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Town&Gown JULY 2015


All the Valley’s a Stage Local actors and actresses are hard at work — and, yes, loving it — thanks to a growing number of communitytheater companies across Centre County Inside: Special section: “Centre County Health & Wellness Professionals”

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features 28 / 50 Years of Town&Gown: Arts & Entertainment Thriving scene continues to grow thanks to newcomers joining longtime favorites • by Tracey M. Dooms

28 38 / All the Valley’s a Stage

Thanks to a growing number of communitytheater companies across the Centre County, nonprofessional actors and actresses in the region can be a part of the art they love • by Jenna Spinelle

62 / Sacred Sounds


The centuries-old practice known as shape-note singing is enjoying a rebirth in popularity across the country, including in Happy Valley • by Rebekka Coakley

Special Advertising Section 49 / Centre County Health & Wellness Professionals Town&Gown’s special section helps make it easier to find the right health-care professional for you


On the cover: Photo by Darren Andrew Weimert. Some of the local actors and actress who are helping Happy Valley have a thriving community-theater scene include (clockwise from top left) Amy Farkas, Dave Saxe, Kat Shondeck, and Justin Shondeck.

Town&Gown is published monthly by Barash Publications, 403 South Allen Street, State College, PA 16801. Advertising is subject to approval of the publisher. COPYRIGHT 2015 by Barash Media. All rights reserved. Send address changes to Town&Gown, 403 S. Allen St., State College, PA 16801. No part of this magazine may be reproduced by any process except with written authorization from Town&Gown or its publisher. Phone: 800-326-9584, 814-238-5051. FAX: 814-238-3415. Printed by Gazette Printers, Indiana, PA. 20,000 copies published this month, available FREE in retail stores, restaurants, hotels and motels & travel depots. SUBSCRIPTIONS and SINGLE COPIES: $45/1yr; current issue by 1st‑class mail, $10; back copy, $15 mailed, $12 picked up at the T&G office.

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Town&Gown July

A State College & Penn State tradition since 1966.

Publisher Rob Schmidt Founder Mimi Barash Coppersmith Editorial Director David Pencek

86 8 Letter From The Editor 10 Starting Off: The List, People in the Community, Q&A 18 Living Well: Finding your center in the midst of stress 20 Health: Proper hydration key to preventing heat-related illnesses 22 Events: Nittany Stage Race looks to promote cycling in Centre County and help local foundation 24 On Center: Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne unite for national tour coming to Eisenhower 26 Penn State Diary: School’s historic structures offer “sense of place” to those who have spent time at Dear Old State 70 This Month on WPSU 73 What’s Happening: 4th Fest, Arts Festival, People’s Choice Festival, WingFest, Summer Jazz Celebration, and more highlight July’s events 82 From the Vine: Central Italian areas of Le Marche and Umbria are trying to change their reputations of producing less-than- stellar wines 86 Taste of the Month/Dining Out: Food for Thought food truck brings quality and diverse meals to various locations 96 Lunch with Mimi: Schlow Library director leads downtown State College’s “living room” through challenging times 106 State College Photo Club’s Winning Photos 108 Snapshot: Berkey Creamery manager helps popular ice cream shop celebrate sesquicentennial 6 - T&G July 2015

Creative Director Tiara Snare Operations Manager/Assistant Editor Vilma Shu Danz Art Director/Photographer Darren Weimert Graphic Designer Cody Peachey Account Executives Kathy George, Debbie Markel Business Manager Aimee Aiello Administrative Assistant Kristin Blades Interns Russ Bartley (graphic designer), Kendal Higdon (editorial) Distribution Handy Delivery, Tom Neff

To contact us: Mail: 403 S. Allen St., State College, PA 16801 Phone: (814) 238-5051, (800) 326-9584 Fax: (814) 238-3415 (Editorial) (Advertising) We welcome letters to the editor that include a phone number for verification. Back issues of Town&Gown are available on microfilm at Penn State’s Pattee Library. @TownGownSC

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letter from the editor

The Arts Are All Around, and in, You July offers a great time to discover your “artistic spirit” This region loves and supports the arts year-round, but July is the month when the art scene in Happy Valley just explodes. The visual arts are, of course, showcased in the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, People’s Choice Festival, and now the new Lemont Fest. Music is highlighted at those events, as well, with performances each day, and it takes center stage at the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival and JazzPA Summer Jazz Celebration. Speaking of “stage,” the performing arts can be found in the NU. Musical Theatre Festival and in some of the region’s amazing community-theater organizations — this month, Nittany Theatre at the Barn has an all-female production of 1776, State College Community Theatre has Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Front and Centre Productions in Philipsburg has Mary Poppins. And, close to my heart, the art of writing is celebrated at BookFestPA, which is part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. This month’s issue of Town&Gown also is bursting with stories about the arts in Happy Valley. The monthly “50 Years of Town&Gown” series looks at the region’s art scene since the magazine began in 1966. Community-theater actors and actresses are profiled in “All the Valley’s a Stage.” The old-time practice of shape-note singing is enjoying a resurgence across the country, and “Sacred Sounds” showcases the rebirth of the art form in Centre County. All of us, I have come to believe, have an “artist” inside of us, or an artistic spirit that desires to come out every

now and then. When we go to a concert and hear a song we love, who doesn’t start singing along and thinking about what it would be like to be on stage? Who hasn’t wanted to grab their camera (even if it’s part of our smartphones) and try to capture moments or images in a unique way? Who hasn’t doodled on a piece of paper in front of them, or thought about being the lead actor or actress in a play? Even if you don’t ever paint a picture that is exhibited in a museum, play an instrument or sing a song in front of an audience, or write a best-selling novel, that spirit can simply be about being bold, creative, and unique in your life and whatever you do — seeing each day as an opportunity to do something different, just a little change in your day-to-day schedule. And it’s also about taking time to appreciate those who do bring that spirit out every day in paintings, songs, performances, and writings. Their works are a vital part of our communities and can inspire our own “artistic spirits.” This is certainly the month to do all that and enjoy the arts around you!

David Pencek Editorial Director

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starting off

The List Highlights from Town&Gown’s first 49 years of publication

1991-1995 July 1991 — Town&Gown becomes the official program guide for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which celebrates its 25th year. The 160-page July issue, devoted entirely to the Arts Festival, is Town&Gown’s biggest issue ever. December 1991 — “Strange Adventures of the Inspiring Kind” looks at the expansion of the Palmer Museum of Art, which is scheduled for completion in 1993. Supervising architect Richard Kling says, “We were charged with giving the museum a more important presence on campus … a real identity. We wanted to make it a gathering place … a place people would recognize and remember.” August 1992 — In a special issue devoted for “newcomers,” State College Mayor Arnold Addison is not only featured in the magazine in “A Mayor for All Seasons” but also writes a story, “In Remembrance of Don Carruthers Jr.,” which looks at how a memorial fund continues to benefit the community. January 1993 — “Landmarks in the Making” features a look at all the construction projects happening at Penn State. The projects include the Bryce Jordan Center, Palmer Museum of Art, Mateer Building, Reber Building, Penn State Research Park, and an addition to Pattee Library. June 1993 — Penn State’s two-week Ice Cream Short Course is featured in “Making It Short and Sweet.” Dr. Arun Kilara, who runs the course, says, “We like to make people think that ice cream and Penn State are synonymous, and we’ve been pretty successful at that.” October 1993 — “The Great Sports Communicator” looks at retiring Penn State athletic director Jim Tarman. Football head coach Joe Paterno says, “Jim and I shared the same aspirations for Penn State and for the football teams. Jim was full of innovations. He was a great storyteller. He has done a great job for Penn State.” December 1993 — ClearWater Conservancy’s 10 - T&G July 2015

efforts to conserve Spring Creek watershed are featured in “We’re All in the Same Bathtub.” “Centre County has several of the most important projects for conservation in our state,” ClearWater Conservancy president Don Hamer says. January 1994 — “The New Mr. Mayor” spotlights new State College Mayor Bill Welch, who likes to describe his origins this way: “I was conceived in State College, born in absentia, and returned to my ‘native’ home at the tender age of 2. I’ve been here ever since.” December 1994 — The first First Night State College takes place, and Town&Gown publishes the official program guide. January 1995 — “Leading the Way” looks at the relatively new Leadership Centre County program that started in 1991. The purpose of the program, according to founder Ron Haring, is to “teach people how their community works, show them what its strengths and weaknesses are, and encourage them to join forces with other citizens to help make their community better.” August 1995 — Town&Gown publishes a coffee-table book, Story of the Century: The Borough of State College, 1896-1996. September 1995 — Graham Spanier is welcomed as Penn State’s 16th president with “The Magic of Graham Spanier.” December 1995 — The Bryce Jordan Center is scheduled to open in January 1996, and readers are given a preview look in “Center of Attention.” BJC general manager Bob Howard says, “The center will become the major entertainment facility for Central Pennsylvania. We hope that people in the area … join Penn State and Centre County in embracing this facility as their own.” T&G

Be sure to pick up your FREE copy of Town&Gown’s Official Program Guide for the

2015 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Central Pennsylvania FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Town&Gown’s Official Program Guide

Children & Youth Day, Wednesday, July 8 • Sidewalk Sale & Exhibition, July 9-12

People in the Community Carol Reardon

Carol Reardon, the George Winfree Professor of American History at Penn State, was named the Penn State laureate for the 2015-16 academic year. She succeeds Susan Russell. Reardon’s teaching and research focus on American military history — especially the Civil War and Vietnam eras. She is the author of numerous publications, including the award-winning book, Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory. The Penn State laureate, an honorary position established in 2008, is assigned half-time for one academic year to “bring an enhanced level of social, cultural, artistic, and human perspective and awareness to a broad array of audiences.” The laureate appears at university events at Penn State campuses and across the state at various community programs. “She is an engaging speaker with great stories

about Gettysburg, Vietnam, and other wars,” Penn State President Eric Barron said of Reardon in a press release. “She is sure to make a lasting impact on our community during her laureate year.”

Shirley Sacks

Shirley Sacks of State College is the 2015 recipient of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award has been given annually since 1996. Sacks is a former four-term member of the Center for the Performing Arts Community Advisory Council. In addition to her work with the Center for the Performing Arts, she has volunteered for various organizations in State College. She has been a docent at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art for 20 years and was a member of the Nittany Valley Symphony Guild board. She also was president of the Friends of Schlow Centre Region Library board. “Shirley Sacks exemplifies what it means to be a passionate advocate, and she is always looking for ways to spread the word about the Center for the Performing Arts,” Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State director George Trudeau said in a press release.

Kate Lau Shaffner

WPSU-FM’s Kate Lau Shaffner was honored with a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. It is the first Murrow Award for WPSU-FM

since 2009. Shaffner won for her story, “Leasing Water Systems,” which examined the financial plight of several Pennsylvania cities and how municipalities are considering either leasing or selling assets as a way to help balance cashstrapped budgets. Shaffner is the Keystone Crossroads reporter for WPSU-FM. She reports on infrastructure, economics, legal, and financial issues. T&G 12 - T&G July 2015

Q&A with Catherine Dupuis, president of JazzPA By David Pencek Catherine Dupuis blames her parents for why she’s so passionate about jazz. The music of Stan Getz, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz greats filled her parents’ home while she was growing up. Besides being an established jazz vocalist herself these days, Dupuis also is president of JazzPA and plans the organization’s Summer Jazz Celebration each year. The 11th JazzPA Summer Jazz Celebration is July 23-25 on the Penn State campus and in Bellefonte, and Dupuis is excited about another great celebration of the music she loves. T&G: How do you think the Summer Jazz Celebration has evolved or grown over the years? Dupuis: We’ve been fortunate to maintain our original goals, which are to share all the wealth of talent that lives and works with us each day in Centre County together with providing an opportunity for some special master artists to come in from out of town and share what they do in an intimate setting that doesn’t cost a fortune. After 11 years, I think we’ve found a nice formula that includes student bands and local big band participation, regional artists who celebrate what’s happening around the state, and national master artists who give us a glimpse of what’s happening in places like New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans without having to travel there and without breaking the bank. T&G: The word “jazz” might have different meanings to people. What do you think of when you think of jazz?  Dupuis: Phil Woods is a great lead-in on this — and so is Frank Sinatra. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, jazz was the popular music of the time. By the 1960s, with the takeover of rock and roll, you would still find jazz in all kinds of spots — Jimmy Webb, Fifth Dimension, Burt Bacharach, even Carol King and Jim Croce.  By the 1970s, jazz had moved toward some Latin feels, including samba and mariachi — think Herb Alpert — plus straight-ahead stuff like Stevie Wonder, and in the 1980s, you hear all kinds of jazz groove going on with Michael Jackson. What’s on the radio now that's jazz? Norah Jones, Chris Botti, Bruno Mars, and Michael Buble, and I dig the great stuff that Lady Gaga has done with Tony Bennett. There’s so much out there that we listen to all the time that’s really jazz. T&G: What is the jazz following/scene like here in Happy Valley?  Dupuis: It’s amazing how much is going on “jazz-wise” in Happy Valley, in Centre County, and throughout Central PA. Big Bands everywhere, cats traveling all around the state to play together, many recordings — and recording studios — that are getting national attention. My favorite story is of legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. 14 - T&G July 2015

He came in to play the Saturday evening concert in 2007. He came in the night before and heard “The Battle of the Bands” — three big bands: the State High Jazz Band, the Friends Band, and the Valley Jazz Orchestra. Anyway, Bucky pulled me aside, confounded, and said, “Catherine, how the hell do you have one big band out here in the middle of nowhere that sounds this good, much less three that sound this good — and they’re all different personnel in all the bands?” I laughed out loud. There are so many great musicians in this town. I’m always so proud to say that this is my hometown. T&G: What can people look forward to with this year’s celebration?  Dupuis: I’m so thrilled that we have another legendary artist coming in — guitarist Gene Bertoncini. … He loves to weave well-known classical themes into and around jazz standards. Also coming in is Bellefonte native blues man Ramblin’ Dan Stevens. He’ll play both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon in Talleyrand Park. Thursday evening at the Palmer Museum concert, we’ll have Teri Roiger celebrating Billie Holiday. She’s a rare treat, and she’s coming in with the fabulous John Menegon on bass. All of this on top of my trusty and faithful friends, Russ Kassoff, Jay Anderson, and Dennis Mackrel, who come in to help me sing with the Friends Band and to play with Gene on Saturday night. We’ll also have the Deacons of Dixieland, local high school bands, and more. It’s gonna be another great celebration of jazz in July! T&G For more information about JazzPA’s Summer Jazz Celebration, visit

