Rich Houck – The Spring and Autumn Series at the Jewish Community Center in Reading

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Many of you are familiar with the work of Rich Houck, a Reading, PA based artist who’s appeared several times on Berks.TV. (Check out our original segments with Rich from earlier this year.)

We caught up with him to talk about his solo exhibition “The Spring and Autumn Series” which ran through this weekend at the Jewish Community Center in Reading.

In this segment, Rich explains the concept behind the exhibit and shares details about a few of the fifteen featured works.

Congrats to Rich on a successful and well-reviewed show!

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Frank Warren on His New Book My Secret

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This week marks the launch of the new book My Secret (picture below) from the PostSecret.com curator Frank Warren. The book is a collection of postcard confessions submitted to PostSecret by young people.

We talked with Frank before his recent lecture at Reading Public Museum, where the PostSecret traveling exhibition was on display.

“One of the things I like about secrets from young people is that they all seem to carry so much passion,” Frank said. “It’s the book I wish I could have had in high school or college to feel more connected to people.”

In an earlier segment, Frank talked about the community-art origins of PostSecret, and how his own secret is connected.

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NOTE TO READERS: SIGN UP during October for Berks.TV’s weekly email update, and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of Frank Warren’s first book, PostSecret, signed by the author. This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Pipe Up! Media, LLC.

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Ron Roth on the PostSecret Exhibit at Reading Public Museum

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When we caught up with Reading Public Museum Director and CEO Ron Roth, the museum was in the midst of enjoying a successful re-opening of the planetarium and a strong response to the PostSecret traveling exhibit and the finale to that exhibit, a lecture from founder Frank Warren.

We asked Ron how the museum became interested in hosting the PostSecret exhibit.

“We were very intrigued by the fact that it was a community art project that was basically web based. We feel that this is an area of the arts that we wanted to explore,” Ron said.

Clearly pleased at how well it’s been received, he shared that the museum is hoping to host a PostSecret sequel in 2007 or 2008.

Stay tuned next week as we publish the second of two segments featuring PostSecret’s curator, Frank Warren, who shares about his forthcoming book, MySecret.

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Bagels and Bach, Other Programs at the Reading Public Museum

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In this segment, Reading Public Museum Director and CEO Ron Roth talks about the variety of programs running currently at the museum in Reading, PA.

Current offerings include the science exhibition “Cool Moves: The Art and Science of Movement.”

Among the ongoing programs is a new one called “Bagels and Bach,” which will run Sunday mornings starting October 15 and will feature a light breakfast and ensemble music with Dave Cullen in the museum’s atrium.

P.S. The above pic is of J.S. Bach, not Ron Roth! 🙂

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Reading Public Museum History and Mission

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Last weekend we caught up with Ron Roth, Director and CEO of Reading Public Museum in Reading, PA. We think you’ll enjoy hearing about the history of the museum and the breadth of its mission and collection spanning art, sculpture, and science. The origins of the museum date to 1904 and the collection of Dr. Levi Mengel.

The museum recently re-opened their planetarium, which is playing host to festivities and lectures, among them a lecture by Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret.com. The PostSecret traveling exhibition was on display at the museum this summer.

In an upcoming segment about the museum, we’ll hear more about the educational programs that take place at the museum and the kinds of exhibits they’re planning to host.

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Reading Symphony Orchestra in Transition

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This season, the Reading Symphony Orchestra welcomes six conductor candidates to the podium as the symphony seeks a replacement music director for Sidney Rothstein, who retired last season after thirty years with the symphony.

We caught up recently with executive director Charles Weiser and asked him to share some thoughts about the upcoming season. Charles talks about a few of the conductors who will visit, and he shares about the process that led up to their selection, including a review and evaluation of 280 applications for the position.

This Saturday, October 7, the RSO kicks off its season with Federico Cortese conducting Mussorgsky, Sibelius, and Beethoven.

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Jolene – Recent RiverFest Performer

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Greater Reading-based singer/songwriter Jolene performed recently at RiverFest in Reading, PA. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight two videos with Jolene published this past summer here on Berks.TV.

