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Summer events on campuses offer communities celebrations of art, health, culture

In summer months, Penn State campuses host events and special activities for the enjoyment of community members near and far.

During summer months, when fewer Penn State students are studying on campus and many faculty are researching off-site or working abroad, community-campus partnered events welcome thousands of local residents and out-of-state visitors to many of Penn State’s locations around the commonwealth.

Penn State campuses host community educational and entertainment events throughout the summer and the year. Learn more about several upcoming events.

Perhaps the most well-recognized summer event is the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on the University Park campus and in downtown State College. However, several Penn State campuses collaborate with organizations promoting the arts, culture and healthy lifestyles to visit the University’s grounds for free or low-cost entertainment, information and venues for celebration.

Cultivating culture outdoors

The Brodhead Cultural Center at Penn State Beaver is just one example of campus-community engagement. Designed as 700-seat, outdoor amphitheater with lush gardens and a reflecting pond, the center is the creative result of the collaboration between local businesses and the campus.

Since its grand opening in 1977, the center has welcomed more than 200,000 guests and is supported solely by local and regional donors as well as corporate sponsors such as the Beaver County Commissioners. The Times, the area’s only newspaper, supports the center with in-kind gifts of advertising and the Beaver Valley Musicians Union Local 82-545 provides underwriting for many of the performances that take the stage.

“The Cultural Center began as a campus-community outreach project for the local communities to enjoy the performing arts for free or for a low fee,” Amy Krebs, director of campus and community relations, said. “It’s truly amazing to see how the center has grown, and it is because of the support and response we get from the community.”

In addition to musical performances ranging from the Pittsburgh Banjo Club to the Beaver County Symphonic Wind Ensemble and many others, the Center Theatre Players, a group consisting of local and regional artists, presents theatrical productions under the direction of Penn State alumna Sandy Reigel. All performances are free to the public, with the exception of the annual musical production, which charges a small admission fee.

By hosting an array of performances, Penn State Beaver is able to provide its region’s residents with arts events they may otherwise not be able to enjoy locally.

“Many visitors have their first experience with live theatre here at Brodhead,” Krebs said. “It’s because of the great relationships we have with the donors and the community that we can offer these programs. And we’ve been fortunate to maintain those relationships and offer these programs for 38 years.”

A healthy appreciation for local music and food

Four hours east of Penn State Beaver, at Penn State Hershey, local residents are anticipating the 11th edition of what has become an annual Fourth of July tradition. “An American Salute,” a patriotic performance by the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, will be held on the front lawn of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Preceding the music that day is Children’s Paw Prints to Health, a variety of youth-themed health and wellness activities.

Beyond a single day of patriotic celebration and children’s health awareness, though, is a vision-turned-reality of two faculty members from the College of Medicine. They saw the potential that hosting a simple weekly farmers market could have on the health and well-being of community residents of all ages.

In addition to promoting the purchase of local goods and produce, the farmers market aims to create opportunities for community wellness partnerships and increase community interaction with staff and students at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Daniel George, assistant professor of humanities, and Wade Edris, senior research associate, both of the College of Medicine, recognized the importance of buying locally produced goods to maintain healthy lifestyles as well as develop a strong sense of community. In 2010, with the support of area organizations, the pair opened Farmers Market in Hershey, a wellness-focused market near — and with support from — the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

A registered, nonprofit organization, Farmers Market in Hershey is open from mid-May through the end of October and attracts nearly 7,000 visitors each season. Approximately 30 local vendors set up every Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to sell their products, which must be locally grown and produced.

“We have an 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of all products must be organic and locally sourced,” Edris said, adding that the market has been estimated to generate several hundred-thousand dollars for local vendors each season.

In addition to promoting the purchase of local goods and produce, the market aims to create opportunities for community wellness partnerships and increase community interaction with staff and students at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. One way George and Edris are doing this is with the new Prescription Produce program commencing this fall.

“Prescription Produce is a program run by my medical students, where pediatricians refer low-income, at-risk children to the market with ‘prescriptions,’ ” George said. “Those ‘prescriptions’ can then be redeemed for fruits and vegetables at the market.”

The market also applies for and receives grants that allow George and Edris to purchase food from the vendors and then deliver it to community organizations that work with underserved and food-insecure populations.

“The market is a community gathering place untouched by corporate or other influence where people can not only support local farmers, producers and artisans who carry out their business in a sustainable manner, but also interact with them and develop meaningful relationships that strengthen a sense of community as they ensure a robust local economy,” George said.