This On

• In 5 Questions, Aaron Weyman of Tussey Mountain talks about the popularity of the annual WingFest competition that starts July 16. • The Nittany Valley Society writes about how alums visiting for Arts Festival weekend can make the most of their time back and not miss out on those opportunities to make meaningful new connections with a familiar place. • Order your copy of Town&Gown’s 2015 Penn State Football Annual. Aaron Weyman

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living well

Stop the Insanity! Finding your center in the midst of stress By Meghan Fritz

How is your summer going so far? Are you taking time to enjoy the warm evenings and let yourself relax and unwind? Are you finding it hard to believe it’s July already and you have not had a moment to breathe and soak up the sunshine? Stress can chip away at our internal coping mechanisms physically, emotionally, and spiritually and eventually lead to feeling detached and numb from the people, places, and things that used to be safe havens for refueling our energy levels. Any physician will tell you that high emotional stress levels left unchecked will put a strain on your immune system and eventually lead to a body that is more susceptible to break down from sickness and disease. When you feel the inability to relax, unwind, calm down, and really enjoy the moment — Stop! and take some time to get back to center. The longer you let your stress level run wild, the harder it is to get back to center. Center is the place where you feel yourself moving with the flow of life. You enjoy your relationships and take time to laugh and do the things that bring you peace. You are able to generally balance the 18 - T&G July 2015

responsibilities of day-to-day life but you are not consumed with anxiety and pumping with adrenaline moving from one task to the other. When you are functioning from your center, you are able to effectively solve problems in a way that allows you to move forward without anxiety and fear. Center can mean different things for different people. For some, back to center can be as simple as taking time to organize your personal space. For others, center can be daily exercise, eating healthy food, or a good night’s sleep. Knowing what makes you feel centered is essential to stress management. If you are not sure what your center is, take time to explore the people, places, and things that leave you feeling rejuvenated and restored. Center can be as simple as focusing on your breath, or an activity such as gardening or playing chess. Perhaps center for you is connecting with a loved one that speaks wisdom and hope into your life, or a place that has significance and brings you a feeling of peace such as the beach or a hike in the mountains. Whatever center means to you, take time to cultivate and nurture your spirit toward your center. Oftentimes, when we experience high levels of stress, even nurturing the things that bring us a sense of peace can seem like one more task we have to accomplish. Our bodies and minds are so used to operating at 99 percent stress and anxiety that it feels impossible to come “down,” back to the present moment. This is when we are most susceptible to periods of insomnia, restlessness, and low-

grade depression. We may feel moody and short-tempered and struggle to enjoy the things that once gave us a sense of pleasure. This also is the time when we may have more strife and poor communication in our relationships with our colleagues, spouses, friends, children, or all of them combined. Don’t make the mistake of stressing over stress. Simply acknowledge the fact that you are fried, get off the treadmill of insanity, and walk, slowly and mindfully, back to center. Accepting and acknowledging the level of stress and anxiety present in your life is the first step in making your way back to center. Oftentimes, I hear people say, “I don’t have time to slow down! Everything will fall apart!” It is a fact that stress left unchecked can lead to physical and emotional breakdowns. Don’t wait for your life to fall apart — stop, recognize, and accept responsibility for your current emotional state. Have a strategy in place to help you move back toward your center. Simply making a decision to go to bed earlier, stretch more, and drink water throughout the day can be a simple way to

ease your way back to center. Living each day with a simple set of tools to keep you grounded, healthy, and in-tune with your body can save you from getting into the cycle of feeling like every day is a struggle. Don’t wait until you are exhausted and depressed to find your way back to center. Make it a habit to do what you need to do to start each day from a place of strength and peace. My hope for you today is to feel centered during the rest of summer. Make time today to enjoy the sunshine, take a dip in the water, or visit your local ice cream shop. Let the warmth of the summer season draw you slowly toward your center, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and invigorated. Knowing what center means to you and how to reconnect with peace in the present moment are absolutely essential to enjoying life! Wishing you a summer full of peace, laughter, and center! T&G Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing in State College.

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Staying Healthy in the Heat Proper hydration key to preventing heat-related illnesses By Dr. Roberta Millard

It is the first hot and humid day of summer. As a participant in a local 10k road race, your training partner plans to push her “normal” pace to achieve a best time. During the race, she runs well ahead of you, and you notice she does not stop to take water at aid stations. A quarter mile from the finish, you come upon your partner who has apparently collapsed and is receiving medical attention. Exertional heat illness, such as the scenario described above, occurs in almost every sporting venue in the United States. Exercising muscles generates heat, raising the body’s core temperature to potentially harmful levels. Under most conditions, our bodies are able to dissipate this heat by various mechanisms — the most efficient of which is evaporation of sweat. When heat and humidity rise, the body’s ability to evaporate sweat diminishes and may become completely inhibited. It is under these conditions that the risk of exertional heat stroke rises. Beat the Heat. The ability to tolerate heat varies greatly between individuals. One can improve the capacity to withstand heat stress over daily exposures to heat, repeated and slowly increasing, over a period 20 - T&G July 2015

of 10 days to two weeks through a process called acclimatization. This process may take even longer in the less physically fit such as children, elderly, and those with chronic medical conditions or those using certain medications. During this two-week period, it is critical to limit not only the length but also the intensity of the activity planned and make use of the buddy system during training. The use of light-colored moisture wicking equipment/ apparel, kept to the minimum necessary, also is helpful. Dehydration, which results from the failure to replace fluids lost during activity, can increase the risk for exertional heat illness and stress the cardiovascular system. A potential for dehydration exists for both athletes and recreational exercisers as well as those who work outside and may be sweating for two or more hours daily. Experts recommend that to prevent dehydration and heat illness, water losses due to sweating should be replaced at a rate close to or equal to the amount of sweat lost. For physically active adults, this can range from three to as much as 10 liters per day, making a “one size fits all” fluid-replacement schedule problematic. It’s about more than thirst. Relying on your thirst alone to determine fluid needs is inadequate. We experience the sensation of thirst only after our bodies are already experiencing the stress of fluid loss. In addition, drinking water extinguishes the sensation of thirst before restoration of fluid balance has occurred. Interspersing sports drinks, which contain sodium, with water during hydration

actually helps maintain your thirst drive and may aid rehydration. Elderly active individuals need to use more caution as their sense of thirst is diminished with dehydration. Additionally, under heat stress, children’s exercise tolerance time is reduced compared to adults, and therefore children should be encouraged to drink more volumes than dictated by thirst alone. Drinking even when you do not feel thirsty and according to more objective guidelines are recommended. Individuals engaged in vigorous exercise or whose work involves sweating for two or more hours daily should keep track of their hydration status by monitoring their body weight either by weighing in each morning after urinating or before and after you exercise/work. This allows you to more precisely determine your water losses. A loss of more than 1 percent (about 2 pounds in a 170-pound person) from one morning to the next, or from before to after a workout suggests possible dehydration. For every pound of weight lost by sweating, 16 to 20 ounces of fluid must be consumed. The appearance of urine also can be helpful to monitor your hydration. If you are well hydrated, your urine should have the appearance of lemonade. If your urine is dark and has the appearance of apple juice, you should increase your fluids. Drink Up. Hydration should begin prior to physical activity or work in the heat by drinking at least two cups of water or sports drink one to two hours prior to exercise. In hot weather, drinking half to one cup of fluid for every 15 minutes of vigorous exercise is a general guideline. Drinking cool fluids does double duty, both hydrating and cooling of the body. For long duration of work or activity, some sports drinks should be consumed along with water to provide calories for energy as well as electrolytes to help maintain the thirst drive. So, in order to safely enjoy exercising or working in the heat, follow these practical recommendations: 1. Plan for a 10-to-14-day period of adjustment to heat by slowly increasing the duration and intensity of activity planned. Use the buddy system of exercise during this period.

Dr. Roberta Millard is an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State.

2. Do not rely on thirst alone to determine your hydration needs. Hydrate with 16 ounces of fluid one to two hours before vigorous exercise. 3. For those who plan heavy, physical exercise or may sweat profusely at work, check body weight each morning after urinating and increase fluid intake if a 1 percent or more loss has occurred. 4. Drink 16 to 20 ounces for every pound of weight loss with exercise. 5. Maintain “lemonade” appearance of urine, not “apple juice.” 6. Consume some sports drinks during prolonged exercise to provide energizing calories and sodium to maintain thirst drive. T&G Dr. Roberta Millard is an assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Penn State and has served as a primary care/sports medicine team physician for the last decade to 12 athletic teams. She is the medical director of the Clinical Research Center at Penn State and has been involved in the care and research of female athletes. To make an appointment with Penn State Sports Medicine, call (814) 865-3566 or visit 2015 July T&G - 21

Contributed photo

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Race for a Cause Nittany Stage Race looks to promote cycling in Centre County and help local foundation By Chris Dornblaser

Bicycling’s popularity continues to grow in the Centre Region. It’s become such an important aspect that it has led to the Centre Region Council of Governments to seek input in putting together a bike plan for the area. State College also recently placed ninth out of 154 cities in’s rankings of the top “bikeable” cities in America. It may be why this is the perfect time for the first Nittany Stage Race to be held. The event, presented by the Penn State Cycling Club, will be August 1-2, and all proceeds benefit the Bestwick Foundation, which provides support to families, individuals, and local organizations in the Centre Region. “Our mission is to create a charitable event that is fun for both cyclists and noncyclists alike,” event coordinator Chuck Morrison said in a press release. “There’s a lot of support for cycling locally. We really want to tap into that and to grab the community’s interest, especially of the youth here in Centre County.” The event includes a road race August 1 in Black Moshannon State Park. On August 2, there will be a time trial on Penn State’s campus and College Avenue and a criterium (a race of a specified number of laps around a closed course) near State College’s Memorial Field. The road race also will be the Pennsylvania Elite Women’s Road Race and feature some of the top female cyclists in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. “This race isn’t just for racers, it’s trying to get the community involved in cycling,” says James Read, a sophomore at Penn State who is involved with the Penn State Cycling Club. 22 - T&G July 2015

The Penn State Cycling Club is hoping it can celebrate a successful Nittany Stage Race, which is August 1-2 and benefits the Bestwick Foundation.

“We really encourage people to come out and enjoy the cycling aspect. It’s such a big culture in a lot of places, and we are trying to bring some of that here.” Andrew Artz, a Penn State junior and secretary of the Penn State Cycling Club, says he wants the Nittany Stage Race to become an annual event that emphasizes the local community. “We want to keep this something that doesn’t totally gridlock the community,” says Artz, who is expecting the event to attract 300 participants. “We want this to be something very fun and unique, but if it grows, we hope it doesn’t grow out of proportion. It can get as big as it wants, as long as the community supports it. … This is a not-for-profit event …. We are supporting everyone equally, and we’re just looking to do something that’s good for the community and have fun doing it.” Jamie Bestwick, president of the Bestwick Foundation and winner of nine consecutive X Games gold medals in BMX Vert, says he is honored that his foundation is a beneficiary of the event.

“Every dollar we’re lucky enough to gain from the support of Andrew and the stage race we’re going to put it back to great use in the community,” he says. “That’s what my foundation is about — it’s about giving back to State College and the surrounding area and trying to help out those people who are a little less fortunate or succumbed to illness. We’d want to be there as a great support group and to help things run smoothly in their world when it’s at a very low time. For us to be a beneficiary, we’re thrilled to bits. We just want this stage race to be one of many cool things that come to this town. “What makes this different is it’s a competition. You’re going to have the best racers in the entire district — in fact, in the state — coming out to race.” T&G The Nittany Stage Race is August 1-2. For more information, visit For information on volunteering for the event, e-mail The Penn State Cycling Club also is raising funds to help with operational expenses for the event. To donate, visit

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on center

Soulful Singers Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne unite for national tour coming to Eisenhower By John Mark Rafacz Glorious vocalist Mavis Staples and seven-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne collaborate on tour for the first time in “Solid Soul,” which comes to Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium Tuesday, October 27. Staples, a fixture in American music for six decades, came to fame as a member of the Staple Singers, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee band nicknamed “God’s greatest hit makers.” The group featured her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples (who died in 2000), sisters, Yvonne and Cleotha (who passed away in 2013), and (until 1969) brother, Pervis. Mavis Staples and family reached the top 40 on the music charts eight times in the 1970s. The band, which crossed into mainstream rhythm and blues without forgetting its Mississippi-gospel beginnings, had two number-one hits, “I’ll Take You There” and “Let’s Do It Again.” “From her time in the bestselling gospel family band, the Staple Singers, through her role in the Civil Rights Movement,” an NPR Music reviewer writes about Mavis Staples, “she’s been a face of change and a voice behind some of the most powerful songs in modern history.” Staples’s rich, raspy voice has taken her from traditional gospel music and folk protest songs to self-empowerment anthems and love tunes. She’s even collaborated on two acclaimed albums — You Are Not Alone (2010) and One True Vine (2013) — with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. You Are Not Alone earned Staples her first Grammy — for Best American Album. “Mavis Staples is the most underrated diva of the century,” writes a critic for Rolling Stone, which included her on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. “She has an almost superhuman ability to implant the pure power of passion and emotion.” Osborne, meanwhile, captured top-40 radio in 1995 with her hit song “One of Us,” but the singer-songwriter’s subsequent work made it clear she was more interested in integrity and longevity than popular sales. Much of her work has explored the soulful sounds of American roots music in both original and classic songs. The Kentucky native, who had moved to New York in the late 1980s to attend film school before being lured by the siren’s call of the city’s live-music scene, has released seven studio albums since her multiplatinum breakthrough CD, Relish. Her newest album, 2014’s Love and Hate, surveys the complicated terrain of romance with a stripped-down sound that’s a departure from the blues-based rock for which she’s most famous. 24 - T&G July 2015

Joan Osborne (above) and Mavis Staples are touring together for the first time and will visit Eisenhower Auditorium October 27.

