BETHLEHEM, PA—Live streaming concerts, movie talks with the staff of the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, livestreamed Toddler Storytimes and ‘Improvised Standup’ comedy programming are just a few of the art and music-related programs the nonprofit ArtsQuest will be sharing digitally in the coming days and weeks as it looks to use the power of the arts to keep people connected to their communities. The collection of curated and original content will be aggregated on the new ArtsQuest@Home webpage, www.artsquest.org/athome, as well as shared out via ArtsQuest’s social media.
As a community-focused arts organization, ArtsQuest has been committed to providing free and low-cost arts, cultural and educational programming to the region for the past 36 years. While the spread of COVID-19 has caused everyone to change their daily life and work routines, ArtsQuest and its staff have shifted their focus from live, in-person gatherings to offering engaging, entertaining and educational music and art-related content via diverse digital platforms.
“Over the past week, our staff has been busy working on ways that we can continue to bring the arts and live programming into everyone’s homes,” says ArtsQuest Chief Programming Officer Patrick Brogan. “Our goal with ArtsQuest@Home is to help keep people tied to their communities. Music and art have the amazing ability to elevate the spirit and bring people together, and that’s something that’s really important right now, even if we can’t all be in the same place at the same time.”
Starting today, ArtsQuest will regularly provide links to live streaming concerts of artists who have performed at Musikfest and/or SteelStacks over the years. Upcoming performances include Low Cut Connie, Talking Heads tribute Start Making Sense and Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn.
In addition, the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas will offer Live Movie Talks on topics ranging from the best shows to catch right now on streaming platforms, to critiques of new movie releases from the past few weeks. Comedy fans can also check out ArtsQuest’s Improvised Standup program hosted by Addyson Teal. Each episode will feature local and regional comedians as guests, with the audience invited to offer suggestions on topics for jokes that comedians – streaming from the comfort of their own homes – will then have to make up on the spot. The first episode will take place this Saturday, March 21, at 8 and 9:45 p.m.
Starting next week, ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts and Education Lisa Harms will offer Facebook Live presentations of Toddler Storytime, ArtsQuest’s popular education program designed to promote visual literacy and early childhood learning. During the sessions, Harms will read popular children’s and family books in a way that’s fun and engaging for families, especially those with children ages 2-5.
Other highlights of ArtsQuest@Home include Spotify playlists of Musikfest and other artists created by ArtsQuest staff, digital exhibitions of ArtsQuest exhibits and a collection of at-home programming resources being offered by other arts and cultural organizations around the nation. The visual arts staff of ArtsQuest will also be promoting the hashtag #BFQuarantineArtClub on Instagram (@bananafactory_pa) as part of a larger #QuarantineArtClub initiative to share art created by our community.
The ArtsQuest@Home page will be updated daily, so ArtsQuest patrons and arts enthusiasts should check back regularly for the latest additions. While programming content is free, some programs, such as the Improvised Standup, may require advance registration. Please visit www.artsquest.org/athome for dates, times and sign-ups.
Information provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest