The Music & Mindfulness Initiative

The Music & Mindfulness Initiative

Danville Business Alliance and Harmonious Endeavors are collaborating to help launch The Music & Mindfulness Initiative in the Danville area. The Music & Mindfulness Initiative combines the benefits of music, puppetry and mindfulness exercises to enhance self-awareness, and healthy coping skills to area schools, daycares, nursing homes and other entities in need. The program targets young children and older adults; however, it doesn’t stop there! All the units in the program can be used alone to target specific skills which are appropriate for all ages, for example, Mindful Drumming for health, breathing exercises, emotional freedom tapping, and interactive art.

Chrissy Brady Shipe, a former emotional support teacher and local musician/teacher, leads the coordination of music and curriculum which includes many original songs that specifically target emotions. Carolyn Haas and her sister, Maureen Haas Runyan, act as puppeteers to help the children relate socially.

Shipe maintains that “Music and mindfulness are proven ways to identify and regulate emotions. They offer safe, constructive ways to strengthen emotional intelligence and self-awareness skills while the puppets take advantage of a child’s unique ability to pretend play and get lost in their own imagination. Both are used to help children develop empathy, social and self-advocacy skills.”

Carolyn Haas, a former Julliard School of Production Director, is also a former professional puppeteer and has taught her sister, Maureen, the craft. The sisters have a long list of credits that include the Lincoln and Kennedy Center Honors, the launch of The Lion King on Broadway, and the Grammy Awards. Shipe, Haas and Runyan have presented various music and puppet programs in the Danville area for several years.

If interested, please contact: Chrissy Shipe at 570-317-1252 or [email protected].

Front row: Carolyn Haas, Maureen Runyan and Barbara Walzer; Back row: Rebecca Dressler, Martie Geringer and Chrissy Brady Shipe.

Coming up next at The Art Grind in Danville

Coming up next at The Art Grind in Danville

Emma Varano’s upcoming exhibition with the Artspace Gallery is a showcase of their portfolio from their inaugural year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. . Throughout their past two semesters, Varano became infatuated with the semantics of reflection and identity. Aptly titled Freshman Year, this exhibition shows all of the 2D work and some 3D that they created, from pieces more focused on technical skill to pieces that are more experimentation- and concept-oriented.

Emma Varano is a 19 year old queer visual artist pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Varano has been a resident of Danville, Pennsylvania since their childhood and attended Danville Area High School where they were an active member in their classes and clubs, taking an interest in the arts from an early age. Currently, they are a part-time resident at the Art Grind Gallery in Danville and will return to SAIC in the fall to continue expanding their artistic practice while being a Resident Advisor (RA) during the academic year.

Emma Varano’s primary practice departs from the tradition of oil painting and 2D media. Having a strong background in technical skill, Varano now is using their work as an investigation of identity formation, reflection, and self-expression. Going forward, they look to continue to imbue painting with sculpture and the fiber arts while wielding their experiences as a queer person growing up in Pennsylvania, their ever-evolving expression of gender and sexuality, and an ongoing exploration of what it means to be seen and perceived.

The International Trombone Summit concerts

The International Trombone Summit concerts (All free to the Public, all in Danville, PA) are as follows:

Tuesday June 22nd, 7pm Memorial Park
Trombones and Puppets!
An outside kids concert in Memorial Park.  The International Trombone Summit students and faculty interact with puppets in a live Performance!  Informative, and Fun!

Wednesday June 23rd, 7pm Grove Presbyterian Church
Faculty recital in collaboration with pianist/organist Michael Schneider
(Masks required for audience)

Thursday June 24th, 7pm Maria Hall (Closed to public)
Student recital at Maria Hall – Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius Personal Care and independent living facility.
In collaboration with pianist – Michael Schneider

Friday June 25th, 7pm Grove Presbyterian Church
The ITS Finale
In collaboration with pianist – Michael Schneider and Bass soloist – Andrew Gutknecht
(Masks require for audience)

2020 Fall Arts & Craft Festival Canceled

2020 Fall Arts & Craft Festival Canceled

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve unpredictably and in accordance with state guidance on large gatherings, the Danville Business Alliance (DBA) is deeply saddened to announce that the 2020 41st Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival, held annually in downtown Danville on the first Saturday in September, will be canceled this year. The festival had been set for September 5, 2020.

The event, which spans Mill Street, Lower Mulberry Street and part of E. Mahoning Street, features handmade jewelry and crafts, upcycled wooden furniture, handmade toys, children’s face-painting, fashion accessories, fine arts and photography, soaps, beauty items, and more. It also creates an opportunity to explore the diverse downtown businesses on Mill Street.

The DBA Board of Directors has concluded that at this time, the risk is too high in having such a large gathering. Each year, the festival draws in close to 150 vendors and about 3,000 visitors from all over the region, and under the current guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Health limiting outdoor events to 250 people, we are unable to host the event. Our primary concern is preserving the safety of our attendees, vendors, local communities, and staff.

