Holiday Memories Start Here!

Joy-to-the-Arts.pngThe most wonderful time of the year…to enjoy the Arts and Culture of the Lehigh Valley! These festive months are full of chances to celebrate, creating memories to last a lifetime. Catch a holiday themed dance or theatre performance, listen to the songs of the season, shop handmade for cherished gifts, or create a holiday craft perfect for giving.

Here’s your guide to get into the spirit of the season with the Arts!


  • 12/9
    Let’s Go Nutz: excerpts from The Nutcracker with a jazz twist.rep-dance-nutcracker-image
    Repertory Dance Theatre
    Fri 7pm, Miller Symphony Hall
  • 12/10 & 12/11
    The Nutcracker: classic ballet performed to live music
    Repertory Dance Theatre
    Sat & Sun 2pm, Miller Symphony Hall
  • 12/17 & 12/18
    The Nutcracker: performed to live music
    Ballet Guild of the LV / PA Youth Ballet
    Sat 1 & 4pm, Sun 2pm, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University


  • 12/2-12/23
    Holiday Art Mart: handmade items by local artisans
    The Art Establishment
    open during business hours
  • baum-school-holiday-show12/4
    Holiday Art Sale & Open House: various artists showcased
    Art Is Inn
    Sun 11am-4pm
  • 12/1-12/22
    Holiday Gift Gallery: unique, handcrafted items by regional artists and artisans
    Baum School of Art
    Reception: Thu 12/1, 6-8pm
  • 11/21/16-1/8/17
    Baby, It’s Cold Outside: collection of historic winter wear
    Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts
  • 11/21/16-1/8/17
    Bethlehem’s Christmas, 1741: explores the historic first Christmas in Bethlehem
    Moravian Museum of Bethlehem
  • 11/21/16-2/12/17
    Historic Trees of Bethlehem: decorated trees inspired by popular Christmas carols, prepared by Bethlehem Garden Club
    Moravian Museum, Kemerer Museum, 1810 Goundie House, Luckenbach Mill
  • 12/9
    Deck the Halls – An American Celebration of Christmas, Part I: Candlelight tours of the Sigal Museum, Bachmann Publik House, and Mixsell-Illick Museumbethlehem-xmas
    Fri 6-8pm
  • 12/10
    Deck the Halls – An American Celebration of Christmas, Part II: 
    Candlelight tours of the Sigal Museum, Bachmann Publik House, and Mixsell-Illick Museum – each site is decorated appropriately
    Sat 1-4pm. $10; $5/ages 6-12; free/ages 5 & under
  • 12/15
    Spotlight Artist Talk/Ugly Holiday Sweater Party: Diane Hutchinson, don your ugliest sweater to win a prize
    Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts
    Thurs 5-7pm. $10


  • state-theatre-xmas12/1 & 12/2
    Broadway Christmas Wonderland: Santa takes you on a musical Christmas journey
    Thu & Fri 7pm, State Theatre Center for the Arts
    $60; $55
  • 12/3
    Show Stoppers: student performers present holiday music
    Arts Academy Charter Middle School
    Cedar Crest College, Tompkins Center
    Sat noon & 4pm
    $8 in advance; $10 at door
  • 12/18
    Holiday Marionettes & Elves: with Mock Turtle Marionettes
    Sun 1pm, America On Wheels
    event included in museum admission
  • 12/29
    Big Dipper New Year’s Eve Daytime Party: for children and adults
    Thu 11:30am-3:30pm, America On Wheels
    event included in museum admission


  • Wonderful Life.jpgChristmas Classic Series:
    All movies: 1:30pm. $10; $8/seniors & students
    ArtsQuest, Steelstacks Campus
    12/1-12/3: White Christmas
    12/8-12/10: Miracle on 34th Street
    12/15-12/17: It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Holiday Quote-a-Long Series:
    All movies: 7:30pm. $10; $8/seniors & students
    ArtsQuest, Steelstacks Campus
    12/7: Bad Santa
    12/15-12/17: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation


