Mark your calendar for these great arts events in and around Berks County!
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Berks Arts Council's
Arts Blast!
January 12, 2018
Fast Lane Art: Deadline Extended!
The Fast Lane Art 2018 submission deadline has been extended through Tuesday, January 16, due to last week’s weather and the impact school closings had on student artists!

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 for more information and to submit your artwork! Submissions due Tuesday, January 16. Please call Berks Arts Council at 610-898-1930 for more information or with questions.
Request for Nominations: Governor's Awards for the Arts
On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts invites you to submit nominations for the 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Awards for the Arts. Nominations must be postmarked by February 5, 2018.

The Governor’s Awards for the Arts are a Pennsylvania tradition, inaugurated in May of 1980, and represent the commonwealth’s highest recognition for contributions in the arts. The honorees reflect the excellence and variety of Pennsylvania’s cultural landscape and the awards pay tribute to the commonwealth’s rich cultural achievements and notable philanthropic traditions. The 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts will be presented in a public state ceremony in August.

Visit the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts website for more minformation.
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 1/12/18 - Thursday 1/18/18)
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.
FRIDAY: 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.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Reading Fire + Ice Fest Returns
Friday, January 12 from 5:30 - 10 p.m.
Saturday, January 13 from 10 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 website for the complete festival schedule.

DON'T MISS THE PANCAKES! Do delicious for a good cause!
Saturday officially kicks off at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast presented by Genesius Theatre at Outside In Restaurant, 6th and Penn Streets. Cost: $8.00
SATURDAY: 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

SUNDAY: Draw on the Walls Studio Crawl
DATE: Sunday, January 14
TIME: 12 - 4 p.m.
LOCATION: GoggleWorks Center for the Arts | 201 Washington St. | Reading, PA 19601

The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts artists and businesses invite you to a "Draw on the Walls Studio Crawl!" This collaborative art event will be held on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. All supplies and free refreshments provided.

Celebrate the New Year with artists at the Draw on the Walls Studio Crawl!
SUNDAY: Artists of Tomorrow Concert
DATE: 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 some of its first place winners from its 2017 scholarship auditions in the prestigious Artists of Tomorrow Concert. 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.
THURSDAY: 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.
NEXT WEEK (Friday 1/19/18 - Thursday 1/25/18)
JANUARY 19: Farm & Earth - a juried show - Opening Reception
DATE: Friday, January 19
TIME: 5 - 8 p.m.
LOCATION: Studio B | 39A E. Phildelphia Ave. | Boyertown, PA 19512

Studio B is pleased to announce the opening of its 10th annual exhibit dedicated to art inspired by agriculture. Fondly known as The Farm, this year’s exhibit combines the studio’s 10th annual exhibit and members’ renewal of their celebration of the environment. The Farm exhibit celebrates the area’s agrarian roots and the need to protect our environment. This two-month exhibit remains a favorite of Studio B’s artists and patrons. For more information visit Studio B.
JANUARY 19: Friends of Chamber Music presents Dolce Suono Trio
DATE: Friday, January 19
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: The WCR Center for the Arts | 140 N. Fifth St. | Reading, PA 19601

Friends of Chamber Music is excited to present Dolce Suono Trio for its first appearance on their series. Dolce Suono Trio, “one of the most dynamic groups in the US” (The Huffington Post), is comprised of internationally acclaimed artists Mimi Stillman, flutist, Charles Abramovic, pianist, and cellist Gabriel Cabezas. All graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music, the trio formed to explore and expand the repertoire of this captivating combination of flute, cello, and piano. For more information about the trio, visit Friends of Chamber Music website.
JANUARY 19: The Penn Square Music Festival presents Sing It Loud - The Passion & Drama of Opera
DATE: Friday, January 19
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: First Presbyterian Church | 140 E. Orange St. | 
Lancaster, PA 17602

The idea for this company was born as Scott Drackley watched his son participate in several Young Artist programs around the U.S. He realized our region lacks educational opportunities of this calibre to offer young aspiring singers. The presence of professional opera is also absent in the region. Addressing those needs is the impetus behind Penn Square Music Festival.

For more information about the program, please visit
Penn Square Music Festival website.
JANUARY 21: The History of Stahl Pottery: Sunday History Talks with Bob Wood
DATE: Sunday, January 21
TIME: 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Studio B | 39A Philadelphia Ave. | Boyertown, PA 19512

The Stahl’s Pottery historical site is an example of a rural arts and crafts revival pottery. The round, bee-hive, wood-fired kiln (originally built in 1933,) survives to the present day. Brothers Thomas and Isaac Stahl revived Stahl’s Pottery in the mid-1930s. They used the potting skills they had learned from their father, Charles Stahl, in the late nineteenth century. Jeff Rhoads of Rhoades House Antiques will discuss Stahl Pottery on the first Sunday history talk of the new year. For a list of other Sunday Talks, visit Studio B website.
JANUARY 25: Opening Reception - New Nudes
DATE: Thursday, January 25
TIME: 5 - 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Freedman Gallery @ Albright College | 13th & Berns Sts. | Reading, PA 19604

A staple of artistic practice, the nude is a classic that compels us and provokes strong emotions. Buffalo artist Paul Rybarczyk’s bold color palette suits the power of his male subjects while often showing them at their most vulnerable, and serves as an interesting counterpoint to the lush and lovely female figures that emerge from the wood grain and muted landscape paintings of local artist Lauralynn White. Free and open to the public.

COMING SOON (Friday 1/26/17 - Thursday 2/8/18)
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
The Winter Solstice Opera Night
DATE: Thursday, February 1
TIME: Dinner service
PRESENTED BY: Judy's on Cherry and Berks Opera Company
Mr. Popper's Penguins
DATE: Saturday, February 3
TIMES: 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
PRESENTED BY: Miller Center at RACC
CALL FOR ARTISTS: Art of the State

Art of the State: Pennsylvania, open to Pennsylvania artists and craftspeople, is an annual juried exhibition held at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. With an established tradition of exhibiting highly creative art chosen by a distinguished panel of jurors, Art of the State provides an opportunity for both established and emerging Pennsylvania artists to exhibit their work and recieve statewide recognition.

Co-presented by Jump Street and The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the 51st annual Art of the State: Pennsylvania will award cash prizes for selected entries in the categories of: Painting, Work on Paper, Photography & Digital Arts, Sculpture and Craft.


Visit the Art of the State website for full submission details.
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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