What’s going on with the blog? (Note from the professor)

questionsfry-panique-questionsDear Arts@Lehigh blog subscriber,

You may be seeing a bunch of notifications in your email with new posts to the Arts@Lehigh blog. These posts are from students in a course at Lehigh University called “Entrepreneurial Communications for Creative Industries.” An entry level course of the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, the 39 students enrolled come from many areas of study, experiential backgrounds, and interests: Finance, Marketing, Journalism, Supply Chain Management, Public Relations, Political Science, athletes, greeks….what’s missing? Arts, Theatre, Music, and Design majors. Not that I don’t get the occasional arts student, but they are unicorns in this class.

And I like it that way. Experiential learning through community arts and cultural activities can be open to all students. This course offers an opportunity for students to explore the arts and cultural industry of the community that surrounds the campus. For their first assignment, the pedagogical process included identifying something to experience, create content that described the experience, identify an audience, and find ways to deliver their content to an audience wider than their immediate circle of friends and family. Through learning how to communicate their first-person experiences while learning various techniques that employ entrepreneurial thinking, the students come to understand the cultural assets in terms that matter to them.

The recent posts are their stories, observations, and possible motivations to an audience they don’t know. They don’t need a deep understanding of the art, the cultural organization, or community asset to describe what they experienced. Through writing, they are encouraged to think about who else would care about their story.

This blog was used as a tool for the students to see immediate response to their work. It’s a way for them to observe analytics, and to learn the nuances of reaching an audience through strategic social media engagement. An established readership (you) have been inundated with posts that may not be talking about the arts. However, if you feel compelled to comment on any of the posts, we welcome your contribution. Invite the students to something you care about. Challenge them. This is a great place to start a conversation.

For some of the posts, it may also be useful for cultural organizational leadership to read the students’ experiences. If they are interested in what students have to say about how they engage in the community off campus; these experiences could offer a bit of insight into the mysterious ways of Lehigh University students.

The students won’t be doing another round of writing for a while. Don’t fear a continuous stream of more notifications. As always, I thank you for subscribing to this blog.

Sincerely,

Dr. Silagh White

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Getting Cray at the Crayola Experience

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My  sister Par and I

Last week, my sorority hosted its annual sisterhood retreat at the Crayola Experience in Easton – and things got pretty cray.

And by cray, I mean we all turned into five-year olds. When we walked in, we probably got some judgmental looks from parents and their kids. However, we were too distracted by the amazing aesthetics to notice or care.

The walls were adorned with so much color it felt like we were inside of a crayon box. It also smelled heavily like ice cream and candy. It was as if we were trapped inside a toddler’s favorite dream.

We were all given two tokens, which I used to make my own crayons. All I had to do was pick a color, and name it. Most people named their crayons after themselves, so I decided to do the same. A tear slid down my cheek as the machine told me, “Sorry, the word ‘Fanny’ is inappropriate. Please try again.” Kidding about the crying. But yes, this really happened!

Luckily, I thought of an alternative and named the crayon “Fannypack” instead. I asked the employees what I should name my second crayon, and they told me that most kids name their crayons after something they really love. So that’s what I did:

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Make-your-own-crayon station!

After that, I explored the entire building with my friends. There was so much to do on each floor: painting, puzzle-making, molding, and of course, coloring. There was even a room called “Doodle in the Dark”, where you could draw in a pitch-black room with glow-in-the-dark markers. I was the oldest person in the room, but the least creative. I saw kids turn abstract scribbles into complex shapes and characters. A child’s imagination really is something special and untouchable.

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Seen in the “Doodle in the Dark” room

The most amazing thing about the experience was that it was simple, but fun. All I needed to have a good time were crayons, my sisters, and some paper. When I look at children of the new generation, I always see them on a tablet or a phone. Their need to constantly be entertained by technology is sad and – honestly, a bit scary.

Fortunately, I saw children at the Crayola Experience play, interact, and color with each other. It put me at ease. It’s a relief that a pastime like coloring remains timeless.

By the end of the trip, my friends and I were feeling a bit nostalgic. The Crayola Experience reminded me of how much I love art. I remember going to the MoMa (Museum of Modern Art in New York City) every time they offered a student discount, and attending painting classes in Williamsburg with my sister.