  • 12/2
    Elisabeth von Trapp & The Carolian Brass: granddaughter carries on the legacy of the Trapp Family Singers, with holiday classics
    Kutztown University, Schaeffer Auditorium
    Fri 7:30pm. $28; $14 students
  • 12/3
    Christmas Concert: choir celebrates its 33rd year
    Bach & Handel Chorale
    St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
    Sat noon & 3pm. $15; free under age 10
  • 12/3
    A Moravian Christmas Experience: choir, organ & brass
    Central Moravian Church
    Sat 1:30pm. $10 suggested donation
  • 12/3Bel Canto Xmas.jpg
    Winter Concert
    Bel Canto Children’s Chorus of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
    Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
    Sat 4pm. $12; $11 seniors & students
  • 12/3
    Holiday Recital
    Community Music School
    Miller Symphony Hall
    Sat 3pm. Free – will offering
  • 12/6
    Christmas Concert: Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass
    Central Moravian Church
    Tue 7:30pm
  • 12/9
    The Spirit of Christmas: The New York Tenors
    State Theatre Center for the Arts
    Fri 8pm. $69; $49; $39
  • 12/9
    Holiday Show: Chapin Family
    Musikfest Cafe, Steelstacks Campus
    Fri 7:30pm. $59; $49
  • 12/10
    Advent Choral Performance: traditional German and English carols
    Lehigh Valley Meistersingers
    Muhlenberg College, Egner Chapel
    Sat 4pmbach-choir-xmas
  • 12/10 & 12/11
    Christmas Oratorio, parts 4, 5 & 6
    Bach Choir of Bethlehem
    Sat 8pm, First Presbyterian Church of Allentown
    Sun 4pm, First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
    $37; $9 students
  • 12/11
    Because It’s Christmas! a variety of seasonal selections, some with instruments
    The Emmaus Chorale
    at Faith Presbyterian Church
    Sun 3pm. Free
  • 12/11
    Christmas Vespers
    Lehigh University Choral Arts
    Sun 4 & 8pm, Packer Memorial Church, Free
  • 12/11
    Tales Beneath a Northern Star: The Wizards of Winter band plays Trans Siberian Orchestra’s greatest hits
    State Theatre Center for the Arts
    Sun 4pm. $35; $29
  • 12/11
    Holiday Concert
    Parkland High School Chorale
    Neffs UCC
    Sun 7pm. Free
  • 12/11
    Christmas Concert
    Pioneer Band of Allentown
    Cedarbrook Nursing Home
    Sun 2pm. Free
  • 12/15
    Christmas Concert
    Pioneer Band of Allentown
    Phoebe Nursing Home
    Thur 6:45pm. Free
  • allentown band xmas.jpg12/16
    Christmas Concert: with the Lehigh Valley Men’s Chorale
    Allentown Band
    Northeast Middle School
    Fri 7:30pm. $10
  • 12/16
    Jay Smar, Coal & Christmas: local favorites and historic coal country songs
    Summit Hill Heritage Center
    Fri 7pm. $5 at the door
  • 12/16
    Winter Instrumental Concert
    Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
    Fri 7pm
  • 12/17
    Christmas Concert
    Camerata Singers & Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra
    First Presbyterian Church of Allentown
    Sat 7:30pm. $15-$30, free students
  • 12/18
    Christmas Concert: Vox Philia choral ensemble
    The Arts at St. John’s
    St. John’s Lutheran Church
    Sun 4pm. Free – will offeringMiller Symphony xmas.jpg
  • 12/18
    Canadian Brass: Christmas Time is Here!
    Miller Symphony Hall
    Sun 7pm. $45; $35
  • 12/18
    Handel Messiah Sing-Along: soloists, organ, and audience participation
    Cathedral Church of the Nativity
    Sun 7pm. $10 suggested donation
  • 12/20
    A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols: organ, harp, flute, and choir in a beautiful telling of the Christmas story
    Cathedral Church of the Nativity
    Tue 7pm. $10 suggested donation
  • musikfest-cafe-xmas12/22
    Swingin’ the Holidays: Rob Stoneback Big Band
    Musikfest Cafe, Steelstacks Campus
    Thu 7:30pm. $22; $18
  • 12/25
    Organ Noels: music for the holidays
    Cathedral Church of the Nativity
    Sun 3pm. $10 suggested donation
  • 12/27
    Holiday Parrot Party: Jimmy & the Parrots
    Musikfest Cafe, Steelstacks Campus
    Tue 8pm. In advance: $12; $10 / Day of show: $15; $12
  • 12/31
    New Year’s Eve Spectacular: Red Elvises
    Musikfest Cafe, Steelstacks Campus
    Sat 9pm. In advance: $15- $89 / Day of show: $20-$99



