• Coordinating, Communicating and Advocating for the Arts in the Lehigh Valley

    Art Around Every Corner

  • Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture
    PHASE 2 Survey results released

    The Cultural Coalition of Allentown (CCA) today announced the results of the Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Covid-19 Relief Fund Phase 2 Survey. The findings are dire. The Lehigh Valley’s artistic and cultural community is unquestionably in economic crisis due to the pandemic. In response, CCA

    launched a fundraiser at lvarts.org to address the immediate urgent needs for arts organizations and individual artists.

    CCA conducted a Covid-19 Initial Impact Survey in April—within a few weeks of the statewide shutdown—establishing a benchmark on the immediate impact of the pandemic. A more- detailed second phase survey followed, May 11–15.

    In total, more than 200 individuals and 50 arts and cultural organizations from throughout the region and representing a wide range of fields completed surveys. Results show that the arts and culture sector, which previous research estimated has an impact of $185 million annually on the region’s economy, is now bracing to lose up to two-thirds of its activity and revenue.

    According to the data, nearly all (97%) of artists had work canceled due to the crisis, with nearly 70% of those who rely on non-arts related jobs losing income. With the collapse of outlets for their work, Lehigh Valley artists, on average in the Phase 2 survey, reported they expect to lose $20,000 and 56% report their annual income will be cut by at least half. Even more grim, nearly one-third of artists expect to lose more than 75 cents of every dollar they would usually earn for the year. Particularly hard hit are women artists. Already paid less than their male counterparts, women artists in the Lehigh Valley are more than 50 percent more likely to report the biggest income losses.

    As a result, insecurities among Lehigh Valley Artist in paying for even the most basic needs rose in May, compared to April. More than half are finding acquiring supplies a challenge. Especially troubling, more than two in five Lehigh Valley artists surveyed now report trouble paying for housing and food.

    Similarly, dire, the finances of arts and cultural organizations are rapidly deteriorating. Indeed, the crisis appears to be literarily an existential one for a significant share of the most beloved non-profits. Fully 100% of the organizations had to canceled events in the previous 30 days.

    Looking forward, on average Lehigh Valley arts and culture organizations project they will lose nearly two-thirds of their audience and more than half of their annual revenues. Yet the region’s non-profits are ill-prepared to weather the crisis much longer. By May, fewer than 2 in 5 had rainy day funds with more than half the funds remaining. Only 1 in 6 had funds designed to last more than 3 months.

    partnered with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation which has

    established the Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Relief Fund

    For employees of these arts and culture organizations the reality is already poor, and the outlook getting worse. Nearly four in five organizations have reported staff layoffs or furloughs, with nearly 60% of paid staff being laid off. Moreover, two-thirds of organizations have made or are planning to make salary reductions for remaining staff. Many of these future salary or staff reductions will occur when CARES-Act funding runs out. Yet only slightly more than half of surveyed organizations had received any CARES-Act funding. And that funding averaged only about 6% of usual annual operating budgets, small compared to the anticipated drastic revenue loses.

    The impact will be felt not just by artists and the employees of these institutions but also via reduced overall quality of life in the region. The survey estimates suggest losses could amount to $100–150 million in direct economic benefits that the local economy would have received from arts and culture activities and related tourism and educational support.

    Supporters of arts and culture institutions in the Lehigh Valley can assist in addressing these

    catastrophic losses with a contribution to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation’s Lehigh

    Valley Arts & Culture Relief Fund. Contributions of emergency funds for individual artists

    made via the GoFundMe campaign at lvartsfund.org.

  • Individual Artist Relief Fund

    We have created the Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Artist Relief Fund in order to address the immediate needs of individual artists of all disciplines.

    Donations received on this GoFundMe account will be directed to individual artists in the Lehigh Valley

    LV Arts & Culture Relief Fund

    We are partnering with the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation which has established the LV Arts and Culture Relief Fund in order to address the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on the arts organizations in the region.

  • Allentown Arts Commission Seeks Innovative Artists for Encouraging Public Art Projects with a $60,000 Grant Program

    New fund will award $1,000-$3,000 stipends to artists struggling
    through loss of work

    THE ART OF ENCOURAGEMENT

    Following unprecedented job loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Allentown Arts Commission chair, Jane Heft announced a new program which would provide small grants to artists living or working in the City of Allentown. This new project-based program has earmarked $60,000 for the effort.

