Arts, Culture & Events

Lancaster Public Art Receives Our Town Grant

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter announced 57 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting projects across the nation through the Arts Endowment’s Our Town program. Lancaster Public Art, in partnership with the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, is one of the recommended organizations for a grant of $75,000 for the PACE (Public Art Community Engagement) Boosting Communities program.

 “These awards made to organizations across the United States are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Lancaster Public Art and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

PACE Boosting Communities is a partnership between the City of Lancaster and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College to support more art-based community development in neighborhoods by building the capacity of local artists and community organizations.

“We’re thrilled that Lancaster’s long-term investment in public art continues with this program, which will work with artists in our neighborhoods and continue to tell our diverse stories through the arts,” said Mayor Danene Sorace.

A cohort of six Lancaster-based artists will work in their own neighborhood to create and produce small public art projects over the course of two years. At the culmination of the two-year period, there will be a larger scale temporary public art installation and the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College will present hold an exhibition showcasing the artists’ efforts.

“This collaboration highlights the mission of the Phillips Museum’s efforts as both a teaching museum and a supporter of local artists,” comments Amy Moorefield, museum director.

PACE Boosting Communities will augment current efforts of neighborhood partners, in southwest and southeast Lancaster, in empowering residents to take part in revitalization efforts by increasing accessibility to individuals who may face barriers, such as time or language, to attending public meetings.

“At Franklin & Marshall College, we are enthusiastic about bringing our people and programs into partnership with the city to build strong communities,” Franklin & Marshall College President Barbara K. Altmann said. “The NEA ‘Our Town’ grant gives the College and the City yet another opportunity to work together for the arts, artists and the community.” 

The grant requires a 1:1 match. Locally, the Lancaster County Community Foundation, the S. Dale High Family Foundation, and the Mayor J. Richard and Gail Gray Fund have contributed to that match.

For more information about the Our Town grant, please visit the NEA web site at

2019 Outdoor Music Friday Season

The 2019 Outdoor Music Friday Season opens on May 17 in Binns Park, 100 N. Queen Street. Music Friday’s outdoor season lasts from May to September on every third Friday of the month. Each Music Friday features a signature concert in Binns Park and over twenty street spots of live music around Lancaster City.

Every third Friday of the month from May to September, the City of Lancaster hosts Music Fridays. Music Fridays are a collaborative effort between the City of Lancaster Office of Promotion and Music for Everyone to promote local talent, the City’s live music scene, and increase activity in Lancaster City for visitors and locals.

Signature Concert Schedule:
All signature concerts take place in Binns Park, 100 N. Queen St., from 6 to 8 p.m. The schedule is as follows:

May 17
Jazz in the City
Featuring local student groups from Lincoln Middle School, Pequea Valley Middle School, Solanco Middle School, and Manheim Township Middle School.

June 21
Trash Juice

July 19
All Systems Go

August 16

September 20
Young Musicians Showcase
Hosted by J3 Music Studios, Music for Everyone, and the Lancaster Office of Promotion, featuring the talent of local young musicians. Musicians ages 12-19 are invited to audition to perform. Auditions will be held Sunday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To reserve an audition spot, go to

Street Spot Locations:
Over twenty street spot locations fill downtown Lancaster with music every Music Friday. For a full list of the street spot locations, go to

Music Fridays are supported by presenting sponsor, First National Bank.

Celebrating Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month the City of Lancaster will host a series of events and vote on a City Council resolution to honor the contributions and heritage of the African American community in Lancaster City.

City Council will vote on an annual resolution to honor Black History Month at the first regular meeting of City Council in February on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 120 N. Duke St.

Lancaster Public Art will host the exhibit “For the Culture: A Celebration of Black History Month” in the City Hall Gallery throughout February. “For the Culture” centers on the work and artistic depiction of Black women. An opening reception of the exhibit will be held Friday, Feb. 1 at the City Hall Gallery, 120 N. Duke St., from 5 to 8 p.m. A special program featuring live performances, a reading of the annual City Council resolution honoring Black History Month, and light food will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The Lancaster City Visitor Center, 38 Penn Square, will host “The Road to Freedom Takes Many Paths – African American Heritage in Lancaster County” exhibit in their second-floor gallery space. The exhibit, curated by the African-American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania, will be open to the public on Market days; Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An opening reception of the exhibit will take place on Feb. 1 from 12 to 1 p.m.

The African-American Historical Society will also host training sessions for new African American Heritage Walking tour guides on Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23, in the Lancaster City Visitor Center. Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 12 p.m. Those interested in the training program should contact Debbie Smith at or 717-393-8553, or Dr. Leroy Hopkins at 717-224-7030. People of all ages (high schoolers to seniors) and backgrounds are welcome to participate and become tour conductors. Click here for more information.

Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast

Hispanic business owners are invited to join Mayor Danene Sorace for a breakfast event on Monday, Oct. 15 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The breakfast will take place in Council Chambers in City Hall, 120 N. Duke St.

The event marks the culmination of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Taking place from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions made by Hispanic and Latin Americans to the United States and celebrates their heritage and culture.

“We are appreciative of our Hispanic business owners. This event gives the City of Lancaster a special opportunity to acknowledge, highlight, and celebrate the success of our Hispanic business community,” said Mayor Sorace.

Event partners include Community First Fund, La Voz, ASSETS, and the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs.

Roughly 40 percent of Lancaster city identifies as Hispanic or Latino.

Attendance is limited to Hispanic business owners only. The event is free, but seating is limited. Those interested in attending should RSVP online at or by calling (717) 291-4708 before Oct. 5.

Event Alert: New Year's Eve 2017

Ring in 2018 in Downtown Lancaster with a free concert by the Big Fat Meanies, the lowering of the Red Rose and fireworks at midnight! The City of Lancaster will host the annual New Year's Eve event on Sunday, December 31, 2018, from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Event is free and open to all ages.


