocks of High Street. Vehicles which park overnight on the 100 block of High Street are assigned to the parking lot across the tracks from the old train station. In the 200 block, cars are assigned to the lot behind American Cash Traders and cars from the 300 block should park in the Evans Street lot.
Questions? Please call Sheila at 610-323-5400 or 484-948-6061.

Small Business Day – November 30, 2014 In Pottstown

Untitled-TrueColor-01Get your raffle and a chance to win $1,000 or $500 in time for the holiday bills!

Raffle tickets are $25 each.  You must spend a minimum of $100 between November 30 and midnight December 20, 2014 in the DOWNTOWN DISTRICT, (High Street from York to Evans Street), or at any recognized “BUY LOCAL” shop in the borough.  Raffle sales will begin on Small Business Day, November 30.  Receipts must be dropped of attached to your filled out ticket at the PDIDA Office, (17 N. Hanover Street)no later than midnight on December 20, 2014.

SO, BUY LOCAL AND WIN!

Historic Pottstown Holiday House Tour

DATE: DECEMBER 8, 2013
TIME: 2PM to 7Pm
COST: $13.00 per person

(start at The Elks Club for Tea)

CARRIAGE RIDES ALONG HIGH STREET: $5 each

FOR TICKETS CONTACT:
Parks & Rec at 610-970-6618
Sheila Dugan (PDIDA) 610-323-5400 / 484-948-6061 or sheiladugan@comcast.net

Pottstown Merchants Will Take To The Streets Saturday

Picture 580POTTSTOWN – Summer is time for savings in downtown Pottstown, especially this Saturday when the annual Sidewalk Sale takes to the streets from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to Main Street Manager Sheila Dugan, the day will include offers from more than 40 downtown merchants, as well as face painting, a visit from Rainbow the Clown and collections of Pottstown School uniforms.

Demonstrations will be provided by CrossFit at 21 N. Hanover St. at 12:45, 2:45 and again at 4 p.m.

Also providing demonstrations at 307 E. High St. will be Red Cloud Kung Fu at 12, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/pottstown-merchants-will-take-the-streets-saturday-0/1

Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) Is On The Move!

180933_10150092018677029_7436728_nLike the little engine that could, Sheila Dugan has taken the throttle of the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) and is chugging uphill toward her vision of a revitalized central business district.

Unlike Main Street Managers in the past, this dynamo hit the ground running and is pulling PDIDA into the 21st century at warp speed.  The PDIDA board has been reorganized, assessments are being collected, activities are being scheduled and a new cooperation is being fostered between PDIDA, borough hall, PAID, the TriCounty Community Network and other entities in Pottstown.

Sheila actually lives in Pottstown, is a downtown business owner (she and her husband own Grumpy’s) and her children attend the Pottstown School District.  Sheila is INVESTED in Pottstown (a missing component in past Main Street Managers).

The perception of business owners in the downtown, by the general public, is poor.  Sheila is trying to raise awareness that most businesses downtown are Mom and Pop operations.  In many cases, one owner, one employee.  Trying to “do it all” six days a week from open to close does not leave much time for people to attend PDIDA meetings (or much of anything else).

To combat the time problem, Sheila has come up with an innovative solution – block captains.  The block captains will talk with their assigned business owners and attend the meetings to speak for the group they represent.  The block captains will then convey the meeting results back to their group.  Email is also being used to keep PDIDA members updated, in addition to block captains and meetings.

Sheila has been working closely with the Pottstown Police Department and Borough Manager Mark Flanders toward a solution for the vagrant problem downtown.  Sheila said Mark Flanders and the Pottstown Police Department have been extremely helpful and cooperative in working toward a solution for this problem.  You will see more police officers downtown walking a beat along with other measures that are aimed at making the downtown clean, safe and a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers, arts and restaurant patrons.

PDIDA is also working with the numerous social services agencies in Pottstown.  These agencies will also play a role in managing the homeless and idle population that have been congregating downtown and hampering revitalization efforts.

Sheila works hand-in-hand with Pottstown Area Industrial Director Executive Director Steve Bamford to help market Pottstown and fill empty store fronts with new businesses.  She said Steve Bamford has been great to work with.  Marketing Pottstown is not an easy job.

Another important cooperative effort taking place is between the Pottstown Codes Department and PDIDA.  Every building within the PDIDA zone is being reviewed and code violations are being identified where they exist.  Clean and safe buildings are certainly more appealing to consumers!

Like many organizations, PDIDA has lost a large percentage of its funding.  Sheila said individual and corporate sponsors are desperately needed as well as volunteers.  For example, the PDIDA office downtown needs volunteers to help staff the office.  Sheila is also working on fundraising efforts and is applying for grants to help fund events and projects.

While we are on the subject of funding and budgets, Sheila is Pottstown’s official Main Street Manager but receives only a fraction of the salary the former managers were paid.  This is due to the loss of funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the Main Street Program.  Pottstown is fortunate to have someone willing to take on this herculean task, put in the time, do the hard work and get results on a shoestring budget.

One last thing before I give you a list of upcoming events downtown.  A while ago, one of my readers asked me if the façade program was still in existence.  I emailed the former Main Street Manager, identified myself and posed my reader’s question.  I never received the courtesy of a reply.  I asked Sheila about this during our conversation and she told me that the façade program does indeed still exist and there is still money available.

Some exciting PDIDA events to look forward to include:

June 8 – 2nd Annual Iron Horse, motorcycle show

June 20 – Rumble Downtown (includes Misty May-Treanor and live music).

July 20 – 2nd Annual Sidewalk Sale

October 12 – 6th Annual Riverfest – PDIDA is taking on this event and adding an evening component from 6pm – 8pm which will include live bands, artists, beer garden, a Bike/Art event and a TriPAC show at 8pm. Downtown restaurants will be participating.