     

    The “Art of Encouragement Project” will provide stipends of up to $3,000 for artists to create encouraging and uplifting public art and messages to be placed on display throughout the City.

     

    Mayor Ray O’Connell said, “Allentown is home to many extremely talented artists. It is important that we encourage the growth of arts in the community and offer support. These grants are our own little stimulus in these most unusual times.”

     

    “The arts community is integral to the fabric of Allentown,” Leonard Lightner, Director of Community & Economic Development said, “These individuals contribute to the City’s vibrant arts and culture, which is temporarily at risk.”

     

    “We have already seen the tremendous financial effects of the COVID-19 health crisis,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne said. “No one is immune from the negative impact it has had on jobs, businesses and our economy, including artists. As Co-Chair of the Arts and Culture Caucus, I am pleased to support this great initiative that not only provides financial support to help artists through these challenging times but also allows them to create messages of hope and encouragement throughout the city of Allentown as the community begins to safely reopen and return to routine activities.”

     

    Under the new fund, artists, artisans, and arts production staff throughout the City can apply for the grants. To apply for an Art of Encouragement grant, visit the Allentown Arts Commission website at AllentownPA.gov/ARTS or AllentownARTS.com. Applications will be accepted, and funds will be distributed on a rolling basis June–October 2020. For more information, contact info@AllentownARTS.com.

    About the Allentown Arts Commission

    We support the Arts + Artists in Allentown. As the agency that champions the arts, we believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the city’s well-being and we strive to integrate the arts into all aspects of city life. The Allentown Arts Commission supports the City by advocating for innovative arts policy, creating access for equitable participation in the arts, enlivening the urban environment, and fostering & enriching arts engagement for all residents.

  • Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture
    PHASE 2 Survey Results

    The Cultural Coalition is working on behalf of all of the artists and arts organizations in the Lehigh Valley in order to create a Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Relief Fund.

    Thank you to the over 150 individual artists and arts organizations that completed the Phase 2 survey. Results are posted below for your convenience.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact sean@culturalcoalitionofallentown.org

    Thank you for helping us collect this vital data in our efforts to support and sustain the arts community in the Lehigh Valley during these challenging times. If you would like to support the arts in the Lehigh Valley please visit lvartsfund.org.

    Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Phase 2 Survey: Artists

    Over 110 individual artists who live, work or study in the Lehigh Valley completed the Early Impact Survey.

    Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Phase 2 Survey: Arts Organizations

    31 arts organizations from throughout the Lehigh Valley completed the Early Impact Survey

    as to the impact on their institutions and work force in the sector.

  • Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture
    Early Impact Survey Results

    The Cultural Coalition is working on behalf of all of the artists and arts organizations in the Lehigh Valley in order to create a Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Relief Fund.

    Thank you to the over 250 individual artists and arts organizations that completed the survey

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact sean@culturalcoalitionofallentown.org at your convenience.

    Thank you for helping us collect this vital data in our efforts to support and sustain the arts community in the Lehigh Valley during these challenging times.

    Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Early Impact Survey: Artists

    Over 215 individual artists who live, work or study in the Lehigh Vally completed the Early Impact Survey.

    Covid-19 Lehigh Valley Arts & Culture Early Impact Survey: Arts Organizations

    45 arts organizations from throughout the Lehigh Valley completed the Early Impact Survey

    as to the impact on their institutions and work force in the sector.

  • RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS & ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

    RESOURCE LIST FOR ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS DURING THESE CRITICAL TIMES.

    New Resources Added April 23 for Artist Relief Funding in the Philadelphia Region

     

    JUST ANNOUNCED

    Americans for the Arts

    Easy to Read Chart on Available Funds for Arts Orgs & Artists

    Here is a table that provides info on accessing CARES Act funds from the perspective of a nonprofit arts org, a governmental arts agency, a commercial arts company, a self-employed individual artist, and as a taxpayer.

    https://www.artsactionfund.org/CARESActTable

     

    AMERICANS FOR THE ARTS

     

    FEDERAL ECONOMIC STIMULUS RELIEF FUNDS PROVIDE ENCOURAGING SUPPORT TO THE NATION’S COMMUNITY-BASED ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS EXPERIENCING $3.6 BILLION IN DEVASTATING LOSSES