The Fall Arts & Crafts Festival’s cancellation follows the postponement of other significant local happenings, like the Spring Fling, Taste of the Nations, Danville Heritage Festival, and the Danville Health Alliance Health Fair. It is our sincere hope we’ll be able to celebrate these fairs and festivals with everyone in 2021.

Summer Fling Postponed

Summer Fling Postponed

The Danville Business Alliance has made the difficult decision to postpone the ‘Summer Fling’ (the combining of the Spring Fling, Taste of the Nations and Heritage Festival events) for 2020 due to current state-wide restrictions and CDC Guidelines involving “safe social distancing.” The original Spring Fling date of May 2 and the Taste of the Nations date of June 27 were postponed to the Heritage Festival date in July in the hope of bringing you these events. The current recommendations and guidelines would make it impossible to host the event as planned on July 18, 2020.

Our annual street festivals and events celebrate the foods, sites, and sounds that make Danville a special place. They include many elements that are fun, entertaining, engaging, magical and unique. They are also a great opportunity to explore the diverse downtown businesses on Mill Street. Last year’s events brought thousands of happy people strolling the streets of downtown Danville.

All businesses, sponsors, crafters, food trucks and vendors who have already registered for the now-postponed Summer Fling 2020 event will have a pre-reserved spot September 5, 2020 for the Fall Arts & Crafts Festival . If further arrangements are needed, contact the Danville Business Alliance for additional discussion or information.

We regret this decision had to be made, but with deference to public safety, it was necessary. However, The Danville Heritage Festival will still take place this July, but in a mostly online format to protect the well-being of our friends and neighbors. Festival organizers have been working to create videos, essays, and other content to celebrate our community’s history and we are excited to announce the planned 2020 Danville Heritage Festival schedule for the week of July 13-18. The content can be viewed on the Heritage Festival Facebook page

Check the Danville Heritage Festival Facebook page for posts the week-of the festival:

Monday, July 13
Topic: Forest Heritage (Lumber, charcoal, and more. Celebrating our historic forest resources)

Tuesday, July 14

Topic: Anthracite Coal Heritage (the anthracite industry and local iron industry went hand-in-hand)

Wednesday, July 15

Topic: The Susquehanna: Famous Floods, River Coal (Dredging Coal from the Susquehanna)

Thursday, July 16

Topic: Iron Ore and Limestone (the mines and the men who mined the ore and worked the limestone quarries)

Friday, July 17
Topic: The Iron Industry in Our Region (blast furnaces, rolling mills, the T-rail and more)

Saturday, July 18
Topic: All things Danville Heritage!

Saturday, July 18
Sidewalk Sales: Downtown Businesses 12-7 pm

The Danville Business Alliance is working with businesses along Mill Street to offer ‘sidewalk’ sales from 12-7pm.

Come downtown to enjoy the sidewalk sales! Have lunch or dinner at one of the many fabulous restaurants in downtown Danville before or after you shop the bargains!

Sales may be inside stores if not out on the sidewalk. Please adhere to each business’ guidelines and social distancing precautions as you shop and dine. Stay tuned for the list of participating businesses. Please check the Danville Business Alliance website at and Facebook page at for more information as we develop this much needed “revival” event for downtown businesses during this extraordinary time.

Sunday, July 19
Boyd House Museum open 2-4pm (Admission is $10 a person. Members of the MCHS and Children under 18 are free.)

Please be patient as we assess this very dynamic and fluid situation. We would like to thank each of you for your loyal attendance to our events; without you, our events would not be possible. It is our hope all of you are still able to join us in September.

Rebecca Dressler
Executive Director
Danville Business Alliance

Chamber Gift Certificate Program Supports Local Businesses

The Columbia Montour Chamber has created an online program to allow the public to support small businesses that are closed or partially operational due to the Governor Tom Wolf’s order.

ShopColumbiaMontour offers gift certificates for purchase in $10 and $25 amounts for participating member businesses. Restaurants, jewelers, retail shops, and non-profit organizations are offering certificates, with additional businesses being added weekly. Once ordered, gift certificates are emailed to the purchaser for future use. The certificates do not expire. Each gift certificate is specific to a business and has a unique identifier that is provided to the business along with the customer’s name for tracking.

Businesses are forwarded the funds for gift certificate purchases within a week. There are no additional costs or fees for Chamber members to offer certificates. Interested organizations may contact the Chamber at

“Local businesses are critical to the health and vibrancy of the area’s economy,” said Fred Gaffney, Chamber president. “They provide local jobs, tax revenue, a diversity of offerings, and support many causes within our communities. We created this program as another way for people to help sustain these valued local businesses from the safety of their homes.”

Information about the program is at