Features Array of Art, Comedy, Dance and Music Programming April 28-29

Dynamic visual arts programming, comedy and dance performances, unique educational experiences and concerts by artists such as Rusted Root, Everyone Orchestra, Steve Forbert and Coco Montoya will fill south Bethlehem as the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival undergoes a major expansion for 2017. Set for April 28-29, the event includes a diverse array of free visual arts programming throughout the SouthSide on Saturday, as well great, live music at five venues on Friday and Saturday nights.

Highlighting south Bethlehem’s arts district, the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival features two days filled with visual arts experiences, live music and family programming, all designed to encourage guests to visit the SouthSide’s shops, restaurants and arts venues. By purchasing a pass to the festival, attendees enjoy access to 14-15 musical acts each night at the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), Holy Infancy Catholic School, Touchstone Theater, Godfrey Daniels and the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling.

“The SouthSide Arts & Music Festival is designed to encourage people to visit SouthSide Bethlehem’s wide variety of performance spaces, restaurants, shops and galleries,” says ArtsQuest Chief Programming Officer Patrick Brogan. “All of the venues participating in the festival are within a few blocks of each other and that’s by design – we really want to highlight how easily accessible and walkable south Bethlehem is. As patrons stroll from venue to venue enjoying the music and the arts programming, we encourage them to stop and explore some of other quaint spaces – places like Bonn Place Brewing Company and Jenny’s Kuali restaurant – that have helped shape our community into a great destination for arts, culture, shopping and dining.”

Both nights of the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival conclude with a headlining performance by a nationally-renowned act in the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling. On April 29, Pittsburgh’s acclaimed Rusted Root will perform a 10 p.m. show in the Café, while the April 28 headliner will be announced in mid-March. Other musical acts that will take the stage during the two-day event include The Ballroom Thieves at NMIH on April 28, Steve Forbert at Godfrey Daniels on April 29 and local indie rockers Ceramic Animal at the Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling on the 29th.

On April 28, former Bethlehem resident Pablo Batista, who appeared live at the 2002 GRAMMYs with Alicia Keys and has performed or recorded with artists such as Bono and Jeffrey Osborne, will serve up a set of sizzling Latin sounds at Holy Infancy Catholic School’s auditorium. Father Andrew N. Gehringer of Holy Infancy says the church and school are thrilled to be part of the growing arts festival.

“This is where Pablo Batista went to school and so we are proud to welcome him back and to celebrate our multicultural heritage on the SouthSide,” Gehringer says. “Through the rhythm of the music, the minds and hearts of those attending will understand why we love south Bethlehem so much.  We are excited to give everyone a chance to savor through music the richness and diversity of our beautiful SouthSide.”

While live music fills the nights at the Southside Arts & Music Festival, engaging visual arts and education experiences take center stage during the day courtesy of a variety of free and ticketed programs throughout south Bethlehem. Included are nearly one dozen workshops at the Banana Factory ranging from fun-filled children’s experiences like rock cactus painting and steampunk-inspired jewelry making, to workshops on screen printing, creating hot glass paperweights and flower crowns inspired by artist Frida Kahlo. There’s even an urban photo walk, where participants can join a professional photographer, camera in hand, to explore the unique spaces and places of the SouthSide.

As attendees stroll from block to block during the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival, they’ll also be greeted by artisan popup shops on the sidewalks in front of local businesses or find themselves in the middle of the “Lehigh Valley Art Wars,” live art competitions that pit area artists in a battle for the ultimate victory.

“The Art Wars are designed to bring local artists out of their studios and into the community to share their creative processes with the public at large,” says ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts Stacie Brennan. “During each battle, a pair of artists have a set amount of time to create a work of art based on a specific theme. Both the audience and our official jurying panel will help determine which artists go on to the next round. This exciting competition will culminate with a grand finale in which four artists go head to head for the title and a great prize package.”

Other highlights of the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival include:

  • Traveling artist residency program Dripped on the Road creating a mural installation in the Arts District in partnership with Lehigh University (location TBD). All festival attendees are also invited to add their artistic touch to a collaborative work of art with Dripped on the Road at the Banana Factory.
  • Artist Jay Walker creating a unique tape art installation, inspired by the history of Bethlehem Steel, at the ArtsQuest Center SteelStacks, as well as designing plaid shirt artwork pieces which will be installed in empty storefronts and merchant locations throughout south Bethlehem.
  • S. Movement offering free contemporary dance performances in the ArtsQuest Center’s Capital BlueCross Creativity Commons 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  • Food trucks serving up creative cuisine for purchase at the Banana Factory.
  • A comedy performance at Touchstone Theatre by The Associated Mess April 29 (included in Saturday or all-festival pass purchase).
  • Art exhibits highlighting the work of Bethlehem Area School District students taking part in ArtsQuest visual arts programs. Included are the Visiting Artist Residency Program at Donegan Elementary School, where students work with art teacher Tiffany Anderson and Banana Factory Resident Artist Devyn Briggs to create a batik quilt; and Faces of the SouthSide, where Broughal Middle School students work with photographer Ryan Hulvat to learn photography and life skills while highlighting members of their community through photography.

“ArtsQuest has laid out a really exciting lineup for this expansion of the Southside Arts & Music Festival, another step in the continuing revival of the Southside Arts District,” says Dan Friedman, Manager of the SouthSide Arts District. “This event further enhances the rich cultural and artistic tradition of the area. By using host sites throughout the SouthSide as venues, the festival also provides a great opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the local shops, businesses and communities that are part of the dynamic growth of south Bethlehem.”

SouthSide Arts & Music Festival Performance Lineup
Festival pass required for access to these venues; day passes are $30 and a two-day festival pass is $50.