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Just in case you’re curious, here’s a painting of mine.

 

After putting things in perspective, I made a wild discovery. My love for art all started when I picked up my first crayon and made my first ridiculous piece of “art”. I imagine that a lot of other people develop a fondness of things they are passionate about when they are very young too, which is why I would recommend parents bring their children to the Crayola Experience.

Coloring can also be therapeutic, so it is a great place to go if you need some easy relaxation. Between four o’clocks and papers, everyone deserves a break once in a while. It is definitely a lot cheaper and closer than Disney World, so I would recommend it to my fellow broke college students. It only cost fifteen dollars and a fifteen-minute drive. A small price to pay for a trip down memory lane and a colorful adventure, if you ask me. If you’re interested in visiting, you can learn more here.

If you know of any other fun places for someone like me who’s a kid at heart, please let me know in the comments!

Celtic Classic 2k16

The sun was shining, the rich smell of fried food filled the air, and the different styles of kilts was unnumbered. My group of equally inexperienced friends walked across the bridge on the left side of South Bethlehem to check out everything that was the famous 2016 Bethlehem Celtic Classic Festival located on the North side of Bethlehem along the canal. While walking, we passed more festival goers with their arms wrapped around their new goodies. After researching and interrogating some of our other friends about where to go, what to eat, and when to go first, we had a general idea of what we wanted to get done in the two hours we had to explore. I was not only ready for an adventure, but I was also very hangry.

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Knowing we needed at least ten tickets to really get our hands dirty in Celtic Fest food, I opted for buying twenty . The price per ticket seemed a little steep at first but when I realized everything I could do with them, I knew it was all worth it. Note to self and others: Next time I’ll remember that it is crucial to get there in the early afternoon so that once you arrive, the events are in full swing and the crowd is pumped.

We spent more time talking about what the throwers had previously volunteered for in the previous years and then decided to get the famous Aw Shucks corn together. I felt compelled to document my shining moment with this special corn- they pulled the husks of the corn down to create an Au natural handle and then put them in the oven full of boiling water. A group of ladies artistically painted the hot, cooked corn with melted butter and I saw it drip down the bright yellow kernels and onto the husk. Side note: it was a good thing they had gloves on and wrapped paper towels around the husk handle otherwise they would have had butter dripping down their arms, but for some people that may not have been a bad thing. The last station of people was the shaker station. Bright red powder flurried from their shakers and fragrant, chunky Parmesan cheese fell onto the corn, any excess fell onto a mound of spice on a pan below.  We traded tickets with the woman manning the ticket box and were given corn-on-the-cob-extreme-deliciousness. I watched my friend take a bite and corn juice jetted everywhere. With my red-orange lips stained with spice, I realized that this was the toughest part: eating the corn oh-so gracefully without leaving streaks or spurts of spice and corn juice everywhere.

We proceeded to check out the little shop stands that were strategically placed right next to the food. I see what they did there. Besides staring at the homemade cookies and biscuits, I noticed that there were trinkets galore! Precious stones, craft jewelry, scarves, clothes, and even swords lined the pathway. There were so many things to buy but as a college student, my pockets were a little barren to consider an investment like the sword my eyes lingered on. What can I say? I saw a lot of people with swords on their backs. I probably didn’t need it but there’s always tomorrow so I decided to sleep on that purchase.

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Update: I did not buy the sword. To be honest, I completely forgot about it when I attempted making the Aw Shucks corn spice and came sufficiently close. Not as good, but it will have to do until next year.

After lingering around for a bit longer, two of my friends parted ways but I stayed with my boyfriend. Feeling snacky, we decided to use our leftover tickets to try something a little bit more traditional. We settled on the Irish Nachos. The name doesn’t say much but I did say they were a little bit more traditional. Irish Nachos entailed a mass of chip fries smothered in gravy, cheese sauce, lamb, and beef with a green onion garnish. They were amazing! We inhaled them within minutes while watching a bunch of different bands play like The Gothard Sisters and No Irish Need Apply.

