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Bottle Works hosts December events

Bottle Works hosts December events

BY KAYLA PONGRAC

Our Town Correspondent

Christmas-themed events and activities will continue throughout the month of December at local non-profit arts center Bottle Works — Arts on Third Avenue.

At 5 p.m. Dec. 2, Bottle Works will host a special Ethnic Dinner titled “World of Christmas Flavors.” The dinner is part of the Cultural Diversity Series, which is being made possible by the “Branching Out Diversity Grant” provided by the Community Foundation of the Alleghenies Philanthropy Internship Program.

The meal highlights favorite holiday dishes from a variety of families and cultures. The menu includes Irish shepherd’s pie from Ancient Order of Hibernians and the St. Nicholas Kolo Srpskih Sestara from Circle of Serbian Sisters. The latter meal consists of bean and barley soup with bread, cornmeal mush and Christmas Eve bread with a coin baked inside it. Guests can also expect some pierogis and miscellaneous Italian specialties.

The newly formed Bottle Works Community Choir will perform during the dinner. Advance reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by visiting www.bottleworks.org online or by calling 814-535-2020.  Furthermore, anyone interested in providing food selections or ethnic entertainment should call 814-535-2020 to make arrangements by Nov. 30.

"There is something really special about our Ethnic Dinners,” said Laura Argenbright, Bottle Works executive director, “and bringing the sentiment of multiple Christmas traditions into the mix will be an extraordinary experience. "

The holiday fun continues with a “Bottle Works Business Luncheon” Dec. 14.

“We want to make it possible — and simple — for businesses, no matter how large or small the staff, to come out and enjoy a great meal and feel the holiday spirit together,” Argenbright said. "We love to play host here at Bottle Works, so we couldn't miss the opportunity to invite and entertain everyone during the most festive time of the year. With budgets shrinking and workloads increasing, we hope this corporate luncheon will make it easy and affordable for businesses to celebrate with their staff."

Guests will be treated to a holiday buffet catered by PRESS Bistro, plus live entertainment by local musicians Denise Baldwin and Jackie Kopko and Friends. Rounding out the “Bottle Works Business Luncheon” will be Christmas caroling on horse-drawn “sleigh” rides through Cambria City. Reservations for the “Luncheon” must be made in advance.

At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Bottle Works will present “A Jazzy Christmas Concert” featuring Chloe Wieczorek and John Bagnato.

“This concert has become one of the musical highlights of the holiday season at Bottle Works,” Argenbright said. 

Wieczorek and Bagnato are both Johnstown natives. Wieczorek is a vocalist, pianist and composer, while Bagnato is an award-winning guitarist who has performed throughout the world. They will be joined on stage by bassist Beni Rossman, drummer George Heid III and pianist/composer Nick DeCesare. 

Tickets for the concert are on sale now.

“It is wonderful to bring together so much talent, and to put the spotlight on two very talented Johnstown natives,” Argenbright said. “If you are not in the spirit by Dec. 15, this concert will surely do the trick.” 

Last but not least, Bottle Works will offer a variety of classes and camps for children. 

Holly Lees, mindfulness and arts facilitator at Bottle Works, will offer “Preschool Art and Motion Classes” from 9:30 to 10: 30 a.m. Dec. 2, 9 and 16. The themes are: “Snow Fun,” “Catch the Gingerbread Man” and “Join in our Reindeer Games,” respectively. 

Each session will include a learning game, a circle time lesson, and time for art creation and exploration. Art projects will teach sensory and fine motor skills by combining art subjects like ABCs, history, mindfulness, science or storytelling. The programming will also focus on the process of art making over the creation of a final art project, and the role of art and group learning. 

Pre-registration is encouraged. For more information or to register, email hlees@bottleworks.org

The following art camps for children in grades kindergarten and up will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: “Frosty and Fun Snowscapes” on Dec. 27; “Toasty and Warm” on Dec. 28 and “Bottle Works Winter Games” on Dec. 29. 

There is an option for early drop off beginning at 7:30 a.m. and late pick up until 5:30 p.m. All children must be pre-registered. They should also bring their own lunch, water bottle, drinks and a snack to the camp. The registration deadline for the camps is Dec. 10.

In addition to all of these activities, Bottle Works will host “The Merry Maker’s Mart” through Dec. 31. “The Merry Maker’s Mart” will be open during Bottle Works’s regular gallery hours, which are: Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We are the polar opposite of the big box retailer,” Argenbright said. “(At ‘The Merry Maker’s Mart’), you’ll find an eclectic mix of items created by a variety of artists.” 

All of these events and activities are part of Bottle Works’ “Silver Holiday Celebration,” which commemorates the end of Bottle Works’ 25th anniversary year.

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