ArtsQuest Offers Unique and FREE Educational Programming for Youth of all Ages

(Photo Caption: Artist Bart Cooper with students from the Bethlehem Area School District at the Banana Factory)

Bethlehem, PA, November 13, 2023 – The ArtsQuest Education Team brings unique educational opportunities to kids of all ages. Various programming such as Teen Takeover, ArtSmart, Poetry Out Loud and so much more are offered all for free.

ArtSmart Exhibition – Dec. 1
The ArtSmart Fall 2023 Exhibition takes place as part of December First Friday on Dec. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. in Studio 102 at the Banana Factory. invite everyone to come and support the students of Bethlehem Area School District. ArtSmart is an art enrichment program that consists of interactive after-school or summer courses, taught by professional Teaching Artists. Classes run for eight weeks. Students work in a variety of mediums including drawing, dance and movement, fiber arts, mixed media, painting, assemblage and printmaking, fashion design and digital illustration.

In the fall semester, nine Teaching Artists facilitated 13 classes and we served eight schools – (Broughal Middle School, East Hills Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, William Penn Elementary School, Fountain Hill Elementary School, Spring Garden Elementary School, Clearview Elementary School and Governor Wolf Elementary School). Programming consisted of various mediums such as drawing, dance and movement, fiber arts, mixed media, painting, assemblage and printmaking, fashion design and digital illustration and included a partnership with the Wildlands Conservancy for an Animal Drawing, Painting and Sculpting class. Students created artwork from live animals and experienced a short presentation from Wildlands Conservancy staff.

Teen Takeover Fall 2023 Exhibition – Dec. 1
In addition to the ArtSmart Exhibition, Teen Takeover Fall 2023 exhibition is also part of our First Friday and takes place in the same studio as the ArtSmart Exhibition. Students’ art from Teen Takeover during the summer and fall months will be exhibited here. Over the course of eight weeks, students explored careers, curated art activities for Banana Factory events through the Teen Planning Committee and took part in a hands-on Photography class “Living a Photographic Life” facilitated by rostered Teaching Artist, Michael Marks. This season, we also added knitting with Teaching Artist Rebecca Kelly.

This program is held every Fall, Winter and Spring for eight weeks per session. There were 20 students registered from 10 unique middle and high schools and two homeschool students, across Bethlehem Area School District, East Penn School District and four charter schools. You can register for the upcoming Teen Takeover on Dec. 5. here!

Poetry Out Loud
Poetry Out Loud is a free program offered to every high school student in Pennsylvania. Poetry out loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance. Any student can get involved and participate in this program. The deadline to register is Dec. 6. ArtsQuest will hold a student workshop for high school students who are participating. A Pennsylvania Council on the Arts rostered artist will facilitate the workshop and lead students through discovering poems, learning memorization and performance techniques and more. Additional details on this workshop are coming soon.

Each winner will then participate in the regional contest scheduled for Wed. Jan. 31, 2024, at 6 p.m. in the ArtsQuest Center. Participants will prepare three poems to recite. The regional winner will participate in the state competition taking place in March. For additional information you can visit or

To view additional education and outreach programs, please visit

About ArtsQuest
ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, of which over 50% are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region.



Information provided to TVL by:
Jennifer LoConte
Director of Communications