MLK Day – special art events!

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr Day, many museums which are usually closed on Mondays are open today (and are offering free or discounted admission).

The Allentown Art Museum is free and open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. today, Monday, January 15, 2018. Visitors of all ages can enjoy art, music, poetry, monologues, film, and also have an opportunity to create art from noon to 4 p.m. and sing out at 3:30 p.m., as part of the special events scheduled for today’s Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebration!

11 a.m.
Muhlenberg College gospel choir

Be transported by the vocal music of Rejoice, the Muhlenberg College gospel choir. This spirit-filled musical ensemble comprised of students from various places, races and creeds expresses their love of music and passion to praise through song.

Reading of Faith Ringgold’s children’s book

Gather around Faith Ringgold’s print Here Comes Moses to hear Museum public engagement manager Dianne Smith read from Ringgold’s book Henry Ossawa Tanner: His Boyhood Dream Comes True. Tanner’s work, Lion Licking Paw (1886, below), is on display in Trexler Gallery.

1 p.m.
Meet the filmmaker: Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP 

Following a screening of his film at 1 p.m. and a 10-minute short with Supreme Court justices Elena Kagan and John Paul Stevens, filmmaker Mick Caouette will take questions about Mr. Civil Rights.

2 & 2:45 p.m.
Nikki Powerhouse performs!

3:30 p.m.
Imani Uzuri’s Revolutionary Choir teach in and sing out

Come sing with Imani Uzuri’s Revolutionary Choir, all voices are welcome! This is a singing session for anyone who wants to learn traditional protest songs or create new songs of resistance and resilience.

The Philadelphia Art Museum is also open today for Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday and holiday – admission today from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. is “pay what you wish.” The museum is also offering visitors a chance to participate in community service at the museum today;

Artmaking for MANNA
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
MANNA will collect your artwork to distribute with the meals they deliver to those in need.

Conversation of Kings: Strength to Love, a Call to Action
11:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
South Terrace Conference Rooms A & B
Dive deeper into the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a youth-focused conversation on how his legacy can inspire today’s social movements.
​Presented in collaboration with NewCORE

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Piano Party for a Snowy Weekend

Today was a grand day to stay inside to read a book (or listen to music, or make music, or make some art, or knit a scarf, or watch a movie, or……). Of course, some may have had to battle the elements and go to work, in which case I hope you’ll take advantage of the cold night to stay inside and read a book (or listen to music, or….)

By tomorrow, the streets should be clear, and the weather slightly warmer, which means if one is getting cabin fever, this may be your chance to escape. Escape to take a walk, or go skiing, or go out and hear some live music. (Yes, no doubt there are other options, but I am limited by space and time to describe them all.)

Tomorrow night, Friday, January 5, 2018, the young musicians of the Grace Notes Piano Studio (students of Susan Royer) will perform at their annual winter Piano Party. This year, the event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary of New Goshenhoppen UCC (1070 Church Rd, East Greenville, PA) as part of the church’s 290th anniversary.

Each Grace Notes student will be preparing a selection to share that evening, which we will enjoy. Then we will mosey on down the hall to the snack area for some yummy treats. Everyone is invited, there is plenty of room.

And on Saturday night, January 6, 2018, you have your choice of being part of the audience or of making music yourself at Open Mic at Wing Man Bar and Grill (Route 29, East Greenville, PA – by Walmart) from 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Come out and showcase your musical talents at Open Mic Night hosted by Phil Stahl!  PA system, lights, bass amplifier are supplied.

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Winter Concerts in December

On the first day of December, this Friday night, enjoy an evening of Baroque Christmas music performed by the trio Illumine at Shenkel United Church of Christ (1580 Shenkel Road, Pottstown, PA). Violinist David Matthew Brownpianist Jodie Levine Brown, and lyric mezzo-soprano Kaitlyn Michelle Waterson combine their talents to share with the audience compositions by J.S. Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi. The concert is free and open to the public, and begins at 7 p.m. A second performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 – 7 p.m. at the Main Line Unitarian Church, 816 South Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA.

