Zoellner Arts Center to celebrate Lehigh’s Sesquicentennial with the Block pARTy on October 1-4
The Sesquicentennial Block pARTy is a four day festival of the visual, performing, literary, technical, and engineering arts involving internationally touring artists and visionaries, local artists, Southside businesses and restaurants; Lehigh faculty, staff and student work. Centered at and produced by Zoellner Arts Center, the (mostly) free pARTy will spill out across campus in an imaginative array of events that captures the creative talent and spirit of innovation at Lehigh and in the local community.
Zoellner Arts Center staff will set up a large outdoor concert pavilion for up to 1000 people in the Tamerler Courtyard located between the Center and Rauch Business Center, along with two other smaller outdoor sites around the campus. In addition to the performing and visual arts, various departments, student clubs, and all four colleges at the University will be represented along with 30 local organizations.
“The idea behind the Block pARTy is to celebrate, through the arts and ideas, 150 years of creativity,” says Andy Cassano, administrative director of Zoellner Arts Center. “Our campus and community has a wealth of writing, artwork and ideas across the disciplines: engineering and education, arts and sciences, business and education. Lehigh University and the Lehigh Valley are interconnected, as are a tradition of academics which have provided amazing innovation and ideas which we want to celebrate. We also wanted to create a special occasion for South Side partners in their work in education, community service, arts, food and culture and innovation and a big birthday splash for Lehigh.”
Starting Thursday, October 1 celebrations kick-off on-campus with a walking museum of faculty, staff and student projects across all disciplines; on display throughout Zoellner and several nearby locations. The Bethlehem farmers market will relocate between Zoellner and Rauch with live local music performances. The evening is cap stoned with a keynote lecture at 7:30 pm by famed string theorist and theoretical physicist Brian Greene who will talk about the drive to innovate. A Columbia University professor, Brian Greene has become known to a wider audience through his books—The Elegant Universe, Icarus at the Edge of Time—and related PBS specials. He has appeared on The Big Bang Theory and in the films Frequency and The Last Mimzy. Lehigh’s talented A-Capella and dance groups open our outdoor concert pavilion at 9:00 pm.
On Friday, October 2 Packer Avenue will be shut down from Brodhead to Filmore for a Sesquicentennial Parade featuring the Marching ’97 and the Broughal Middle School Band. The parade will connect Lehigh’s 150th Founder’s Day Ceremony and the installment of President John Simon with the Brown and White celebration in the outdoor concert pavilion. The celebration will feature Lehigh’s Music Department, special dramatic readings, and colorful lighting and video mapping in the pavilion. The evening will kick-off the Department of Theatre’s opening night play, God of Carnage.
On Saturday October 3 a special community breakfast hosted by President Simon and Mayor Donchez and emceed by Ashley Russo will recognize 10 other South Side community anniversaries including Touchstone Theater, Broughal Middle School, Donegan Elementary, Southside Library, and the Boys and Girls Club. Following the breakfast, the campus will come alive with a weekend full of free indoor and outdoor performances, food, and family events, national touring acts; local, faculty and student artists; Southside businesses and restaurants; and campus groups. Events include a kids circus workshop with local artists, and Children’s Writing Workshop & Poetry Slam; featured community performances with Kira Willey, Dave Fry, Broughal Middle School Choir, Godfrey Daniels; Art Fair featuring works by Lehigh Faculty and Banana Factory artists. The evening will show-off two fantastic bands: Mountain Heart (returning to Zoellner) and The Weight – who were members of the Levon Helm Band and “The Band” who used to back up Bob Dylan and performed great songs of Americana “Up Ripple Creek,” “The Weight,” “Take a Load Off Fanny,” and, “The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down.”
Sunday will celebrate our global community with student groups representing several cultures having events in the morning. Zoellner’s Guest Artist Series will showcase Swedish cirque artists Magmanus.
Tickets for the October 4 Magmanus performance at 4:00pm are $25/20/15. For tickets, call 610-758-2787 (7LU-ARTS), visit Zoellner Ticket Services Tues.12-6pm, Wed.- Fri. 12-5pm, or Sat. 11am-1pm, and 90 minutes before curtain ticketed events or order online at www.zoellnerartscenter.org. Senior, student, group and LVAIC discounts are available. For a full listing of activities go to www.ZoellnerArtsCenter.org