April 28
Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling
6 p.m.              Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles – Rock & Roll
8 p.m.              Everyone Orchestra – Improv/Jam
10:15 p.m.       TBA

National Museum of Industrial History
6:30 p.m.         Prateek Kuhad – Folk Pop
8 p.m.              The Ballroom Thieves – Folk Rock
9:30                 Caleb Hawley – Soul

Touchstone Theatre
6 p.m.              Students of the Lesson Center – Various
7 p.m.              Jeremiah Tall – Folk Rock
9 p.m.              TBA

Holy Infancy
6 p.m.              Pablo Batista – Latin
8 p.m.              Hector Rosado – Latin/Salsa

Godfrey Daniels
6 p.m.              Caleb Hawley – Soul
7:30 p.m.         Motherfolk – Indie Rock
9 p.m.              Alexis P. Suter Band – Blues

April 29
Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling
5 p.m.              Lesson Center – Various
6 p.m.              Ceramic Animal – Indie Rock
8 p.m.              Coco Montoya – Blues
10 p.m.            Rusted Root – Rock

National Museum of Industrial History
5:30 p.m.         Blair Crimmins and the Hookers – Ragtime Jazz
7 p.m.              Hannah Gill and the Hours – Pop/Rock
9 p.m.              Sun Parade – Pop/Rock

Touchstone Theatre
5 p.m.              TBA
6 p.m.              Sing, Bird of Prey – Rock & Roll
7:30 p.m.         Gracie and Rachel – Indie
9:30                 The Associated Mess – Improv

Holy Infancy Catholic School Auditorium
5:30 p.m.         Anthony Gomes – Blues Rock
8 p.m.              The Mighty Manatees – Party/Covers

Godfrey Daniels
5 p.m.              April Mae and the Junebugs – Swing/Rockabilly
7 p.m.              Steve Forbert – Pop
9 p.m.              Blair Crimmins and the Hookers – Ragtime Jazz


All activities take place on Saturday, April 29, with the exception of the Hot Glass Experience at the Banana Factory, which takes place both Friday and Saturday.

Free Programs & Activities
Calder Mobile Creations (Banana Factory)
Make a beautiful, kinetic sculpture out of colorful shapes, string and metal. Children learn about balance and movement as well as try out a new art form.
1:30-3 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m.

Mural Design Workshop with Dripped on the Road (Banana Factory)
Join the Dripped on the Road artists as they talk about their traveling artist residency program and how to design and paint a mural from start to finish. After the workshop, check out their new mural in SouthSide Bethlehem.
3-5 p.m.

Steampunk Inspired Jewelry Making (Banana Factory)
Make a bracelet or pin using hardware, beads and more.

Lehigh Valley Art Wars (Throughout Bethlehem)
Lehigh Valley Art Wars are live events where artists create a competitive environment presenting the creative process as a form of entertainment. The artists gain exposure, earn income and connect with admirers. At each battle artists have two hours to create their piece of work based on a theme provided. The artwork is then voted on by a combination of the audience and jury. Admission for the event is free, and patrons can purchase votes for $5 each, proceeds of which go to pay for prizes in the competition.
12-5 p.m.

Artist Demonstration Tent (Banana Factory)
Watch Banana Factory resident artists in action as they design and create artwork live.
12-6 p.m.

Game of S.K.A.T.E Tricks Tournament (Banana Factory)
Watch or take part in this skateboarding tournament presented by Homebase & Element Skateboard. Participants will perform in two categories: 14 years old and under and 15 years old and up.
12-5 p.m.

Fee-based Workshops
Hot Glass Experience: Millefiori Paperweight (Banana Factory)
Work with the artists of ArtsQuest’s Glass Studio at the Banana Factory to create your very own Millefiori paperweight. Millefiori is a glasswork technique that produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware. By the end of your session, you’ll have a beautiful work of art you display proudly at home or in your office.

20-minute time slots are offered during the below times. Advance signup is highly recommended as the Hot Glass Experiences often sell out in advance.

April 28, 6-8 p.m.
April 29, noon-4 p.m.
Tickets: $50

Painted Rock Cactus (Banana Factory)
Create a cute and vividly painted cactus on rock for your home! They’re certainly easy to care for and a perfect craft for adults and kids of all ages!
12-1:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.
Tickets: $5

Graffiti Tape Art Workshop with Jay Walker (Banana Factory)
Create your own street art-inspired panel out of colorful tape with artist Jay Walker. This art form is accessible and impermanent, while still a powerful way to make a statement. Learn tips and techniques for working in this unique medium.
1-3 p.m.
Tickets: $30

Frida Kahlo Flower Crowns (ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks)
Ladies and gentleman alike will love making these Frida Kahlo inspired flower crowns while they enjoy the music throughout the festival.
6-9 p.m.
Tickets: $12

Urban Photo Walk (Throughout Bethlehem)
Join a professional photographer on an exploration of SouthSide Bethlehem’s urban landscape.
4-7 p.m.
Tickets: $30

Screen-printing Demo and Make Your Own (Banana Factory)
Learn from Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations how your favorite graphic apparel is made and screen print a tote bag with the SSAMF logo! Participants are welcome to bring a clean t-shirt or bag from home to print on.
12-5 p.m.
Tickets: $10

Face Painting by Peanutbutter (Banana Factory)
Transform yourself with an air-brushed face painting by Peanutbutter! Each work of art takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Peanutbutter and his artists have been painting people since 1978, and the company travels all around the country performing at art museums, corporate functions and private parties.
12-5 p.m.
Tickets: $5

Hours for the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival are 5-11:30 p.m. Friday and noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Additional details on the festival, including the April 28 headlining act, will be announced soon. For more information, visit www.bananafactory.org.