A campus-community festival of the arts

It is no secret that Penn State works closely with a number of organizations across Pennsylvania. In addition to the community-focused partnerships at Penn State Beaver, Penn State Hershey and many other campuses, the University Park campus has developed a cultural partnership that spans nearly 50 years and has earned national prominence.

In 1967, the State College Chamber of Commerce and Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture joined forces to bring arts and crafts, culture and tourists to the local community by hosting the first Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Fast-forward 48 years later, the nationally renowned festival has become a driving force for the local economy and is the epitome of a town-gown partnership.

Generating more than $13 million in local revenue in 2013, the Arts Festival was recently ranked the No. 1 arts show in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine, an achievement based on artists’ total sales. Each year, between 100,000 and 125,000 tourists from throughout central Pennsylvania and across the United States visit the festival, including Penn State students, parents and alumni.

“This is part of the quintessential Penn State experience,” Executive Director Rick Bryant said of the Arts Festival, adding that 40 percent of visitors are Penn State alumni. “We have a very loyal audience of Penn Staters, and our artists love Penn State alums.”

Just one of many arts festivals held throughout the country, the “Arts Fest” — a name it has been dubbed over the years by visitors — sells out hotels and causes downtown businesses to bustle with activity. The festival is also distinctive because of the collaboration between the University and the festival board. The famed juried Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, with more than 300 artists from across the country, overtakes many streets of downtown State College and extends onto Penn State’s University Park campus, continuing along Pollock and Burrowes roads. A host of artists and vendors also line up adjacent to Old Main lawn, where a festival stage offers a performance venue for a variety of artists.

Barbara Meeker-Ettaro, director of campus and community affairs at Penn State, has worked with Bryant for more than a decade to coordinate festival logistics and ensure that visitors have a great experience.

“The Arts Festival is a huge event for State College and the surrounding communities,” Meeker-Ettaro said. “Penn State knows the cultural and economic value of the festival and welcomes visitors to the University Park campus.”

Joyce Robinson, board president for the Arts Festival and curator at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art, shares that sentiment, stating that the sense of community and collaboration attracts visitors.

“The festival is really neat because it really brings together town and gown,” Robinson said. “It exudes a small-town sense of community and welcoming that you don’t necessarily see at other festivals.”

Learn more about this year's Arts Festival.

Bryant has developed great relationships with others at the University, too, such as Lanny Sommese, professor of graphic design, who for 40 years has been the creative mastermind behind the perpetually award-winning Arts Festival poster. Bryant also recruits interns from the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM) and the College of Communications, and speaks to RPTM classes about the importance of tourism as a local industry and why the Arts Festival is important to the State College and Penn State communities.

“A college town has two elements — the town and the college,” Bryant said. “When we work together, we have an absolutely great downtown and people see that. The Arts Festival is a super example of the borough of State College and the University working together.”

As the second-largest industry in Pennsylvania, tourism accounts for more than $650 million of annual income for Centre County. And, according to a 2008 economic impact report conducted by Tripp Umbach, Penn State’s statewide economic impact surpasses that of all of the state’s airports, professional sports teams and arts and cultural organizations combined. More specifically, it notes, “More than $1 out of every $20 in tourism generated annually in Pennsylvania is attributable to Penn State.”

Betsey Howell, executive director of Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, continues to see an increase in local tourism and encourages local businesses and organizations to seek out partnerships and opportunities to work with the University.

“People don’t understand the impact tourism has,” Howell said. “Any time you have events, it is helping the local economy. People need a place to stay, they need to eat,” adding that it is very difficult to run events without the help of others.

“Partnerships are imperative — it doesn’t matter who you are,” she said. “We need to look at the good of the whole — not just the good of ourselves. I’m a firm believer in partnering where you can and I’ve never known Penn State to not be a good neighbor.”

Campuses host community educational and entertainment events

Penn State collaborates with numerous organizations to bring events to its local communities. The following is a sampling of upcoming events at several Penn State campuses.


— “An American Salute,” a performance by the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, will take place on Friday, July 4, on the front lawn of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. This annual tradition is preceded by Children’s Paw Prints to Health, a youth-themed health and wellness program, and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

— Celebrate Independence Day at 4th Fest, an annual event held in State College, Pa., on July 4 on the east side of Penn State’s University Park campus. Read about several highlights of this year's event.

