Berks Arts Council changes its name to Berks Arts [Spotlight] | Entertainment

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Berks Arts Council has announced that it has changed its name to Berks Arts, adopted a new logo and refined its mission to meet the needs of the local arts community.

The organization recognized that its previous name created a perception that it can be viewed as a “governing” organization for artists and art organizations. In reality, the organization focuses on creating collaborations and partnerships between artists, art organizations, businesses, non-profit organizations and government.

The new logo, designed by local artist Mimi Kolb of M. Kolb Design and Art Direction, is intended to reflect the broad spectrum of the arts in the community.

Berks Arts provides the following programs and services:

  • Awards over $150,000 annually to arts organizations and artists in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill counties through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Partners in the Arts funding program.
  • Presenting “Fast Lane Art: Student Art Exhibition” in partnership with the Berks County Intermediate 
  • Presenting the “Frank Scott Memorial Art Show: Art of Jazz,” a juried art exhibition open to all artists with works focusing on the theme of “Celebrate Jazz.”
  • Presenting the Summer Bandshell Concert Series, Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest and Reading Blues Fest.
  • Coordinating Public Art Initiatives with Berks Alliance, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, City of Reading, local businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations.
  • Youth Education programs through Get JazzED and a partnership with the Reading Musical Foundation.
  • Arts advocacy.

Berks Arts is located at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. To learn more, visit www.berksarts.org.

Art

Yocum Institute for Arts Education, Spring Township, will host the “Hope Inside Change” exhibit from Thursday through Oct. 23. This exhibit is free to the public.

The exhibition seeks to document change in the way artists produce and showcase their work during the pandemic. 

It will feature works by Amanda Condict, Charles Fick, Robert Godillot, Susan Grabert, Mary Marshall Palmer, Carol Siegel, Tammy Updegroveand Kristen Woodward.

The exhibit can be viewed in person at the Yocum Institute Gallery, 3000 Penn Ave. Masks are required when visiting and social distancing guidelines will be in effect. It can also be viewed virtually at YocumInstitute.org, including artist interviews and a digital presentation of each artist’s work.

Music

Kutztown-based recording artist Miriam Clancy has released a haunting acoustic track, “The Thief,” in support of Coalition for the Homeless.

Written and recorded in isolation in Kutztown, “The Thief” is a time capsule, a message in a bottle drifting over empty streets in the time of pandemic. Within are the hidden dwellers and frontline workers whose hands have become a lifeline — medicating, intubating, comforting, holding up phones connecting the ailing and their grieving beloved. 

The song was mixed in Dublin, Ireland, by Ger MacDonnell (The Cure, U2) and mastered in New Jersey by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound, with cover art by New Yorker illustrator Drew Dernavich.

The video was filmed by Winger Brothers in an eerie New York during lockdown on Memorial Day 2020

Download and donation details are at miriamclancy-store.square.site or miriamclancy.bandcamp.com/track/the-thief. All profits go to New York charitable advocacy and direct service organization the Coalition for the Homeless.

Poetry

Reading Area Community College is accepting submissions for the ninth Berks County Poet Laureate Competition. A $500 honorarium will be awarded to the winner. 

Entries must be received by Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. if submitting via mail or in person; online submissions must be received by Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.

For more information including all the guidelines, visit racc.edu/poetry.

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