Tell PAMPS: What Does ‘Pennsylvanian’ Mean to You?

This Memorial Day Weekend will mark the first-ever Great Pennsylvania Music and Arts Celebration (PennMArt). Held at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds, PennMArt is a free, for-all-ages, and family-friendly event that will honor the rich cultural heritage of our Commonwealth, dating back to the days of William Penn to the present. From May 26-28, we will take time to honor our state’s varied folk art traditions, musical legacy, military history, and more.

Before we do that, however, we want to hear from you.

Continue reading “Tell PAMPS: What Does ‘Pennsylvanian’ Mean to You?”

Open PennMArt 2018 Volunteer Meeting Set for Wed., 3/14

Want to be a part of Pennsylvania history? Join our growing team of volunteers for The Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration (PennMArt), taking place this Memorial Day Weekend a the historic Allentown Fairgrounds.

We will be holding our first open volunteer meeting of 2018 on Wednesday, March 14 from 6-7 p.m. at the Historic Benner Mansion (25 S. 15th St., Allentown). Light refreshments will be served! We will give you an overview of this year’s Celebration, and discuss the different ways you can get involved.

If you are looking to learn more, please reach out to us at 484-560-2810 or email ceopamusicpreserve@gmail.com.

PennMArt Fast Facts: PA Veterans and Employment

Did you know:

  • Pennsylvania had 345,906 veterans between the ages of 18 and 64 in 2016 (4.4 percent of the state’s comparable population). Of these, 266,489 (77%) were in the labor force.
  • Pennsylvania was home to 13,168 unemployed veterans in 2016, for an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.
  • In 2016, Clearfield (12.9%), Adams (11.3%), Indiana (10.4%), Northumberland (9.0%), and Allegheny (8.8%). Lebanon (0.0%) counties had Pennsylvania’s highest veteran unemployment rates. Monroe (0.0%), Centre (0.5%), Berks (0.6%), and Cumberland (0.6%) counties had the lowest veteran unemployment rates in 2016.
  • In 2016, Northampton (89.5%), Dauphin (89.0%), Lycoming (88.7%), Lebanon (87.8%), and Butler (87.5%) counties had Pennsylvania’s highest veteran labor force participation rates.
  • In October 2017, there were 339 Pennsylvania veterans claiming Unemployment Compensation benefits through the Commonwealth’s UCX program. This does not account for all the veterans who were receiving UC benefits – only those who were recently discharged from the military.
  • In 2016, the U.S. veteran unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than Pennsylvania’s rate (4.9%).

Source: Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis

We still have work to do, which is one of the many reasons the Great Pennsylvania Music and Arts Celebration (PennMArt) is putting the “Memorial” back in Memorial Day Weekend this year!

Join us as we honor Pennsylvania’s veterans by commemorating the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, the 100th anniversary of World War I and Camp Crane, and feature programming meant to honor the veterans of yesterday, benefit the veterans of today, and showcase the veterans of tomorrow.

Learn more at this link, and make plans to join us at PennMArt this Memorial Day Weekend at the Historic Allentown Fairgrounds!

Restoring Lehigh County As One of Two Beating Hearts of PA Dutch Heartland

Hands down!   My new favorite destination is the PA German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University.  Tucked behind the stately main Kutztown campus buildings is a Pennsylvania Dutch farm replete with the magnificent hex signs created by national hex sign expert and author Heritage Center Director Patrick Donomeyer.  We of the 2018 Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration at the Historic Allentown Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend are honored to collaborate with Patrick – on a multiple year initiative to catalog and restore Lehigh County’s fast disappearing Hex Signs.

Patrick describes Lehigh County as the lessor known leg of the “two legged pants” of the PA Dutch Heartland – coupled with Berks County – better known for its PA Dutch bonafides.  Lancaster is distinguished by its rich concentration of Amish and Mennonite religious sects while sister counties York, Northampton, York, Montgomery and Bucks share in PA Dutch traditions.  By the time of the American Revolution, the PA Dutch constituted 1/3 of Pennsylvania’s population.

While Berks and Lancaster counties especially have preserved and nurtured their PA Dutch roots – budding a healthy tourism industry around it (Lancaster has the second largest B&B market IN THE NATION) Lehigh has all but forgotten the pivotal role it played in Pennsylvania’s PA Dutch culture.

Through the Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts at the Historic Allentown Fairgrounds on Memorial Day Weekend the PA Music Preservation Society looks to revitalize Allentown and Lehigh County’s role in this important cultural tradition – especially through its educational and preservation focused Lehigh County Hex Sign Initiatives. Stay tuned!