Mark your calendar for these great arts events in and around Berks County!
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Berks Arts Council's
Arts Blast!
January 5, 2018
Fast Lane Art submission deadline is Tuesday!

Fast Lane Art is a juried contest and exhibition presented by Berks Arts Council which celebrates and displays the work of student and professional artists on highways throughout Greater Reading. Creators of the top three high school artworks and top three professional artworks will see their winning entries larger-than-life on billboards throughout Berks County thanks to Land Displays. Winning artists also receive cash prizes.

Visit the Fast Lane Art website for more information and to submit your artwork! Submissions due January 9.

PS - Hoping Bruce Becker's "In the Pool" helps you think warm thoughts on a blustery winter weekend!
Remembering Chuck Loeb: Special All-Star Tribute
DATE: Sunday, April 8
TIME: 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Santander Performing Arts Center | 136 N. Sixth St. | Reading, PA 19601

The Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest lost a dear friend when Chuck Loeb passed away July 31 at 61 after quietly and courageously battling cancer for two years.

Loeb was much more than just a fabulous guitarist with incredible musicianship – the consummate arranger and composer. He also was a wonderful human being who was fun-loving and friendly, much admired for his humility, kindness, generosity and class.

He exuded a lyrical grace as a man and a musician, making him a beloved, prolific and peerless performer at Berks Jazz Fest.

Chuck Loeb may be gone — but he will never be forgotten by his Berks Jazz Fest family of volunteers and fans.

When the fest family gathers each spring in Reading, Berks Jazz Fest will remember and celebrate Chuck’s life for his musical spirit always will be with us.

The Remembering Chuck Loeb concert during the 2018 Berks Jazz Fest as presented by Berks Arts Council on Sunday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at the Santander Performing Arts Center will be stocked with an extraordinary array of accomplished artists. [ MORE...]

Visit the Berks Jazz Fest website for the full lineup and ticket information.
Berks County Living January issue features "New Year, New Beginnings"
Berks County Living's January's issue addresses the new beginnings of weddings by sharing the love stories of three Berks Newlywed couples. The issue also looks at jewelry, rings in particular. And if that isn't enough, new beginnings can come in the form of renovations and resolutions. So get yourself a copy, sit down, and enjoy what's going around town.

Visit the Berks County Living website for more information about all the great things Berks County has to offer!

Remember, current Berks Arts Council members get a 50% discount on their BCL subscription!
Berks History Center looks at "Instagram of the 19th Century"
DATE: Saturday, January 13
TIME: 10 - 11 a.m.
LOCATION: Berks History Center | 940 Centre Ave. | Reading, PA 19601

Join local historian Paul Druzba for a look at how postcards have evolved since first being introduced in the late 19th century including nostalgic scenes of early Berks County.
$5 members, $8 non-members.

Light Refreshments served at 9:30 a.m. Off street parking available at 160 Spring Street, Reading. Please visit the Berks History Center website for more information about all their upcoming events.

Current Berks Arts Council members receive Buy-One, Get-One admission to the Berks History Center Museum!
THIS WEEK (FRIDAY 1/5/18 - Thursday 1/11/18)
NOW EXHIBITING: Yuletide Around the World
DATES: Now through January 21
TIMES: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
LOCATION: Reading Public Museum | 500 Museum Rd. | Reading, PA 19611

Celebrate and learn how other cultures honor the season of Yuletide, otherwise known as Christmas! This exhibition features holiday trees decorated by community organizations inspired by the customs of their homelands. All trees will be paired with artwork from The Museum's collection. Some of the organizations participating in the exhibit are the Beneficial Society of Victor Emmanuel II, Berks County Irish American Fraternal Assoc. and Ancient Order of Hibernians, Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, and the Polish-American Heritage Association of Berks County.
SATURDAY: Pagoda Writers' Workshop
DATE: Saturday, January 6
TIME: 1 - 3 p.m.
LOCATION: 1840 Lorraine Rd. | Reading, PA 19604

The first workshop of 2018 will feature John Yamrus and the opportunity to share your work with one another. John will also be offering his books for sale. Bring a dish of something or a jug of juice and enjoy during and after the workshop. Please RSVP by phone - 610-413-0373 - or email if you plan to attend.
SATURDAY: German Diversion - an evening of German classical fare
SUNDAY: RMF Features 25 Finest Student Musicians In Two Concerts
Sunday, January 7
Sunday, January 14
TIME: 3 p.m.
LOCATION: WCR Center for the Arts | 140 N. Fifth St. | Reading, PA 19601

The Reading Musical Foundation will present 25 of its first place winners from its 2017 scholarship auditions in the prestigious Artists of Tomorrow Concert. Musicians are divided between the two concerts based on whether they have performed in a previous Artists of Tomorrow Concert or if this is their first event. The accompanist for the concert is Daniel Immel, an assistant professor at Kutztown University. Free and open to the public.

Free parking will be available in the M&T Bank parking lot at Washington & 5th Streets.