  • 11/30-12/11
    The Homecoming: A Christmas Story: this play gave birth to the television series The Waltons
    Act 1 DeSales University
    Wed-Sat 8pm; Sun 2pm; additional 2pm show, Sat 12/3. $27-$30
  • 12/1-12/18christmas city follies.jpg
    Christmas City Follies XVII: annual dose of jolly mischief, merry melodies, and holiday cheer
    Touchstone Theatre
    Thu-Sat 8pm; Sun 2pm; addtl 2pm show on Sat 12/17. $25; $15/seniors and students
  • 12/2-12/17
    A Christmas Carol: 27th year tradition
    Civic Theatre of Allentown
    Thu & Fri 7:30pm; Sat 2 & 7:30pm (except 12/3, 7:30pm showing only); Sun 2pm. $23-$28
  • 12/8-12/17
    Down of a Thistle: comic melodrama about nine women snowbound in an Adirondack lodge on Christmas
    Crowded Kitchen Players
    Unicorn Theatre
    Thu & Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm. $18; $14/seniors; $10/students
  • 12/9-12/18
    The Santaland Diaries: one-man play telling the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s in NYC
    Civic Theatre of Allentown
    Thu-Sat 7:30pm; Sun 2pm. $23-$28


  • 12/3paper ornaments.jpg
    Colorful Fleece Scarf: learn no-sew technique to create a colorful fringed scarf
    Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites
    Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts
    Sat 11am-2pm. $12; free for ages 4-17
  • 12/7 & 12/14
    Cast Paper Ornaments: use recycled paper, paint and decorative materials to make holiday ornaments
    Banana Factory
    Wed 7-9pm. $50artix-ad-for-web

Artist & Staff Spotlight: Zach Kleemeyer

From freelancing as a graphic designer, dabbling in mixed media, and bringing paint to easel, Zach Kleemeyer is a tinkerer—a curious and multi-talented artist and ally to the arts—and that makes him an excellent fit for the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.

LVArts-RedWhiteBlue -0379Starting outside Philadelphia, Zach never stayed put in one neighborhood for more than five years throughout his early life, exposing him to a wide range of environments. One of the neighborhoods Zach made an extended stay in was Bloomsburg, attending Bloomsburg University, and graduating with a major in Communications and a minor in Studio Art. At first, Zach was reluctant to embrace the artist lifestyle, feeling like he needed to develop other skillsets. It wasn’t until he found his way to the Lehigh Valley that Zach finally felt comfortable building a career and life around all the forms art takes. Continue reading “Artist & Staff Spotlight: Zach Kleemeyer”


A Mile in their Shoes

I recently had unexpected back surgery for two herniated discs and nerve damage. Although my nature is one of a cheerleader and full of energy (just like an energizer battery), prior to the procedure I had severe pain, weakness and numbness in my left leg. Recovering from surgery was painful at times with lots of leg and back weakness.   I found walking further than 30 feet resulted in an increase of these symptoms. As I contemplated returning to work earlier than advised, I knew I would not be able to walk through the museum as I did previously. Fortunately, I was given an electric scooter to enable me to move throughout the building to perform my job responsibilities.