“[Osborne’s] sweet yet husky voice is a wonderfully expressive instrument, bringing emotional honesty, a.k.a. soul, to every performance,” writes a critic for American Songwriter. “… Osborne’s compositional, arranging, and vocal talents take the listener on a classy, beautifully realized music journey.” The concert with Staples marks Osborne’s second appearance at Eisenhower. She made her Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State premiere in “Billie & Me,” a tribute to the music and life of Billie Holiday. That November 2005 performance also featured Dianne Reeves, Rita Coolidge, Niki Haris, and Rokia Traoré. T&G For information about “Solid Soul” and more than 30 other Center for the Performing Arts 2015-16 presentations that go on sale to the public Tuesday, August 4, visit John Mark Rafacz is editorial manager of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State.

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penn state diary

More than Buildings School’s historic structures offer “sense of place” to those who have spent time at Dear Old State By Lee Stout The history of Penn State’s campus master planning and architecture has long been a subject of interest to me. I’ve written several columns in the past on the subject as well as the history of specific buildings such as Old Main and Rec Hall. I’ve also recently taught a course for OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) on this topic. For the most part, the students in the course were alumni or former Penn State employees. Some alums had retired back to State College, and I suspect quite a few had returned to this constantly growing campus and wondered when it had all changed. Besides the selection of a location for the campus and building Old Main and the president’s house in the 1850s and ’60s, I talked about the trials and triumphs of the nineteenth century, which created the campus core that we know today. But then again, looking at a 1910 bird’s eye view of the place shows only eight buildings, which are still standing today largely unchanged. We also examined the succession of campus plans, beginning in 1907, which guided the evolution of the Penn State campus. Organizing buildings into groups by school or function began with those first plans, as did using trees and shrubs to soften the hard edges of buildings. Today, plans focus on renovating buildings that have reached or exceeded their useful lifespan, making the campus more pedestrian friendly, and long-term sustainability. As a history-oriented person, however, what strikes me is the commitment to preserving and informing people about our historical structures on campus. More than 40 buildings are part of two National Historical Register districts on campus. The center of campus — Old Main and its lawn, the two flanking malls, Schwab, Carnegie, Old Botany, and the president’s house (now the front portion of the Hintz Alumni Center) — has been recognized as protected spaces by board of trustees’ action, since the 1960s. Scholars interested in the history of the natural and built environments have long discussed “sense of place” as a central concept in their fields. The sense of place orients us to our personal worlds and how we move about them on a daily basis. 26 - T&G July 2015

From top, the demolition of the Armory in 1964 marked the beginning of preservation consciousness on campus; Old Main, shown in 1960, was rebuilt in 1930 reusing the limestone from the original Old Main; and the president’s residence shown in the 1960s before the addition of the Hintz Alumni Center.

But it also plays a psychological role in how we identify ourselves and situate ourselves in time as well as space. If you have witnessed the three ladies re-creating the decoration of a Civil War soldier’s grave in Boalsburg on a Memorial Day weekend, you have experienced this connection of time and space. You have seen a

Lee Stout is librarian emeritus, special collections for Penn State.

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historical event re-created in the exact spot it took place. In a recent article, neuroscientists identified the hippocampus in the brain as the locus of a kind of “place cell … involved in memory and emotion as well as in spatial navigation.” These areas of the brain can trigger intense memories when we are in familiar places and sometimes a strong sense of nostalgia for the events we experienced there. The OLLI course I taught this spring was originally created as a slide show for the university’s Office of Physical Plant staff, to give them a sense of the history of the campus of which they are the caretakers and developers. Penn State was never a campus with a uniform style of architecture — it has always built in whatever style was current in the day. But there are variations on this theme. Some buildings, such as Rec Hall, built in 1929, have had successive additions (in the 1950s, ’60s, and 2000s), and each seems to reflect the buildings of those times. On the other hand, the Nittany Lion Inn, built in 1931, has had renovations and additions built in 1952, 1970, and 1991, and each retained the character and design of the original. A third iconic example would be the front portion of the Hintz Alumni Center. As the president’s residence from 1864 to 1970, this Georgian-style home was originally planned and partially paid for by Evan Pugh before his death. In the twentieth century, it was expanded several times until, in the 1930s, it took on its Southern plantation front portico with two-story columns. In designing the Hintz Center as an extension of the house, the architects created a kind of postmodern version, including columns, in the 1930, a roof, chimneys, and dormer windows that reflect the original building. The large trees that shaded the building and its fishpond remain today, now along with gardens, memorial walks, and low walls. Like the original, it is a personal space that invites us to rest a moment and form new memories and attachments. Penn State is fortunate to have a campus that is beautiful, historic, and memorable for the many thousands who have had the good fortune to spend time here at a key moment in their lives. The “sense of place” they experienced here will last them a lifetime. T&G

Martin Sliwinski: Living Longer, Better Martin Sliwinski owes his career focus on healthy aging to an equipment malfunction back in grad school. He lost all his data on the neurophysiology of amphibians, leaving him suddenly available for a job at Albert Einstein College of Medicine involving assessments of seniors. “I became fascinated with the complexity of differentiating healthy aging from the subtle signs of dementia,” he says. Sliwinski came to Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development in 2008 as a professor of human development and family studies and director of the Center for Healthy Aging (formerly the Gerontology Center). “We have a long history of successful and cutting-edge work here at Penn State on aging,” he says. Sliwinski’s own research examines how aging, health, and disease can influence a person’s ability to memorize, reason, and concentrate. At age 51, Sliwinski says he strives to follow his doctor’s advice and also engage in activities that coincide with the “triumvirate of healthy aging” — learning something new, engaging with other people, and not sitting. “Going for a walk is great, but going for a walk with friends is even better.” He enjoys going for walks with his wife, fellow professor Lynn Martire, and dog, Bly, especially at Shingletown. Learn more about the Center for Healthy Aging, including community lectures and intergenerational programs, at healthyaging. The Penn State Bookstore thanks Martin Sliwinski and all faculty and staff who carry out the university’s mission every day. 814-863-0205 2015 July T&G - 27

Years of Town&Gown Arts & Entertainment: Thriving scene continues to grow thanks to newcomers joining longtime favorites

By Tracey M. Dooms Back in the 1960s, downtown State College became a ghost town in the summer, with few Penn State students sticking around for summer classes. State College Area Chamber of Commerce chairman Wally Lloyd pitched the idea of an arts festival to attract summer visitors, just as Penn State football does in the fall. A group of community leaders, including representatives of the university’s College of Arts & Architecture, brainstormed and planned, and on July 12, 1967, the first Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (CPFA) took place. Entertainment at that first festival was all local, including the Little German Band and Robin and the Hoods. Any artist who wanted to could prop paintings or other works against snow fencing along College Avenue between Allen and Pugh streets. “The first day, only about 50 to 70 feet was used,” Lloyd recalled in 1996, during State College’s centennial year. “A few people came and hung some paintings. A lot of people looked at them and bought some. When people saw that, they all rushed 28 - T&G July 2015

home, got stuff, and displayed it. After the first couple days, the entire fence was filled.” Over the past five decades, the festival has grown exponentially. Artists from around the country now display their works in a juried competition along a route stretching for more than eight blocks downtown and on campus, and summer visitors come for the event to the tune of more than 125,000 each year. Performing artists include local favorites such as Ted McCloskey & the HiFi’s and Velveeta and nationally recognized performers such as the Galumpha acrobatic troupe and comedian Ross Bennett. Last year, Sunshine Artist magazine ranked the Arts Festival No. 3 on its list of the country’s 100 best outdoor fine art and fine craft fairs. The summer festival has grown up to be the poster child for a community that plays host to a wide variety of arts and entertainment options all year long.

A feast of festivals

Other festivals grew from CPFA’s success. In May 1969, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Student Union

Opposite page, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts started small when it began in 1967, but it has grown to where it attracts artists from around the country and more than 125,000 visitors each year.

coordinated the week-long Penn State Black Arts Festival, featuring performers including James Brown and the Muddy Waters Blues Band. The event was held annually for at least 20 years. The idea for the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts came about in the early 1990s, when the CPFA could no longer accommodate all the local artists who wanted to exhibit there. George and Nancy Marion organized the first People’s Choice Festival on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg in 1993, with the help of Cindy Rockey and John Madison. That first festival featured about 50 artists, a couple of food stands, and a few live bands. Now it’s one of the largest arts festivals in Central Pennsylvania, including about 200 artists, two dozen food vendors, and more than 40 acts on two stages — all from Pennsylvania. Rockey and Madison are the festival directors. On December 31, 1994, the CPFA organization presented the inaugural First Night State College. Part of the First Night movement founded in Boston in 1976, the

local New Year’s Eve festival focuses on visual and performing arts in a nonalcoholic community environment. The local First Night celebration quickly became known for its signature ice sculptures displayed around downtown State College.

Gallery space

In 1968, on the heels of the first Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, a group of local art lovers founded the Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania to foster art appreciation year-round. The new group held exhibitions at places such as the Nittany Mall and a downtown bank before buying its current building on Pike Street in Lemont in 1969. Today, with more than 350 members, the Art Alliance involves the community in the visual arts through classes, workshops, kids’ camps, and exhibitions. The Palmer Museum of Art had its start as the Penn State Museum of Art, opening in October 1972 with three galleries in a threestory brick cube of a building along Curtin Road. The museum’s current bold façade 2015 July T&G - 29

The Palmer Museum of Art underwent expansions in 1993 and 2002. It now has more than 5,800 works of art in its permanent collection.

was added in 1993 during an expansion that featured 10 new galleries and a new museum name, in honor of Barbara and James Palmer, who made the lead donation. A second expansion, completed in 2002, added a new space for the study of works on paper and the William Hull Gallery. The Palmer Museum’s permanent collection grew over the years and now stands at more than 5,800 works of art, encompassing a broad range of world cultures and time periods. A more recent local museum addition is the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County. The historic John Blair Linn House had first become home to a museum in 1995, when the Bellefonte Museum opened as a showcase for local history. For the next decade, volunteers struggled to keep the museum open. In 2006, museum professional Patricia House moved to Bellefonte. Impressed by the efforts of the volunteers, she decided that the museum was an idea that deserved resuscitation, this time as an art museum. Since then, the Bellefonte Art Museum has grown from one gallery to six and has 360 members, 50 volunteers, and 30 - T&G July 2015

136 Central Pennsylvania artists on its juried registry.

Musicians hit high notes

One of the anchors of the local performing arts is the State College Choral Society, which gave its first performance in December 1949 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. During its first six years, the group stuck solely with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, but then branched out to a more contemporary repertoire, while still bringing into play works by Mozart, Brahms, and other classical composers. A highlight in 2004 was the premiere of the society’s own commissioned work, Voices of the Holocaust. The Choral Society also was well-known for its fundraiser madrigal dinners (last held in 2004), with members in Renaissance clothing serenading diners. A more casual choral tradition in State College is the community sing-along. Beginning in 1943, locals had gathered in Schwab Auditorium during the summer months for Monday Night Sings. The events were led by Frank Gullo, director of Penn

The State College Choral Society, shown during a rehearsal in the 1970s, gave its first performance in 1949.

State’s Glee Club, and Hummel Fishburn, director of the Blue Band. The tradition disappeared in the ’70s but was brought back in 2011 at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in memory of Pat Farrell, a former Arts Festival board president who had attended the community sings with her family when she was growing up. The singalong continues at this year’s Arts Festival. The State College Chamber Orchestra gave its first concert in 1967 and then grew in size and talent over the years, becoming the Nittany Valley Symphony in 1979. In the early years, musicians sometimes outnumbered the audience during performances at State College Area High School. Today, the symphony performs in Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium. Although NVS now employs a professional conductor and full-time executive director,

the heart of the symphony remains the musicians from all walks of life who love to play for a community that loves to hear good classical music. Music at Penn’s Woods was organized in 1986 to provide the community with a professional classical music festival in the summer — a collaboration among local and touring professionals and faculty, students, and alumni of the Penn State School of Music. The popular series was suspended in 2003 due to budget cuts at the university but revived in 2008. Musicians present four concerts during the last two weeks of June at Esber Recital Hall on campus. The School of Music also presents a season’s worth of concerts during the fall and spring semesters at Penn State. The Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra began in 1991 and will be celebrating its 25th 2015 July T&G - 31

anniversary season with a new director. Yaniv Attar takes over as director and conductor, following the retirement of founding director Douglas Meyer. The orchestra has recently been presenting Handel’s Messiah each year, which executive director Susan Kroeker called one of the highlights during her time with the orchestra. One of the newest local music events is JazzPA’s Summer Jazz Celebration, taking place July 24 to 26 this year at the Palmer Museum and in Bellefonte. The brainchild of saxophonist Joe Alessandro and vocalist Catherine DuPuis, the celebration began in 2005 as a one-day festival at the South Hills School of Business outdoor stage. The festival has grown to three days, two sites, and multiple stages, attracting jazz lovers from across the region.

Raising the curtain

The State College Community Theatre was already a mainstay of the local performing arts scene 50 years ago, having been founded in 1955. The group performed

its first plays at State College Area High School before moving to the Boal Barn Playhouse in 1959. Summer “in the round” performances at the historic barn continued for more than half a century, until the deteriorating condition of the facility forced the group to move its shows to the State Theatre in 2013. The move allowed SCCT to expand performances beyond warm-weather months. This year, theater has returned to the newly renovated Boal Barn Playhouse thanks to Nittany Theatre at the Barn, which is under the direction of Dave Saxe. Professional theater at Penn State dates to the late 1950s at the Mateer Playhouse, an old Huntingdon County barn theater reassembled on campus. A theater company made up of New York professionals, Penn State students, and local talent staged summer productions there and then at the Pavilion Theatre and the Playhouse. The company — as the Festival Theatre, then Pennsylvania Centre Stage, and now integrated into the School of Theatre as

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Penn State Centre Stage — now has a yearround season at the Playhouse, Pavilion, and the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, which opened on Allen Street in 2003. The Artists Series at Penn State had begun in 1957 under the leadership of Albert Christ-Janer, first director of the School of the Arts. Performers usually appeared in Schwab Auditorium, although larger orchestras, musicals, and dance presentations were at Rec Hall. In 1974, the new University Auditorium (now Eisenhower Auditorium) opened, and most Artists Series events moved there. In 1984, the series merged with auditorium management to create the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State (CPA). Now CPA presents and supports more than 300 events each year, from Broadway musicals to ballet to school-time matinees. The premier local dance company was founded in 1979 as Pennsylvania Dance Theatre, working to challenge audiences with thought-provoking experiences. Last year, the company was renamed TanzTheater

After years of remaining empty, the State Theatre was renovated and reopened in 2006.