— The Brodhead Cultural Center at Penn State Beaver kicks off the 2014 season on Tuesday, July 8, with a performance by the Hopewell Community Big Band at 7:30 p.m. Musical and theatrical performances will be presented throughout the summer with the last performance on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Events are free to the public and, as an added bonus, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream is available for purchase at every event.

— The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts celebrates 48 years of visual and performing arts from Wednesday, July 9, through Sunday, July 13. More than 300 juried artists will set up on Penn State’s University Park campus and the streets of downtown State College, Pa., for the famous Sidewalk Sale & Exhibition. A nationally recognized show, the event draws more than 100,000 visitors each year.

— The local chapter of Uplifting Athletes will hold its 12th annual Lift for Life event on Saturday, July 12, at University Park to raise money for kidney cancer research.

— The African-American Heritage Project of Blair County will host the 21st African American Heritage Festival on Saturday, July 26, at the Penn State Altoona campus.


— The 2nd annual Mt. Nittany Marathon benefitting the Mount Nittany Conservancy starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31. Runners will take off at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the University Park campus and make their way on a scenic 26.2-mile certified course.

September and beyond

— Penn State Berks’ Arts and Lecture Series will commence on Wednesday, Sept. 3, with a performance by Brother, an Australian band that fuses the sounds of traditional Celtic music with sounds native to Australian Aboriginals. The series continues through the fall and spring semesters, wrapping up the season at the end of April 2015.

— From 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, Penn State Harrisburg will host the Moon Festival, the official harvest festival celebrated in China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

­— Penn State Harrisburg will celebrate the triumph of good over evil at Diwali Celebration, the Indian festival of lights, on Friday, Oct. 24.

— Join the students at Penn State Harrisburg on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, a festivity marking the start of the new year according to the lunar calendar.

— On Saturday, April 11, 2015, Penn State Shenango will host Earth Fest. The annual event, which offers free admission and is open to the public, includes live music and entertainment, children’s activities, an artists’ market, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream, information from sustainability-minded local organizations and businesses, a computer recycling event, eco-friendly cars from Montrose Auto Group and more.

Chapin co-authors article for international journal

John Chapin, professor of communications at Penn State Beaver, is the co-author of “It won’t happen to me: Addressing adolescents’ risk perception of dating violence,” an article that appeared in the June edition of the International Journal of Violence and Schools/Journal International sur la Violence et l' École."

The publication is published in Paris in English and French. The article states that high school and middle school students are at the highest risk of domestic abuse and sexual assault of any age cohorts in the United States. A survey of 1,646 adolescents explored adolescents’ knowledge of dating violence, self-esteem, skewed risk perception and optimistic bias. Findings suggest that adolescents know about violence but common misconceptions persist. Violence prevention programs are key components in educating adolescents about violence, dating, risk and realistic perceptions. Chapin is widely recognized for his research, publications and outreach projects on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. He has received numerous citations and awards in recognition of his work on behalf violence prevention.

Chapin can be contacted at jrc11@psu.edu or 724-773-3877.

Two longtime Penn State Beaver employees retired June 30

Two longtime Penn State Beaver employees retired from the University on Monday, June 30, after each completed 30 years of service.

Gary E. Fleeson and Mark A. Hertneky joined the Beaver campus in spring 1984 and carried out a broad range of duties on campus throughout their careers. Prior to working at Penn State, each had held other positions. Fleeson is a graduate of Freedom Area High School and served three years in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, where he was a helicopter mechanic. He also worked as an inspector for Armstrong Cork Company Inc., Beaver Falls; a crew leader for Swift Modular Home Systems Inc., Monaca; a chemical reactor operator at Arco Chemicals Inc., Monaca; a shop manager at Blackhawk Electric Construction Co., Beaver Falls; and a maintenance staff member at the Beaver County Times, Beaver.

Hertneky is a graduate of Ambridge Area High School and the Gateway Technical Institute, Pittsburgh. He served in the U.S. Army at the Great Lakes Naval Base; was a heavy equipment operator and mechanic with Basic Alloys, Monaca; a maintenance mechanic for Pappan’s Family Restaurant; Bridgewater; a maintenance director for Crossgates Inc. Holiday Inn, Sewickley; and an air conditioner technician for City Plumbing, Ambridge.

The men were honored for their 60 years of combined service at a campus reception held Friday, June 27, which was attended by more than 50 family members, friends, and current and former colleagues.

For more information, contact the Office of Campus and Community Relations at amk6@psu.edu or 724-773-3816.