     

    https://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/press-releases/federal-economic-stimulus-relief-funds-provide-encouraging-support-to-the-nations-community-based

    Small Business Loans

    SMALL BUSINESS LOANS APPLICABLE TO ARTS BUSINESS AND INSTITUTIONS

    CARES ACT: PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM-FORGIVABLE FEDERAL LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

     

    https://www.thompsonhine.com/publications/cares-act-expands-availability-of-small-business-act-section-7a-loans

    CARES Act

    THE CARES ACT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EMERGENCY SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF

    https://www.venable.com/insights/publications/2020/03/the-cares-act-what-you-need-to-know-about#Borrower

    Council of Non-Profits

    US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

    NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

    COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

    The following arts service organizations are providing frequently updated news and resources for artists and arts organizations. https://www.arts.gov/covid-19-resources-for-artists-and-arts-organizations

    NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

    FAQs – Funding for NEH Applicants and Grantees Impacted by the Coronavirus https://www.neh.gov/COVID19_FAQs

    ARTISTS AT RISK CONNECTION

    AMERICAN GUILD OF MUSICAL ARTISTS (AGMA) RELIEF FUND

    UPDATES AND RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS REGARDING CORONAVIRUS https://www.musicalartists.org/agma-resources-for-members-regarding-coronavirus-2/

    The Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund

    To provide direct financial assistance to musicians who have lost work as a result of corona related event cancellations.


    https://equalsound.org/project/corona-relief-fund/

    Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund

    Supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individual artists and arts administrators of color who are financially impacted by COVID-19.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/artsleadersfund
     

    The Jazz Foundation’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund

    Provides housing assistance, pro bono medical care, disaster relief and direct financial support in times of crisis

    http://​https://jazzfoundation.org/musicians-emergency-fund/

    Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants

    Provides urgent funding for visual and performing artists who have sudden, anticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to see other sources of funding; or incur unexpected or un-budgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates.

    https://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/grants/emergency-grants
     

     

    Music Gateway

    With a platform providing online international collaboration, Sync opportunities and Music Promotion, Music Gateway are offering a free account for 6 months. We hope that this will encourage collaboration, connection and creativity by combatting the logistical difficulties https://www.musicgateway.com/around collaborating during the COVID-19 lockdown.
    To access your free account, simply email support@musicgateway.com and quote code ‘COLLAB2020’.

    https://www.musicgateway.com/
     

     

    Her Hustle

    Her Hustle have created an online noticeboard for female founders or freelancers whose work is being impacted by COVID-19. The aim is for these creatives to tell people what help they need.

    https://www.herhustle.co.uk/

     

    The International Bluegrass Music Association

    If you are or have been a professional in the business of bluegrass and are in a time of emergency need, you may apply here for assistance from the Bluegrass Trust Fund.

    https://ibma.org/bluegrass-trust-fund/
     

     

    Sound Royalties

    Sound Royalties has set up a $20 million fund for music creators impacted by coronavirus to receive no-fee advances on their royalties. Applications are being accepted through April 16, 2020.

    https://soundroyalties.com/no-cost-funding/

     

    NEW in Philadelphia Region


    COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL will support individual artists as well as small arts and culture organizations (annual budgets no greater than $250,000) and mid-sized organizations (annual budgets of $250,000 – $15M) whose operations, work, and livelihood have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
     

     

    NEW in Philadelphia Region

    Next Cycle: Opens May 18, 2020 (closing June 15, 2020), occurs on a monthly basis
    The Rauschenberg Emergency Grants provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories.

     

    NEW in Philadelphia Region

    Application Deadline: April 23, 2020
    The William Greaves Fund is for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers of color from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States, as well as filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia with a particular interest in those who identify as being of indigenous and/or of African descent.

     

    NEW in Philadelphia Region

    Application Deadline: May 15, 2020
    The Leeway Transformation Award (LTA) provides unrestricted annual awards of $15,000 to women and trans* artists and cultural producers living in Greater Philadelphia who create art for social change and have done so for the past five years or more, demonstrating a long-term commitment to social change work.