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AndrĂŠ Koslowski, after its German choreographer director. The company performs its powerful works both locally and in Pittsburgh.

Movies and more

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State has brought many world-renowned artists to Happy Valley, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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In the mid-1960s, State College film lovers had their choice of three grand old downtown theaters for first-run movies: the Nittany at 114 South Allen Street, built in 1914; the Cathaum at 114 West College Avenue, 1926; and the State at 128 West College Avenue, 1938. In addition, Twelvetrees Cinema (later renamed The Flick) showed second-run films in a 150-seat theater on South Atherton Street, where the Atherton Hotel now stands. Later, modern cinemas opened on Hiester Street and Beaver Avenue, as well as near the

Nittany Mall. All closed eventually, replaced by the current multiplexes on Shiloh Road and Valley Vista. The State Theatre remained empty and dilapidated until the late 1990s when community members envisioned a new life for it as a performing arts center. Building owners Sidney and Helen Friedman gave the theater and a monetary gift to the community, additional funds were raised, and renovations began. In December 2006, the State Theatre reopened to a new life as a nonprofit venture hosting films, local performances, and nationally touring shows. Also in Centre County, the lavish Rowland Theatre, built in 1917 for both films and live performances, has been restored and now operates as a first-run movie theater. In Bellefonte, the 1861 Garman Opera House had operated as a movie theater in recent years before a 2012 fire ended the theater’s illustrious run. The opening of the 15,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center in 1996 was huge news across the region. The largest arena between

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia debuted with a concert by Rusted Root, followed in the first year alone by acts including Rod Stewart, Steve Miller Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and the Eagles. The venue continues to attract fans across Central Pennsylvania for performances ranging from big-name acts such as Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, and Taylor Swift to monster truck shows to Sesame Street Live to the Harlem Globetrotters. The arena also serves as the indoor home base for the Central PA 4th Fest, the all-volunteer event that lights up the sky and attracts many thousands of visitors to State College each summer.

Art for the future

One of the most recent artistic endeavors in State College involves both longstanding and brand-new works of art, all of them visible in public places. Last spring, an independent, informal group of art enthusiasts published an inventory of that art in a brochure, “Downtown State College Art Walk,� and on its Web site,

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2015 July T&G - 35 The Art Walk — supported in part by the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, the Downtown Improvement District, and the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau — highlights 25 well-known and obscure works of art in public spaces. They range from the Calder Way frescos to the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church stainedglass windows to the statue of Webster the Bear in Schlow Centre Region Library’s children’s section. Most of the works are outdoors; all of the works are easily accessible by the public. The committee is working on expanding the inventory to include public art in other parts of State College and the region as well as on Penn State’s campus. Another outdoor art display is schedule to be unveiled during this year’s Arts Festival when the first batch of Book Benches of Centre County are put in place. The initiative came about thanks to a Centre Foundation Centre Inspires grant. The

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project will start with 25 fiberglass benches in the shape of an open book, and they will be placed in areas across Centre County. It is similar to the “Cow Parade” in Harrisburg. Meanwhile, the next generation of local artists and entertainers is showcased during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts’ annual Children & Youth Day, always held the day before the juried sidewalk sale begins. Budding artists sell jewelry, stuffed animals, candles, crowns trailing yards of ribbons, and many other works of their own creation. Young performers take to the stage to show off their dance, vocal, and instrumental skills. Each year, as some young artists graduate to the adult stage or studio, others take their places, always ensuring fresh talent for Happy Valley’s artistic future. T&G Tracey M. Dooms is a freelance writer in State College and a special-projects editor for Town&Gown.

All the Va l

Ddarren Andrew Weimert

Some of Happy Valley’s theater talent includes (from left) Rachael Gigar, Amy Farkas, and Kat Shondeck and her son, Justin.

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a lley ’s a Stage Thanks to a growing number of community-theater companies across Centre County, nonprofessional actors and actresses in the region can be a part of the art they love By Jenna Spinelle

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Meadow Lane Photography (5)

Left, Kat Shondeck in State College Community Theatre’s 2014 production of Noises Off. Right, Justin Shondeck (bottom) in State High Thespians’ production of Curtains.

Look around Centre County this summer and you’ll see community theater is everywhere. From the State Theatre to the Boal Barn Playhouse, hundreds of volunteers work on stages and behind the scenes to bring performances that rival those done by national companies. When it comes to community theater in Happy Valley, everyone is welcome, and some say the welcoming environment encouraged them to return to acting after many years away. While there are many theater companies in the area, actors are not typically tied to one in particular. Instead, they move back and forth among the companies as schedules and selection preferences allow. The following are just a few of the many people involved in the theater world in Happy Valley who are making it a vibrant community that continues to grow. HHH During any given production, you may see siblings, parents, children, or spouses sharing the stage. Kat Shondeck has directed her son, Justin, 40 - T&G July 2015

in a production of Seussical, and the two acted together in Les Miserables in June. Kat moved to State College for graduate school 20 years ago and has been here ever since. She was involved with theater in high school, but a case of stage fright in college pushed her behind the scenes. Along the way, she had two children and became a selfdescribed “drama mamma,” which pushed her back into acting. She auditioned for State College Community Theater’s production of Into The Woods in 2011 and has been hooked ever since. “A friend of mine who was very involved sat me down one day and said, ‘There’s a light that comes out of you when you talk about your time on stage,’ ” she says. “The day before auditions I was sick to my stomach and almost backed out, but I went in there and it was the most fun I’ve had in years.” Justin, 15, began acting when he was in fifth grade after hearing from friends that he should join Singing Onstage Studios, a

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Gigar starred in State College Community Theatre’s production of Annie Get Your Gun in February.

theater training program for children. At the time, he had no idea that his mom also had done theater as a child. Eventually, Kat’s old photos and videos came out, and a theater partnership was born. “It’s not a mother/son relationship when we’re rehearsing … if she’s struggling with something, I’ll help her with it,” Justin says. “We both critique each other when we’re practicing, and we know that we both can help each other.” Kat also looks to her son for advice when working with children. While directing Seussical, she was faced with some tough choices about who should be cast among some of the children of her friends. “Justin’s the one I will bounce ideas off of. He knows shows I’m doing before anyone else,” she says. “He knows what I’m thinking about casting-wise, and he gives honest advice.” When they’re not on stage, the Shondecks try to take in as many performances as they can to support their fellow actors. That camaraderie is a unique aspect of the local

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theater community, Kat says. “This area is amazing because it’s like living in a city without the hassles of living in a city,” she says. “The amount of performing arts that Justin has been exposed to is incredible. He tries not to miss anything.” Justin hopes to study musical theater in college and feels his community-theater experience will prepare him well for one of the most competitive college majors in the country. “I’m glad that our community supports theater as much as it does,” he says “It’s a really unique experience … it’s where I fit in.” HHH Acting in a play or musical is one thing, but directing is another thing entirely. Directors are responsible for both logistics and the show’s overall artistic direction. After several years as a community-theater actor, Rachael Gigar tried her hand at directing State College Community Theatre’s production of Grease in June. She had moved to State College from Las Vegas in 2012 and


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did her first production here in 2013. She had been out of the theater world while she earned her undergraduate degree and wanted to become involved again while attending law school at Penn State. “It’s an extremely supportive community, especially not being from the area,” she says. “No one looked at me weird because I was new. They were excited to have me, and they really want to have people from the community as part of the shows.” Gigar’s local acting credits include Hairspray, Spamalot, and Legally Blonde. She was able to fit the productions into her schedule as a law-school student without missing a beat. “The flexibility has been really, really nice. They understood I was a student if I needed to come late to rehearsal or miss something that was scheduled.” she says. “Folks understand who their members are and that not everyone is a professional who does this full time. She was excited when the opportunity to direct Grease came up because the show’s

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timing coincided with the end of law school, and the mostly high school-aged cast gave her an opportunity to utilize her undergraduate degree in education. “I did some basic directing stuff in high school, but I had never directed a full production before,” she says. “I never would have had the opportunity to do something like this in a larger city.” Gigar is moving to Arizona with her fiancé in early July, but will look back fondly on her time with State College Community Theatre. “There is a place for you in the theater community here in State College,” she says. “It’s not just the same people on stage all the time. They want everyone who wants to be involved to be involved.”

Farkas in State College Community Theatre’s 2011 production of No Sex Please, We’re British!

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HHH Amy Farkas had lived in State College for years, but it wasn’t until joining community theater that she found “her people.” She had seen a few productions and assumed there was not a part for her. Like

Kat Shondeck, she worked up the nerve to audition and was immediately glad she did. “I found my best friends and these crazy artistic people I just clicked with,” she says. “It’s like when you play softball, people look at you like Why are you dancing in the outfield? But the theater people know exactly why you are dancing in the outfield — and are out there dancing with you.” She balances her community involvement with a full-time job as Harris Township manager, a balance that is sometimes difficult to maintain during the height of a production when evening meetings and other obligations arise. The sacrifice is worth it, however, for the satisfaction that comes with doing what she loves. “You don’t remember how horrible it is until you do it the next time,” she says. “You’re so exhausted and so sad that it’s over that you just want to keep doing it.” As a theatergoer, she appreciates the variety of performances held in the area. Theater companies try to balance traditional musicals with modern

performances to appeal to senior citizens and college students alike. She says her favorite role came in one of the more cutting-edge productions, August: Osage County, which was performed by State College Community Theatre in 2013. Farkas played Barbara, the role held by Julia Roberts in the film adaptation of the play. She says it was the first time she has been emotionally challenged by a part. “I felt a strong connection to the character and the role,” she says. “The director helped pull out a lot of emotional things in the role, and I uncovered a dramatic side I didn’t know I had.” HHH Dave Saxe has been involved with theater in State College for more than 20 years and feels the area is approaching something big. “I think State College is on the verge of becoming Ithaca in the theater world … a place people go to specifically to see theater in the summertime,” he says. “All

2015 July T&G - 45

Saxe, now director of Nittany Theatre at the Barn, performs in State College Community Theatre’s 2013 production of Legally Blonde.

of the pieces are here to make this a tourist destination.” He is doing what he can to make that happen as director of Nittany Theatre at the Barn, a new theater group operating out of the Boal Barn Playhouse in Boalsburg. Unlike State College Community Theatre and other groups that are made up almost exclusively of volunteers, Nittany Theatre pairs community members with professional touring actors. The group is currently in its first season. “I saw immediately that this is the impact a quality theater at the professional level can have on a community,” he says “We are taking that step into the deep end of the pool.” He hopes that bringing in professional actors will not intimidate community performers, but instead empower them to take direction from those who make acting a full-time job. “They get better by being around [professionals],” he says. “There are some who are not interested in that, but for those who are, they are doing a show with people who have been on Broadway.” 46 - T&G July 2015

Before moving to State College, Saxe was a high school drama teacher in Chicago and acted in professional productions. He eventually moved into education full time and took a 15-year break from theater while he raised his children and held a position at Penn State. He, too, was bitten by the acting bug when his children became involved in school productions. His wife, Laura Ann, and daughters, Deborah and Kaye, are set to star in an all-female version of 1776 that runs through July 2-25 at the Boal Barn. “We are trying to attract the whole spectrum of theatergoers, from young to old, by doing something that is really different,” he says. The best theater, he says, comes when veterans and newbies share the stage. “There is this core group of people who have been here forever, but waves of people who are coming in,” he says. “If I was a theater person coming into this community, I would be thrilled.” T&G Jenna Spinelle is a freelance writer and journalism instructor in State College.

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Sacred Sounds

The centuries-old practice known as shape-note singing is enjoying a rebirth in popularity across the country, including in Happy Valley By Rebekka Coakley • Photos by Darren Andrew Weimert

62 - T&G July 2015


With eyes closed and ears open, listening to the State College Sacred Harp singers feels like going to church in the south, circa the 1800s, with a fire and brimstone sermon from a fiery preacher to follow. Each vocal group — treble, alto, tenor, and bass — is strong and distinct, none blending into the background. Each is a key player, a main character in the song. It’s a unique, energetic, spiritual sound. One that Hal Kunkel fell in love with and brought to State College in 2007. “I didn’t necessarily want to start a group at that time, but after traveling to some amazingly powerful out-of-state singings that year, it struck me that I just couldn’t keep this music to myself anymore,” he says. “I had to try to bring it to State College — not to sing it myself, but to share it with others.” While the group doesn’t necessarily have a leader, Kunkel is the founder of this 30-member organization that sings twice a month in the historic Rock Hill School in Linden Hall. One of the earliest forms of American music, Sacred Harp originated in England, continued in America in New England, and then thrived in the rural south. It’s an a cappella type of singing that comes from tune books that use shapes, triangles, circles, squares, and diamonds to simply depict various pitches in order to promote congregational and community singing. The shapes are assigned the syllables fa, sol, la, and mi, and “singing the shapes” refers to the practice of singing the syllables before the words are sung. Today, communities across the country have Sacred Harp singings, and a national Web site,, lists locations of singings in the US. There is no governing organization, just communities that have interested singers. “If you take American folk melodies, blend them with the harmonies of medieval vocal music, add a driving rhythm, and turn up the volume, you have an approximation of what shape-note music sounds like,” says Kunkel. “If you then imagine people of all abilities sitting together in a hollow square, facing inward, singing for each other and not an audience, with everyone feeling valued and

Kevin Sims of Aaronsburg leads a sing at the Progress Grange Hall in Centre Hall.

welcomed, you have an idea of what shapenote singings feel like. I love the music a lot, but I love the people and the singings more.” While the practice of using different syllables to delineate various pitches on a musical scale dates back to long before the United States existed, associating these syllables with shaped notes on a music staff is an American invention. In the early 1800s, shape-note tune books were used to easily teach new music to the general public. One particular book, The Sacred Harp, a tune book published in 1844, was most widely used and has remained the most popular today. Despite its name, there’s no harp in this kind of singing — the only instrument involved is the voice, or the “sacred harp.” “For me, shape-note singing connects me to the past,” says BC Condon, a member of the State College group and an X-ray and mammography technologist at Lewistown Hospital. “The lyrics remind me of what it must have been like living in the time periods when this music was actually written. They speak of sadness, longing for death as 2015 July T&G - 63

Left, Josh Barnett of Winchester, Virginia, takes a turn leading a sing. Right, Harry Scott and Lamar Matthew travel from York to participate in sings at the Progress Grange Hall.

a release from pain and loss, but also joy in the beauties of nature and hope of eternal happiness.” Local singer Len VanderJagt, who drives to the singings every other Monday from Altoona, has been a fan of the music since the 1970s. He has attended singings in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky. He says that while this type of singing has remained a strong part of the rural south, it lost its popularity across the rest of the country. However, he says there was a revival in the 1970s. The renaissance commenced in northern universities, established by scholars hoping to preserve this early form of American music. A documentary released in 2006, Awake My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp, explores the history, music, and tradition of the music and its resurgence. Anyone who watches the documentary and then wants to 64 - T&G July 2015

hear Sacred Harp music in State College is welcome to attend the community’s shapenote singers as a listener or as a participant, although traditionally, there is no audience and most singers will strongly encourage you to sing along. “Sacred Harp is not a performance, and there is never an ‘audience,’ ” says VanderJagt. “We face and sing to each other, to God, or just because of the joy of singing polyphony with its amazing properties. There are singings all over the country weekly, monthly, and annually, and now in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Germany, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand.” And while the songs tend to have Christian-focused lyrics, the State College Sacred Harp singers are composed of people from various religious backgrounds, or who don’t practice a religion. “No religious belief is required or assumed,”

Kunkel brought Sacred Harp singing to State College in 2007.

