Musicians at Boyertown jam with their guitars

Musicians at a previous Pickfest enjoy some jam time before their performance.


Enjoy October’s Artsy Activities

Halloween festivities may rule October, but don’t overlook a variety of artsy happenings this month in Berks County. Thanks to the creative organizers, some of our annual events will go on, despite the pandemic. It took a bit of revamping and smart thinking, but these films, exhibits, and concerts are happening across Pennsylvania’s Americana Region with safety protocols in place. Check out live and virtual ways to enjoy the arts this October.

Reading Film Fest
October 9 – 11, 2020

Reading FilmFest gets an A+ for resourcefulness. Rather than cancel the annual event, they created a hybrid fest and ticket holders can participate in-person or virtually. The fest was moved to October to allow for better weather conditions so film screenings and workshops can be held at FirstEnergy Stadium. As usual, the festival will include films from independent filmmakers from around the world, including student films, shorts, documentaries and feature films. Panel discussions, and filmmaker Q&As will be online and in-person.

Boyertown’s Pickfest 2020
October 9 – October 11, 2020

It takes more than a pandemic to upend Boyertown’s 2020 Pickfest. While modified, the annual music event will go on. This year, Pickfest is a COVID fundraiser and offers three concerts over three days. For a modest fee, all three of the concerts can be streamed to your home. For those who prefer to experience the music in person, a limited number of tickets are available for each night.

Reading Public Museum

The Reading Public Museum never fails to amaze  with its wonderful traveling exhibits, like Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, now on display through January 3, 2021.  Considered by many as the creator of Art Nouveau style, the exhibit includes over 70 original works by Mucha. His designs for posters, calendars, books and advertising labels were seen throughout Europe and America, and his Art Nouveau style dominated visual culture and graphic design for years. Highlights of the exhibition include four versions of a poster Mucha created in 1894 for actress Sarah Bernhardt’s play “Gismonda” and two posters advertising Job cigarette papers (1896 and 1898). You don’t want to miss it!

Nefrina

While at the Museum, take some time to stop in the Ancient Civilizations Gallery, home to Nefrina, the mummy. The newly renovated gallery enables visitors to see Nefrina in a whole new way — as a hologram. Through the hologram, Nefrina appears to museum visitors and tells them the story of her life. Pretty cool

Pumpkin PaloozaGoggleWorks Center for the Arts 
October – November, 2020

What would October be without the GoggleWorks’ annual Pumpkin Palooza? Now in its 7th year, Pumpkin Palooza is shifting gears to keep everyone safe during the ongoing Pandemic. Normally one day of festivities, this year’s palooza includes a month of opportunities to safely celebrate fall. Explore the GoggleWorks patch of perfect glass pumpkins, watch your favorite horror flick, take a spooky tour of GoggleWorks, and best of all, follow the art center on social media to find a free pumpkin of your very own.

Art & Craft Gallery
October 1 – 31, 2020

The Art & Craft Gallery of Hamburg, located in the Our Town Foundation building, is featuring the fiber Art of Martha Ressler. As a fiber artist, Martha’s work can be diverse and whimsical, from the practicality of a pot holder to the abstraction of an art quilt made from found objects. If interested in viewing this interesting exhibit, the gallery requires you wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Albright College Center for the Arts

Albright College Center for the Arts invites you to experience art and music virtually and in-person this month. On October 10, enjoy Let Them Hear You, a virtual concert by the college’s choral ensemble. Under the direction of Jordan M. Shomper, visiting director of choral activities, explore some Broadway’s most powerful songs, including songs of unity and social justice that will inspire you to make your voice heard.

On October 15, Contemporary Weavings by Erika Hewston opens at the Freedman Gallery. For her exhibition, Hewston will showcase her own works, which will also be for sale, and will create two unique pieces. One will be a response to Neda Al-Hilali’s “Marduke” from the gallery’s permanent collection, and the second will be an interactive piece that visitors to the gallery will have an opportunity to help create. Join the Artist’s Lecture on October 15, at 4 p.m., via Zoom. Call 610-921-7715 for link/password.

Enjoy our local artistic outlets. It’s a wonderful way to de-stress and support our local museums, theatres, galleries, and educational institutions.