     

    NEW in Philadelphia Region

    Application Deadline: December 8, 2020
    The Foundation of Contemporary Arts is creating a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. For as long as their Board of Directors determines it is necessary and prudent to do so, the Foundation will disburse one-time $1,500 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

    NEW in Philadelphia Region

    Application Deadline: April 27, 2020
    The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has authorized The Velocity Fund, which is administered by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, to allocate funds to create and administer a COVID-19 Artist Emergency Relief Fund for Philadelphia's visual artists with urgent need due to the pandemic. Any practicing visual artist who is currently a resident of Philadelphia and has experienced financial loss and/or hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic is encouraged to apply.
     

  • Business & The Arts: Session 3

    Over 50 business leaders in Allentown joined CCA for the third session of Business & The Arts focusing on the The Creative Economy & Allentown on October 8 in the Lyric Room of Miller Symphony Hall, presented in partnership with the Cultural Coalition of Allentown and the City of Allentown. The event focused on the creative economy in Allentown’s future and introduced new opportunities to leverage the cultural diversity of our communities to drive business, retain talent and expand economic prosperity.
     

  • Allentown Students Ready to Release Debut Films to the Community

    It’s a Monday afternoon in the middle of the summer. School is out and the “summer slide” is in
    full swing. But at Community Bike Works, a youth-centered non-profit in Allentown’s Promise
    Neighborhood, students from the Allentown School District are sitting around a table learning,
    collaborating, and speaking their stories into existence.
    On October 26th, seven short films from emerging student filmmakers were released to the
    public for the first time. The kick-off of the films’ community-wide tour began at
    Muhlenberg’s Multicultural Center (2252 W Chew Street, Allentown, PA), with a Saturday
    afternoon of artist-led workshops for youth, followed by a screening at
    6:30 pm and a moderated panel with student directors immediately following the screening.
    Students’ imaginative, genre-defying short films are produced by a new program, Collaborative
    Media Expressions (CME), that aims to engage, support, and cultivate youth voices through
    digital storytelling.
    Grant funding to support the immersive ten-week filmmaking workshop was awarded by Upside
    Allentown and managed by The Cultural Coalition of Allentown with a generous donation by local activist Daniel Poresky, to support a filmmaking program that is focused on shifting narratives in Allentown by centering and empowering young
    storytellers in the community.

    The Classroom on North Madison Street

    Photo by Nasheera Brown


    As Allentown students from across the city sit together at the table, their stories emerge and take shape. Non-fiction and fiction blend together as Nasheera (16) imagines what her poem about systemic racism looks like as a film.

    Her brother, Sharif (13), storyboards an experimental narrative about a friendship that is shared through a passion for bike riding. Avery (14) - who Sharif asks to act in his film - tries to take the language of a poem he wrote and turn it into
    something communicated solely through visuals. Christian (15) expresses concern about the recent spike in gun violence and drafts questions to ask local activists. Vannity (16) brings her notebook in from home with ideas sprawling across the page. Baraka (13) dreams about being the best soccer player in the world and maps out how that looks and feels on the screen. Erick (16) brings in ideas that seem endless and all possible, but his story really begins to take shape as a local climate protest approaches. In this classroom on North Madison Street, students share their stories in imaginative, vulnerable, and collaborative ways, as their ideas are only possible if they trust each other and
    work together.

    Shifting the Narrative(s)

    Photo by Charles Stonewall

     

    “I didn’t think this was for us”. This remark emerges when the equipment arrives. The students, who have grown up fully immersed in the age of technology, adapt quickly to the complex new systems. But they still comment openly on the quality of the equipment and the ability of the technology to fully realize the stories they are imagining. The cameras, filters, cords, lights, and sound equipment pass from hand to hand as students explore their new tools.

    This filmmaking equipment has historically been inaccessible in their city - a reality the students in the room feel as more stories about trust and access and experiences fill the space.

    CME was proposed to the Coalition’s Authentically Allentown Artist in Residence Program in response to this issue of access and trust with Black and Latinx students in the city of Allentown. It is an issue that is deeply rooted in the history of filmmaking and one that actively shapes the narrative(s) of the city students call home. This also makes it an issue that must be actively and intentionally decolonized.

    This collaboration - between Allentown, Community Bike Works, and the Parris J Lane Memorial Foundation - is a small part of the many converging solutions rising up from the community to do this work and to reshape the narrative(s) of Allentown.