2015 July T&G - 65

Sims (left) and Abby Minor enjoy participating with the State College Saced Harp singers.

says Chas Brua, a State College resident who learned about Sacred Harp music in the 1980s when he heard “Rivers of Delight” by the Word of Mouth Chorus. “Some of our local singers are Christians, some are Buddhists, some are agnostics or atheists. Anybody who wants to sing is welcome — from any background. For us, it’s just about loving to make music together.” Penn State graduate student Rachel Olson, who fell in love with Sacred Harp singing around the same time that the Cold Mountain soundtrack came out in 2003 and included two Sacred Harp tunes, says that although the lyrics tend to be religious, it doesn’t necessarily feel that way to her when she sings with the group. “I’m not particularly religious,” she says. “Although the lyrics are religious in nature, I mostly look at them as a slice of another time and place because they’re quite different from the way most people practice Christianity today. A lot of it is very dour — often about looking forward to death because Earth is


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66 - T&G July 2015

so terrible — and some are so extreme in viewpoint it’s comical.” Another element that makes Sacred Harp singing different from most choral groups is you don’t necessarily have to be a great singer, as most members admit, just be ready to sing with passion. In fact, Kunkel brazenly confesses that he doesn’t like the sound of his own voice when he sings solo. “When singing shape-note music with others, imperfection doesn’t matter,” he says. “The harmonies of it are very open and accessible, and the pieces have a way of tuning themselves. I know of nothing more powerful and exhilarating than a good shapenote singing where everyone is tuned into each other.” The State College Sacred Harp singers meet the second and fourth Monday of every month, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and once a year they have an annual Central Pennsylvania Double All-Day Shape-Note Singing. This year’s event will be July 25-26 at the Progress Grange Hall in Centre Hall. Kunkel says

the event is a great time for beginners to check out what a big, traditional shape-note singing sounds like. In the past, up to 100 participants from 18 different states have attended. “We usually sing about 90 songs each day, and every singer is given the opportunity to pick a tune and conduct it from the center of the square,” he says. “We have poets, artists, musicians, contra dancers, teachers, mechanics, engineers, students and nonstudents, and young and old. Shape-note singers are a very diverse bunch, but the singing draws people together.” In fact, for many, the group is a great way to make friends and meet new people. VanderJagt says that anyone is welcome, and it’s an inclusive community united by singing. “I enjoy doing it because it’s like nothing else I know,” says Olson. “The priorities are completely different from anything I’ve experienced in other types of music — the passion and energy level of the music are amazing. There are no performances and

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2015 July T&G - 67

A 1991 edition of The Sacred Harp, which was first published in 1844.

rehearsals, no formalized group membership, no reason to do this other than pure enjoyment. There’s no audience to clap for you, not much to be gained in the way of individual recognition, and there’s no obligation to come to any given sing unless you want to, so every singer is here because they want to be here right now. If you listen to a trained choir sing the same songs, they may be more accurate and in tune, but they won’t come close to matching the intensity.” T&G The Central Pennsylvania Double All-Day Shape-Note Singing is July 25-26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, at Progress Grange Hall in Centre Hall. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Rebekka Coakley is a freelance writer living in State College.

68 - T&G July 2015

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2015 July T&G - 69

Coming to Bryce Jordan Center/ Medlar Field at Lubrano Park

July 1-3 Spikes vs. West Virginia Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. 4 Central PA 4th Fest featuring Craig Morgan 4th Fest Independence Stage 7:30 p.m. 8-10 Spikes vs. Connecticut Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. 11-13 Spikes vs. Tri-City Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. Sat.; 6:05 p.m. Sun.; noon Mon. 18-20 Spikes vs. Batavia Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. Sat. & Mon.; 6:05 p.m. Sun. 28-30 Spikes vs. Vermont Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. 31-August 2 Spikes vs. Lowell Medlar Field at Lubrano Park 7:05 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; 6:05 p.m. Sun.

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T& G


what's happening


Celebrate America’s birthday at Central PA 4th Fest, featuring a concert by Craig Morgan.



6-11 Penn State holds its NU. Musical Theatre Festival at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center.

7-12 Philipsburg Heritage Days enjoys its 18th celebration with the theme “Salute to Those Who Protect and Serve.”


The People’s Choice Festival is back at the Pennsylvania Military Museum for the 23rd year.

Tussey Mountain’s annual WingFest competition begins and is held each Thursday through August.


The sounds of bluegrass music take over the Grange Fairgrounds as the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival returns.

Jazz guitarist Geno Bertoncini headlines this year’s JazzPA Summer Jazz Celebration.

10-12 8-12

The Lemont Village Association holds the first Lemont Fest at the Lemont Village Granary.



Centre County Youth Service Bureau holds its last Cruise Car & Motorcycle Show in downtown State College.

Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes holds the annual Lift for Life at Penn State Lacrosse Field to raise money for the Kidney Cancer Association.

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts takes over downtown State College and the Penn State campus. Special events include Children and Youth Day July 8 and BookFestPA July 11.

To have an event listed in “What’s Happening," e-mail 2015 July T&G - 73

Children & Families 1 – Tear Apart Day, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 2 – Fantastic Fireworks!, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 3 – Kids-on-Wheels Parade, Foster Avenue & Locust Lane, SC, 9:30 a.m., 4 – Kids Day II: Dress Up & Discover, PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 10 a.m., 6, 13, 20, 27 – Baby/Toddler Playtime, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 9:30 a.m., 7, 21 – Everybody Storytime, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 10:30 a.m., 7, 14, 21, 28 – Discovery Days, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 11 a.m., 11 – Workshop for Children: “Piece It Together: Glass Tiles,” Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10:15 a.m., 11, 18, 25 – Saturday Stories Alive, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 11 a.m., 13, 20, 27 – Fun with Food, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 15 – Incredible Animal Adaptions, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 16 – Old Timey Toys, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 18 – Workshop for Children: “Spectacular Hues,” Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10:15 a.m., 18-19 – Discovery Days at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, SC, 10 a.m. Sat., 1 p.m. Sun., 21, 28 – Magical Adventures for Talented Heroines and Heroes, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 1:30 p.m., 23 – Heroes on Hand Puppet Show, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m., 25 – Workshop for Children: “Prints from Nature,” Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10:15 a.m., 26 – Alphabet Marsh Family Scavenger Hunt, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, SC, 1 p.m., 29 – Uke It Up with Disney, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m.,

74 - T&G July 2015

30 – ExtraORDINARY Experiments, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2:30 p.m.,

Classes & Lectures 4 – Lecture/Book Signing, “Cora, It’s War,” PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 1:30 p.m., 7 – Central PA Civil War Round Table Series: “Before the Crater: The 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at Petersburg, June 1864,” PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 7 p.m., 7, 21 – “A Joint Venture,” information session on hip or knee replacement, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 11 a.m. July 7, 7 p.m. July 21, 278-4810. 10 – Gallery Talk: “Luminous Allure: Studio Glass from the Collection of Audrey and Norbert Gaelen” by Joyce Robinson, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 12:10 p.m., 17 – Gallery Talk: “Summer Is for Learning: Focus on the Collection” by Sue Uhlig, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 12:10 p.m., 18 – Workshop for Adults: “Making Impressions: Scenes of the Natural World,” Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, noon, 24 – Gallery Talk: “Summer Is for Learning: Focus on the Collection” by Theresa Cunningham, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 12:10 p.m., 25 – Workshop for Adults: “The Art and Science of Glassblowing,” Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, noon, 31 – Gallery Talk: “Summer Is for Learning: Focus on the Collection” by Annie Gooding, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 12:10 p.m.,

Club Events 1, 15 – Outreach Toastmasters, The 329 Building, Room 413, PSU, noon, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – State College Sunrise Rotary Club, Hotel State College, SC, 7:15 a.m., 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – State College Downtown Rotary, Ramada Inn & Conference Center, SC, noon, http://

7, 14, 21, 28 – State College Rotary Club, Nittany Lion Inn, SC, 5:30 p.m., 7, 21 – Knitting Club, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 5:30 p.m., 8 – Women’s Welcome Club of State College, Oakwood Presbyterian Church (not church affiliated), SC, 7 p.m., 8 – 148th PA Volunteer Infantry Civil War Reenactment Group, Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, SC, 7:30 p.m., 861-0770. 11, 18, 25 – Go Club, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 1:30 p.m., 11, 18, 25 – Chess Club, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2 p.m., 14 – Women’s Mid Day Connection Luncheon, Mountain View Country Club, Boalsburg, 11:4 a.m., 404-3704. 18 – Boardgaming Meetup, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 10 a.m., 18 – Lego Club, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2 p.m., 21 – Women’s Welcome Club of State College Coffee/Tea, Oakwood Presbyterian Church (not church affiliated), SC, 9:30 a.m.,

22 – Afternoon Book Club, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 2 p.m.,

Community Associations & Development 8 – CBICC Membership Luncheon, Toftrees Golf Resort & Conference Center, noon, 9 – TRIAD: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Centre LifeLink EMS Building, SC, 10 a.m. 16 – CBICC Business After Hours: Centre Foundation, 5:30 p.m., 21 – Spring Creek Watershed Association mtg., Patton Township Municipal Building, SC, 7:30 a.m., 22 – Patton Township Business Association, Patton Township Municipal Building, SC, noon, 237-2822.

Exhibits Ongoing-26 – Farmland Preservation Arts of Central Pennsylvania, HUB Gallery, PSU, 11 a.m. Tues-Sat., studentaffairs

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Ongoing-31 – International Happy Valley — A World of Art, Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County, Bellefonte, 1-4:30 p.m. Fri.-Sun., Ongoing-August 9 – Recent Acquisitions, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., palmermuseum Ongoing-August 16 – Flora and Fauna, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., Ongoing-August 16 – Luminous Allure: Studio Glass from the Collection of Audrey and Norbert Gaelen, Palmer Museum of Art, PSU, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun., Ongoing-November 15 – Everyday Iron: Iron Objects of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Centre Furnace Mansion, SC, 1-4 p.m. Sun., Wed., Fri., 1-31 – Images 2015 Juried Exhibition, Betsy Rodgers Allen Gallery, Schlow Centre Region Library, SC, 3-August 4 – Celebration, Fraser Street Gallery, SC, 6:30 p.m.,

7-12 – Photography Show, Art Alliance of Central PA, Lemont, 19 – Buttons of the Past, Centre Furnace Mansion, SC, 2 p.m.,

Health Care For schedule of blood drives visit or 3, 14 – Juniper Village at Brookline’s Alzheimer’s/Dementia Support Group, Mount Nittany Dining Room at The Inn, SC, 1 p.m. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Tues., 231-3141. 6 – Breast Cancer Support Group, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 5:30 p.m., 231-6870. 8 – The Senior Center Diabetes Support Group, Centre Region Senior Center, SC, 10:15 a.m., 231-3076. 8 – The Fertility Issues and Loss Support Group, Choices (2214 N. Atherton St.), SC, 6:30 p.m., 9 – Diabetes Support Group, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 6 p.m., 231-7095.

Contact sales at : 814.234.8000 ext.3

There’s nothing like a

Toftrees WEDDING 76 - T&G July 2015

14 – Brain Injury Support, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehab Hospital, Pleasant Gap, 7 p.m., 359-3421. 15 – Alzheimer’s Support Group, Elmcroft Senior Living, SC, 6:30 p.m., 235-7675. 16 – Better Breathers Support Group, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehab Hospital, Pleasant Gap, 2 p.m., 359-3421. 16 – Parents-to-be Orientation, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 6:30 p.m., 231-3132. 20 – Cancer Survivor Support Group, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 11:30 a.m., 26 – Neuropathy Support Group of Central PA, Mount Nittany Medical Center, SC, 2 p.m., 531-1024. 27 – Heart Failure Support Group, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehab Hospital, Pleasant Gap, 4 p.m., 359-3421. 27 – Cancer Caregiver Support Group, Centre County Library & Historical Museum, Bellefonte, 6:30 p.m., 28 – Stroke Support Group, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehab Hospital, Pleasant Gap, 4 p.m., 359-3421. 28 – Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehab Hospital, Pleasant Gap, 6 p.m., 359-3421.

