Growing The Big Idea

The “Big Idea” is ready for harvest.

On Wednesday, April 23, at 5:30 PM at the Hilton Conference Center, the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education (ACE) Council will present “Growing the Big Idea,” an interactive follow-up to the 2013 “What’s The Big Idea” brainstorming workshop.  The event is free and open to the public.

This workshop aims to put into motion last year’s arts and culture ideas.  In 2013, many high-quality suggestions were generated, ranging from developing an amusement park and exploring train travel to expanding First Fridays and having more murals in downtown Scranton.  This program will also inform people on what ideas are already happening and the steps involved in developing larger public projects.

The ACE Council reviewed the ideas from last year’s session and explored five topics in depth.  The subject areas and group leaders include:

  • “Electric Weekends in Scranton: Expanding First Friday” led by Thom Welby, First Friday Board Member
  • “Walk, Bike, Ride the Bus – Exploring Transportation Alternatives” facilitated by Mike Muller, a DX Dempsey architect and Pop Studio member
  • “Art in Our Neighborhoods” handled by Alicia Grega, an ACE Council member, theater artist and staff member of Electric City/Diamond City newspaper
  • “Paint Our Town – How to Make Mural Projects Happen” directed by Ted Michalowski, muralist
  • “Not Too Young or Old: Building Projects to Connect the Generations” co-facilitated by Angel Atell and Laurie Fleming of the West Side Senior Center

To register for “Growing The Big Idea,” which is free and open to the public, contact Chris Calvey, Program Coordinator for the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department, by telephone at 570.963.6590, ext. 106, or by email

Lackawanna County Seeks Artists For “Art In The Park” Program

Do you like working with children? Do you like to have fun? Are you creative? Can you let your imagination run wild to produce interactive activities that will captivate children and keep them busy?

If you answered “yes” to those questions, then you would make a perfect “Art In The Park” artist/instructor.

The Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department is seeking visual and performing artists to work with youth ages 5-12 for it Summer program.

According to Commissioners Jim Wansacz, Corey D. O’Brien and Patrick M. O’Malley, the schedule for this year’s four-week “Art In The Park” programs is as follows:  Tuesday, July 8, at Merli-Sarnoski Park, Greenfield Township; Tuesday, July 15, at Covington Park, Covington Township; Tuesday, July 22, at Aylesworth Park, Jermyn; and Tuesday, July 29, at McDade Park, Scranton.

The free arts activities should be hands-on, fun and interactive.  Performing arts can make use of the parks’ grassy knolls, general grounds and tent areas.  Individuals offering visual arts’ activities will have a picnic table to utilize and are responsible for providing their own supplies.

The programs generally attract approximately 100 – 125 children at each site, with the average age being eight.

If an artist has worked the program previously and offered the same activity for two years in a row, the committee asks that something new be offered.

Artists are paid $200 per day for their services.

Interested individuals should submit an application form, program proposal and a brief biography/resume by Friday, April 25.  Application forms can be found on the Arts & Culture page on the County’s website at or by emailing

Proposals should be submitted in a PDF format and either mailed to Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, 300 Cliff Street, Scranton, PA 18503 or emailed to

ARTS Engage Funding Guidelines Released

Area organizations can apply to the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department for up to $50,000 in funding for year round youth arts programs.

According to Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley, the 2014-15 ARTS Engage RFQ has been released and is posted on the County’s website at

The ARTS Engage program is designed to involve at risk youth in a variety of activities that will strengthen their self esteem, enable the children to express themselves through a number of mediums, and showcase their talents.  The program, open to all elementary, middle school and high school aged children, helps to develop positive social skills.

Designed as a true community partnership, the successful organization, civic group and/or art agency must involve a school in offering the activities.

The organizations involved in ARTS Engage would be working with both the County’s Office of Family & Youth Services and the Arts & Culture Department.  The programs can be coordinated in Scranton and/or Carbondale.

An information session on the ARTS Engage RFQ will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at 9 AM at The Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff Street, Scranton, PA 18503.  Interested individual can register for the meeting by contacting the Arts & Culture Department at 570-963-6590, Ext. 106, or emailing

Proposals are due on March 21.