Arts on the Square

Arts on the Square, voted 2013’s Best New Event by Electric City magazine,  will see its second year of art vendors, family activities, and food this July 26.

Cristin Powers and Chrissy Manuel of ScrantonMade said Lackawanna County approached them after they partnered with the Scranton Cultural Center for the 2012 Buy Local Holiday Market. “I guess the county, in their mission right now, is to really support the artist community,” said Powers.

The event will showcase artists and their crafts, including painting, photography, jewelry, fashion design, food and wine, woodwork and ceramics. Powers said there will be more than 100 vendors displaying, selling, and connecting. Two stages will be erected, sponsored by SummerSteps Records and Highway 81 Revisited, where eight different bands and musical acts will perform throughout the day.

“People can literally spend the day there,” said Manuel. “There will be food trucks; there will be ice cream; there will be places to hang out and sit in the lawn. Last year, we saw a lot of people who brought blankets and just hung out on the lawn, which is really cool to see around here, because you don’t really see that. You see that more in a bigger park or a bigger city.”

According to the women of ScrantonMade, many interactive vendors will be “performing,” too, including Ben Adcroft, who will be creating a live mural, Spirited Art, which will be conducting painting classes, The Pennsylvania Film School, which is slated to bring a slow motion “photo booth,” and photographer John Ingiaimo, featured in the January 2014 issue of the Independent Gazette. Powers added, “You’ll be the first to know that there will be a secretive (Jason) Riedmiller pop-up show that’s after the event at The Bog.”

Manuel continued, saying “There will be lots of surprises that will even be surprises to us right now.”

Lackawanna County, WVIA, Electric City and Shanty Town are the official sponsors, but the outdoor event is also supported by what ScrantonMade calls “pARTners.” According to Powers, pARTners are the people who “make the event happen.”

“We feel like it’s brought by all the artists in the area,” said Manuel. “It’s for all the artists, put on by the artists. We really try to get them creatively involved, not just showing their work, but even in the planning. We’ve brainstormed with lots of different artists: ‘What do you want to see? What is your ideal arts festival?’ So, it’s a great way, I would say, to see all the different art the area has to offer.”

“And hopefully be inspired in some way, too. Inspired to live in our city, enjoy it, hang out in it, and then, hopefully, maybe even be artistically inspired as well,” added Powers.

The duo is also encouraging local business owners to participate in a campaign they call #shopScranton. “We’re reaching out to many of the downtown businesses and urging them to do events that day, do specials,” explained Manuel.

Arts on the Square will take place on Saturday, July 26, from noon until 8 p.m. in downtown Scranton. For more information, check out either the Facebook© page or Facebook© event titled “Arts on the Square,” or @ScrantonMade on Twitter.

  • Kimberly Aquilina
  • Kimberly Aquilina is a Scranton native and studied journalism at Penn State University.

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