Jolene – Reading, PA, Singer/Songwriter on Making Music as an Independent, Part One

Jolene – Reading, PA, Singer/Songwriter on Making Music as an Independent, Part Two

NOTE TO READERS: Don’t forget that you can get updates from Berks.TV automatically by using a free tool like Bloglines. How does it work? Sign up for a Bloglines account, add the Berks.TV RSS feed to your Bloglines page, and you’ll be all set. Then, add feeds from your other favorite sites to your Bloglines account, and you’ll have a convenient way to stay up-to-date on the latest from all your favorite sites!

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This segment is sponsored by Pipe Up! Media, LLC, a Greater Reading, PA-based company offering blogging and web video services. Pipe Up! Media, LLC is proud to support the singer/songwriter community in Greater Reading.

Interview with Frank Warren, Founder of PostSecret.com, Part One

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As longtime readers of PostSecret.com, a site that publishes anonymous postcard confessions, we were excited about meeting and talking with its founder Frank Warren.

Frank, who considers himself an “accidental artist,” gave a standing-room-only talk at the Reading Public Museum in Reading, PA this past weekend, where PostSecret postcards have been on display since June.

In this segment, Frank shares how PostSecret evolved from a one-time community art project into the global online phenomenon it’s become. (As of this writing, Technorati ranks PostSecret the eighth most popular blog in the blogosphere.)

In a follow-up segment we’ll publish later this month, Frank talks about upcoming book projects and why he decided to use a blog to post secrets. We’ll also share a few clips from his museum lecture.

The PostSecret exhibit at Reading Public Museum ends on October 7.

NOTE TO READERS: Frank tells us that Berks.TV is his first video blog interview! A big thanks to Frank and the wonderful staff at Reading Public Museum who spent so much time talking with us this weekend.

SIGN UP during October for Berks.TV’s weekly email update, and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of Frank Warren’s book, PostSecret, signed by the author. This month’s giveaway is sponsored by Pipe Up! Media, LLC.

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This segment is sponsored by Pipe Up! Media, LLC, a Greater Reading, PA-based company offering web video, blogging, and search engine optimization services for companies of all sizes. Pipe Up! Media, LLC, is proud to support the arts in Berks County. Contact them at info@pipeupmedia.com for more information or a quote.

Interview with Maggie Spike, Berks Singer/Songwriters, Part Two

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In our first segment with Maggie Spike, we heard about the origins of the Reading, PA based singer/songwriter duo, their recent CD “Passenger Station,” and their plans as a musical team.

Here, we get a taste of the Irish and Celtic themes running through their music, in the form of footage from their recent performance at RiverFest in Reading, PA. We also get a deeper look into their professional lives — Maggie as the children’s performer “Miss Maggie” and Spike in his pursuit of a musical dream — the home recording studio.

NOTE TO READERS: Special thanks to Maggie Spike for sponsoring this month’s CD giveaway. If you sign up for the Berks.TV weekly newsletter by September 30, 2006, you’ll have a chance to win their CD entitled Passenger Station, courtesy of Maggie Spike.

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Happy Birthday, GoggleWorks!

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This month, GoggleWorks arts center celebrates its one-year anniversary. Already, GoggleWorks is being hailed as one of the keys to the revlitalization of downtown Reading, PA and the renaissance of Greater Reading in general. Our congratulations go out to Executive Director Diane LaBelle and all who have contributed to the impressive success of the young arts center.

We’ve had the privilege of featuring several videos about GoggleWorks here on Berks.TV in the form of interviews with Diane LaBelle and arist Rich Houck. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight them once again.

Video: Diane LaBelle on the GoggleWorks Mission: Educating Anyone About Any of the Aerts

Video: Artist Rich Houck on Influences: “The Medium Is What’s Really Important”

Video: Artist Rich Houck On the Goggleworks Community: So Much Learning Is Happening”

Video: Artist Rich Houck On His Magnolia Series

Video: Artist Rich Houck On How He Uses the Internet

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This segment is sponsored by Pipe Up! Media, LLC, a Greater Reading, PA-based company offering blogging and web video services for companies of all sizes. Pipe Up! Media, LLC, is proud to support the arts in Berks County.

Interview with Maggie Spike, Berks Singer/Songwriter Duo, Part 1

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With this segment about Maggie Spike, we continue exploring the richness of singer/songerwriter talent in and around Berks County.

