Matthew Christopher Featured Speaker At The October 7th Wake Up With The Arts Breakfast

Matthew Christopher, a renowned photographer, author and lecturer, will be the featured speaker at this year’s “Wake Up With the Arts Breakfast” scheduled for Friday, October 7, beginning at  9 AM, in the Platform Lounge at the Radisson Lackawanna Station and Hotel at 700 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton.

The eighth annual event, sponsored by the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, brings national speakers on community arts topics to our area.   Registration begins at 8:30 AM with the program running until 11 AM.

The breakfast serves as a creative networking event that focuses on educating, motivating and inspiring the public to use the arts, area artists, and art organizations, businesses and agencies to enhance the quality of life in the communities that comprise Lackawanna County.  It also showcases the artistic talent in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The tables at the event will be decorated by local artists and organizations.

The program will open with a short performance by Catholic Choral Society, one of the art groups supported on a yearly basis through the Arts and Culture’s program stream funding.

Mr. Christopher will be speaking on the topics explored in his latest book that was released on September 15, Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream.  His talk will explore why spaces become abandoned in communities and what are the consequences and alternatives.  Some of the places that he has explored through his photographs include Schenely High School in Pittsburgh, once the most expensive high school in the U.S.; a state hospital in Taunton, Massachusetts; and the SS United States, a derelict ocean liner moored in Philadelphia that was the fastest passenger ship ever built.

His work has garnered international attention and he is considered a leading expert on urban blight and is an authority on how to preserve American’s endangered architectural history. His extensive photography collected of derelict sites is featured on his website Abandoned America.

Mr. Christopher earned his MFA in Imaging Arts and Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2012.  His photography has been featured on NBC Nightly News, the L.A. Times, BBC, ABC News, NPR, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and Discovery Channel magazine, among others.  He has lectured on the art of ruins, abandoned spaces, historic preservation and mental health across the United States. He also presents photography workshops and has conducted sold out programs at the historic Scranton Lace Works building.

The “Wake up with the Arts Breakfast” is free and open to the public.  Interested parties can register by emailing or calling 570.963.6590, ext. 106.


County & Scranton Area Community Foundation Explore Link Between Art & The Environment

A program designed to explore how art can help solve environmental issues that Northeastern Pennsylvania faces will be held on Thursday, August 18, from 9 AM – Noon at the Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff Street, Scranton.

This forum is being jointly presented by the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department and the Scranton Area Community Foundation.  This seminar is the third of four aimed at exploring the impact the arts have on various segments of our society and its operating environment.

This session, entitled Art for Social Change: Art and the Environment, was formulated to examine how art and cultural activities can help to not only educate the public on environmental issues but help solve them, create a better quality of life, and engender a sense of pride in our region and its natural resources.

“From public art to recycled materials being made into art work, through exploring environmental issues through theater and performance there is a wide range of creative ways that the arts can be utilized to tackle some of our most pressing community issues,” explained Maureen McGuigan, the County’s Deputy Director for Arts & Culture.

The Foundation and the Arts & Culture Department decided to organize roundtable discussions with the intent of bringing together government agencies and foundation leaders along with the business community, nonprofits, educators and civic leaders to foster an understanding of how cultural and creative expression has the means to create deep, lasting and measurable community-wide social change.  The goal of the series is to generate new ideas, bring about new actions, and inspire the participants to create visions for growth.

The roundtable discussions are by invitation only and are limited to the first 35 respondents. 

The last forum, which will focus on Transportation, is scheduled for October.

For more information, please contact Ms. McGuigan at 570.963.6590, ext. 102, or