The timeless nature of art is beautifully exemplified by today’s relevance of Baroque Christmas music, ca. 1590-1725. This period encompasses many of history’s most iconic composers, as well as iconic Christmas carols, such as Joy to the WorldO Come, All Ye Faithful, and the Coventry Carol. Join us for an evening of such familiar carols – sung with your participation – and great, concert masterworks entirely from this era of musical grandeur and intricacy.

This weekend, the Goshenhoppen Historians in Green Lane (Red Men’s Hall, 116 Gravel Pike), the Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville (565 Yoder Road), and the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg (105 Seminary Street), will be hosting their annual Christmas Market. This free event features special exhibits, crafters, demonstrations, bake sales, and more, from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m on Saturday, December 2nd and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. Pianists will be playing in Red Man’s Hall from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, while fiddlers will be sharing their music with folks on Sunday afternoon.

The Valley Arts Concert Series presents an Evening of Christmas Music this Sunday night, December 3rd, 2017, at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3104 Main Street, Sumneytown, PA. Featured musicians include the Suite Brass Ensemble, soprano Susan Lynch, and violinist Jennifer Ollikainen, and the audience will be invited to join in singing several of holiday hymns and songs. Refreshments will be served in the social hall after the concert. The entire family is welcome, no admission fee. A free will offering will be taken to benefit  Adopt A Family.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be presented at The Church of the Holy Spirit, 2871 Barndt Road, Harleysville, PA on Sunday evening, December 17, 2017, featuring adult, youth, and handbell choirs, beginning at 7 p.m. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served after the service.

Students at the Upper Perkiomen Middle School and the Upper Perkiomen High School have been practicing in preparation for their winter concerts this month. The middle school orchestra, band, and choir will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 in the auditorium of the Upper Perkiomen High School, 2 Walt Road, Pennsburg, PA. On Thursday, December 14th, the high school band and orchestra will be performing in the same auditorium, beginning at 7 p.m. The high school choirs will be singing in concert on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 3 p.m. on December 17, 2017 (also in the Upper Perkiomen High School auditorium).

New Orleans’ Dukes of Dixieland  will be joining the Pennsylvania Philharmonic in concert on Friday, December 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Phoenixville Area Middle School, 386 City Line Ave, Phoenixville, PA and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 30th at the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, 420 E Packer Ave, Bethlehem, PA. Tickets may be purchased online.

The DUKES of Dixieland bring traditional New Orleans Jazz into the 21st Century by combining elements of Zydeco, Pop and Gospel music. Their style ranges from Dr. John and Fats Domino, to Huey Smith and Louis Prima. In addition to familiar standards and selections performed by the Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Dukes will share a number of their original compositions.


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This Weekend Beyond the Craft Fairs

Palm Schwenkfelder Church (833 Gravel Road, Palm, PA) hosts their annual Ladies’ Aid Holiday Bazaar and The North Penn Holiday Craft Fair – a juried arts and crafts show – (1340 S Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA) are both taking place on Saturday, November 18, 2017 (9-3 at Palm and 9:30-4:30 at North Penn). Bethlehem’s Christkindlmarkt and Philadelphia’s outdoor Christmas Market also open this weekend. You can read more about these events in last week’s blog post.

Much more is happening this weekend beyond the craft fairs.

Pennsburg’s own WC (Bill) Clinton will be signing and selling his book of short stories at the Local Author Fair happening at Quakertown’s public library; the James A Michener Branch, Fourth and Mill Streets, Quakertown, PA. Twenty authors, whose works range from fantasy to Young Adult to children’s picture books to non-fiction and more, will be in attendance from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public, giving them the opportunity to talk to the authors, hear about their books, and purchase any that are of interest.

Sondheim’s musical will be presented as  Sweeney Todd in Concert  by Friends of Cedar Crest Performing Arts twice on Saturday, November 18, 2017; at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Cedar Crest College’s Samuels Theatre in Allentown, PA (100 College Drive, Allentown – on Cedar Crest College campus).

