Category: Bloomsburg

ArtFest in Bloomsburg cancelled for 2020

ArtFest in Bloomsburg cancelled for 2020

With the good health of the people in our community as by far the most important factor, The Exchange, Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. (DBI), and the Town of Bloomsburg have decided that ArtFest should not take place in 2020. The boards of the two non-profits and Town Council agree that the COVID-19 pandemic makes an event of ArtFest’s size unwise, even outdoors. In addition, making ArtFest a success would mean trying to draw enough attendees that it would bump up against if not exceed the number, 250, that the Governor of Pennsylvania has determined as the limit on gatherings.

ArtFest would have taken place on Saturday, August 22nd, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. surrounding the fountain on the Square and up Market Street in downtown Bloomsburg, with more than thirty art and craft vendors, five food vendors, and live music by local performers all day. We now look forward to the 2021 event, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 21st.

DBI, the non-profit organization devoted to the betterment of Bloomsburg’s downtown commercial district, founded ArtFest in 2008; The Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, has produced the event since 2016; and the Town of Bloomsburg has provided the venues and support services each year. Both DBI and The Exchange look forward to other events — both in-person and on-line — that our fellow citizens can enjoy safely; for more information, please visit and For more information about the Town, please visit

For more information about The Exchange, visit or or call 570-317-2596.

BTE needs your help to get through this crisis.

BTE needs your help to get through this crisis.

The Alvina Krause Theatre is a place of gathering, of community, of shared experience. We can’t be in our theatre right now, and we are hurting financially as a result.

The COVID-19 crisis has shut down our world in ways we never thought possible. With the cancellation of the last four shows of our 42nd season and our inability to produce shows this fall, the canceling of all educational programming, and fundraising events, we estimate that Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble will suffer losses of between $130,000 and $150,000 in earned income.

As the shutdown rolled out, we adapted. Our artists made many theatre school and bedtime story videos to stream for kids. We searched our video vaults for past shows that we could offer online. We made cotton masks to help with the shortages. We have furloughed nearly everybody through the end of July to help BTE survive this financial hit. And it hurts.

While we have received some federal assistance under the CARES Act, including a $50,000 NEA grant, and we are currently pursuing other national and regional funding sources, it won’t be enough to see us through.

To help BTE survive the current crisis and come back next year, we hope that you will consider making a donation today. A gift of any size will make a significant impact toward keeping BTE in our community. 

Our plan, along with many other theatres in the United States, is to be back in January 2021, although we will not open until we can offer our patrons a safe experience. The health and safety of our audience, artists, and staff remain paramount.

We hope that you and your family are staying healthy through these trying times.

Take care, and stay safe.

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“Doppelganger” open call show

“Doppelganger” open call show

​Work due by Saturday, September 5th, 2020
Show runs Tuesday, September 8th through Friday, October 9th, 2020
Reception TBA

The dictionary defines it thus:

dop·pel·gäng·er — /ˈdäpəlˌɡaNGər/, noun — an apparition or double of a living person

​What does “doppelganger” mean to YOU?  We want to see your artwork: As always, all interpretations in all media accepted — 2-D, 3-D, video, installation, etc.

Artwork on the banner above by Central Columbia High School students Rylee Granville and Stefen Antonopoulos for the 2018 Halloween Window Painting in Bloomsburg, an annual tradition going back half a century in which middle- and high-school students decorate storefront windows on Main Street — including, the past six years, at The Exchange.


Moose Exchange throwback open-call show — “Nest 3”

​Work due Saturday, August 1st, 2020 (Gallery open 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; you may also bring in work the week before)
Show runs Monday, August 3rd through Friday, September 4th, 2020
Reception TBA​

Celebrating The Exchange’s tenth anniversary, we bring back this popular open-call show theme from the past — the theme of the first open-call show we ever did, in the erstwhile Stairwell Gallery at the Moose Exchange in 2013.  Back then 24 artists answered the call, from college art professors to a middle-school student, and we knew that we had a good thing going, both with the theme and with the idea of open-call shows: We have done more than fifty shows since then open to all artists of every age and level of experience from all over.

You may interpret “nest” however you wish, in any medium; as long as your piece fits through the front door, we’ll display it.

BTE Announces Plans for 2020-21 Season

Were this a normal July you would already have received a brochure describing the shows BTE would be offering for our 43rd season of compelling live theatre.

Alas, this is not a normal July for reasons we all know.

I am writing to let you know that Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble will not resume public production of live theatre until at least January 2021.

As have many other performing arts organizations in the United States, we have carefully reviewed what is now known about the safety of indoor public performance while the threat of COVID-19 remains. Based on that review, we have decided that it would be irresponsible for BTE to resume production and performances this fall.

As of today, it is our intention to present a play, circumstances permitting, in mid-January. The show we have in mind is a popular, charming, widely-produced work that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in a way that we hope will be a balm in troubled times. Because negotiations are underway, I can’t reveal the title just yet. Look for a detailed announcement about our 2021 plans sometime before Thanksgiving.

Please be assured that we will not be inviting patrons back to the Alvina Krause Theatre until we are confident that we can do so in a way that mitigates risk in accord with the best advice from public health experts.

If, in January, it is not possible to present a show in a way that ensures a reasonable degree of safety for our artists and audience, we won’t do so.

Finally, let me say how much all of us at BTE miss all of our patrons.

We are all very much looking forward to getting back to the business of making live theatre and re-engaging our audience in the creative dialogue we began in 1978. Thank you for your continued interest and support.

See you in January!

Jon White-Spunner,
Managing Director
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble

Listening Rooms Go Online

Listening Rooms Go Online

Join us ON THE WEB on Wednesday, the 24th of June, at 7 p.m. for a performance by Deb Callahan!  We’ll post info about the Web link on our Web site and Facebook page next week.

ATTENDANCE IN PERSON BY INVITATION ONLY.  We look forward to opening up the Listening Rooms more over time, but for now we will take sensible precautions.


Philadelphia-based Blues and Soul singer and songwriter Deb Callahan performs at festivals and concerts up and down the East coast and throughout the Midwest.  See her live!

“Deb Callahan is an exceptional Blues singer who displays a deep appreciation of American Roots music.  Many of Deb Callahan’s compositions tell stories and have profound meaning.  On her new release, ‘Sweet Soul’, Callahan delivers a knock-out Blues punch securing her place among the genre’s finest vocalists and songwriters.” — Randall Parrish, Vivascene Music Magazine.