College contributes to enhancing community

By Anthony Foley
May 2, 2012

Norristown is a community that is undergoing change in terms of creative and performing arts. This change can not happen over night, nor with one person pushing the cause. For years, those who love the community wanted to refurbish it and enhance it in the most beneficial way.

Norrsitown Arts Hill festval is approaching its third annual festival and is continuously growing as they work closely with the college’s ECG 200 class, Norristown Arts. The class works closely with the leaders and formed its own committees to contribute to the cause.

“We are trying to create an environment or destination that people want to come to,” Gene Frank said. “We have an amazing array of architecture and affordable space for buisnesses to take advantage of.”

“Norristown has a huge diversity difference and cultural differences which makes this so exciting,” Frank said.

People get involved by hearing about the festival and checking the website. That is how most volunteers and performers are found and recruited for the festival. There will be four stages with all performances going on simultaneously.

This is the plan the Norristown community is trying to accomplish. The Norristown Arts Hill and Cultural District, in downtown Norristown, hopes to become such a place. A key step in Norristown Arts Hill’s birth was the acquisition of the Business Volunteers for the Arts grant in the Fall of 2009. Some of these volunteers are Gene Frank, Rich Rodgers, Eric Malm and John Doyle. A Cabrini ECG 200 class is also volunteering with the Festival as well by networking, promoting and marketing.

The arts festival will take place on Dekalb Street between Lafayette Street and Airy Street. Dekalb Street will be closed for those few blocks with performer tents, food and  arts-and-crafts vendors. There is a focused place called Kids Corner where the kids will be able to really enjoy the arts. There will be face-painting, clay table, sand art and mural painting. There are also performances just for kids in the morning. One of the main goals is to bring out the kids with their family and friends to get them involved at a young age and be involved with their community.

The course particapants contributed beyond marketing, planning, recruiting  performers and dedicating their time.

Gabby Simonelli will be participating in the show as she joins her contemporary dance group, Opus 1.

There is a student who lives in Norristown and has a direct connection with the community.

The college will have multiple ways to particpate including but not limited to the dance team performing, Mary Jacobs’ face painting for children and John Crouse’s showcasing of his musical talents.

All of this will bring new life to the Norristown community. It will bring businesses and families to stay for good. But most importantly, it will bring the arts back to the city and have the community finally come together for a good reason to help clean up the town we live in.

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Anthony Foley

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