Admissions Office will host summer programs for prospective students

The Penn State Beaver Admissions Office will host a series of free programs for prospective students on campus in July and August in the Student Union Building.

From to 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, an Adult Open House will be held in the Admissions Suite, Student Union Building. A Spend a Summer Evening program will also be held that day at 5 p.m. and will be repeated at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12.

The Adult Open House will provide information about Penn State Beaver’s five bachelor’s degrees in administration of justice; business; communications; information sciences and technology; and psychology, as well as 160 additional baccalaureate degrees offered at Penn State. Participants will meet with an admissions counselor and receive an unofficial review of transcripts, and the $50 application fee will be waived for any prospective student who applies to Penn State that day.

Both Spend a Summer Evening programs offer prospective students the opportunity to learn about the Penn State admissions process; talk with Penn State faculty, staff and students; and take a guided campus tour. In addition, pizza and beverages will be available from 5 to 5:30 p.m. and Penn State Creamery ice cream will be served at the end of the program.

Registration is requested for all three programs. To register or to obtain more information, contact the Admissions Office at br-admissions@psu.edu or call 877-JOIN-PSU.

Admissions Office will host Adult Open House, Spend a Summer Evening program

The Penn State Beaver Admissions Office will host an Adult Open House and a Spend a Summer Evening program Thursday, June 26, in the Student Union Building. The Open House will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. and will provide information about the five baccalaureate degrees that can be completed at Beaver as well as Penn State’s 160 undergraduate programs.

Participants will meet with counselors and receive an unofficial transcript review. If applying to Penn State that evening, the application fee will be waived. The Spend a Summer Evening program will begin at 5 p.m. and offers prospective students a comprehensive overview of Beaver campus and the University.

Participants will learn about the admissions process, speak with Beaver campus faculty and students, and tour the campus with Beaver’s student Lion Ambassadors. Pizza and beverages will be served from 5 to 5:30 p.m., followed by Penn State Creamery ice cream at the end of the campus tour.

Registration for both events is encouraged. To register or obtain more information, contact the Admissions Office at br-admissions@psu.edu or 877-JOIN-PSU, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Office of Continuing Education will offer course for shale workforce

A course in “Shale Education and Training” that will provide a foundation for employees working in or entering the shale industry will be offered in July and November through the Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education in conjunction with the Shale Training and Education Center (ShaleTEC), an affiliate of Penn State.

The course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, or Thursday, Nov. 6, and will include information on shale economics, geology, leasing, drilling practices, well construction, reservoir stimulation and well completion, and production. Course fee is $379. WEDnetPA grant funds may be eligible for safety training cost reimbursement for eligible participants.

To register for the course, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 724-773-3700 or beaverce@psu.edu, or contact ShaleTEC at 800-367-9222 or visit http://www.shaletec.org.

Adult Literacy Action to offer tutor training; tutors, aides sought

The Penn State Beaver Adult Literacy Action (ALA) program will host a Tutor Training Workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, on the subject of “Math 101 - Teaching Math for GED 2014 and the CCS” at the Beaver ALA office.

To register for the workshop, contact ALA at 724-773-7810 by Monday, July 21. In addition, the ALA program is seeking volunteer tutors and classroom aides. Tutors work with students on an individual basis and assist them with reading, writing, mathematics, English as a second language or General Educational Development test preparation.

Tutors must have a four-year college degree or currently be enrolled in a four-year degree program. Classroom aides work with teachers at ALA’s GED and family literacy sites, and are not required to have a degree.

For more information about ALA’s volunteer opportunities and training workshops, contact Jody Gibbs at the ALA Office at 724-773-7810.

Registration open for academic, sports youth camps in July, August

Registration is open for Penn State Beaver’s summer academic enrichment and sports camps in July and August for children ages 5 through 18.

Camps are run by the Office of Continuing Education and the Athletic Department. The following camps are available:

-- Girls' Basketball, ages 8-13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday, July 14-17
The $100 fee includes a camp T-shirt.

-- Cheerleading K-3, ages 5-8, 9 a.m. to noon Monday to Thursday, July 21-24
The $80 fee includes a camp T-shirt.

-- Co-ed Soccer, ages 8-13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, July 21-24
The $100 fee includes a camp T-shirt.

-- Wrestling, ages 8-14, 6 to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday, July 21-24
The $80 fee includes a camps T-shirt.

-- Advanced Volleyball, ages 14-18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, July 28-31
The $120 fee includes a camp T-shirt.

