Category: Regional Arts Events
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 DowntownBloomsburg.org and ExchangeArts.org. For more information about the Town, please visit BloomsburgPA.org.
For more information about The Exchange, visit ExchangeArts.org or Facebook.com/ExchangeArtsDotOrg or call 570-317-2596.
Dear Weis Center Patrons,
We trust that this finds you and your loved ones doing well and staying healthy.
Typically, you receive a new Weis Center brochure in mid-July outlining all of our upcoming season performances. But as we all know, this hasn’t been a typical spring or summer by any means.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety concerns for patrons, artists, and staff, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts will not be hosting any public, large-scale performances through December 2020. We have made this decision in cooperation with Bucknell University, based on current information provided by state and federal public health officials.
While we had a fully-booked fall schedule, many international artists were forced to cancel their tours amid travel and safety concerns. And of course, our primary concern is always the health and safety of our artists and patrons, both international and domestic. We are making efforts to reschedule many of those artists for the following fall.
We are, however, actively planning a spring 2021 season in the hopes that we will be able to hold safe public gatherings at that time. When we do reopen in the spring, we will be implementing stringent protocols to keep patrons, artists and staff members safe, including expanded sanitation measures before, during, and after performances and public health screenings that may include having your temperature taken.
Understandably, we are very disappointed to share this news with you, as the performing arts are needed now more than ever, to inspire, connect, and reinvigorate our communities. But live performances will return. And when they do, we will be more grateful than ever to reconnect with each and every one of you.
In the meantime, please connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. Each week, we post a new “Weis Center Sessions” video, featuring a member of the Bucknell community on the Weis Center stage. Videos will primarily feature live music and poetry readings; we hope they bring you comfort and inspiration during these challenging times.
As plans progress for public performances in 2021, we will continue to keep you updated through social media channels and by email. If you are not already on our e-newsletter list, consider signing up today by sending an email to [email protected]
Thank you for your continued support.
Weis Center Staff
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!
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
The Exchange invites artists from throughout our community to beautify eight picnic tables that will come to downtown Bloomsburg as part of an effort to revitalize the area during the COVID-19 crisis. We will provide paying work for artists, whose outlets have decreased drastically (galleries closed, outdoor festivals canceled), and the project will support local businesses and enhance our downtown.
We seek interesting and inspiring work, and of course 100% family-friendly. The Exchange’s Gallery committee and the Town Park Improvement Association will choose the successful proposals for this round of artwork; we look forward to having too many and figuring out how we can fund future artwork elsewhere in Bloomsburg and beyond. We will not make financial need the prime factor when choosing participating artists, but we do ask artists to give us some sense of how the current crisis has affected their lives so it can enter into our consideration; we will treat your responses with strict confidentiality.
We ask for fairly detailed plans for the artwork on the tops and (if the artist wishes) seats of the picnic tables – each one approximately eight feet long and four feet wide across the top (sizes vary). You may submit drawings, altered photos, or in any other medium. Please submit a letter of interest and your jpgs to [email protected] We have no fixed deadline, but we will start making choices as soon as we have the first five entries in hand.
We have budgeted $340 (three hundred and forty dollars) per table – $100 for materials (including primer and polyurethane topcoat, which we will supply) and $240 to pay each artist, or twelve hours at the local median wage of $20 per hour.
We do not need to get all of the tables finished right away; by documenting each table’s transformation through photographs and video, and sharing those stories on the Web, we can build excitement about the artwork and downtown Bloomsburg as a destination, with something new to see on each visit over a period of weeks.
Town Council approved four locations for these tables, including on the Square surrounding the Fountain; in front of the Diner; and in the Pine Avenue parking lot near Brennan’s Big Chill and Rose Marie’s. The Town Park Improvement Association has offered the use of eight of its tables, which the Town’s Public Works crew will move from the Park to the downtown.
This project takes inspiration from the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, when the federal government hired artists of all kinds; Bloomsburg benefited directly from this program, with the bas-relief carved-wood sculpture in the post office as the WPA’s enduring legacy here. Across the U.S., COVID-19 has had a dramatic and terrible effect on artists; we have seen it here with the Exchange Gallery, Artspace, and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble all closed, sales at zero, and employees laid off. Giving even a few visual artists the opportunity to earn money from their artwork during this crisis tells the community that we remain committed to the arts and that the arts remain central to our lives in a healthy society.
The fine folks at the Samek Art Museum took the museum’s Community Art Wall project from online and gave it a physical presence. They are projecting all viewer-contributions into the window of our downtown gallery at night. If you’re walking downtown Lewisburg to stay healthy, stop by to see what others in our area are creating while at home. Our window faces PA Rt. 45 so truckers can enjoy while they’re delivering all the stuff we need.
Eric Ian Farmer and his band will perform folk and roots music on Monday, February 17 at 2 p.m. in the Weis Center Atrium. This is a free family-friendly President’s Day performance and tickets are not required.
Patrons are encouraged to come early. The Exchange’s Art Cart will be on-site from 1-2 p.m. with special all-ages activities related to this performance.
All attendees are asked to bring a canned food item, which will be distributed to local families in need through Union County Children and Youth Services.
The performance is sponsored, in part, by Martha and Alan Barrick and Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate.
Bucknell University acknowledges, with gratitude, generous funding from the family of Janet C. Weis, which makes this performance possible.
Born in State College, Pa. and raised in North Carolina, Eric Ian Farmer has returned to his birthplace sharing his songs about relationships, social awareness and finding one’s path in life while keeping alive classics by artists like Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Bob Marley.
Eric learned how to become one with a song from Bonnie Carter and David Williams, singers in the church of his childhood just across the North Carolina state line in Danville, Va.
Eric also draws inspiration as a singer from popular artists like Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. His guitar playing is inspired by the percussive stylings of rock legend Bo Diddley.
As an educator and a 2016 graduate of Penn State’s educational leadership program, Eric also uses music with high school students to facilitate both songwriting and conversation related to identity and social issues.
For more information about this free performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at [email protected].
For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.