Music 3 – Rusted Root, Tussey Mountain Amphitheatre, Boalsburg, gates open at 5 p.m., 3 – Friday Concerts on the Lemont Village Green: Robin Yukiko, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 7:30 p.m., 4 – Craig Morgan, 4th Fest Independence Stage, PSU, 7:30 p.m., 5 – South Hills School Music Series: Deacons of Dixieland, South Hills School of Business & Technology, SC, 5 p.m., 5 – Summer Sounds: Back Porch Pickers, Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, 7 p.m., 10 – Friday Concerts on the Lemont Village Green: The Dystractions, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 7:30 p.m., 12 – Summer Sounds: Tommy Wareham, Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, 7 p.m., 17 – Friday Concerts on the Lemont Village Green: Steve Van Hook and Joe Belle, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 7:30 p.m., 2015 July T&G - 77

Rusted Root returns to Tussey Mountain Amphitheatre for a July 3 concert.

17 – Electric Hot Tuna, State Theatre, SC, 8 p.m., 19 – South Hills School Music Series: Wagner Goldstein Jazz Project, South Hills School of Business & Technology, SC, 5 p.m., 19 – Summer Sounds: Keystone Society of Swing, Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, 7 p.m., 24 – Friday Concerts on the Lemont Village Green: Carpal Tunnel String Band, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 7:30 p.m., 24 – Jim Brickman, State Theatre, SC, 8 p.m., 26 – South Hills School Music Series: State College Municipal Band, South Hills School of Business & Technology, SC, 5 p.m., 26 – Summer Sounds: Repasz Band of Williamsport, Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, 7 p.m., 31 – Friday Concerts on the Lemont Village Green: Overhead, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 7:30 p.m.,

Special Events 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 – Lemont Farmers’ Market, Lemont Granary, Lemont, 3 p.m., 3 – First Friday, Downtown State College, 5 p.m., 3, 17, 24, 31 – Downtown Farmers’ Market, Locust Lane, SC, 11:30 a.m., 4 – Central PA 4th Fest, Beaver Stadium area, SC, 9 a.m., 78 - T&G July 2015

4, 11, 18, 25 – Millheim Farmers’ Market, Old Gregg Mills Farmers’ Market, Spring Mills, 10 a.m., 7, 14, 21, 28 – Tuesday Farmers’ Market, Locust Lane, SC, 11:30 a.m., 7, 14, 21, 28 – Boalsburg Farmers’ Market, PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 2 p.m., 7-12 – Philipsburg Heritage Days, Philipsburg, 8-12 – Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Downtown State College and Penn State campus, 9-12 – People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts, PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 9-12 – Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, Grange Fairgrounds, Centre Hall, 10-12 – Lemont Fest, Lemont Village Green, Lemont, 11 – Life for Life, Penn State Lacrosse Field, PSU, 14 – Centre County Heart & Stroke Walk Kickoff, Mount Nittany Health System, SC, 5:30 p.m., 16, 23, 30 – WingFest, Tussey Mountain Amphitheatre, Boalsburg, 5:30 p.m., 18 – Friends of Black Moshannon State Park Summer Festival, Black Moshannon State Park, Philipsburg, 18 – Wings in the Park, Snetsinger Butterfly Garden, SC, 10 a.m., 18-19 – “Vietnam Revisited: Living History Combat Bivouac,” PA Military Museum, Boalsburg, 10 a.m., 23-25 – JazzPA Summer Jazz Celebration, Palmer Museum of Art and Bellefonte, 25 – “Pedal, Splash and Dash” CRPR Youth Triathlon, Welch Pool, SC, 26 – Last Cruise Car & Motorcycle Show, Downtown State College, 1 p.m., 26 – Seven Mountains Summer Music Fest, Seven Mountains Wine Cellars, Spring Mills, 2 p.m., 31 – CBICC Golf Tournament, Toftrees Golf Resort & Conference Center, SC, 8 a.m., 31 – Registration deadline for The Foundation for Mount Nittany Medical Center Bridgearama, 237-0649.

Sports For tickets to the State College Spikes, call (814) 272-1711 or visit 1-3 – Spikes/West Virginia, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. 8-10 – Spikes/Connecticut, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. 11-13 – Spikes/Tri-City, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. Sat., 6:05 p.m. Sun, noon Mon. 18-20 – Spikes/Batavia, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. Sat., 6:05 p.m. Sun., 7:05 p.m. Mon. 28-30 – Spikes/Vermont, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. 31-August 2 – Spikes/Lowell, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, PSU, 7:05 p.m. Fri.Sat., 6:05 p.m. Sun.

Theater 1 – Read It, Watch It Movie: Mary Poppins, State Theatre, SC, noon,

The State College Spikes have 16 homes games in July.

2-25 – Nittany Theatre at the Barn presents 1776, Boal Barn Playhouse, Boalsburg, 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 3 – Penn State Centre Stage presents Cabernet and Cabaret, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, SC, 7 p.m., 6-11 – NU. Musical Theatre Festival: Something Wicked This Way Comes, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, SC, 8 p.m.,

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Nittany Theatre at the Barn presents an all-female production of 1776. The show runs July 2-25 at the Boal Barn Playhouse.

8 – Read It, Watch It Movie: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, State Theatre, SC, noon, 8-11 – NU. Musical Theatre Festival: Radioactive, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, SC, 2 p.m., 8-11 – NU. Musical Theatre Festival: Seeking Flight and Women: Front and Center, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, SC, 5 p.m.,

Bellefone Arts & CrAfts fAir When:

August 14th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and August 15th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


11-12 - From the Earth Dance Company presents Upstream, noon & 1:30 p.m., Spring Creek Park, SC. 15 – Read It, Watch It Movie: James and the Giant Peach, State Theatre, SC, noon, 22 – Read It, Watch It Movie: Swiss Family Robinson, State Theatre, SC, noon, 23-26 – State College Community Theatre presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, SC, 8 p.m. Thurs. & Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., 24 – Movies on the Mountain: Hook, Tussey Mountain Amphitheatre, Boalsburg, 8 p.m., 24-26 – Front and Centre Productions presents Mary Poppins, PhilipsburgOsceola Area High School, Philipsburg, 7 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 29 – Read It, Watch It Movie: Spy Kids, State Theatre, SC, noon, 30-August 15 – Nittany Theatre at the Barn presents Betty Crocker, Kinsey, and Rock n’ Roll, Boal Barn Playhouse, Boalsburg, 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., T&G PA011414

Room-by room control of temperatures. Directs cool air where you want - while filtering germs and allergens. Heat pump saves you money in the winter, too.

Talleyrand Park, Bellefonte, PA

Features: Come enjoy arts, crafts and more

from talented artists and crafters from near and far! This event includes fun activities and games, along with countless delectable delights from the area’s finest concessionaires. There will be a separate, special, Hometown Bellefonte Area (HTBA) for Bellefonte merchants and organizations to display.

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America’s #1 Selling Brand Of Ductless

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T& G

from the vine

Hamstrung Regions Central Italian areas of Le Marche and Umbria are trying to change their reputations of producing less-thanstellar wines By Lucy Rogers

The Umbria region is where you can find the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

In our continuing exploration of Italian wines, the focus this month is on the regions of Le Marche (pronounced “MAR-kay”) and Umbria, two adjoining regions in central Italy. Le Marche is located on the Adriatic coast and shares a western border with landlocked Umbria. While neither region is particularly known for the wines they produce, there are a few worth seeking out. If we think of Italy as a leg wearing a boot, the coastal region of Le Marche is located in what would be the country’s hamstring. While much of the local cuisine is dominated by seafood such as crudo (raw fish) and brodetto (fish soup), an inland mountain cuisine exists, as well — one that includes more pork, such as prosciutto from Carpenga and stuffed suckling pig (porchetta). Wine production in the area composes three main grapes — Verdicchio, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano. 82 - T&G July 2015

Verdicchio, Le Marche’s indigenous white grape, traditionally produces chalky, acidic wines that grow well in the area’s limestone and mineralrich clay soil found between the mountains and the sea. The wine has a distinct aroma of pine and resin and often exhibits flavors of sour apple, pear, and herbs, with a trademark bitter-almond finish, making it both savory and fruity at the same time. Because the wine was a mass-market item in the 1970s, when vines were left to overproduce, it had a reputation of being a “clean” Italian white wine with no varietal character to speak of. These days, vintners are limiting the fruit produced per acre, allowing the grapes to be more concentrated and the unique flavor and nature of Verdicchio to finally shine. The wine pairs perfectly with simple grilled seafood. Look for wines coming from the Castelli di Jesi region of Le Marche for the best expressions of the grape. Red wines coming from Le Marche are predominantly blends of Sangiovese and Montepulciano, the Abruzzo grape from the region just south of Le Marche. The two most notable subregions for red wines are Rosso Cònero and Rosso Piceno. Cònero reds are a minimum of 85 percent Montepulciano grape by law, with 15 percent Sangiovese allowed into the mix. As a result of this requirement, Cònero wines have a more precise identity — big, inky wines with ripe blackberry flavors and sweet tannins. The wines are capable of aging but also are accessible when young. These are some of the best values in Italian reds on the market, in the $15 to

The More… The Merrier!

More places to enjoy Seven Mountains Wine, that is! On the porch at the Seven Mountains Lodge Only 20 minutes from State College Open 7 days a week. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11-5, Fri & Sat 11-7

Relaxing at “Mountains on Main” Seven Mountain’s Wine Bar, On the Diamond in Boalsburg Hours: Wed-Thurs 12-6, Fri-Sat 12-7, Sun 12-5

At The People’s Choice Festival! July 9, 10, 11, & 12th *Castlerigg Wine Shop, Carlisle, PA Main Street Market & Wine Bar, Reedsville, PA

Check Our Website For Special Summer Events! 107 Mountain Springs Lane • (814) 364-1000 • Only 20 minutes from State College, 1 mile off 322 near Potters Mills/Decker Valley Road

$20 range. The Rosso Piceno subregion also blends reds, but percentage requirements are looser, meaning wines can really vary from producer to producer. The wines tend to be predominantly Sangiovese with less Montepulciano than their Cònero counterparts, and they tend to be more basic, seemingly like softer versions of Chianti. On the other side of the Apennines lies the region of Umbria. Known mainly for being the home to Assisi and its patron, Saint Francis, Umbria produces the highest percentage of extra virgin olive oil in all of Italy. Lacking a true wine identity beyond the moderately held subregion of Orvieto, the Umbrian wine industry is slowly beginning to emerge and carve out its own niche on the Italian wine landscape. Suffering a similar wine history as so many regions in Italy, Umbria’s Orvieto produces a somewhat nondescript white wine that is often too light to get many oenophiles excited and is rarely taken seriously. Part of the problem is the wine-governing body’s continued requirement that 40 to 60 percent of the wine be made up of the lackluster Trebbiano grape. On the bright side, that percentage range allows modern vintners to experiment with higher percentages of other white grapes such as Chardonnay and/or the promising Grechetto, a grape indigenous to Umbria. In Umbria, Chardonnay manages to retain its minerality well, and Grechetto adds not only a distinct aromatic note but also a firmness of structure. Producers to look for include Poggio del Lupo, Castello della Sala, and Palazzone. In terms of red wine, Sangiovese is the most widely planted red grape in Umbria, but many red Bordeaux varieties have been introduced and are showing significant promise. Many Umbrian Sangiovese blends include Merlot, Cabernet, and Cabernet Franc, with the hope that “super-Umbrian” wines may one day rival their similarly named counterparts in Tuscany. However, the most interesting development in the area’s red-wine industry is the emergence of powerful reds made from the indigenous Sagrantino grape found around Montefalco. While wines labeled “Montefalco Rosso” are dominated by Sangiovese (60 to 70 percent), they do contain at least 10 percent 84 - T&G July 2015

The countryside of the Le Marche region.

Sagrantino, a brambly red with aromas and flavors ranging from blackberry jam to pine tar, with yet another contrast of savory and sweet flavors in a jacket of sweet tannins and firm structure. More exciting are the wines labeled “Sagrantino di Montefalco,” made with 100 percent Sagrantino. While Sagrantino makes a wine that is more tannic than Sangiovese, the tannins are sweet, if a bit sharp — capable of aging but also accessible when young, similar to Montepulciano. But while these two grapes share beautiful dark color, plenty of fruit, and sweet tannins, Sagrantino makes a bigger, briary, bolder wine that really makes you take notice of its unique qualities. The drawback to Sagrantino is that there are currently only about 400 acres of it under vine in Umbria, making the wine somewhat difficult to find, and when you do find it, it can be on the pricey side at $30 to $40. Villa Moro produces a reasonably priced Sagrantino di Montefalco and is carried by the PLCB as a luxury item (code 33500, $19). Next time, we will continue our “travels” heading north into the regions of EmiliaRomagna, known for its sparkling Lambrusco, and into the Veneto, known for its Soave, Valpolicella, Bardolino, and Amarone. Until then, ciao. T&G Lucy Rogers is the tasting room manager for Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte. She can be reached at, or you can find her in the tasting room.

2015 Junior Summer Golf Camp Weekly Sessions 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday Drop Off 8:45 a.m. Pick Up 3 p.m. Ages 7-15 • • • •

Low student/instructor ratio Certified instructors Daily lunch and refreshments Tuition $250

Available Weeks July 20-24 August 3-7 August 24-28 Toftrees Golf Club

One Country Club Lane, State College, PA 16803 Phone: 814-238-7600 • Fax: 814-238-4111

Our Servers

are a BIG deal.

214 E. College Ave State College, PA 16801 Ph: (814) 308.8404

2015 July T&G - 85

Taste of the Month

On the Go

Food for Thought food truck brings quality and diverse meals 86 - T&G July 2015 to various locations

By Vilma Shu Danz Photos by Darren Andrew Weimert


Angle started his Food for Thought food truck in 2014.

n cities across the United States, food trucks have become the newest pop-up restaurants, offering gourmet cuisine at reasonable prices. Like a brick-and-mortar restaurant, food trucks are subject to the same strict rules, regulations, and licenses required of all foodservice businesses. There are a variety of permits to obtain and a health code to observe. Since November 2014, chef and owner Mitch Angle has been serving his global cuisine out of the Food for Thought food truck. This food truck, with a cartoon of a cow sitting on a stump in the “thinkingman” pose, has been spotted regularly on Tuesdays at the Penn Eagle Business Park in

Greek gyro sub

made with beef and lamb meatballs, tzatziki, rosemarymint pesto, reduced balsamic, and pickled onions.