Sheila said she is always looking for participants, live music, artists and street performers for PDIDA events.  I will again put in a plug for individual and corporate sponsors.

The Pottstown Visitors Center aka the PDIDA office is located at 17 North Hanover Street in downtown Pottstown.  The phone number is (610) 323-5400.  Sheila Dugan is the Main Street Manager and her direct line is (484) 948-6061.  The website is http://downtownpottstown.org/

Obamacare Regs Force Medical Business Out Of Downtown Pottstown

Editor’s note:  This sucks!

POTTSTOWN — A medical equipment supply business that has been quietly thriving in downtown Pottstown is set to move the bulk of its operation to Oaks this spring, taking as many as 75 jobs with it.

Royal Medical Supply’s 34 E. High St. location will remain open and return it to its original purpose, a showroom, said Roy Repko, who founded the company in Royersford in 1984 with his father-in-law and brother-in-law.

Even as late as the 1990s, the majority of its business was comprised of referrals from Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Phoenixville Hospital and the Pottstown Area Visiting Nurse Association.

But now it’s the big providers: Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna and United Health Care.

 

Small Business Cash Mob Scheduled For Downtown Pottstown

The Pottstown Buy Local Committee invites you to kick-off your LOCAL holiday shopping by joining us for

A POTTSTOWN CASH MOB – Hometown Holiday Style

It’s the perfect time of year to re-establish your dedication to the Pottstown community by embracing the importance of shopping locally FIRST whenever possible!Pottstown has some great small businesses that are striving to become established and/or continue to grow, but they cannot do it without us – their neighbors and their friends!

To participate in this Cash Mob, please visit the PDIDA office located at 17 N. Hanover Street (Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority) at the beginning of your shopping (any time from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm) to receive your “Shop Local” cash mob sticker, a map of the Downtown Pottstown Shopping District and detailed instructions on how to play Buy Local’s “Where In The World is Captain Buy Local and Small Biz” game while you shop throughout downtown Pottstown! (There will be prizes!!) When you are finished with your cash mob shopping, please return your game entry with the approximate amount of money spent by you and your family during the Cash Mob to either the PDIDA office or Grumpy’s – 137 East High Street, Pottstown, PA.

*Special offers and holiday treats will be offered to Cash Mob participants throughout the day by various merchants.

**Captain Buy Local and his trusty sidekick Small Biz will be popping in throughout the day to check in on progress of the holiday Cash Mob!!

For more details on holiday events offered in the Downtown Pottstown Shopping District, including the very cool Hometown Holiday Raffle, please visit:www.facebook.com/pdida.pottstown

PS – SPREAD THE WORD!! The Pottstown Buy Local Committee encourages you to invite all of your local friends and family to join in on the “cash mob” fun in Pottstown on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2012!

‘Hometown Holiday’ Turns Season Green In Pottstown

POTTSTOWN, PA — There’s a lot of money to be made, a lot of money to be spent and a lot of money to be won in downtown Pottstown this year as part of the “Hometown Holiday Celebration” planned by the Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.

The money to be made and spent obviously involves shopping in local stores, but you probably want to know more about how the money can be won.

Well, there are two ways.  The first is an innovative raffle idea called “Five at $25.”

For $25, shoppers buy a raffle ticket at selected locations and spend $25 in four different participating downtown stores. Return the raffle ticket to the PDIDA offices on North Hanover Street with receipts attached and you’re eligible to win three prizes — $2,000, $1,000 and $500 in gift cards.

The Three Statistics That Every Downtown Should Live By

Editor’s note:  This is phenomenal advice for all downtown shopping districts and their umbrella organizations i.e. Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.

Lancaster and its James Street Improvement District are prime examples of living by these three simple rules!  I suggest a field trip for any struggling downtown merchants or downtown organizations who want to see what is possible!

I call this the 7-8-7 rule because of the three most important statistics that make a downtown a successful and vibrant destination. Think of your favorite destination downtowns. Are they beautiful? Do they feel safe? Are there things to do after 6:00 pm?

Read more: http://www.rogerbrooks.org/2012/04/30/the-three-downtown-statistics/

Occupy Pottstown’s Small Business Saturday Event A Success!

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Image via Wikipedia

Today’s Occupy Pottstown event was not the usual demonstration or rally.  Instead, Occupy Pottstown members shopped and dined downtown from 10am until 1pm.  The emphasis of today’s event was to support downtown merchants and let them know Occupy Pottstown members are committed to shopping locally first, when possible.  In other words, walk the talk.

Occupy Pottstown members distributed literature downtown ahead of today’s event and had the support of PDIDA and many merchants.  Occupy members wore identification tags so that local merchants could see the tangible impact organizing an event like this would have.  Occupy members were greeted with enthusiasm by local merchants.

There are actually more businesses downtown than I realized.  We had no trouble spending three hours shopping.  Some new businesses have sprung up including one new store selling fresh fruit, produce and baked goods at very reasonable prices.  The group I walked around with did not have time to visit every store downtown.  That just leaves more for the next trip  🙂

After today, several members have decided to do as much of their Christmas shopping downtown as possible.  Supporting Pottstown’s existing businesses will encourage other entrepreneurs to consider opening a new business in Pottstown.  I would say the four people in my group easily spent $250 downtown today.  Imagine if a few hundred people would regularly shop downtown on a Saturday!  Imagine if only 10% of Pottstown’s 22,377 residents shopped downtown regularly.

I can happily report my group was not bothered by any panhandlers while we shopped.  There were a few people “hanging around” but they kept to themselves or just said “hello”.  It was a very pleasant experience.