County Makes Changes to Arts and Culture Programs Due to COVID-19

lacka coThe Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department will be redesigning its programming for the remainder of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety of the public. 

Upcoming summer programs including The Scrantastic Spectacular on July 3, Art in the Park series and ARTS Engage! Day at the Electric City Trolley Museum have all been cancelled along with the 3 on 3 tournament.  Swimming at our parks’ pool and lakes is prohibited.  

Although options may be explored depending on recommendations from the CDC and state, fall and winter events, including the annual Wake Up With the Arts Breakfast and the Winter Market, have also been cancelled. The Trolley Museum is currently not open to the public or offering trolley rides.  The museum will follow the official guidelines regarding reopening.

To support local artists and creative local businesses during this time, the County along with Anthracite Events is launching the “NEPA Artists, Creators and Small Business Showcase” today.  It will run seasonally through December with the intent to create an online space to make shopping locally easier for the public.  Applications are now open and can be found   

The County is currently running its Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Live! series every Wednesday from 7-9 pm, featuring local artists and other cultural producers, through today.

To stay updated on future Lackawanna County Arts and Culture programming during the pandemic, follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or contact the office at

Grant Money to Support the Arts in Lackawanna County

The Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, Esq., and Chris Chermak recently announced the 2020 arts & culture organizations and individuals who have received grant support for their various community projects, events and activities at a ceremony at the Scranton Cultural Center. Financial assistance was awarded in two forms: program stream grants and community project grants.

The program stream grants are larger awards to arts and cultural non-profits who receive a yearly allocation from the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department.  Their operations are reviewed every other year to gauge need, their projects and general growth. 

Community project grants are one-time disbursements for a specific activity administered by an organization or individual.  Applicants may reapply every October for this form of funding. 

The applications for both revenue streams are reviewed and scored by a panel to help determine if the programs, projects or activities should be funded. Both grant programs are modeled after the process that The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts utilizes. 

The financial resources for the grants come from the Arts, Education & Culture tax, which is assessed annually at a rate of approximately 1.0 mill.  

Also at the awards ceremony, the County’s Arts and Culture Department and the Pocono Arts Council recognized the Pennsylvania Arts Council’s “Partners in the Arts” Project Stream Award recipients from our region.  

The amount awarded for 33 program grants this year was $216,000.  The total for 33 project grants was $53,830.   

Local anchor institutions – The Everhart Museum and The Scranton Cultural Center – received their annual education/arts & culture allocation of $240,000 each. The Lackawanna County Library System received $65,000 to operate the County Law Library.  

The 2020 program stream grant recipients are: Actors Circle – $7,000; All County Band – $1,000; Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces Associates – $7,000; Arcadia Chorale – $3,000; Artists for Art Gallery – $6,000; Ballet Theatre of Scranton – $7,000; Boys and Girls Club of NEPA Art Program – $5,000; Broadway Theatre League of NEPA – $15,000; Choral Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania – $3,500; Catholic Choral Society – $3,000; and City of Carbondale Pioneer Nights Festival – $4,000. 

Also, Clarks Summit Ice Festival – $4,000; First Friday Scranton – $5,000; La Festa – $7,000; Lackawanna Heritage Valley Explorer and Santa Train – $1,000; Lackawanna County Heritage Fair – $20,000; Lackawanna Historical Society – $20,000; Lackawanna River Conservation Association River Fest – $3,000; Lyric Consort – $3,000; Mostly Opera – $1,500; N.E.I.U Poetry Out Loud Program – $1,000; North Pocono Cultural Society – $3,500; and Scranton Civic Ballet – $7,000. 

Also, Scranton Fringe Festival – $5,000; Scranton Jazz Festival – $6,000; Scranton Music Association – $5,000; Scranton Public Theatre – $3,500; Scranton Shakespeare Festival – $6,000; Scranton Tomorrow Electric City Criterium – $6,000; St. Patrick’s Day Parade – $6,000; St. Ubaldo Festival – $6,000; The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic – $12,000; and United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA – $23,000.   

The individuals and organizations receiving 2020 community projects are: Abington Area Joint Recreation Board for a summer concert series at Hillside Park in South Abington Township – $1,500; Arts at First Presbyterian for concert series starting April at First Presbyterian in Clarks Summit – $2,500; Marnie Azzarelli for a production in September at the Diva Theatre in Scranton of her play Dawn of Lackawanna, telling the story of how Lackawanna became a county – $1,800; Leela Baikadi for a photo exhibit that will travel to Lackawanna County libraries March to September, highlighting Chinese Culture based on her travels – $750; Jeff Boam for his original crime drama Behind the Six, to be performed at the Diva Theatre in December- $2,000; Sandra Burgette-Miller for her original multi-disciplinary performance of Tell Em’ at the Scranton Cultural Center – $1,500; Lisa Casella for Snow Forge, a holiday event in Old Forge on Dec.r 6 – $1,800; Mary Lou Chibrika for Good Grief, an eight-week painting class focusing on helping people heal from a loss – $2,000; and Covenant Public Concerts for four concerts from January through March at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Scranton – $2,000.  