    “Do Nothing Without Intention”

    Photo by Sharon Smith

    Lead educator, documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and local basketball coach, Drew Swedberg, designed the program after three years of teaching film and media in after-school settings and witnessing how film could be a powerful vehicle for self-expression, community engagement, and youth empowerment. Swedberg’s experience as a filmmaker and educator converged with the mission of Shalon Buskirk, who has consistently and actively advocated for youth in her city and works every day towards a space that would allow young people to express themselves, communicate with each other, have access to critical resources, and build community. She anchors this work in the memory of her son, Parris Jerome Lane. Swedberg knew the program would be partnered with Shalon’s emerging non-profit and the two are working together daily to make that space a reality.

    With CME’s debut program, Drew hoped to take the after-school program a step further. He proposed a class that would invest in equipment that could match the aesthetic ambitions of his students, give his students enough time to create, compensate local artists for bringing their experiences into the classroom, and celebrate his students’ accomplishments through a series of community screenings.

    The ten-week course he arrived at introduces students to an array of filmmaking techniques, innovative films, and local artists. The work is informed and forever indebted to the work of mediamakers, creatives, activists, and educators that came before him from Allied Media, Young Chicago Authors, PhillyCAM, and Scribe Video Center; to bell hooks; to the educators, peers, creative collaborators, and students in his life from Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, LVAIC Documentary Storymaking, and ASP’s Mass Media classroom; and most critically to the countless hours of instruction with students from Allentown at Jefferson Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Trexler Middle, Casa Guadalupe, and students across the Valley that have participated in ArtsQuest’s programming.

    A Classroom to Dream In

    Photo by Sharon Smith

    Lead educator, documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and local basketball coach, Drew Swedberg, designed the program after three years of teaching film and media in after-school settings and witnessing how film could be a powerful vehicle for self-expression, community engagement, and youth empowerment. Swedberg’s experience as a filmmaker and educator converged with the mission of Shalon Buskirk, who has consistently and actively advocated for youth in her city and works every day towards a space that would allow young people to express themselves, communicate with each other, have access to critical resources, and build community. She anchors this work in the memory of her son, Parris Jerome Lane. Swedberg knew the program would be partnered with Shalon’s emerging non-profit and the two are working together daily to make that space a reality.

     

    With CME’s debut program, Drew hoped to take the after-school program a step further. He proposed a class that would invest in equipment that could match the aesthetic ambitions of his students, give his students enough time to create, compensate local artists for bringing their experiences into the classroom, and celebrate his students’ accomplishments through a series of community screenings.

     

    The ten-week course he arrived at introduces students to an array of filmmaking techniques, innovative films, and local artists. The work is informed and forever indebted to the work of mediamakers, creatives, activists, and educators that came before him from Allied Media, Young Chicago Authors, PhillyCAM, and Scribe Video Center; to bell hooks; to the educators, peers, creative collaborators, and students in his life from Muhlenberg College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, LVAIC Documentary Storymaking, and ASP’s Mass Media classroom; and most critically to the countless hours of instruction with students from Allentown at Jefferson Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Trexler Middle, Casa Guadalupe, and students across the Valley that have participated in ArtsQuest’s programming.

    Collaborative Media Expressions

    The workshop met twice a week for the first seven weeks. Students started by consuming and engaging with work from photography giants such as Roy DeCarava, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deana Lawson, as well as contemporary photographer Diego Huerta and emerging photographer Sade Ogunjimi. The focus stayed (throughout the entire program) on providing students with “toolbox skills” that cultivated their creative agency by allowing them to react and relate to a variety of styles, ideas, and creative expressions.

     

    In the first week, Lehigh graduate student, photographer, music producer, and filmmaker, Donterrius Walker, kicked off the series of guest artists by bringing his photography into the classroom and allowing students to engage with both the work and the artist behind the work.

     

    In the second week, Annie Diaz - who is currently the editor for Kristal Sotomayor’s Philadelphia-based documentary, “Expanding Sanctuary”, a film that follows the victory of Latinx activists at Juntos ending police communication with ICE via PARS - brought her intimate documentary film, “Para Ti”, into the classroom to talk about identity and cinematography.

     

    As students transitioned from photography to film - engaging with films from RaMell Ross, Solange, Barry Jenkins, Adepero Oduye, Tania Hernández Verlasco, Terence Nance, Vernon Jordan III, and Ashley Omoma - they started to pitch ideas and develop their own stories.

     

    In the third week, accomplished local photographer, Charles Stonewall, helped students develop their understanding of light in an intensive and generous hands-on workshop that moved indoors and out, producing a series of remarkable portraits that students actively crafted.

