Young woman stands in front of a colorful outdoor wall muralHappy Friday, Penny Darlings!
Originally posted on The Penny Darling
April 12, 2019

I have some new and exciting stuff coming up that I can’t share quiiiiiite yet, so get your horses, and hold them!

Preston & I got to live our art DREAMS yesterday and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Ya’ll know how much we love the arts. We’re hardcore theatre nerds, prefer a museum to a game, and love seeing local artists at work! And I lovelovelove public art and murals.

So this week, we tried to hit as many local ‘art’ spots in my hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. Yes, Reading, like the Reading Railroad on the Monopoly board. And it’s pronounced Red-ding, not Reed-ing. So if all of your life you were convinced that it was the ‘Reeding Railroad’ – I am happy to blow your mind! Ha!

While it might be a little hamlet of a town, it’s attempting to grow the art community every day! So Preston and I wanted to hit a museum, a gallery, a play, and some public art! We did this ALL in one day (so it definitely warrants an awesome day trip!). We found most of these places (and events) on Pennsylvania’s Americana Region’s tourism website! Check out their calendar of events here!

Let me just sneak in the boring stuff so we can get to the goods! Check me out on Instagram here!  I also have a selling Instagram page where I sell some of my old clothes/styles so that I don’t drown in my own wardrobe. I just listed a few new things – so check that out!

On to the content of the day! It’s a hometown pARTy! (get it?)

A woman pokes her head through a cutout atop a cardboard astronaut to give the figure her face at the museum.

1.) STROLL THROUGH THE READING PUBLIC MUSEUM!

Reading Public Art Museum has some amazing exhibits, a planetarium, tons of events, and a rotating show on the third floor! Right now there is an Astronaut exhibit (ending May 5) and it is so interactive and incredible. Honestly, that exhibit would be worth the trip by itself, so it’s just gravy that there’s some amazing other pieces of art and artifacts here! I’ve been going here since I was a kid and I still am as enthralled with the art as I was when I was a kid! (Bonus: Preston was very excited that there was a mummy here!)

Woman in a blue dress looks at art in a gallery at the GoggleWorks.2.) TAKE A CLASS AT THE GOGGLEWORKS!

GoggleWorks is a local, renovated factory turned art center, with airy art galleries and studio space! There is not only a gallery, a cafe, an event space, but there is so much more! There is a small artsy movie theatre (to see interesting art and indie movies!), Berks Ballet Theatre, studio space, a glassblowing and a ceramic studio and all types of arts classes, performances, and more! Fun fact, Preston and I looked at this space for our wedding!

The red Genesius Theatre marquee sits below 2 arched windows on the front of the theatre.

3.) SEE A SHOW AT GENESIUS THEATRE!

This is a total easy one for me & Preston! We’ve performed at Genesius Theatre, met friends here, seen tons of shows here, and we’ve seen some awesome shows! Right now, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is running (tonight & this weekend!), and it’s AMAZING. Get tickets here! (Bonus: Mamie Covell is tough to beat on stage!). Genesius creates all types of theatre (musicals, plays, youth theatre, and more!)

Top 5 List is all about Berks Jazz Fest

 

4.) JAZZ IT UP!

Berks County has one of the biggest jazz fests in the country! Berks Jazz Fest is a big deal around these parts and happens annually in late March, early Aprill! For real, all the hotels fill up, and it’s full of people with saxaphones! Just kidding! But I remember lots of school friends in Jazz Band LOVING getting to go and see professional jazz musicians, play, learn, and see awesome acts! If you want to include music in your art-filled itinerary, check out Berks Country Fest starting in June, the FREE Bandshell Concerts in Reading City Park, held on Friday evenings in July, the FREE Downtown Alive Concerts on Penn Street in Reading, and great music at a variety of venues across Berks County! Go check it out

A mural of the sky with a vibrant blue background and starts and planets in West Reading5.) SIDE STEP INTO MURAL CORRIDOR

Ya’ll know me. I CANNOT resist a good mural walk. Not only do I adore public art, but they also make the best photo backgrounds! The Berks Art Council has created Mural Corridor in West Reading and it’s incredible! It’s a mix of local artists and styles and it’s truly incredible! Between stopping for lunch or shopping, one block off ‘the avenue’ is this amazing hidden gem!

Check out VisitPaAmericana.com’s event calendar for more details on places, events and great artful entertainment!

 

Hometown Party
Written by Abby Hoy
Originally posted on Abby’s Penny Darling blog page on April 12, 2019