Bellefonte and on Wednesdays at Innovation Park in State College, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Menu items include a Korean pulled pork sandwich with Kim Chi slaw, smoked gouda mac and cheese, Greek gyro sub made with beef and lamb meatballs, fish tacos with chipotle aioli and avocado crème, and a curry chicken salad wrap. “I want to do food from all over the world and not be limited to just one thing, so Food for Thought was a fitting name for my food truck,” explains Angle. “I come up with new specials every week that I rotate with the core menu.” Some weekly specials include fish and chips made with potato strings wrapped around cod loins for a unique presentation and a three-day cured, 12-hour braised pork belly Vietnamese banh mi sandwich served with a Hoisin glaze, cilantro, and pickled daikon radish and carrots. Also, expect to see seafood fritters with a Cajun aioli and different kinds of gazpachos and cold soups. Menu items range from $5 to $11, with the maximum wait time of about five minutes. All major credit cards are accepted as well as cash. “I became a chef six years ago and I have worked at a number of fine dining restaurants in the area, and this is my first step of owning my own business,” says Angle. “Stop by and pick up a quick lunch!” For July and August, Food for Thought also can be found 2015 July T&G - 87

Grilled cheese mac and cheese

with red-pepper pesto and provolone.

Wednesdays at the Lemont Farmers’ Market and Fridays at the concerts at the Lemont Village Green. It also will be parked in Lemont during the first Lemont Fest, which is an art, music, and food festival happening July 10 to 12. In late August, the Food for Thought truck will be coming to downtown State College and located in the CVS parking lot on Beaver Avenue. It will offer lunch and dinner. T&G For more information on Food for Thought, visit its Facebook page.

Angle has been a chef for six years and has worked at several fine dining restaurants in the region. 88 - T&G July 2015

Mention this story and receive 5 percent off your order at the Food for Thought food truck.

T& G

dining out

All restaurants are in State College or on the Penn State campus unless noted.

Full Course Dining bar bleu, 114. S Garner St., 237-0374, Socializing and sports viewing awaits at bar bleu. Don’t miss a minute of the action on 22 true 1080i HDMI high-definition flat-screen monitors displaying the night’s college and pro matchups. The bar serves up 16 draft beers in addition to crafted cocktails, including the “Fishbowl,” concocted in its own 43-ounce tank! Pub fare featuring authentic Kansas City-style barbecue is smoked daily on-site. AE, D, DC, ID+, MC, V. Full bar. Carnegie House, corner of Cricklewood Dr. and Toftrees Ave., 234-2424. An exquisite boutique hotel offering fine dining in a relaxed yet gracious atmosphere. Serving lunch and dinner. Prix Fixe menu and à la carte menu selections now available. AAA Four Diamond Award recipient for lodging and fine dining. Reservations suggested. AE, MC, D, V. Full bar. Cozy Thai Bistro, 232 S. Allen St., 237-0139. A true authentic Thai restaurant offering casual and yet “cozy” family-friendly dining experience. Menu features wide selections of exotic Thai cuisine, both lunch and dinner (take-out available). BYO (wines and beer) is welcome after 5 p.m. AE, D, DC, MAC, MC, V. The Deli Restaurant, 113 Hiester St., 237-5710, The Since 1973, The Deli has served up New York-style deli favorites on an American menu offering everything from comfort food to pub favorites, all made from scratch. Soups, breads, sauces, and award-winning desserts are homemade here early in the morning folks. Look for its rotating menu of foodthemed festivals throughout the year. AE, D, DC, LC, MC, V. Full bar. The Dining Room at the Nittany Lion Inn, 200 W. Park Ave., 865-8590. Fine continental cuisine in a relaxed, gracious atmosphere. Casual attire acceptable. Private dining rooms available. AE, D, DC, MAC, MC, V. Full bar.

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Down Under Steakhouse at Toftrees, One Country Club Lane, 234-8000, A casual restaurant with unique dining featuring hearty appetizers, delicious entrees, fresh sandwiches and salads in a comfortable scenic atmosphere. Outdoor seating available. AE, D, DC, MAC, MC, V. Full bar. Duffy’s Boalsburg Tavern, On the Diamond, Boalsburg, 466-6241. The Boalsburg Tavern offers a fine, intimate setting reminiscent of Colonial times. Dining for all occasions with formal and casual menus, daily dinner features, specials, and plenty of free parking. AE, MC, V. Full bar. Faccia Luna Pizzeria, 1229 S. Atherton St., 237-9000, A true neighborhood hangout, famous for authentic New York-style wood-fired pizzas and fresh, homemade Italian cuisine. Seafood specialties, sumptuous salads, divine desserts, great service, and full bar. Outside seating available. Sorry, reservations not accepted. Dine-in, Take out. MC/V. Galanga, 454 E. College Ave., 237-1718. Another great addition to Cozy Thai Bistro. Galanga by Cozy Thai offers a unique authentic Thai food featuring Northeastern Thai-style cuisine. Vegetarian menu selection available. BYO (wines and beer) is welcome after 5 p.m. AE, D, DC, MAC, MC, V. The Gardens Restaurant at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, 215 Innovation Blvd., Innovation Park, 863-5090. Dining is a treat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in The Gardens Restaurant, where sumptuous buffets and à la carte dining are our specialties. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. Full bar, beer.

Key AE............................................................American Express CB ...................................................................Carte Blanche D ................................................................. Discover/Novus DC.........................................................................Diners Club ID+ ................................................ PSU ID+ card discounts LC............................................................................. LionCash MAC........................................................................debit card MC........................................................................MasterCard V.......................................................................................... Visa ............................................... Handicapped-accessible

To advertise, call Town&Gown account executives Kathy George or Debbie Markel at (814) 238-5051.

2015 July T&G - 91

Gigi’s, West College Ave. on the Corner of Cato Ave., 861-3463, Conveniently located 5 minutes from downtown State College, Gigi’s is a farm-to-table dining experience inspired by the hottest southern trends. Outdoor Patio. Lunch & Dinner. Full Bar. AE, D, MAC, MC, V. The Greek, 102 E. Clinton Ave., 308-8822, Located behind The Original Waffle Shop on North Atherton Street. Visit our Greek tavern and enjoy authentic Greek cuisine. From fresh and abundant vegetables to the most succulent kebabs, each dish has been perfected to showcase genuine Greek flavors. When we say “authentic,” we mean it. Full service, BYOB. D, MC, V. Herwig’s Austrian Bistro, “Where Bacon Is An Herb,” 132 W. College Ave., 272-0738. Located next to the State Theatre. Serving authentic Austrian home cooking in Central PA. Ranked #1 Ethnic Restaurant in State College for 7 years in a row. Eat-in, Take-Out, Catering. Gluten-free options available. Bacon-based dessert. Homemade breads, BYO beer or wine all day. Sense of humor required. D, MAC, MC, V.

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Hi-Way Pizza, 1688 N. Atherton St., 237-0375, The State College tradition for nearly 50 years, nobody does it better than Hi-Way! Offering more than 29 varieties of hand-spun pizzas made from scratch offer an endless combination of toppings. Its vodka “flaky” crust and red stuffed pizzas are simply a must have. Hi-Way’s menu rounds out with pasta dishes, calzones, grinders, salads, and other Italian specialties. Eat-in, Take-out, or Hi-Way delivery. AE, D, DC, LC, MC, V. Full bar. India Pavilion, 222 E. Calder Way, 237-3400. Large selection of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes from northern India. Lunch buffet offered daily. We offer catering for groups and private parties. AE, D, MC, V. Inferno Brick Oven & Bar, 340 E. College Ave., 237-5718, With a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, Inferno is a place to see and be seen. A full-service bar boasts a unique specialty wine, beer, and cocktail menu. Foodies — Inferno offers a contemporary Neapolitan brick-oven experience featuring a focused menu of artisan pizzas and other modern-Italian plates. Lunch and dinner service transitions into night as a boutique nightclub with dancefloor lighting, club sound system, and the area’s most talented resident DJs. AE, D, MAC, MC, V. Full bar.

Legends Pub at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, 215 Innovation Blvd., Innovation Park, 863-5080. Unwind with beverages and a casual lounge menu. AE, D, MC, V. Full bar. Mario’s Italian Restaurant, 1272 N. Atherton St., 234-4273, Fresh specialty dishes, pasta, sauces, hand-tossed pizzas, and rotisserie wood-grilled chicken all made from scratch are just a few reasons why Mario’s is authentically Italian! At the heart of it all is a specialty wood-fired pizza oven and rotisserie that imparts rustic flavors that can’t be beat! Mario’s loves wine and is honored with six consecutive Wine Spectator awards and a wine list of more than 550 Italian selections. Mario’s even pours 12 rotating specialty bottles on its WineStation® state-ofthe-art preservation system. Reservations and Walk-Ins welcome. AE, D, DC, LC, MC, V. Full bar.

Philipsburg Elks Lodge & Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane, Philipsburg, 342-0379, Restaurant open to the public! Monday-Saturday 11-9, Sunday 9-3. Member-only bar. New golf-member special, visit our Web site for summer golf special. AE MC, V. Full Bar (members only). The Tavern Restaurant, 220 E. College Ave., 238-6116. A unique gallery-in-a-restaurant preserving PA’s and Penn State’s past. Dinner at The Tavern is a Penn State tradition. Major credit cards accepted. Full bar. Whiskers at the Nittany Lion Inn, 200 W. Park Ave., 865-8580. Casual dining featuring soups, salads, sandwiches and University Creamery ice cream. Major credit cards accepted. Full bar.

Otto’s Pub & Brewery, 2235 N. Atherton St., 867-6886, Our new location provides plenty of parking, great ales and lagers, fullservice bar, signature dishes made with local products in a family-friendly, casual atmosphere. AE, D, MC, V. Full bar.

The Wedding you’ve always dreamed of

- Several wedding packages to choose from with many enhancements available - Catering for on & off site celebrations - Convenient parking at Celebration Hall



2280 Commercial Blvd. State College

on Hall

Celebrati AT

Featuring exquisite cakes from Dolce Vita Desserts 2015 July T&G - 93

India Pavilion Exotic Indian Cuisine

Now Open 7 Days a Week Lunch Buffet: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Dinner: 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Carry Out Available

Good Food Fast Baby’s Burgers & Shakes, 131 South Garner St., 234-4776, Love poodle skirts, a jukebox playing the oldies, and delicious food cooked to order? Then Baby’s Burgers & Shakes is your kind of restaurant! Bring the entire family and enjoy a “Whimpy” burger, a Cherry Coke, or delicious chocolate shake, and top it off with a “Teeny Weeny Sundae,” in our authentic 1947 Silk City Diner. Check out Baby’s Web site for full menu and daily specials! D, MC, V, MAC, Lion’s Cash. Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining, 2255 N. Atherton St., Coming this spring, a tapas dining experience brought to you by Otto’s Pub & Brewery! Barrel 21 will feature small-plate fusion cuisine with local flavors influenced by various cultures. AE, D, MC, V. Full bar.

Please come visit our food booth at the corner of Allen Street & Foster Avenue!

222 E. Calder Way • 237-3400

A true neighborhood hangout highly regarded for its popular and authentic New York-style wood-fired pizza and commitment to quality. Award-winning pizza. and Italian cuisine homemade with only the best and freshest ingredients. 1229 South Atherton St. • State College • 234-9000

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Fiddlehead, 134 W. College Ave., 237-0595, Fiddlehead is a soup-andsalad café offering soups made from scratch daily. Create your own salad from more than 40 fresh ingredients.

Each Month Town&Gown highlights a local place to eat and offers a glimpse into the great dining of our community.

HUB Dining, HUB-Robeson Center on campus, 865-7623. A Penn State tradition open to all! Enjoy 13 different eateries in the HUB-Robeson Center on campus. Jamba Juice, McAlister’s Deli, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Higher Grounds, Sbarro, Soup & Gar-den, Diversions, Blue Burrito, Mixed Greens, Panda Express, and Sushi by Panda Express. V, MC, LC. Irving’s, 110 E. College Ave., 231-0604, Irving’s is State College’s finest bakery café serving award-winning bagels, espresso, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Meyer Dairy, 2390 S. Atherton St., 237-1849. A State College Classic! Meyer Dairy is the perfect choice for a quick, homemade lunch with fresh soups and sandwiches or treat yourself to your favorite flavor of ice cream or sundae at our ice cream parlor. Fresh milk from our own dairy cows (we do not inject our cows with BST), eggs, cheese, ice cream cakes, baked goods, and more! Plus, Meyer Dairy is the best place to pick up your Town&Gown magazine each month! T&G

Town&Gown’s monthly focus on food

Duffy’s Tavern Est. 1819

American menu

July 3rd

to celebrate the cuisine of the USA! Representing Boalsburg Through Delicious Tradition! For Reservations 466-6241

Patio Now Open! 113 East Main Street 2015 July T&G - 95

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lunch with mimi

Love of Libraries

Darren Andrew Weimert

Schlow director leads downtown State College’s “living room” through challenging times

Town&Gown founder Mimi Barash Coppersmith (left) talks with Schlow Centre Region Library director Catherine Alloway at the Corner Room in State College.

Working in a library has been part of Catherine Alloway’s life for the better part of 40 years. Since 2010, she has been the director of Schlow Centre Region Library in State College and has helped see it through various challenges, including cuts from state funding. Regardless of the adversities, Schlow continues to provide award-winning services for all ages, and the library is celebrating 10 years of being in its current building at 211 South Allen Street. As part of that anniversary — and Town&Gown’s 50th year celebration — the library and the publication are partnering this year on a few events, including the main event, the first Schlow Library Celebration in October that will help raise funds for a library endowment. Town&Gown founder Mimi Barash Coppersmith talked with Alloway at the Corner Room in State College. The two discussed the celebration event, Alloway’s leadership, and how to make sure the library remains a vital part of the Happy Valley community. Mimi: Well Cathi, we are friends from a far. Once I read all about you in preparing for this, you and I are a lot alike — we just don’t know it. What was your childhood like? Catherine: I grew up in Lincoln Park, Michigan, 96 - T&G July 2015

a suburb of Detroit. I had a ridiculously happy childhood, great parents, and I was the first person in my family, extended family actually, to go to college. Going to the University of Michigan transformed my life. My older sister went to business school and did not have the chance to go to college. She helped put me through, and I met my husband and lifelong friends at Michigan. It expanded my life in ways that are resonating today. Mimi: Before we jump over that whole period, your sense of business — you are a librarian, you have a remarkable sense of business. How did that evolve? Catherine: Good question. Hard to answer. I would say that I progressed rapidly into supervision and management duties. I think my bosses saw some potential in me, and I like management. There are some people in my field, much like teachers, who you either prefer the classroom or the front-desk work and you hate management and you just don’t want to go any further. But I like managing projects. I like supervising and coaching people. Mimi: Why do you think you like that? Catherine: First of all, I had opportunities to coach and supervise people that had not been treated well in the past, and when I treated them with respect and got their input and did what the books say, you know, “This is how to be a good boss,” I kept getting positive feedback about that, which made me want to do it more. I’m a big-picture person and not a day-to-day detail person, and I realized that I like being the captain, not necessarily for power, but I like having the strategic vision. I liked thinking ahead.