FCCPA’s production will be presented concert-style with minimal sets and costumes. In addition to Tracy-Fusco www as Mrs. Lovett, Matthew Geist of Alburtis will play Sweeney Todd; Cedar Crest sophomore Emma Gerstein is Johanna and Rhys Williams of Emmaus is Anthony.The cast also includes Bruce McKillip of Easton as Judge Turpin, Ben Yenser of Slatington as Beadle Bamford, Jasmyn Maree Davis, a Cedar Crest senior, as Lucy/beggar woman, Lauren Jorgensen of Quakertown as Tobias and Florence Taylor of Allentown as Signor Pirelli. Kerri-Leigh Taylor directs and Trevor Davis is musical director.

This weekend you can check out artists’ studios in our area via the self-guided tour Fall into Winter 2017;

Enjoy touring the spaces of well-known local artists in Boyertown, Oley, Barto, and the surrounding areas, in this annual driving tour.  Finish your holiday shopping early with everything from fine art in all media, sculpture, pottery, glass, metalwork, fibers, and jewelry to bakery items and artisan brews.

Follow the map from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, 2017.

The Choristers’ Saturday night (November 18) concert, Shades of Light begins at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Main Street, Lansdale, PA. Several of the works performed will be accompanied by an orchestra, including Morton Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. Additional works on the concert program include pieces by Ellington, Bach, Mahler, Schubert, and more.

Reverberations: Sound Sculptures by Harry Bertoia is the newest exhibit at the Allentown Art Museum ; opening on Sunday, November 19, 2017 and continuing through January 7, 2018. The museum offers free admission on Sundays afternoons (noon – 4) and Thursday evenings (4 p.m. – 8 p.m.). Bertoia’s musical sculptures were made in his studio in Bally, PA (where his son still works and creates sculptures of his own). The Morning Call recently published an excellent article about the sculptor, his works, and the exhibit; Bertoia sound sculptures reverberate in Allentown.

Intrigued by this sound, Bertoia began experimenting with varying metals, eventually creating “sound sculptures,” free-standing works that were not only beautiful to look at, but could also be played like musical instruments that, like wind chimes, filled the air with music as the metal clanged and vibrated.

In the next 10 years, Bertoia made about 1,500 sound sculptures, and coined the word “sonambient” to describe the sound environments his art created.

The Allentown Art Museum is celebrating these works with “Reverberations: Sound Sculptures by Harry Bertoia,” an exhibit running Nov. 19 through Jan. 7. It includes 10 sound sculptures, including nine that were used in a collaboration between the Allentown Art Museum and Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Muhlenberg College professor of music Douglas Ovens created a composition, “Visible Music,” which he premiered with the sound sculptures and the orchestra Nov. 4 and 5.

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Contemporary Crafts Shows and Holiday Bazaars – Now through Dec 24th!

The Philadelphia Art Museum Contemporary Craft Show opens on Thursday, November 9th and continues through the weekend, closing on Sunday, November 12th, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA; featuring 195 contemporary craft artists from 31 states who’ve been selected to participate in the 41st Annual Craft Show.

The first holiday bazaar in the Upper Perk Valley is being held this Saturday, November 11th at Hereford Elementary School (1043 Gravel Pike, Hereford, PA) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Take yourself on the free, self-guided, Hidden Treasure Studio Tour and Sale, held from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on November 11 and 12, 2017, in Allentown, Bethlehem, Center Valley and Zionsville, PA.

This year marks our 23rd year of the Hidden Treasures tour.  As always, you will find your favorite artists with their latest creations along with exciting additions from our new artists. We invite you to join us for this unique shopping experience where you travel to various artist studios and buy directly from the artisans who created the items themselves.  Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, talk to the artists and learn how their pieces are created. You set the pace, visit all of the studios or just the ones that interest you most.

Palm Schwenkfelder Church (833 Gravel Road, Palm, PA) hosts their annual Ladies’ Aid Holiday Bazaar the following week on Saturday, November 18th, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Home baked goods and homemade soup, along with other food and drink, will be for sale at the bazaar.

And just down the road on the same Saturday, November 18th, you can check out the juried arts and crafts show at North Penn High School, 1340 S Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA, between 9:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m. The North Penn Holiday Craft Fair started in 1987 and includes over 95 artists and feature fine and unusual pottery, jewelry, fiber, dried flowers, fraktur, tinware, baskets, folk art, theorem, quilts, appliqués, furniture, painted scissor cuttings, ceramics, scherenschnitte, embroidery, children’s clothing, dolls, rug weaving, decoys, calligraphy, leather, band boxes, iron work, toys, wood carvings, wooden spoons, and much more. You can also purchase lunch at the show.

