Catasauqua Press

Thursday, June 20, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINFrom left: Sean King, co-chair, Upside Allentown Arts & Culture; Kate Darwent and Karla Raines, Facilitaors, Corona Insights, and Ellen Baker-Ghelardi, co-chair, Upside Allentown Arts & Culture, at Arts & Culture Stakeholder Leadership Group May 11 meeting, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINFrom left: Sean King, co-chair, Upside Allentown Arts & Culture; Kate Darwent and Karla Raines, Facilitaors, Corona Insights, and Ellen Baker-Ghelardi, co-chair, Upside Allentown Arts & Culture, at Arts & Culture Stakeholder Leadership Group May 11 meeting, Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Allentown Arts Project seeks community input

Thursday, June 2, 2016 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

The Allentown Arts & Culture Planning Project wants to hear from you.

Community Input Sessions are to be held in June and July at Center City, West End, Southside and East Side Allentown locations, it was announced at the Arts & Culture Stakeholder Leadership Group meeting May 11 in the Rodale Community Room, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

“The arts are beeing seen as a forethought. We were an afterthought,” David Mickenberg, Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley President and CEO, said in opening remarks.

The Project, with the mantra of “Promoting the Goal of Everyday Art in Allentown,” is spearheaded by Ellen Baker-Ghelardi, who with Sean King, is co-chair of Upside Allentown Arts & Culture.

Upside Allentown is a Neighborhood Partnership Program intended to build on the momentum of Allentown’s downtown revitalization and business district investments. The goal is to ensue that its benefits extend to neighborhoods adjacent to center city Allentown.

Working with consultants Corona Insights, authors of the Imagine 2020 Cultural Plan for the City of Denver, Col., Upside Allentown in in the midst of a 15-month, two-phase project to create an Arts & Culture 2021 plan for the Center City Initiative Zone in Allentown.

A PowerPoint presentation of this spring’s Arts & Culture Public Survey Public Survey was presented by Facilitaors Karla Raines and Kate Darwent of Corona Insights to about 50 Leadership Group members at the May 11 meeting.

The Public Survey yielded 155 responses of 4,000 solicited. “The response rate was a little bit lower than expected,” said Darwent.

Here’s a sampling of Survey questions.

Arts and Culture Participation:

59 percent attended an outdoor fair or festival

46 percent visited a museum

45 percent attended a music concert

44 percent attended a theater

How people learn about arts and cultural events:

53 percent saw ads in newspapers or magazines

41 percent through word of mouth from family and friends

38 percent read reviews or news coverage of events

The survey listed some quotes from participants, including: “Art and culture bring out the best in people.”

More than 90 days of work by the Upside Allentown Arts & Culture Committee, Corona Insights, and members of the community went into a 59-page Needs Assessment Report, the guiding document for preparing the final Arts & Culture Plan.

“We’re really thinking five years out,” said Raines. “There is untapped potential for shared leadership.”

“We want to keep the momentum going this summer,” said Baker-Ghelardi. “Residents who live and those who work in Allentown have a unique opportunity for input. It’s an opportunity that most cities don’t have.”

Additional Stakeholder meetings are to be held in July and September. The goal is to conclude the project by October.

Read the Needs Assessment Report, Public Survey and register online for informaton and to participate: allentownartsplan.strikingly.com