For more information about the concert and the full list of participating musicians, please see the complete story on the BCTV website.
TUESDAY: Berks Art Alliance meeting with Kris Jackson
DATE: Tuesday, January 9
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Yocum Institute for Arts Education | 1100 Belmont Ave. | Wyomissing, PA 19610

For this month's meeting, Kris Jackson will be giving a talk/demonstration for his Virtual Reality Art. Kris, an Arts Partner at GoggleWorks, facilitates Virtual Reality Digital Painting. “VR art creation is in its infancy and you’d be hard pressed to find what we have here anywhere else in the area." For more information about Kris, visit this website.
WEDNESDAY: PMEA District 10 Chorus Read-Through
DATE: Wednesday, January 10
TIME: 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Muhlenburg High School | 400 Sharp Ave. | Laureldale, PA 19605

Read through music for the PMEA District Chorus try-outs. Open to all suudents and teachers participating in the festival. FREE.
NEXT WEEK (Friday 1/12/18 - Thursday 1/18/18)
JANUARY 12: Kutztown Folk Music Society presents Jay Smar
DATE: Friday, January 12
TIME: 8 p.m.
LOCATION: St. John's UCC | 257 W. Walnut St. | Kutztown, PA 19530

Reminiscent of John Hartford and armed with two guitars, baritone vocals, claw-hammer banjo, and fiddling, singing, and flat-footin' clog-dancing, he serves his audience an acoustic buffet of traditional American and original folk, ol time mountain music, blue-grass and gospel tunes, as well as coal mining songs of Northeast Pennsylvania. Original and "covered" guitar instrumentals garnish this plate of cultural cuisine. Admission: $7 at the door or $5 w/ student ID. Children 12 and under free.
For more information and upcoming programs, visit the Kutztown Folk Music Society website.
JANUARY 12 & 13: Reading Fire + Ice Fest Returns
Friday, January 12 from 5:30 - 10 p.m.
Saturday, January 13 from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
LOCATION: 500 Block of Penn Street | Reading, PA 19601

Reading Fire + Ice Fest is the premier winter festival in Berks County held annually in January in center city Reading! This signature event is staged in the 500 block of Penn Street and features everything from stunning ice sculptures to fire-breathing performers. Other activities include ice-carving competitions, a chili cook-off, the Snowfall Ball, live outdoor musical acts and food trucks. It’s fun for the whole family! Visit the Fire + Ice Fest for more information.
JANUARY 13: Winter Sing with Reading Choral Society
DATE: Saturday, January 13
TIME: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Christ Episcopal Church | Court & Fifth Sts. | Reading, PA 19601

JANUARY 18: Opening Reception for America in a Trance Photography by Niko J. Kallianiotis
DATE: Thursday, January 18
TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Freyberger Gallery at Penn State Berks | 1801 Broadcasting Rd. | Reading, PA 19601

Kallianiotis worked for years as a photographer for newspapers, honing his skills in observation of his environment, and discovering chilling realizations about the so-called American dream. The term American Dream means many things to many people. In 1931, when writer James Truslow Adams coined the term, it had more to do with idealism than material prosperity.

From the perspective of an immigrant, Killianiotis wrote, “A mode to promote American values, industrialism provided a place where immigrants from tattered European countries crossed the Atlantic for a better future….this project is an ongoing observation of the fading American dream so typified in the northeastern Pennsylvania landscape but widespread across the United States. … “ The exhibit opens on January 11 and runs through February 22. For more information, visit Freyberger Gallery at Penn State Berks.
COMING SOON (Friday 1/19/17 - Thursday 2/1/18)
Farm & Earth - a juried show - Opening Reception
DATE: Friday, January 19
TIME: 5 - 8 p.m.
Friends of Chamber Music presents Dolce Suono Trio
DATE: Friday, January 19
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PRESENTED BY: Friends of Chamber Music
Sing It Loud: The Passion & Drama of Opera
DATE: Friday, January 19
PRESENTED BY: Penn Square Music Festival
The History of Stahl Pottery: Sunday History Talks with Bob Wood
DATE: Sunday, January 21
TIME: 1 p.m.
Unleashing Your Inner Opera Fan: Tosca
DATE: Friday, January 26
TIME: 7 p.m.
PRESENTED BY: Berks Opera Workshop
Happy Birthday, Amadeus!
DATE: Saturday, January 27
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
PRESENTED BY: Reading Symphony Orchestra
Call for Submissions: Poet's Pause presented by Berks Bards
Want to hear your poem read on BCTV during an episode of Poet's Pause?

Send up to 17 lines of poetry written in the form of a Horoscope.

Tune in to Poet's Pause on BCTV at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10 to see if you poem was selected!

Submission deadline: Midnight on Tuesday, January 9

Email to: Marilyn Klimcho at with "January 2018 Poem" in the subject line

Let's Rant! Call for Writers and Visual Artists
Yup, it’s time for a little venting! We all have pet peeves—persons, places, or things that drive us crazy!

Theme: This year’s challenge is to respond to people, occasions, things, or ideas that “drive you crazy.” Perhaps your response will include a piece of advice or insight for those who will follow you. Now that you are older and wiser, consider what you might advise your “younger self.” Feel free to let loose with swashbuckling passion… offer a comic’s sharp satiric edge…or consider offering your “bitters” in a softer, gentler tone—the sugar that lets the medicine go down!

Writers: Submission details: Send 1 or 2 pieces of writing - poetry or prose - to Jane Stahl as a Word doc or inside an e-mail message by January 15, 2018 NO pdf’s please.

Visual Artists: Note Change in Date: (One month later than usual) In-take: Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Exhibit opening and book release Friday, March 16, 2018, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Exhibit runs through April 11, 2018. Pick up on Sunday, April 15, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
 Location: Studio B, 39A East Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown, PA 19512

Opening and Book Release: The opening for Studio B’s 5th annual exhibit and book release combining visual and literary art is scheduled for March 16, 2018. We hope you will submit several pieces of your work. Copies of the books will be available for purchase in addition to artwork.
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