As I went through weeks in this scooter, I developed a new perspective on the difficulties facing people who need to rely on electric scooters, walkers and wheelchairs. While the museum adheres to all regulations that make it handicapped accessible, I discovered some obstacles that affect those individuals who require the use of wheelchairs. Continue reading “A Mile in their Shoes”


Making the Exhibit Accessible

Written by Ann Lalik, Gallery Director at Penn State Lehigh Valley, as a reflection on her experience in opening their exhibit, Sacred Sisters, A Collaborative: Holly Trostle Brigham and Marilyn Nelson, to people with visual impairment. Ann participated in Audio Description training to develop the skills needed, and touchable relics were created specifically for tactile reference.PSU Sacred Sisters AD photo 1

The experience of making this exhibition accessible for the visually impaired was priceless for our campus community on so many levels.

First of all, the funding we received through Lehigh Valley Arts Council’s Greater Inclusion Grant allowed us to hire Mimi Smith to come the campus and offer a day of audio description  training, not only for Penn State faculty, staff, and students, but also to other organization in the community who were interested in learning more about describing. The group ended up being approximately 20 people from Penn State, Lehigh Valley Arts Council, Allentown Art Museum, Banana Factory and Lehigh University. It was educational and a wonderful bonding experience. Continue reading “Making the Exhibit Accessible”


New Experiences for the Young at Art

PATRON---header-for-Young-at-ArtGrowing up means new adventures! As a young child, everything is a fresh experience with new possibilities to experiment and ideas to ignite. It’s something parents often can’t relate to because we’ve lost our sense of wonder in some ways. But when we’re able to sit back and watch the sparks of understanding fly, basking in the brilliance of discovery – that’s something truly special. It’s how your kids become, well, themselves.

That’s the essence of art for children. It has nothing to do with skill, and oftentimes not even with expression. It’s the true nature of experimentation without boundaries – trying out something and not worrying about being right or wrong allows for kids’ minds to develop, grow and thrive. Continue reading “New Experiences for the Young at Art”


Arts & Access Reaches Halfway Point

Experience---Patron-ImageIn spite of a record-breaking snowfall of 31 inches three days before, nearly 60 guests found their way to the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem on January 26 to experience Arts & Access.  Titled Let’s Meet in the Middle, the event marked the midpoint in the yearlong celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and was the second of three public gatherings planned for the year.

Storyteller Anne B. Thomas delights audience members with uplifting tales of overcoming obstacles in her life.

Let’s Meet in the Middle offered a multi-faceted program that showcased the artistic creativity by, for or about people with disabilities, including powerful performances by Washington D.C. storyteller Anne B. Thomas and the Lehigh Valley’s chamber music ensemble, SATORI.  Audience members were invited to simulate vision and hearing loss in order to experience first-hand the benefits of audio description and open captioning. Staff from Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network demonstrated the newest technology used in wheelchair design that enhances independence for people with mobility challenges. Continue reading “Arts & Access Reaches Halfway Point”

Accessibility · Arts & Access · Guest Posts

See the Music, Hear the Art!

In October, SATORI played a classical music concert for an audience who couldn’t hear it – and it was wonderful.

SATORI is participating in the Arts & Access initiative of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, a yearlong celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, seen through the lens of the arts. As a performing arts organization with deep roots locally, we wanted to be a part of this special series of events – and thought we already had an ace in the hole. For almost two decades, SATORI has been presenting in-school music education programs that combine classical music with an array of vibrant images and drawings, projected overhead as the musicians play. Surely the addition of a visual component to a music performance might make it more appropriate for a deaf or hard-of-hearing audience?CLIUArtsAccess2015b

Our hope was to develop a program to reach the Lehigh Valley’s deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and to this end we enlisted the knowledgeable assistance of the personnel at CLIU #21, the facility that coordinates the educational needs of deaf students across several counties. Their response was swift and favorable – but there were some additional factors for us to consider. Just adding a visual component to the music wouldn’t be enough – somehow the introductions and the music itself needed to reach the students, since images illustrating inaudible music would be just pictures out of context. ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters materialized, ready for the task – not just of interpreting the narrative of the presentation, but the character of the music as well. Happy or sad, high or low, energetic or relaxing, the nature of the music needed to be conveyed as well as the story expressed in pictures. Continue reading “See the Music, Hear the Art!”