Also, The Diva Theater for a one act play festival by local playwrights to be performed in January at the Old Brick Theater in Scranton – $1,000; Julie Etsy for the annual Dunmore Cemetery Tour on Oct. 4 and 11 – $1,800; First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale for a concert series at First Presbyterian in Carbondale from March through December – $1,250; Friends of the Art Auxiliary for June’s Arc Angels on Stage 5 Superhereos Take the Stage  theater arts program for adults with disabilities – $2,000; Rosemary Hay for an intergenerational theater project at United Neighborhood Centers for a performance of an original production – Scranton – the 1950 workshop – and performances at United Neighborhood Centers in the Summer – $1,800; Indraloka Animal Sanctuary to host four quarterly painting classes using with the animals program at their Dalton Campus from February through October – $1,000; Glynis Johns for a Black History Month art and historical exhibition in February at the Afa Gallery – $1,500; and Lackawanna County 4-H for a  reading, decorating and cooking program for youth, ages 5-8, to be held at Valley Community Library and another location to be announced – $1,000. 

Also, Lexington Entertainment for Living History of American Music program at various locations in Lackawanna County – $2,000; Michael Melcher for the production of Last Séance of Harry Houdini by Jennifer Berman to be performed at the Creative and Performing Arts Academy in the Ritz Theater in Scranton in February – $1,500; Michaela Moore for Camp Create, a theater camp for youth with special needs at the Waverly community House in August –  $2,500; Sujata Nair-Mulloth for Unity in Diversity, a performance that combines classical ballet with Indian classical dance at the Scranton Cultural Center in the Fall – $1,800; The Pennsylvania Prison Society for art classes highlighting the creations of inmates followed by public exhibits throughout the Spring and Fall at the Recovery Bank and The County Courthouse – $2,000; Amy Pindar for an Inclusion Festival, a sensory friendly music and wellness festival designed to accommodate individuals with autism and other special needs at Mountain Sky Festival Grounds in Jermyn in August –  $1,800; Ihor Shablovsky for Imaginary Musical Trip Through Europe, a series of concerts at senior and health care centers – $2,000; and Travis Prince for an interactive art installation in partnership with the Black Scranton Project Black History Month exhibit – $1,500. 

Also, Saint Joseph’s Center for a musicians in resident program from February through July – $1,530; Summer Music Festival for a series of concerts at the Scranton Cooperative Farmers Market in Scranton on Wednesdays during July and August – $1,500; The Gathering Place in Clarks Summit for a public art project featuring sculptures of bears – $1,200; The Greenhouse Project for a series of 16 painting classes to be held in October at the Greenhouse Project in Nay August – $1,000; Wally Gordon Singers for the performance of two choral concerts in Clarks Summit – $1,400; Waverly Community House for funding for the Northeastern Film Festival in March and The Manhattan Shorts, a global film festival, in September – $2,500; and Women to Women Thrive an arts collective in Carbondale for the Arts THRIVE festival in Carbondale in June – $2, 400.

“Festival of Trees” To Kick Off Dec. 14th

trees festival

The annual Festival of Trees exhibit and “Toys for Tots” fundraiser will be held at the Marketplace at Steamtown from Dec. 14 – Jan. 12.  The exhibit opens with a Preview Party fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 13. The Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department is currently seeking non-profit organizations, businesses, churches and schools to sponsor and decorate a tree. All funds raised from the trees go directly to “Toys for Tots.”  Participants must supply their own artificial tree. 

This year the event looks to celebrate diversity with the theme Here, There and Everywhere! Celebrating Fall and Winter Traditions from Around the World.

 The cost to sponsor a tree is $50 for non-profits, schools and small businesses (50 or under employees) and $100 for corporations (over 50 employees).  

To register a tree, send checks or money orders, made payable to “Toys for Tots,” to Chris Calvey, Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department, 300 Cliff Street, Scranton, PA 18503. 

Applications may be downloaded from the Lackawanna County website or requested by calling 570-963-6590, ext. 106. Please email any questions to

Depending on space availability, trees may be registered until Dec, 12. All trees must be set-up by Dec. 13.