During the walk back, it was starting to hit me that I was a senior and won’t have the easy option to be able to experience this festival again. I kicked myself for not showing up earlier but appreciated everything I was able to see and especially, eat. If my stomach were any bigger, I would have spent another hour contemplating what to try as my last meal of the day. Between the jumbo turkey legs, traditional Irish meals in a cup, and even the eclectic Haggis, (or really anything from the authentic Scottish Cottage stand for that matter), there were so many traditional and non-traditional options that any foodie would appreciate. Come with an empty stomach, you’ll thank me later!

This festival is so enveloped in Irish culture and is definitely something that will entertain you and if you’re not Irish, will make you appreciate another culture and its traditions. If you are around next year during this beautiful time of year and find yourself looking for something to do, the Celtic Classic Festival is three days of Irish fun that you won’t want to miss. Check out the links to the incredible vendors and musicians we saw if you want to find out more about them! The Celtic Cultural Alliance has been hosting this event for years and definitely deserve so much recognition for their effort and passion for establishing this tradition and sharing their culture with the rest of us. If you’re looking to volunteer at the next festival, head over to the CCA website to learn more about the opportunities! Please feel free to comment about your own experiences at the Celtic Classic, anything else that I should explore next time, or if you have any questions about what else it has to offer.

Thanks for reading about my experience and helping me reflect on it! It was a truly not-to-miss event that I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to go.

Bye for now folks!

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Art & Food

How do you like to get excited about going to a show? Do you think about what to wear? What about dinner or drink plans before or after? For our season opener last week, Silagh White (Director of Arts Engagement and Community Cultural Affairs) shared how she got ready to fully enjoy Sheila E. Read here how she tapped into local retailers and a smart Lehigh Alum food blogger.

Michelle

Michelle Rittler – Taste As You Go Food Blogger, Lehigh University, ’02

Or if you don’t want to read that post, here’s what you should know. Lehigh alum, Michelle Rittler (’02) is a successful food blogger who has done her research on the Zoellner Guest Artist season to share great food/cocktail pairings for the shows. She’s come up with inspiring recipes that are kitchen tested and presented with techniques beautifully photographed for the experienced and novice cook.

We are hoping to share her ideas with you, and encourage you to sign up for Michelle’s newsletter, right on the top of her blog. Here are Michelle’s ideas for this weekend:

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin

 

Friday night – Morgan James.
Potato Gratin. Recipe here.
WHY? Morgan James is from Idaho!

Local dining alternative: Try the tater tots at Molly’s. Always crispy, always delicious. They also have a “loaded” version of tater tots worth experimenting.

 

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Melon Ball Cocktails

Saturday night – Bill Warfield & the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Melon Ball Cocktails. Recipe here.
WHY? Hard bop has its origins in the 1950s. This was a popular cocktail during this time.

Local dining alternative. Try any of these five establishments highlighted by another Lehigh Valley blogger (Cheryl Doll) on her “5 Best Cocktail Bars in Bethlehem” list. Two on the list are within walking distance of Zoellner Arts Center (hint: Social Still and Bookstore Speakeasy), We also suggest trying Molinari’s: tell them Zoellner sent you!

 

Sunday afternoon – Faculty Recital: Paul Salerni – Music from Three Continents
Rugelach (a popular Jewish dessert) – Sign up for Michelle’s newsletter to get the recipe
WHY? The program includes works by Israeli-American composer Ofer Ben-Amots. And this concert is in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. (Happy Sweet New Year)

Local dining alternative: Head to Molinari’s for some great Italian dining. Paul Salerni proudly celebrates his Italian heritage.

South Side Mural Unveiling this Saturday

From our friends of the South Side Initiative:

(Image by EMILY PAINE of the THE MORNING CALL) Max Meano of Bethlehem spray paints the first 'S' of a 'Welcome to Southside' mural he is working on at the Alternative Gallery in Allentown on Wednesday afternoon. The 'S' he is working on will depict a scene from Lehigh University. A Southside Bethlehem mural inspired by the 'Welcome to the Bronx' sign will be installed this month near the Comfort Suites in Bethlehem. The different letters will include images of Southside landmarks.