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Mimi: Did that make a difference where you worked? Catherine: Yes, and some people would say, “Well, you should live more in the moment.” But I wanted to make sure that libraries were really delivering what the community needed, and I had really good mentors earlier in my career that showed me what a good manager looks like. Yes, I’ve stayed in librarianship in the nonprofit sector all my life because I get up every morning and feel like, “Wow, I’m helping people!” That’s a big part of what I’m all about, and it’s been a great career. Mimi: What a great run you’re having in Happy Valley. Catherine: Oh yeah, I love it here! I just love it here! Mimi: And you and I are going to have a chance to work together because for Town&Gown’s 50th year we’ve decided to partner with the library and make a difference. Catherine: Yes. Mimi: It’s a lot of work, but we’re going


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to do it together, and, when we talk a little bit about what we’re going to do for the balance of this year, some of our readers are going to help jumpstart us I’m sure. Catherine: I think so, too. Mimi: I’ve just come from another fun meeting with a good friend, and a high percentage of our time was spent talking about what’s Penn State going to look like a couple decades from now. Will there be as many resident students? What’s going to happen in this age of technology? I want to shift that to you, as our head librarian. Tell me a little bit about how technology is affecting your library now, or libraries in general, and what will the impact be? How will the picture change a decade from now? Two decades from now? Catherine: Instead of looking at the negative effects of the Information Age, I see it as the Golden Age for readers. That’s what a library is all about. Our mission is the center of reading and learning — lifelong learning. If you’re a reader, you can get content in so many ways. You

can read print, you can read on your smart phone, on any kind of computer, you can listen to audio. There’s so many ways to get content today, but people still need libraries as a warehouse where they can go and get free things to consume in whatever way they want — print, eBook, audio, DVD, or whatever. We’re particularly needed because video stores are gone, stores are closing, so we still have this standard core mission that we’ll loan you stuff to read at no costs. It provides a leveled playing field for everybody in the community regardless of your income level. You have access to information and entertainment. So the future is us still providing some of that, but if demand for print, for example, diminishes, which it already is just a little bit, that building at the corner of Beaver Avenue and Allen Street is a real community center. The architect who worked on the Downtown Improvement Plan for the borough two years ago said, “Everybody calls Schlow ‘downtown’s living room.’ ” That’s going to be our role here for a long time. My favorite example is once a month on a Saturday, an outside group organizes and runs a board-game day, and all kinds of people from campus, from the furthest edges of the county, and people of all ages, from like age 12 to 75, sit down together and play board games in our meeting rooms. … I think libraries will continue to loan reading materials, but we’re going to be a community center where people can meet and share. Mimi: Well, people can go to the library and learn how to use a computer. Catherine: Yes, we do that, too. We have a tech role. So 10, 20 years from now, we’re going to offer things, but we’re also going to be a place for socializing and meeting up and teaching. And I’ll tell you, if you look at the statistics, more and more people in America now are living alone. If you don’t affiliate with a church or with a university, where else would you go to meet people that have common interests? We’re one of those places where people come together. Mimi: But you’re at high risk. You’re at high risk because you’re funding, for 2015 July T&G - 99

the most part, comes from various levels of government, and there is no reliability going forward on that kind of funding. Catherine: Well, that’s a good point. However, at this point in time, I believe that all 32 elected officials of our COG (Council of Governments) municipalities — because Schlow is a COG agency — they are extremely supportive of what they do. … I work very hard at educating them in delivering the goods that they want, and I am more frightened about state aid. That’s the thing that is fluctuated. Mimi: One of the reasons Town&Gown has chosen Schlow as a partner is that whatever we do together in this 50th anniversary year, we want to impact into perpetuity on the importance of the library and the services you just described and even more of them. So I’d like to talk a bit about the combined plan that we’ve come up with and to encourage our readers and your users to join with us in a great project to build an endowment of significance to sustain the library into perpetuity.

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Catherine: You said it better than I could. You know, we want to be able to sustain our operations. This beautiful building that was a community investment that serves not only as a library but also as a hub for the entire community, and my projections financially are that to sustain ourselves we need to have an endowment of several million dollars where you don’t touch the principal but the library uses the interest. That would be so much more predictable every year, and it would just maintain our position in the community and maintain that building. Mimi: Tell our readers a little bit of what we’ve planned together. Catherine: Well, this is so exciting! Obviously, any library celebration ought to focus on reading or learning in some way, and so, knowing that the building’s 10th anniversary is in October, we chose an October weekend in which there is a home football game for Penn State, and we have invited four well-known sportswriters who actually write on a variety of sports, not

This Month at Schlow: Everybody Storytime Tuesday, July 7 & 21, 10:30 a.m. BookFestPA Saturday, July 11, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. “The History of Batman”, 11:00 a.m. Industry Panel, 2:00 p.m. It’s Rocket Science! Wednesday, July 22, 2:30 p.m.

Additional Listings at “The selection is large, and I can find something I’m interested in looking at in any section of the library.” ~Eli Calkins, Schlow Patron and Volunteer An avid consumer of many different types of library materials, Eli Calkins has been coming to Schlow since middle school. “I love the selection and the environment,” he says of the library. Now a college student, Eli has recently become one of Schlow’s many valued volunteers. On Thursday afternoons, Eli leads the Comics Club, an after school gathering of teens interested in reading, sharing, and discussing graphic novels. “I’m happy to support the library,” says Eli, adding that, “spending time with people in Comics Club is very rewarding.”

Celebrating our building’s 10th birthday in 2015.

211 S. Allen Street • 814.237.6236 • Advertisement donated by the Schlow Library Foundation (formerly Friends of Schlow)

just Penn State football, and we’re going to be highlighting them for the event. On Thursday evening [October 1], there will be a panel of these four sportswriters moderated by Penn State professor John Affleck, who is the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, and they’re going to be talking about wide-ranging issues, not just Penn State matters, but all kinds of current issues and trends with sports and modern-day society. Then on Friday night [October 2], for a $50 admission ticket, you’ll be treated at the library to heavy hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and a chance to meet the sportswriters. You’ll get to talk to them and get your books signed. So it will be a “Meet the Sportswriters,” celebrate sports-writing theme, and we’re hoping that this is a success and that years to come we can have other writers of different genres come. It gives people a chance to support the library and indulge their love of writers, as well. Mimi: This is the first annual.

Catherine: Yeah! Mimi: And we hope to have it be a continuing partnership between Town&Gown and the library so that we make a lasting difference for the community. That’s what the library is about, and that’s what Town&Gown is about. Catherine: Absolutely. I think it’s in line with both of our core values, and you and I having a background in journalism, too. You want to keep people informed, you want to support your community. Reading and learning makes life so much better on many levels. It makes you a better citizen. So, certainly our goals converged. Mimi: And you want to have the resources in place to ensure that can happen. Catherine: Absolutely. Mimi: So let’s get to know you better in this interview, as well. What are you reading, besides Town&Gown? Catherine: I like to keep a fiction book going. Right now, I am reading The Book of

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Strange New Things by Michael Faber. It’s sort of a science fiction type novel, and for nonfiction, I’m reading fly-fishing books because I have just taken it up as a hobby and I am getting addicted to it. It’s a very complex sport. You have to learn a lot about fish and bugs and casting, but it is so much fun! We’re like a 15-minute drive away from some of the best trout creeks in the eastern seaboard. Mimi: What haven’t I asked you that I should have? Catherine: Just that I love living in State College. I think this is a great town. My husband and I plan to retire here. I’m a big cheerleader for this community. You have all the central beauty, but also a lot of culture, innovative businesses, and campus people here. I love it. I am always humble at how much people love and support this library, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Families in particular, they really treasure the place as an early literacy tool to get their kids ready for school. This is the best job I’ve ever had, and I love it here!

Mimi: And it’s going to continue to be. Catherine: Yes! Mimi: So one closing thing, my highest and best use is sales. I would like this “Lunch with Mimi” to be extra special in its potential to begin gaining interest in our celebration on October 2. So, tell the readers how they can help and be a part of it. Catherine: You can certainly make a donation by sending us a check made out to Schlow Library Foundation and putting, “Celebration,” on the memo line, and mailing it to Schlow Centre Region Library at 211 South Allen Street, State College, PA 16801. Very shortly, we also will be releasing some sponsorship opportunities for the celebration for any businesses or individuals that would like to benefit from more recognition and visibility in connecting with the event. Mimi: This has been fun. As always, anytime with you is fun, and I thank you very much for joining me! Catherine: Thank you! T&G

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The summer season is here! FALL AND FOOTBALL

ARE NEXT! Penn State football is getting ready to kick off the 2015 season, and you can get ready for it by ordering your copy of Town&Gown's 2015 Penn State Football Annual! Once again, the Annual has features, analysis, and predictions from some of the best sportswriters in the state. It's one of the best summer reads you can find!


TOWNANDGOWN.COM. Due to hit newsstands in mid-July.

State College Photo Club’s

Winning Photos

The State College Photo Club provides photo enthusiasts with the opportunity to share their passion for photography with others and an environment for learning and developing new skills. The club welcomes individuals from amateurs to professionals. One of the club’s activities is to hold a monthly competition. Town&Gown is pleased to present the winning images from the club’s competition. Shown this month are the first-place winners from the judged April photo-essay competition. Each photographer was asked to submit one photo representative of an entire body of work from their multimedia photo essay. Themes for each photo essay are of the photographer’s own choosing.

“Photographs” by Gary Perdue and Margaret Perdue


April Photo Essay First Place

“This was the opening photo in my photo essay. It was used to introduce a guitar solo that served as the background music. My wife, Margaret, had written a poem titled ‘Photographs.’ She recited the poem for the soundtrack, and I selected photos from my files that I felt illustrated the poem. It was an enjoyable collaboration.”

“The App-ian Way with Waterlogue” by Sami Sharkey April Photo Essay Second Place


“I love the app Waterlogue, especially watching my photo changing to a watercolor. I showed the process and a gallery of converted images in my photo essay. ”   

A copy of many photos taken by the State College Photo Club may be obtained with a $75 contribution to the Salvation Army of Centre County. Contact Captain Charles Niedermeyer at (814) 861-1785 and let him know which image you would like. You can select any size up to 11 inches wide. The State College Photo Club meets on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Foxdale Village Auditorium. Guests and new members are always welcome.

Visit for more information about how to join. 106 - T&G July 2015

Darren Andrew Weimert

T& G


Cream of the Crop Berkey Creamery manager helps popular ice cream shop celebrate sesquicentennial By Chris Dornblaser Penn State’s Berkey Creamery is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. For the past 29 years, Thomas Palchak has been its manager. Palchak, who graduated from Penn State in 1980, was working at Safeway Incorporated in Colorado when he returned to the university and had lunch with a former professor who mentioned that the creamery’s manager was retiring. “I had remarked that that would be a terrific job, but I didn’t pay it much thought,” Palchak says. “Over the course of that lunch, he worked on me, and the next thing I knew I was typing out a resumé, and just like that we were packing our bags and moving back to Pennsylvania.” He has been manager of the creamery since 1986. “It’s a real privilege,” he says. “I thoroughly enjoy working at the creamery, but it also is just a privilege to have an opportunity to work at such a wonderful university.” In the nearly 30 years Palchak has been managing the creamery, there have been many visits from famous people. He says the most memorable person he met was President Bill Clinton, who was very knowledgeable about the university and was genuinely interested in agriculture at Penn State. Clinton also is the only known person who has been allowed to mix flavors at the creamery. Palchak notes that the creamery’s policy against mixing flavors is to prevent the waiting line for ice cream from becoming bogged down and unmanageable. “It’s a very practical reason — we just simply want to move [people] through,” he says. He says there are special aspects about Berkey Creamery ice cream that make it stand out. One is that the milk that the creamery uses is from the dairy barns less than a mile away, so the ice cream is fresher. “That is freshness that is very difficult to duplicate elsewhere, just because of simple geography and distance between dairy farms and dairy plants,” he says. He says the creamery ice cream also uses a high-quality formula and quality ingredients. When it comes to some of the unique flavors and names, there is a process to each. “Ice cream flavors are developed several ways,” he says. 108 - T&G July 2015

“We work with fruit and flavor suppliers to create new flavors — some flavors are developed in-house through trial and error, and some are created by watching trends in the food industry. “Flavor names begin by thinking of the primary flavoring materials in the ice cream and attaching, if possible, a fanciful name that would help describe what the flavor tastes like or what it looks like to the customer. We don’t always get this right, but we keep at it.” While he doesn’t think he’ll have a flavor named after him like Peachy Paterno for former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and Russ “Digs” Roseberry for women’s volleyball head coach Russ Rose, Palchak says, “I hope the creamery’s butter pecan ice cream remains on the shelf for the next 150 years — and that will be reward enough for me!” T&G Thomas Palchak’s top-five Berkey Creamery flavors: 1. Butter Pecan; 2. Peanut Butter Swirl; 3. Keeny Beany Chocolate; 4. Bucky Brickell; 5. Chocolate Marble.

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Profile for Town & Gown

July Town&Gown 2015  

Celebrating our 50th year! Check out the online version of Town & Gown--A magazine about the people, places and events in and around State C...

July Town&Gown 2015  

Celebrating our 50th year! Check out the online version of Town & Gown--A magazine about the people, places and events in and around State C...