Archive for category artsquest

What does a U.S.-less World Cup mean for SteelStacks’ SoccerFest?

The U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the first time since 1986.

The plans were in place. The Lehigh Valley SoccerFest and Viewing Party, it was announced last week, will return to SteelStacks in 2018, screening all of the World Cup Russia matches on massive outdoor screens.

But while SoccerFest will be back for the World Cup, the U.S. men’s team will not.

Needing only a tie and confident of victory against the world’s 99th-ranked team, the U.S. was eliminated from World Cup contention Tuesday night with a 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago that ended a run of seven straight American appearances at soccer’s showcase.

“We let down an entire nation today,” defender Omar Gonzalez said.

Trinidad and Tobago US World Cup SoccerUnited States’ Matt Besler squats on the pitch after losing 2-1 against Trinidad and Tobago during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Couva, Trinidad, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

SoccerFest drew tens of thousands of people to the Bethlehem venue in 2014, its first year, for the men’s World Cup in Brazil. And thousands more for the women’s tournament the following year in Canada. And it aired the 2016 Copa America Centenario, hosted in cities around the United States.

But those all had U.S. teams making a run, and the women’s team winning the cup. That definitely drew large crowds, ArtsQuest COO Curt Mosel said Wednesday, but the event was always intended to be of a cultural nature.

With the Americans out of the running, the festival will shift to a more worldly focus. Other popular teams and players from Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Germany have qualified for World Cup contention, and ArtsQuest wants to more heavily promote the cultures present within the Lehigh Valley, Mosel said.

Exact plans are in development, but there may be broadcasts in Spanish, or partnerships with cultural groups or Russian-owned restaurants — a nod to the tournament’s host country.

“All of the cultures have now been elevated to be a part of the main stage,” Mosel said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Steve Novak may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @type2supernovak and Facebook. Find on Facebook.

Artsquest’s Oktoberfest brings chainsaws and beer to Bethlehem (PHOTOS)

This is the seventh year the SteelStacks campus on the South Side has hosted Oktoberfest.

The first full day of festivities for ArtsQuest’s annual Oktoberfest brought lumbe…

Go-karts zip through SteelStacks campus in inaugural grand prix (PHOTOS)

Close to 30 teams participated in Sunday’s SteelStacks Grand Prix in Bethlehem.

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A venue that in less than two months will be filled with the sights and sounds of Musikfest on Sunday offered visitors a vastly different set of sights and sounds. 

The SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem was converted into a half-mile racing track for the inaugural SteelStacks Grand Prix. The event was being billed as a way to celebrate Father’s Day and featured close to 30 teams competing in go-kart races on the makeshift track. 

Lehigh Valley Grand Prix and ArtsQuest were the organizers. 

The track winded through PNC Plaza, offering racers a straightaway that allowed them to reach speeds of up to 40 mph. 

The top teams from the preliminary rounds advanced to a finals race with the winning team taking home trophies created by the Glass Studio at ArtsQuest’s Banana Factory. 

Food trucks, a car show presented by Chevy 21 and a Mario Kart video game tournament inside ArtsQuest Center were among the other offerings at the event. 

Nick Falsone may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @nickfalsone. Find on Facebook.

How a state gambling expansion may boost the Banana Factory

The state Senate sent an amended bill back to the House that includes a big grant for ArtsQuest.

The renovation of ArtsQuest’s Banana Factory in South Bethlehem may get a $5…

New South Bethlehem mural spurs debate on public art vetting

One planning commission member is asking what should the process be for approving public art.

A new Bethlehem Steel-inspired mural that went up during the SouthSide Arts and…

Soup’s on for ArtsQuest’s 8th annual Souper Bowl (PHOTOS)

Soup lovers crowded the ArtsQuest Center to sample all kinds of soups.

It’s soup time!
Soup enthusiasts gathered Saturday at ArtsQuest Center’s Musikest Cafe for the eighth annua…

PeepsFest races to New Year’s Eve 2016 with 5K (PHOTOS)

The second day of PeepsFest 2016 included a 5K race and will culminate with the Peeps Chick drop.

SteelStacks in Bethlehem was the place to be Saturday.
Hundreds gather…

These 8 artworks will grace area billboards in 2017

See the Lehigh Valley artists, including one local high schooler, who won ArtsQuest’s ArtPop 2017 competition.

Drivers will soon get some new scenery along Lehigh Valley highways, thanks to the eight winners of the ArtPop 2017 Billboard Competition

On Tuesday, Adams Outdoor Advertising and ArtsQuest announced the group of eight artists whose work will decorate billboards starting Jan. 2 and continuing through 2017. They topped a record-high field of 150 entries to secure their spots on billboards in Lehigh County, Northampton County and, for the first time, Berks County.  

One winner will get a bonus prize. Liberty High School junior Olivia Lunger won the High School Competition for her digital work “Math Wiz,” and will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a Kutztown University art program by the Kutztown University Foundation.

A public poll chose one victor, Michelle Neifert, of Bethlehem, as the “People’s Choice” for her acrylic piece “New Year’s Day.” The six other winners were picked by panel of judges that included representatives from ArtsQuest, Adams Outdoor Advertising, the James A. Michener Museum, Connexions Gallery and Penn State Lehigh Valley.  

The winning works span visual media disciplines, including paintings, sculpture, photography. This is the third year for the Lehigh Valley’s ArtPop competition.

Here is the full list of 2017’s winners: 

  • Melissa Perhamus, Easton. “Warmth Beyond the Hills,” Acrylic.
  • Susanna Parker, Bethlehem. “Horizon,” Mixed Media Digital Collage.
  • Cathy O’Connor, Orefield. “Orlando,” Cut Mosaic.
  • Keith Shepard, Easton. “Midday Solace,” Airbrushed Acrylic on Canvas
  • Michael Brolly, Bethlehem. “Mother, Daughter,” Turned Wood.
  • Erin Anderson, Riegelsville. “Karen Looking,” Oil on Copper.
  • High School competition winner: Olivia Lunger, Liberty High School. “Math Wiz,” Digital Media. 
  • People’s Choice Winner: Michelle Neifert, Bethlehem. “New Year’s Day.” Acrylic on Alumalite.

Andrew Doerfler may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @adoerfler or on Facebook

Christkindlmarkt attendance numbers show 2016 was a banner year

The German-themed holiday marketplace drew almost 70,000 people to the Christmas City this year.

Christkindlmarkt’s expansion paid off for Bethlehem this year. 
The German-…

A renowned photographer’s look at the Lehigh Valley in the Depression era

Walker Evans traversed parts of the region in 1935 to take pictures for a federal government program.

A cross-shaped gravestone sits atop a hillside cemetery. At the bottom of …