(Image by EMILY PAINE of the THE MORNING CALL)
Max Meano of Bethlehem spray paints the first ‘S’ of a ‘Welcome to Southside’ mural he is working on at the Alternative Gallery in Allentown on Wednesday afternoon. The ‘S’ he is working on will depict a scene from Lehigh University… The different letters will include images of Southside landmarks.

Please join the South Side community as we welcome artist Max Meano’s new mural on the wall of Comfort Suites Hotel on 3rd Street in Bethlehem. Meano’s mural celebrates the historic and integral character of South Side Bethlehem. This stunning piece will be viewable from the corner of 3rd  Street & Brodhead Avenue, welcoming visitors and South Side members alike for years to come. For more information about the mural, please see Nicole Radzievich’s Morning Call article here.

The event will be held at 2:00pm with the unveiling of the mural. The event is FREE and open to the public! Comfort Suites will be giving complimentary drink vouchers for the hotel bar, which opens at 5:00pm and has a Happy Hour (with half priced appetizers) lasting until 7:00pm. Then head across the bridge to Main Street for the Downtown Bethlehem Association’s ArtWalk from 4-8pm where you can spend the evening visiting local artists lined on Main.

We encourage people to bike or walk to our event, but if you must drive please find parking on the street. This is a community event you won’t want to miss! Please save the date and tell your friends!

We hope to see you there,
The SSI Team

Steeples and Steel tours are back!

If the reader already knows about these tours and wants to skip to ordering tickets, click here.
Reflections from 2014 Tour:

I had the good fortune of experiencing a full days of these tours last year. It was a delight to walk in the holy spaces where the ancestors of Bethlehem’s rich and diverse culture held their European traditions. Some of the churches on the tours were closed in 2009, so it’s with extraordinary effort that the opportunity is available again for a limited time. Half of the churches on the list are within blocks from campus.

Added benefit to the tours of the churches, are the stories shared by retired steelworkers as the bus roams through the former Bethlehem Steel plant. To hear about the working conditions and the multiple generations of families that dedicated their lives to making the steel that built America is to see the heroism and nostalgia of the place now converted into new community assets with the ArtsQuest arts compound and the Sands Casino/Mall.

What other treats of surprise stories were from my fellow travelers. As we shared a cozy bus ride, I heard many childhood memories of growing up in South Bethlehem. Where they once played, swam (Mohler Lab had a swimming pool when it was a synagog!!), and shopped. The original Banko Beverage was in a little shop in South Bethlehem. This is the same Banko that is now one the area’s generous supporters of the arts and community. There’s so many more delights of knowledge, but I don’t want to take the joy of discovery for the reader. You’ll just have to experience it.

Steelworker's Overtime Lunch

Steelworker’s Overtime Lunch

I will dish on lunch; the Steelworker’s Overtime Lunch. Yes, you’ll know what that means – but here’s a picture of what was offered. Can you spy the local tastes of A-Treat soda and Tastykakes in addition to the robust sandwich, hard boiled egg, chips and wedge of cheese? Yummy and filled my up for the second tour (Ok, I saved half of it for dinner!). It was a great day.

The tours start up again this weekend. Few spots left. See you on the bus!

From the Steelworker’s Archive press release:

Guided by the Steelworkers’ Archives, Inc. and the South Bethlehem Historical Society, these mini-bus tours provide historic interpretation of work at the Bethlehem steel mill, the South Side Bethlehem churches, and the connections between steelworkers, their churches, and the South Side’s ethnic, steel working communities.

This is the second year of Steeples and Steel tours. Last year’s tours were very successful. Tourists on last year’s tours commented:

“We three were blown away today by the beauty of the churches and the depth of knowledge we learned about the Steel”,

“We can understand the pride you must all feel in your lovely house of worship. We feel no need to go to Europe to see amazing churches; they are in our own backyard. Thank you.”

“This day provided a rare opportunity to regenerate the Bethlehem cohort of cultures who worked collectively in Bethlehem Steel with a love for faith who built treasured and illuminative churches in Bethlehem.”