If you can’t wait until Thanksgiving weekend, you can walk through the Christmas Village at Love Park in Philadelphia (1500 Arch Street), across from City Hall, during the “sneak preview” weekend on Saturday, November 18th and Sunday, November 19th, 2017. The Village does its best to recreate the look and feel of German Christmas Markets, with over 80 wooden booths and food and mugs of gluhwein (hot mulled wine) for sale. There is no admission charge any day of the week, and starting on November 23rd the Christmas Village will be open seven days a week through December 24, 2017.

The 25th Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem begins on Friday, November 17th and runs weekends (Thursday through Sunday) until December 23rd. The four heated tents that hold over 150 artisan booths, food and drink stands, Käthe Wohlfarht (offering handmade ornaments, nutcrackers and collectibles from Germany), live Christmas music, and more, are set up by the SteelStacks on the South Side (101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA). Tickets and season passes may be purchased online.  The artisan merchants rotate over the length of Christkindlmarkt. You can also see ice carving and glassblowing demonstrations, and even make your own blown glass ornaments!

The Boyertown Area Historical Society’s annual Der Belsnickel juried craft show is, as always, the weekend after Thanksgiving; Friday and Saturday, November 24 (11 a.m – 6 p.m.) and 25 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), 2017. The Historical Society is very strict, requiring of the artisans that 90% of the craft must be made by the participant.  

The Marlborough Elementary School Craft Fair (1450 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA) is scheduled for Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Green Lane (3105 Main Street) hosts their annual Christmas Bazaar and Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 9, 2017, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.



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Pennsburg Quilt Show Saturday and East Greenville Organ Concert on Sunday

The Keystone Quilters are hosting their annual Quilt Show in Pennsburg this year, at the Finland Mennonite Church (1750 Ziegler Road, Pennsburg, PA) this Saturday, October 14, 2017. Admission charge is $7 (12 and under are free), and the show is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. today. The show exhibits consist of a mix of traditional and modern quilt designs.

On September 24, 1983, a group of 15 women from Quakertown, Springtown, Sellersville, Pleasant Valley, and Perkasie, Pennsylvania met for the first time in the basement of Quakertown’s historic Burgess Foulke House.  Our co-founders, Vicki Derenick & Brenda Kalata, wanted to provide a forum for area quilters to come together trying and evaluating new techniques, trouble-shoot quilting issues, as well as stimulate, challenge and expanded their quilting skills … the group called themselves “Keystone Quilters.”

Our show also has special exhibits, free demonstrations, door prizes, vendors, a guild sponsored boutique and to round off your Quilt Show experience … we have the famous “Keystone Cafe.”

The 290th Anniversary Year Organ Recital with Gordon Turk begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The free public concert is at New Goshenhoppen Church (1070 Church Road, East Greenville, PA) in the sanctuary. A free will offering and reception will be be held after the program. This concert is one of the events scheduled to celebrate the 290th anniversary of the New Goshenhoppen Church. All are welcome.

Gordon Turk is a prominent American concert organist. He has played throughout the United States, made two concert tours in Japan, and performed frequently in Europe, including the Ukraine and Russia, both as solo organist and with orchestra.

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Skippack Days; Rain or Shine

If the rain stops later today, or even if it doesn’t, it’s always worth the short drive to Skippack Village to walk around their Main Street checking out the eclectic mix of shops, bakeries, and restaurants, especially when the annual outdoor Arts and Crafts show is happening. This weekend, October 7th and 8th, the event known as Skippack Days takes over the town from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; “Skippack Days features artwork and crafts, jewelry, candles, food and fun from a variety of local crafters, designers, artists and retail shops.” 

This is the town’s biggest festival of arts and crafts, where makers and creators of all kinds gather in the town to sell their wares over a weekend. A field of vendor tents takes over the city as more than seventy different craft-makers set up temporary structures, and there is live music and local food available to purchase for those that need a break during their hunt for the next great buy.


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