-- Video and Movie Production, ages 11 and older, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, July 28-Aug. 1
The $245 fee includes snacks and a camp T-shirt.

-- Musical Theater, ages 7-15, 9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday, July 28-Aug. 1
The $115 fee includes snacks and a camp T-shirt.

-- Wizardry, ages 8 and older, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, July 28-Aug. 1 
The $245 fee includes snacks, special activities and a camp T-shirt.

-- Golf, ages 18 and younger, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Friday, Aug. 4-8
The $130 includes a camp T-shirt.

-- Volleyball, ages 8-13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday-Thursday, Aug. 4-7
The $100 fee includes a camp T-shirt.

To register for any camps or to obtain more information, contact the Continuing Education Office at beaverce@psu.edu or 724-773-3700.

Course for school nurses to be offered in July

The Penn State Beaver Office of Continuing Education and the Penn State College of Nursing and Outreach will offer “Legal and Professional Issues in School Nursing” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 14 to 18.

The course, which will be video-conferenced from Penn State University Park, will be taught by registered nurse Stacy Chiles. Course participants may earn Act 48 credits. This three-credit course explores the synthesis and analysis of the legal and professional issues faced by school nurses and other professionals, and the impact on delivery of health care in the school environment. The University College of Nursing and Outreach continues to develop a range of courses for school heath care professionals with topics ranging from bullying to teaching children on the autism spectrum.

For more information, contact Beaver’s Office of Continuing Education at beaverce@psu.edu or 724-773-3700, or visit www.beaver.psu.edu.

Brodhead Cultural Center opens free summer concert series

The Hopewell Community Big Band will open the Brodhead Cultural Center’s 38th season with a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, in the J. P. Giusti Amphitheater, Penn State Beaver.

The Pittsburgh Banjo Club will present a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the amphitheater. The Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association will sell Penn State Creamery ice cream from 6 to 7:30 p.m. prior to each concert. Sale proceeds benefit the Alumni Chapter’s scholarships for Beaver campus students. The Penn State Beaver Varsity Club will sell concessions prior to and during the concerts. Proceeds benefit Beaver campus student-athletes.

In the event of bad weather, the concerts, ice cream sales and concession sales will be held in the auditorium of the Beaver campus Student Union Building. Sponsors of this summer’s programs are the Times; Harper & Hodge; Beaver Valley Musicians Union Local 82-545; and the James M. Corwin Program Endowment at Penn State Beaver.

For more information, contact the Brodhead Cultural Center at 724-773-3610 or br-bcc@psu.edu, call the Events Hotline at 724-773-3600 or visit www.beaver.psu.edu/Brodhead.

Tickets for Center Theatre Players’ 'Sweeney Todd' are on sale now

Tickets are on sale for the Center Theatre Players production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which will be presented at 7:30 p.m Thursday, July 24; Friday July 25; and Saturday, July 26; in the auditorium of the Penn State Beaver Student Union Building.

Directed by Penn State alumna Sandy Reigel, the show is part of the Beaver campus Brodhead Cultural Center’s 38th summer season of programming and is cosponsored by a gift from Harper & Hodge. This Tony Award-winning musical thriller is considered to be composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece. Based on the infamous 19th century English legend, Sweeney Todd is a barber bent on murderous vengeance against a corrupt judge. Todd’s bloody revenge includes a cutthroat partnership with Mrs. Lovett, an enterprising businesswoman who produces the most uniquely-flavored meat pies in London. The play’s dark humor, haunting music and menacing atmosphere create an unforgettable theatrical experience. Due to some scenes of violence, the play is recommended for mature audiences.

Tickets are $15. Advance ticket sales are recommended by calling 724-773-3610 and using a Visa or MasterCard. Those purchasing tickets in person should come to Suite 201, Ross Administration Building at Beaver campus, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased by mailing a check, payable to Penn State, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope with ticket request details, to Brodhead Cultural Center, Penn State Beaver, Suite 201, Ross Administration Building, Monaca, PA 15061.

This summer’s Brodhead Cultural Center sponsors are the Times, Harper & Hodge, Beaver Valley Musicians Union Local 82-545 and the James M. Corwin Program Endowment at Penn State Beaver. Additional sponsors requested anonymity.

For ticket information or for a complete list of summer events, contact the Brodhead Cultural Center at 724-773-3160 or br-bcc@psu.edu, call the Events Hotline at 724-773-3600 or visit www.beaver.psu.edu/brodhead.