The tours are scheduled for Saturdays (see dates below). Tours will leave from St. John’s Windish Church at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The initial one-hour section of the tour, guided by a representative from the South Bethlehem Historical Society, will tour steelworker neighborhoods and churches on Bethlehem’s South Side. One church will be entered each tour, with a church member guide. This will be followed by a one-hour steelworker-guided tour of the Bethlehem Steel site. A “steelworker’s overtime” bag lunch will be provided to tour participants for take-out or to eat at St. John’s Windish Kaiser Auditorium.

June 27
9:30 – Incarnation of Our Lord Parish (formerly Sts. Cyril & Methodius Roman Catholic Church)
1:00 – Packer Chapel

July 25
9:30 – Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church
1:00 – St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

August 22
9:30–Concordia Lutheran Church
1:00—St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

September 26
9:30 –Fritz Memorial United Methodist Church
1:00 – Cathedral Church of the Nativity

October 31
9:30 – St. Michael’s Cemetery <- this is a special link to a short film created by Lehigh faculty Michael Kramp and Stephanie Powell Watts. See description below.

A photo montage of St. Michael’s Cemetery in South Bethlehem shows the current state of disarray and still the the abiding dignity of the space. The cemetary, started in 1867 on land donated by Asa Packer, belongs to the Holy Infancy parish. Overgrown with broken and shifted grave markers, it was made famous by a 1935 photograph by Walker Evans, “Graveyard and Steel Mill.” The film recreates a visual metaphor of the Evan’s photo by scanning over the life of the South Side (where people live), work (the now defunct Bethlehem Steel) and death in the cemetery. Made in part with support from the Southside Film Institute, PBS 39 and Lehigh University.

1:00—Holy Infancy Roman Catholic Church <- link to historical reference page created by the South Bethlehem Historical Society.

Tours will leave from St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church, 617 E. Fourth Street at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 pm.
A free, public OPEN HOUSE held at St. John’s Windish Church from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. will include table displays of historical materials and artifacts from local community agencies and churches. A free tour of St. John’s Windish Church will be held at 12:15 p.m. Refreshments will be available.
Ticket prices for the mini-bus tours are $15 per person.

Advance reservations are required. Tickets can be ordered through: http://www.steelworkersarchives.com or at 610-861-0600. All ticket sales are final. Special thanks to Northampton County’s Department of Community and Economic Development and Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative for their generous support.

Selkie: Theatre Uncut

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

-Thomas Paine

scissorsPlease join Selkie for the US premiere of Fragile and Dalgety, two provocative plays by award-winning Scottish playwright David Greig, at the Ice House Tonight series as SELKIE: THEATRE UNCUT over Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24!

Directed by George B. Miller, and starring Joseph Ferraro, Brandon Lay, and Melissa McKenna these raucously funny, startling, and powerful plays about the worlds we create – and destroy – are produced in conjunction with the UK’s exciting “Theatre Uncut” project (www.theatreuncut.com).

“What marks theatre out from other art forms, I think, is that it’s essentially a distilled form of empathy; we have a need to understand and probe the world around us, and create stories from what we see.”  — Hannah Price, Co-Artistic Director, Theatre Uncut

In Fragile, Jack has a midnight epiphany – and a radical plan to save his mental health support center.  This visceral, startling, and beautiful roller-coaster-ride of a play features two roles, one actor – and many voices.

In Dalgety, two coppers in the sleepy suburban sprawl of Dalgety Bay just want to get home to the London Olympics (on TV) and a nice bottle of wine – whilst on the exercise bike, of course.  Until the Naked Rambler shows up in the office with – a deer?  The call of the wild is about to get pretty primal in the Scottish ‘burbs!

SELKIE: THEATRE UNCUT debuts at the Charles Brown Ice House in Bethlehem on Friday, May 22 at 8pm, followed by a special Opening Night Reception.

Weekend performances are Saturday, May 23 at 8pm, and Sunday May 24 at 3pm, with Q&A’s with the artists afterwards.
Tickets: $15/$10, reservations:  selkietheatre@gmail.com or 484-212-1804.
For Mature Audiences.

Restaurants near the Ice House:

The Wooden Match
Hotel Bethlehem
Corked Wine Bar & Steak House
Tapas on Main
or any of the restaurants listed here.

Full Poster below:

Selkie Uncut