Full Line-Up Released for First Ever Arts Montco Week

-Courtesy of Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC

Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is pleased to announce the full roster of events for their first ever Arts Montco Week.  The festivities will highlight Montgomery County, Pennsylvania’s over 200 arts and culture venues, which normally represent $100 million in positive economic impact, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.  The county, which has hosted such prestigious international entertainment organizations like Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple Circus, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, will roll out the red carpet to visitors for Arts Montco Week, September 17-26, 2021.

“Tourism is certainly powerful in Montgomery County, PA,” said VFTCB President & CEO Mike Bowman. “Our industry has been bent, sure, but not broken. Arts and culture can change us, shape us, and have a positive impact on all of our lives. We need that now more than ever, and we know that our suburbs are going to come out of this strong. Together, we’re going to work hard to use that power to turn things around, and get people back to work.”

The brand new festival is free for arts and culture venues to participate, with no requirements for in-person or virtual programming, and will feature a website, blog, video, public relations, and social campaign. 

“We can’t lose groups that address racial justice, serve the LGBTQ community, provide accessibility, and create workforce development opportunities, not to mention offering a welcoming home to some who may feel like they don’t fit in anywhere else,” noted Rachel Riley, Senior Director of Communications for VFTCB.

The goal of the initiative is to help reinvigorate Montgomery County tourism’s normally robust $1.65 billion positive economic impact – including more than 25,000 jobs.  The county, which has previous hosted the likes of organizations like Cirque du Soleil, Big Apple Circus, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, is home to live music venues, award-winning playhouses, historic movie theaters, amazing architecture, museums and art galleries, and some of the finest gardens and arboretums in the country.  Arts Montco Week will highlight the people and organizations that make these incredible venues inspire thousands of visitors a year.

Arts Montco Week on the Visit Valley Forge Mobile App
Guests will be able to experience all Arts Montco Week offers and events on the free Visit Valley Forge App.  The app is a hand-held guide for where to stay, play, eat, and shop in Montgomery County. Users will be able to claim special offers under “Maps & Info,” enjoy free digital highlights that are family-friendly, discover the best attractions, search-by-cuisine-restaurants, 80 hotels, outdoor activities like golf, and more.

Health and Safety
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board takes the health and safety of their guests, staff, and artists very seriously.  All venues are following local and federal health agency guidelines and regulations.  Patrons are encouraged to check each venue for their specific safety measures.  Updates to the Arts Montco Week lineup can be found at valleyforge.org.

Highlighted Events and Promotions

Guided Tours at the Berman
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College
601 East Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426
Every day Tuesday-Sunday, 11AM-4PM / Free
The Berman Museum will have tours of the 4 exhibitions: Mapping Climate Change: The Knitting Map and The Tempestry Project by Alison Safford: Anthro(Site), Kris Graves: Testaments, and Lynn Chadwick Maquettes. Also, the museum will offer family-friendly scavenger hunts and activities throughout Arts Montco Week. 

A Season of Act II Playhouse
Act II Playhouse
56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA 19002
Video On-Demand / $15
Did you miss Act II Playhouse’s full season of streamed shows? Watch them now at only $15 each! Choose one or all five, from politics, to comedy to variety – each show is available on-demand. 

Movie Screenings
Broad Theater
24 West Broad Street , Souderton, PA 18964
Various days and times / $9 for adults, $8 for seniors over 65, students, and military, and $7 for children under 12
The Broad Theater opened in 1922 as a single screen movie theater.  It was the entertainment hub of the community for generations until its doors were closed in 2004.   On November 28, 2020 the Broad Theater opened as a state-of-the-art three screen movie theater with over 320 seats.  Digital projectors, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, and stadium seating provide a first class movie experience.  Customers can watch first-run, classic, and independent films.  The lobby is a vibrant gathering hub for the community where patrons can enjoy concessions and the latest from FreeWill Brewing. 

Gallery Exhibit of Local Artists
Haya Ground Studio
132 W Main St Rear, Norristown, PA 19401
Various days and times / Free
Haya Ground Studio is a brand new art gallery designed to elevate the experience and exchange of art through the lens of community, equity, inclusion, and positive self-expression.  They will feature an exciting exhibit of local artists during Arts Montco Week which will promote culture and expression as the centerpiece of coming together. 

