As the inaugural Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration (PennMArt) draws closer on Memorial Day Weekend at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds, we want to recognize our wonderful local media outlets, who have helped us spread the word.
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.
As we continue working toward making the inaugural Great Pennsylvania Music and Arts Celebration (PennMArt) a memorable experience for all, we want to introduce you to a few of the folks making it all possible.
Our Pennsylvania Dutch, Polka, and Rock Committee has been meeting for months now, planning a weekend full of musical programming that spans the many diverse genres and cultural nuances of our Commonwealth. These folks are accomplished local and regional music personalities, who each bring their own brilliant ideas to the table.
Keith Brintzenhoff – Keith is an expert on Pennsylvania German music, dance, instruments, and folklore. Keith has served as musical advisor for the Kutztown PA German Festival, and has performed at Hershey Museum, Historic Schaefferstown, Der Dutch Peddler Homecoming (Ohio), Berks. County Heritage Festival, Lyons Fiddle Festival, Mayfair, the Mercer Museum, Reading Liederkranz, Landis Valley Farm Museum, Musikfest, three tours in Germany, and at the 700th anniversary of Switzerland Fescht in his ancestral home town.
A teacher by trade, Keith’s programs can be completely educational to completely entertaining. They can be discussion workshops, musical, PA German, kids, folklore, the Belsnickel, and various combinations. He performs a lot, sometimes by himself, sometimes with his wife, or a fiddle or banjo player, and sometimes with his band, The Toad Creek Ramblers. Full bio here.
Dave Follweiler – As chair of the committee, Dave had a large role in assembling a team of volunteers to this committee, each of whom brings a unique perspective to the musical landscape of the Commonwealth. Dave is the keyboardist of TimeWhy?s, a rock and roll band with a heavy 1960s influence who plays a wide variety of enjoyable originals and covers. TimeWhy?s was recently nominated for the Discover Lehigh Valley “Discovered Artist” Award at the 19th Annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards in Bethlehem.
Gerard Longo – Gerard is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lehigh Valley Underground, the premier community resource for local music and entertainment news in eastern Pennsylvania. Gerard’s accomplishments include the successful launch of the Lehigh Valley Underground First Friday Concert Series in South Bethlehem, in partnership with SouthSide Arts District, as well as the honor of three 2018 Lehigh Valley Music Awards (Outstanding Music Website, Outstanding Music Supporter (Organization), Outstanding Music Supporter (Individual). Gerard also gives spotlight to independent musicians on his own weekly radio show, The Quinn Spinn, Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on WLVU: The Sound of The Underground.
Michael McKenna – Michael is the committee’s resident “music historian,” with decades upon decades of experience as a music journalist and promoter. Michael is an award-winning author for “Reelin’ in the Years: The Valley Music Vault 1960-1990,” a book about the history of Lehigh Valley music, bands, entertainers, radio, DJ’s, clubs, concerts, venues and other related subjects. In addition, Michael is a five-time award-winning journalist for his work on Nor’easter Magazine.
Stay tuned for exciting updates, as we bring a wide array of music to life at the historic Allentown Fairgrounds during PennMArt this Memorial Day Weekend. And, if you’d like to get involved, join us on Wednesday at Allentown’s Historic Benner Mansion for our first open volunteer meeting. Details are available here.
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%).
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!