Sunday, December 31, 2017
8:30 p.m.
100 block of North Queen Street closed between Orange and Chestnut

Monday, January 1, 2018
1 a.m.
100 block of North Queen Street will re-open

For more information about New Year's Eve in Lancaster City, please call (717) 291-4758 or go to

Students Recite Poem at Mural Dedication

Last week, a ceremony was held at the Ewell/Gantz Playground in honor of the mural commemorating Barney Ewell and Ida Gantz.

African American Gold Medalist, Barney Ewell, was the winner of one gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He was born into poverty in Harrisburg and went on to become one of the world's leading sprinters. Mr. Ewell attended JP McCaskey High School and served in WWII from 1941 to 1945. After returning home, he attended college and received his B.S. degree. His childhood home was located on the site of the Ewell Gantz Playground.

Ida Gantz was instrumental in the formation of Head Start in Lancaster, as well as other childcare initiatives. She was active in the community and a lifelong member of the Bethel AME Church, founding member of the Southeast Area Council, member of the NAACP, member of Queen of Sheba Temple, and auxiliary of the Conestoga Lodge of Elks. Until her death she helped to maintain the park and provide a safe environment to children in the neighborhood.

Both Barney and Ida serve as excellent role models for children in the City, and the mural was a great way to for students to learn about these two respected community members. Tamea Allen and Kimberly Delgado, two students from the Mix at Arbor Place, located right next to the playground and mural, were inspired by the mural to write a poem, which they recited at the mural dedication. Read on for their poem.

Kimberly Delgado

She was what I want to be and what I hope to see.

A miracle seed, planted not far from the children’s tree.

A leader, that didn’t worry about skin color, or looks, instead she focused and stayed reading her books.

As this seed continues to grow and miracles begin the show, I WILL be the reason because this IS the season for change.

Not to sound strange, but it’s time I rearrange the way youth minds are set up now a days.

It’s time to prepare, not for a test, but for something called success. Look not to the sky, but past it there is no limit nor an amount of minutes that you have to wait for the opportunities sitting on your plate.

I hear a voice at the starting line saying… “There is no time for hesitating.”

Tamea Allen

Negativity is the perception describing a child of color.

There are children in a track met every day, racing for the gold medal until all of a sudden we hear people say “there is no way.”

We’re here to let you know that even if it snows, this marathon is still going on.

We’re running and running, striving and thriving for a change that can definitely be made with the power we hold and the things we’ve been told.

Youth depression, youth drug dealers, youth parent lost, youth gang members and youth suicide and wait, did I forget to motion the taking away of our pride? Are all things that youth go through with their parents asking what, when, where who and why trying not to let us see them cry.

Doubted, let down, shot, stabbed and beat are just a few as to while youth often take a seat.

Tripping, stumbling and then we fall, not from heat but from the discourage that is placed at our feet.

I won the gold medal, it’s now in my hands and as long as I stand negativity WILL NOT be the perception describing this child of color.


HIGH FIVE for a Great Cause!

As a long-time volunteer leader at United Way of Lancaster County, I have seen United Way create amazing impact through its various initiatives. Now, over the next few weeks, we are inviting everyone in the community to literally take a “hands-on” stand for early literacy and school readiness.  The High Five Campaign for Every Child runs through May 22, and invites everyone in Lancaster County to give a “High Five” ($5 contribution) to the campaign, which will be used to provide books to young children in their homes to help them get ready for kindergarten. Many studies have shown that kids who are exposed to books at an early age, and who have books at home, do better in school!  And, studies also show that nearly 2/3 of children living in poverty have NO books in their home.  United Way is committed to changing that – with YOUR help.

35,521 High Fives – There are 35,521 children under the age of five in Lancaster County.  United Way is looking for a High Five ($5 or more contribution) for each one of them.  So far, we have over 8,000 High Fives!  Help us reach the goal at You can give a single High Five, or a lot of High Fives.

MAKE HISTORY! - On 5/5, at 5:55 p.m., United Way is inviting the entire public to the Lancaster County Convention Center to break a Guinness World Record for the longest High Five chain! We need 1,200 to break the record!  The event is FREE (of course you’re welcome to make a High Five donation), but you should register online to guarantee a spot in the record.  Only 2,000 tickets are available. You can register (and donate if so inclined) at The event is designed to raise awareness of the need and to show the world how much Lancaster County cares about its young children!


By Randy S. Patterson, Director of Economic Development & Neighborhood Revitalization

ArtWalk City Parks Bus Tours

Have you been to newly renovated Rodney Park lately? How about the brand new dog park at Buchanan Park? If not, now’s your chance! On Saturday, October 5 during Fall ArtWalk, the City will be offering City parks bus tours, allowing residents and visitors to board a bus at one of several locations and tour the parks with a knowledgeable guide. They’ll touch on the improvements made to the parks, like public art and green infrastructure.

City parks bus tours are free and open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. Tours will leave from four different locations and visit each of the city parks listed below. Tour times are 9 am and 11 am. The tour takes approximately 1.5 hours. The buses will return to the starting location following the tour. 

Bus Tour Meeting Locations at 9 AM and 11 AM:

-          Buchanan Dog Park, Buchanan and Race Ave.

-          Rodney Park

-          St. Anne Peace Garden, 205 S. Ann Street.

-          Sixth Ward Park

Tour Route: Buses will follow the below route in order, depending on starting location. The last stop of each tour will be the Lancaster Brewing Company.

Buchanan Dog Park
Rodney Park/Crystal Park
Brandon Park
St. Anne Peace Garden
Sixth Ward Park
Lancaster Brewing Company

If you plan on attending, RSVP on Facebook!