     

    As students finished up the planning of their stories and moved towards shooting scripts, the force that is the spoken-word poet, activist, and founder of Lehigh Valley Soul Sessions, Justice Davis, came in to help students embrace the power of their voices in an engaging workshop.

     

    When it was time for production, students took on different, rotating roles on each film. A single film had a director, a cinematographer, two assistant directors, a sound recordist, a gaffer, and an extended team of production assistants who all worked together to accomplish the director’s vision. Their teamwork was tested at times - as no collaborative creative work can occur without difference - but each time they collectively found a way to accomplish their goals for the day. In the words of Mariame Kaba, “ nothing that we do that is worthwhile is done alone." And students found this to be absolutely true over the summer, as each director exhaled an exhaustive sigh of relief and accomplishment at the end of their respective production day.

     

    As the school year kicks back in, students finish the process by editing at in small teams at Community Bike Works, Muhlenberg College’s Multicultural Center, and the Baum School of Art. As these ambitious, imaginative, and powerful films reach their final cut, each student director will soon be able to see their work on the big screen and begin dreaming about what the next story might be.

    Collaborative Media Expressions

    To find out more information on screenings across the city and for all updates, you can visit @collaborativemediaexpressions or @communitybikeworks on Facebook. Or visit this website for details

  • ROSEMARY GESECK DEBUTS NATIVE AMERICAN MURAL AT CENTRAL ELEMENTARY

    Allentown artist and educator Rosemary Geseck recently debuted the latest CCA Authentically Allentown Artist-in-Residency mural featuring the Native American culture at Central Elementary School in Downtown Allentown.

    Rosemary's vision was to execute a mural in downtown Allentown depicting an extended family of Original People of Allentown, the Lenape native Americans. The mural was set in the 'woodlands' of Allentown several hundred years ago, during the Contact period, circa 1750 and includes forest animal, birds, insects and plant life.

    A key component to each CCA Artist-in-Residency project is an educational or community engagement for the residents and students to learn more about the subject matter and have a first-person experience with art and creativity.

    Rosemary, along with representatives from the Lenape Museum played a role in several workshops for students at Central Elementary to learn more about the Lenape culture and it's impact on the Allentown of today.

  • CCA celebrateS Hispanic Heritage Month

    through Tango

    Allentown residents of all ages engaged in the rhythmic excitement of tango throughout September and October as the Cultural Coalition of Allentown brought the talents of Urszula Abolik and her troupe of dancers and DJs to the monthlong celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the city of Allentown.

    Urszula created five performances throughout the month and worked alongside the CCA and Hispanic Heritage Month committee to engage the community in special events including the kick-off day at Allentown City Hall on September 15. Additionally, performances were held to coincide with September Third Thursday on the Arts Walk all ending with the ultimate event on Sunday October 20 at the Allentown Art Museum.

    Urszula commented, "The Allentown community connected in a very upbeat way where people interrelated within this elegant experience of the Tango. The program connected all ages, with young people spending quality time with their parents and grandparents."
     

    • September 15th - Kick off at the City Hall - Tango class from 4-4:30, and the performance after, dancing till 5pm with Malgorzata Rokicki and Pierre.

     

    • September 19th - Opening art show - Art and tango at the Baum School. DJ Urszula and tango community social dancing between 6-8pm.

     

    • September 29th - Sunday - Allentown Art Fest at the Cedar Beach - 2-2:30 - Tango class with Elly Liz and Graham. Tango dancing till 3:30pm. DJ - Urszula and Elly Liz. Tango Nuevo, Modern Vibes.

     

    • October 13th - Sunday - Short performance at the Allentown Art Museum between 2-2:30pm. with Jacklyn Shapiro and Roberto Pena. Short talk and performance.

     

    • October 17th - Third Thursday at Symphony Hall. 6-8pm. Opening guitar tango with Jim Steager. Class by Svetlana Howell from 6:15-6:45pm. Beat boxing tango tunes with Yancarlos Sanchez. Tango social dancing from 7-9pm.

  • Matt Halm Queen City Mural

    CCA joined with Ron Coleman to fund the Queen City installation by Allentown muralist Matt Halm at the property on Ninth Street in Downtown Allentown. The mural will be completed in early spring 2019.