John James Audubon Center
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA 19403
Visitor Center Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm; Historic House Tours: Wednesday-Sunday, 1:00pm; Mill Grove Grounds open daily, dawn to dusk. 
$14 Adults, $10 Youth (6-17), $12 Seniors (65+), 5 and under Free; Historic House Tours: Free
Connect with nature at the John James Audubon Center, and discover the wonders of our friends in flight! The Audubon Center is located at historic Mill Grove, the first home in America of famed artist and naturalist John James Audubon. It was here where Audubon became captivated by the beauty and variety of birds surrounding him, and you will, too. View Audubon’s original artwork inside the Center, tour the Historic House Museum for a glimpse into his life, and follow in his footsteps as you explore miles of nature trails along the Perkiomoen Creek. Bring your binoculars to spot more than 175 species of birds that frequent the property!

Experience Mirthful Angel Pottery & Sculpture Studio
Mirthful Angel Pottery & Sculpture Studio
1301 Valley Forge Road, Norristown, PA  19403
Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 26, 10AM-4PM / Free
Guests will be able to experience hand-crafted stoneware: one-of-a kind utilitarian pottery vessels, and decorative ceramic sculpture at this Montgomery County pottery studio.

The Ethics of Living Jim Crow
Steel River Playhouse
245 East High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 19 / Various Times / $15-$20
Steel River Playhouse, a  501(c)(3) nonprofit education and performance facility supporting individual and community development through the performing arts,  presents a one man show based on the works of Richard Wright about growing up black in the south during the Jim Crow era.  

3rd Fridays in Souderton
Souderton Connects
Corner of Main & Chestnut, Souderton, PA 18964
Friday, September 17, 6PM / Free
Join together in Souderton for an evening in town to meet friends old and new. Enjoy live music, food trucks, beer garden, winery, lots of vendors, art, ice cream, and extended store hours.

Voyage: Journey Tribute Band
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Friday, September 17, 8PM / $29-$39
VOYAGE has been hailed by fans and critics alike as the #1 Journey tribute band in the world, performing JOURNEY’s music with chilling accuracy! Since 2005, Voyage has dominated America with more sold out shows than any other tribute. 

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Friday, September 17, 8PM / $17-$50
Black Joe Lewis is the realest there is. When Covid sidelined his touring this past year, he started laying concrete to help support his baby mama and his kid. That’s real. When Joe and his band, the Honeybears, popped onto the national stage over a decade ago, critics embraced him. Through it all, Joe’s only honed his mastery over gut bucket blues guitar and his true voice. It’s a vital and distinctly American voice coming to Ardmore Music Hall.

22nd Annual Ursinus College Fringe Festival Drag Show
The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center at Ursinus College
601 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426
Friday, September 17, 9PM / Free
Back by popular demand, this late-night favorite features performances by Ursinus’ favorite drag queen, Summer Clearance, and her fierce friends. To ensure the safety of our community, all audience members must be masked regardless of vaccination status.

Montgomery County Studio Tour
Various locations / Free
Saturday, September 18, 10AM-6PM
Sunday, September 19, 11AM-5PM
Friends, families, art enthusiasts, and the curious are invited to experience and meet a variety of outstanding artists as they exhibit their work during this free, two-day event. This unique and intimate opportunity provides unlimited access to the artists, and a clearer understanding of their stories and creative processes.

Jason Salmon Fundraiser Comedy Show
SoulJoel’s Comedy Club & Lounge
155 Railroad Plaza, Royersford, PA 19468
Saturday, September 17, 7PM / $20
Jason Salmon has headlined all over the U.S. and performed abroad and for the troops throughout Europe and Afghanistan. His standup album, “Force of Nurture” debuted at #1 on iTunes and is available wherever you listen to comedy. Besides standup, he is also the actor/writer/creator of the Comedy Central series, “A Cowboy Explains…” and his voice can be heard in the video game, Red Dead Redemption 2. He can also be been in shows like Wu Tang: An American Saga on Hulu, Orange is the New Black & 30 Rock, and At Home with Amy Sedaris.  $10 from every ticket will be donated back to Valley Forge Tourism’s Arts Montco Week initiative.

