Lackawanna County Supports Performance of Indian Classical Dance At The Scranton Cultural Center

The Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the community and, in that vein, it is underwriting “Ancient Legacy Modern Land” – Erasing Borders II, a one-hour sequel presentation set for Saturday, November 17, at 5 pm in Shopland Hall at the Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Avenue.

The performance, which costs $5 and includes a reception, will feature an Indian classical theme that transcends cultural boundaries.

Though rooted in the ancient classical dance tradition of India, the recital will incorporate diverse musical and cultural influences. The theme will focus on erasing differences of language, culture and religion and incorporate English poetry by famous American and international poets. The program is based on the two-thousand-year-old Classical dance form of India called Bharata Natyam and will showcase how the ancient Indian art form has adapted to its new home – the United States. Transplanted into a new and different environment, it has had to make subtle adjustments to survive and flourish.

The professional dancers from Kala School of Dance, Clarks Summit, will be joined by young dancers from New York, who are dedicated to ensuring the continuity of the art form along with highlighting the aspect of change and adaptation.

The Kala School was established in 1995 by Sujata Nair-Mulloth and has been training students in Indian Classical Dance for the past twenty years.

This project is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.  It is also sponsored by a Lackawanna County Community Arts and Culture Grant, a program of Commissioners Patrick M. O’Malley, Jerry Notarianni, and Laureen A. Cummings.

For more information about the performance, please contact Sujata Nair-Mulloth, Artistic Director of Kala School of Indian Classical Dance, at or by telephone at 570-586-3917.

Pennsylvania Council On The Arts Director To Speak At October 5 Arts Breakfast

Matthew Serio, Program Director at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), will be the featured speaker at the “Wake Up With The Arts Breakfast,” set for Friday, October 5, at the Electric City Trolley Museum, 300 Cliff Street, on the property of Steamtown National Historic Site from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM.

The ninth annual event, sponsored by the Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Department, brings national speakers to our community on varied arts topics of interest.

The breakfast will open with a short performance by the Justin Padro Trio and tables will be decorated by local artists and organizations.

Mr. Serio’s lecture, The State of the Arts in Pennsylvania, will focus on arts and culture trends across the state, the challenges and opportunities the arts face in Pennsylvania, and the role of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Matthew has been in his position as Program Director at the PCA since 2012.  He oversees the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, Entry Track, Local Arts, Presenting and Theater grant programs. Formerly he was Director of Development for Habitat for Humanity for Berks and Lancaster Counties; a Program Manager for the Berks Arts Council; and Festival Director of the Greater Reading Film Festival. He is a graduate of Kutztown University with a degree in Communication Design.

Since its inception, the arts breakfast has served as a creative networking event, focusing 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 Lackawanna County’s communities.  It also showcases the artistic talent in Northeastern Pennsylvania, due to the fact that the tables at the event are decorated by local artists and organizations.

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.

Free Panel Discussion On Nurturing & Sustaining Yourself In The Non-Profit & Arts World

The Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department and the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education (ACE) Council) will present Nurturing and Sustaining Yourself in the Non-Profit and Arts World, a free panel discussion on Saturday, September 15, in the Ladies Parlor at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple from 1 PM – 2 PM.  A reception, featuring light appetizers and the music of the Tyler Dempsey Trio, will take place from noon – 1 PM.

The goal of the program is to provide a perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the non-profit and art world and how to craft successful strategies to excel in those arenas.

The featured speakers, who will share their expertise on creating a sustainable model for long-term success, include: Gabrielle Senza, a visual artist who in 2011 launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her installation at the Everhart Museum of National History, Science and Art; Tracy Pratt, Manager of Development at Johnson College; and Maria Wilson, Executive Director of the Waverly Community House, where a wide range of arts and community events are offered.

The Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department was formed in 2004 and is supported through an education and culture fee that generates approximately $1.2 million for use in enhancing the County’s quality of life.  The office offers community grants, public arts programming, workshops and lectures and oversees the operation of the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum.

For questions on the program, contact the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department at 570.963.6590, ext. 102, or email

New Lackawanna Arts Fest Offers Innovative Activities For August 4 Lackawanna Arts Weekend

With the rebranding of the former Arts on the Square to the Lackawanna Arts Fest, Lackawanna County is expanding its community reach and focusing on attracting new and different groups to the event, in addition to promoting Lackawanna County as a cultural tourist destination.

The successful arts festival, developed from a partnership with ScrantonMade, a public relations and event planning firm for artists and artisan vendors, is now in its sixth year and continues to grow with over 150 vendors, live music, food and interactive art for all ages.

New items planned for this year include sponsoring a “Transformation Butterfly Installation” project and activity tent.  The Transformation project was developed through the ARTS Engage! Task Force, a group spearheaded by the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department, which brings together county departments and community groups to create programming that utilizes the arts for social change. It originated from a discussion on the growing opioid crisis and how the arts can play a role in healing the community.  A “Transformation” tent would promote the positive, life changing aspects of recovery and reduce the stigma of addiction.

A butterfly origami activity will be led by Studio Verve Vertu, an arts apprentice studio from Dallas, PA.  It specializes in working with persons who face emotional, physical and intellectual challenges.  Assistance for the exhibit will be offered by women from Clem Mar House, a long term recovery house in Luzerne County.

The ARTS Engage! Task Force decided to expand the idea of transformation to include the community at-large, as a way to collect and tell stories of personal and community change. Verve Vertu, in partnership with Moscow Clayworks, created 700 ceramic butterflies that will hang in the trees around the Lackawanna County Courthouse. Some of the butterflies were painted by veterans from the St. Francis Transitional Center and members of the West Side Senior Center, Abington Senior Center,  Mid-Valley Senior Center, The Jewish Community Center, The Dunmore Senior Center. Lackawanna County’s Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring a free van ride to senior centers for older adults to participate in the arts festival and see the butterfly installation. People are invited to take a butterfly home and to post a photo or tell a story on social media about their own thoughts and experiences with transformation, using the hashtags “nepatransform” and “artsengage.”  The transformation project will continue throughout the end of the year with community projects and story-telling.

In the spirit of community transformation, refugee artists were invited to participate in the Global Tastes venture.  A partnership with the University of Scranton, Lackawanna College, Catholic Social Services and Terra Preta Restaurant, Global Tastes was a public event showcasing the food and culture of the area’s refugees over the past three years. This year, two Syrian refugees responded to participate in the festival.  Samir Adbdo, an oil painter and former art teacher from Syria, and Bashar Attar, also from Syria, who works as a copper metal artist with roots in a traditional Bedouin art.

Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department, Visitors Bureau, ScrantonMade, First Friday Scranton and the Scranton Jazz Festival created and marketed the concept of a “Lackawanna Arts Weekend” to encourage people living approximately one to two hours away from our area to consider coming here for the weekend. The organizations developed hotel packages and marketing strategies with the intent of marketing our community’s ever-rising variety of cultural, dining and outdoor experiences.

Please contact the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department at 570.963.6590, ext. 102, or email with any questions.