Email, Facebook updates, Twitter feeds, and Blogs.

The title sounds like a list of scary creatures in the Forrest of Winkie County. (look up that reference for extra brownie points). But this list is more about our daily reading, A.I. (after internet). ArtsLehigh reads hundreds of emails from local, regional and national arts newsletters as well as Facebook updates from artists and arts organizations. We also have accumulated a good list of artsy types to follow on Twitter. This activity is not so much to keep communications hip and trendy. It’s a thorough scan of what’s happening in the community arts scene so that we can share it with others.

We search for conversation about why the arts are important to our community. Sometimes we start topics, sometimes we join in. Our blog is the space where we highlight conversation about the intrinsic value of the arts as creators or observers. Our belief is that the arts are a valuable pathway to learning, human expression and community evolution.

The ArtsLehigh blog has recently won the “Best Arts Blog” in the Morning Call News. While we are thrilled with the recognition, the contest also highlighted other blogs of the Lehigh Valley. We share the link to the Morning Call local blogosphere site because it’s really hard to find from their main web page. We hope you take a look at the blogs listed here; or bookmark the page and look later. It’s a pretty good list of community voices that care so much about the spaces we share. We also want to support our blogger friends who’ve voted for us. We only hope to do justice to the time readers give.

The ArtsLehigh blog got another shout-out on the [Express Times] Lehigh Valley Live Community Blog Roll. This list of blogs is even greater. One can get lost in them; but we’ve found a pretty good list of blogs that inform us about what’s going on, and why we care about it. We enjoy reading multiple perspectives on the things that matter to our community. We hope that by linking here, our readers can also find others in the community that offer great insight not only about the arts and culture of the Lehigh Valley, but about matters connecting to conversations about our shared values, and how we connect to each other.

And while we’re on the topic of conversation, there is an added element of personal contact with all the social media. Monthly tweetups happen in various incarnations so that people do actually meet face to face. Tomorrow, 7PM at the Allentown Brew Works, the Lehigh Valley Tweetup will celebrate it’s second anniversary. This effort was started by Lehigh Alum, Michael Andreano. He’s also using social media to launch a monumental effort to raise funds and awareness for leukemia research. If you can’t get to Allentown tomorrow to meet Michael and the rest of a really nice bunch of local citizens who Tweet (and some blog, and have active Facebook profiles), there’s another chance at Campus Square this Friday at 4pm. The first ever Lehigh University tweet up was launched by journalism professor, Jeremy Littau (prof. Twitter to his students). It’s a chance to meet other students, faculty and staff who tweet. Why? Because you just might make new friends and find others who share your values, and become your greatest supporters.

You might find that after you’ve “found” someone on Twitter, when you finally meet them in person, you can skip all the “where are you from and what’s your major” preludes. You can get right down to, “what did you mean in your twitter haiku about @asapackersghost?

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