Kindred Art Collaborative Live Painting Performance
Cellini Studios
113 Poplar Street, Ambler, PA 19002
Saturday, September 18, 7PM / Free
Three artists will work on one large canvas at the same time from beginning to end.  Join Kindred Art Collaborative for this Zoom streaming event.

Bianca Del Rio: Unsanitized
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Saturday, September 18, 8PM / $39.50
Get your vaccinations and cocktails because everyone’s favorite “clown in a gown”, Bianca Del Rio, is returning to the stage with her new comedy tour “Unsanitized”! She’s vaxxed; she’s waxed, and she has more attitude than ever. The pandemic may be ending, but Bianca is just getting started. If you liked COVID-19, you’ll love BIANCA-21.

Hop Along
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Saturday, September 18, 8PM / $25-$55
Hop Along began as an acoustic freak folk solo project known as Hop Along, Queen Ansleis in 2004, during Frances Quinlan’s senior year in high school. Three years after their first album, Quinlan’s brother Mark joined the project as drummer, followed by bassist Tyler Long in 2009. In light of the new formation, the name was shortened to reflect the change from solo project to full band. Hop Along has gone on to win a highly positive critical response from the independent music press.

Guided Tours of Beth Sholom Synagogue
Beth Sholom Synagogue
8231 Old York Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027
Sunday, September 19-Friday, September 24 / Buy 1, get 1 free ($15 per ticket)
Beth Sholom is a National Historic Landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  See and experience for yourself this remarkable space: a 110’ ceiling and over 1000 seats bathed in natural light.  Guided tours include a 20 minute film on the history of Beth Sholom Synagogue. Envisioned and built by the relationship between Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen and America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Synagogue has a unique story within a storied life.

Harry Boardman Painting Demo
Exhibit B Gallery
105 N Main St, Souderton, PA 18964
Saturday, September 19, 1PM
Wednesday, September 22, 7PM (also live-streaming on instagram: @harryboardmanart) / Free
Born the son of a scientist and a clown, Harry Boardman is always on the lookout for something to paint, preferably an old neglected barn or outbuilding. He is the gallery director at Exhibit B Gallery.

ArtTrail Detective: Exploring Art with the Artist
Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center
105 Seminary St, Pennsburg, PA 18073
Sunday, September 19, 2PM / Free
Artist Jonathan Bond will share how he makes his paintings though an interactive tour of the exhibit Farm Life. Participants will look closely, think about context, and learn about the egg tempura process. Best for children ages 8 and up.

Bela Fleck: My Bluegrass Heart
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Sunday, September 19, 7:30PM / $35-$65
Over the last four decades, Béla Fleck has made a point of boldly going where no banjo player has gone before, a musical journey that has earned him 15 Grammys in nine different fields, including Country, Pop, Jazz, Instrumental, Classical and World Music. But his roots are in bluegrass, and that’s where he returns with his first bluegrass tour in 24 years, My Bluegrass Heart.

Book Discussion
North Wales Area Library
233 South Swartley St, North Wales, PA  19454
Tuesday, September 21, 7PM / Free
The North Wales Area Library’s Evening Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month. If you are interested in registering, contact Jayne at Jayne@northwaleslibrary.org. 

A Bowie Celebration
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Wednesday, September 22, 8:00PM / $39.50-$59.50
Join key alumni musicians of David Bowie’s bands from across the decades beginning in March 2020 for The David Bowie Alumni Tour as they play two of the greatest albums of all time – Diamond Dogs and Ziggy Stardust – in their entirety featuring an unforgettable and critically acclaimed evening of Bowie songs with world-class vocalists.

Fine Art and Crafts Gallery Tour
Regina Marie Designs Fine Art & Crafts Gallery
4076 Skippack Pike, Skippack, PA 19474
Thursday, September 23-Sunday, September 26, 10AM-5PM / Free
Regina Marie Designs is a gallery featuring the handcrafted art of over 75 artists, mainly who live within a 35 mile drive from the Gallery. Many of the artists are also Master Artisans in their particular art and craft.  Experience a curated collection of handcrafted jewelry, pottery, glass, textiles, fiber art, photography, painting, wood, sculpture and fine art.