Reading, PA-area duo Peggy and Eric Gernerd form Maggie Spike, the two-year-old project launched after their earlier group, Fieldstone, split up. They regularly play Berks County shows and are in production stages for a CD follow-up to Passenger Station, an eclectic modern mix recalling Joni Mitchell, It’s a Beautiful Day, and other progressive folk acts from the 70s.

In this segment, Peggy and Eric talk about the origins of the band, the Celtic strain running through their music, and their hopes for Maggie Spike as they continue touring and rolling out a new CD.

Our next segment with Maggie Spike will feature performance footage plus more from Eric and Peggy about their upcoming projects. Meanwhile, join them as they play RiverFest on Saturday, September 23, at 3 p.m.

NOTE TO READERS: Special thanks to Maggie Spike for sponsoring this month’s CD giveaway. If you sign up for the Berks.TV weekly newsletter by September 30, 2006, you’ll have a chance to win their CD entitled Passenger Station, courtesy of Maggie Spike.

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Haley Sheeler – Making Her Way as a Country Singer/Songwriter

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Haley Sheeler, the talented young Reading, PA-area singer/songwriter, has been busy at work on her next album, due out this fall.

We caught up with her at Cafe Espresso in downtown Reading one Saturday evening this past August, where she played a selection of covers and also some originals from her first album, “Closer to the Ground.”

Haley talked about her childhood days learning piano and flute, and how later she began playing guitar and writing music. She explained that her music is evolving from a Jackson Browne and Carole King-influenced folk style towards country. Now she has her eye on a Nashville career. We can’t help but root for her!

Be sure to check out Haley’s website, where you’ll find the latest information about her upcoming album and additional show dates in the Greater Reading area. While you’re there, check out the photos Haley’s already posted from our evening together at Cafe Espresso.

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Martin Family Band at the Celtic Oyster Festival

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In this follow-up to our first post on the 2006 Celtic Oyster Festival, we present The Martin Family Band, a nine-member band specializing in Celtic fiddle tunes who performed at this year’s festival.

Daughters Emily and Melissa play fiddles and dance. Five other family members perform, including mom and dad, with the rest of the band rounded out by drummer Earl Pyles and guitarist Steve Hartman.

We think you’ll enjoy seeing the jigs and hearing from mom Elaine Martin, who plays bass, on how the band got started and the variety of music they perform.

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Celtic Oyster Festival Reaches New Heights in Berks County, Pennsylvania

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This year’s Celtic Oyster Festival, held at St. Benedict’s Picnic Grove this past August, was a daylong celebration of Celtic culture–music, food, song, and dance.

In this segment, festival organizers Terry Algier and Tom Healey talk about the origins of the four-year-old festival and also about the connection between the festival and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Catholic group responsible for hosting this year’s festival.

“We decided this year we wanted to give it a good push and see if we could get this festival to take off, and as you can see, it has,” Terry said. An estimated 1500 people attended the event, which was a fundraiser for an Irish home for the Hibernians in the Reading area.

This segment also features highland piper Nate Green and dancers from The Martin Family Band. Other acts included the well-known Irish performer Seamus Kennedy.

A note to readers: Check back for an in-depth segment featuring The Martin Family Band in coming days here on Berks.TV.

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Jolene – Reading, PA, Singer/Songwriter on Making Music as an Independent, Part Two

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In this follow-up to an earlier segment with Reading, PA, Singer/Songwriter Jolene, we learn more about this self-styled artist’s world of making music.

It’s a passion that extends to multiple instruments (guitar, mandolin, sitar, harmonica, among others) and a desire to incorporate the talents of others; she organizes special guests for Hard Bean Cafe’s First Thursdays, an all-acoustic event.

Jolene shares in-depth about the bands she’s following today — names like Dresden Dolls, Bright Eyes, and Cocoa Rosie, plus a few from the punk and bluegrass scene, and how she likes things “typically to be a little bit mismatched — not radio style.”

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NOTE TO READERS: Berks.TV has been busy hitting the local music circuit lately, and we’ll be sharing much of what we’ve learned in the coming weeks. Look for segments on The Martin Family Band, Haley Sheeler, and Maggie Spike, to name a few. We hope you enjoy our continued coverage of the many great musicians and musical groups who call Greater Reading home.

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Download Video: Quicktime, Running time: 4:20, 35MB

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