Mandy Martin Meet and Greet/Painting Demo
Exhibit B Gallery
105 N Main St, Souderton, PA 18964
Thursday, September 23, 4PM / Free
Mandy Martin is an award-winning emerging artist. She creates vibrant paintings to capture the imagination and bring a sense of joy and delight.  Join her at Exhibit B Gallery for a meet and greet and painting demo.

The Milk Carton Kids
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Thursday, September 23, 8PM / $25-$49
Listening to The Milk Carton Kids — Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale — talk about their creative process, it’s easy to imagine them running in opposite directions even while yoked together. They dig at each other in interviews and on stage, where Ryan plays his own straight man, while Pattengale tunes his guitar. The songs emerge somewhere in the silences and the struggle between their sensibilities. Their singing is the place where they make room for each other and the shared identity that rises out of their combined voices. Defying the conventions of melody and harmony is a strategy The Milk Carton Kids have consciously embraced.

22nd Annual Ursinus College Fringe Festival Cabaret
The Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center at Ursinus College
601 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426
Friday, September 24, 7:30PM / Free
The 22nd Annual Ursinus College Fringe Festival Cabaret will feature a special performance of “The History of Hip Hop.”   The Festival is a diverse, vibrant and exciting event that brings cutting-edge, experimental performances and visual arts to campus featuring professional, student and faculty artists sharing their latest theater, dance, music, film and visual art works. 

Starman: The Bowie Tribute
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Friday, September 24, 8:00PM / $29-$49
Starman is deeply dedicated to presenting David Bowie’s music and stage show authentically, both sound and vision. This includes multiple mid-set costume changes – executed flawlessly – which cover all styles and periods as his music and characters changed and evolved through the years.

Sarah Jarosz
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Friday, September 24, 8:00PM / $25-$60
With her captivating voice and richly detailed songwriting, Sarah Jarosz has emerged as one of the most compelling musicians of her generation. A four-time Grammy Award-winner at the age of 29, the Texas native started singing as a young girl and became an accomplished multi-instrumentalist by her early teens. After releasing her full-length debut Song Up in Her Head at 18, she went on to deliver such critically lauded albums as Follow Me Down, Build Me Up From Bones, and 2016’s Undercurrent, in addition to joining forces with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan to form the acclaimed Grammy winning folk trio I’m With Her.

Souderton Art Jam
Souderton Connects
Wile Avenue between Souderton Borough Community Park & Pool, Souderton, PA 18964
Saturday, September 25, 10AM-5PM / Free
The Souderton Art Jam features artists and artisans from all over the East Coast. Come experience art, food, fun, live music, wine, craft beer, and so much more.  This event is family friendly.  Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Whitpain Community Festival
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell Campus
340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Saturday, September 25, 12:00PM-8:30PM / Free
Live bands, children’s games, food vendors, and fireworks will be featured at this free community festival.

Lotus Land
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Saturday, September 25, 8:00PM / $29-$49

David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Saturday, September 25, 9:00PM / $25-$65
Drummer David Uosikkinen is one of the founding members of Philadelphia’s The Hooters. David formed In The Pocket over 10 years ago to celebrate all of the great music that has come out of Philadelphia, and to bring you this all-star Philly band, as they cover classic Philly tunes and more.

The Little Mermen
Keswick Theatre
291 N Keswick Ave, Glenside, PA 19038
Sunday, September 26, 2PM / $25-$35
The Little Mermen are the ultimate Disney cover band for Disney fanatics of all ages. The band’s repertoire covers all 82 years of the Disney canon, including favorites from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Frozen. The group performs in full costume with band members dressing up as characters from the films. They tour nationally to sold out crowds of cosplayers and casual fans alike. Founded by singer/songwriter Alexis Babini, TLM throws enchanted events that are jam-packed with nostalgic fun and sing-alongs. Hailed by BuzzFeed and Time Out New York as the premiere Disney cover experience, they’ve won praise from none other than Disney.com and Alan Menken himself.

About Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, PA as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 600+ member hotels, restaurants, attractions, and services. The award-winning website links visitors, meeting planners, tour operators, and residents to a diverse portfolio of brands focused on reasons to visit the region. 

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