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Written By: Michael Laughlin,  Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010

I’m not sure that I have ever attended a festival of any type, let alone a fine arts festival. At least I can’t remember ever being at one. I say let alone a fine arts festival not because there is something wrong with the fine arts but because they were never really on my radar screen. Growing up I was always more interested in John Madden than Jean Valjean, Bruce Springsteen than Miles Davis and New York pizza than flambé. I was a product of the times perhaps.

So how does a Gettysburg College frat guy with no festival experience end up working for the fine arts Gettysburg Festival? Taking things a step further how could I possibly make a positive contribution? I guess the answer has more to do with serendipity, frat guys know big words too, than anything else. Checking emails one day I came across one about a marketing/pr internship with the Festival. Considering my mom had recently laid the guilt trip that I do nothing but hang out, waste my free time, and destroy my mind with video games/action movies, I decided to check it out. At least if I was involved with the Festival I could watch Die Hard in peace right? So after a phone call and a visit I began working at the Festival as an intern.

First day impressions –> I’m the only guy in the office but everyone is really nice and the work seems ok, I can handle this. Since the first day my impressions and experiences have changed dramatically. Now everyone yells at me and the chain they put on my ankle is really tight. Ok a poor attempt at humor but in all seriousness my experience has changed. I have had the opportunity to see the arts from a new perspective. I’ve been able to hear some jazz and see Lincoln artwork. Besides the exposure to new art I’ve been able to take a fresh look at what I’m already familiar with. For example instead of just focusing on Bruce I’ve started listening to Clarence Clemons. Clemons is the sax player in Bruce’s E-Street Band but has a solo rock/jazz/funk style of his own. Perhaps Miles Davis is the next step.

I’d like to think my internship has been mutually beneficial. In addition to other responsibilities I’ve played a large role in trying to bring a younger demographic to the Festival. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on meetings and give input of my own. Input on what someone my age is probably interested in, how much they will spend on a specific event and what’s going to make them stop playing video games and come to the Festival. I’ve been focusing on event ideas that could bridge the gap between younger and older generations with something that appeals to both. Not an easy task. I think my input has been valuable for the staff in understanding what will and won’t bring the younger audience in. I’d like to expose some of the older attendees to some aspect of my generation and my experiences. The same way that my horizons have been broadened through the fine arts I feel others could have their horizons broadened by younger art. Even if they don’t consider it “art” right now. In the same process the younger attendees would be exposed, as I have been, to jazz, brass, theatre, culinary, and visual arts.

I think that is what the Gettysburg Festival is best at: exposing people to something new, blending old and new experiences for people of all demographics, and leaving them with a changed perspective. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to both experience this firsthand and make a positive contribution in bringing it to others.

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alice-estradaBy Alice Estrada, Gettysburg Festival Executive Vice-President

April 7, 2009

 

If you like exceptional cuisine in surroundings beyond description, then look no further to this one of a kind, extraordinary fundraiser brought to you by the Gettysburg Festival.  “An American Culinary Adventure” on May 30, 3009 will  be prepared by the master of all chefs, Walter Scheib (White House Executive Chef 1994-2005).  This exclusive event will feature multiple dining stations showcasing the best Pennsylvania has to offer, incorporated into delicious White House recipes.  As you wander around the magnificent estate of Utz potato chip magnets Jane and Mike Rice, not only will you enjoy fabulous food, but beautiful art and gardens, as well as enchanting entertainment.

 

This will truly be an amazing evening.  You will enjoy every moment, and we intentionally designed it so that you will be able to fully appreciate this one-of-a-kind home and socialize all evening with a variety of guests as you definitely will plunge into sensory overload.

 

Call our offices for ticketing information, 717-334-0853.  Hope to see you on May 30th for an adventure like no other!

 

By Buzz Jones, Gettysburg Festival Artistic Director for Jazz

March 26, 2009

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 Are you a jazz fan? If so, Gettysburg is THE place to be in late June. Our artist lineup is almost complete for the 2009 festival.  

 

Of special note is the concert by legendary Ahmad Jamal and his quartet on June 27 at the Majestic Theater.  I thought it was particularly appropriate to invite Mr. Jamal to perform here since he is a Pennsylvania native.  Born in Pittsburgh in 1930, he is recognized as one of the most creative and influential pianists of the past two generations.  Miles Davis, Jack DeJohnette, and Keith Jarrett all cite Ahmad as a major influence on their playing.  Clint Eastwood used two selections from the seminal 1958 album But Not For Me in his film The Bridges of Madison County.  My favorite recording of Ahmad is on bassist Ray Brown’s 1995 CD Some of My Best Friends Are … Piano Players. Listen to what he does with W.C. Handy’s Saint Louis Blues… unbelievable!

 

Don’t miss the chance to hear one of the most revered improvisors in jazz history. More later on some of other featured artists and the Mason-Dixon Jazz Camp. 

 

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  1. February 27, 2009
  2. By:  Ben Jones, Gettysburg Festival’s Artistic Director for Brass

I’m really excited on learning that the fabulous River City Brass Band from Pittsburgh will kick off The 2009 Gettysburg Festival with a free concert.  Mark your calendars for 7pm, Thursday, June 18, at the Festival Main Stage on the beautiful campus of Gettysburg College. Many of we band fans have experienced the beautiful brass sounds and energy of  the River City Brass Band in concert at Messiah College, the Luhr’s Center at Shippensburg University and the Strand Capitol in York. Now, for the first time, it’s Gettysburg’s turn!! Tickets to the River City Brass performances typically run between $20 and $25 each, but we are thrilled to be able to offer this performance to the Gettysburg community for free.  Donations are most appreciated and a $10 donation will entitle you to seats within our premium VIP seating area.  Please note, in case of rain the River City concert will move to the marvelous Majestic Theater in downtown Gettysburg.

 

Keep checking our festival web page, www.gettysburgfestival.org, or, www.gettysburgbrassbandfestival.org, for the soon to be announced schedule of 20 additional brass performances in the 2009 Gettysburg Festival.  The schedule includes many crowd favorites who have performed in Gettysburg before, but I’m excited to say the schedule also includes many accomplished, excellent musicians who will be performing in Gettysburg for the first time ever.  Hope to see you in June!

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phyllis-netherland2January 21, 2009

By:  Phyllis Netherland, Coordinator of The Gettyburg Fringe Festival,

Held in conjunction with The Gettysburg Festival

 

Save the dates:  June 18-28, 2009 for both The Gettysburg Festival and The Gettysburg Fringe Festival.

 

I love being involved in the Fringe Festival because the event is designed to bring the community together through arts and culture.

 

The Gettysburg Fringe Festival provides opportunities for anyone, living in or outside the greater Gettysburg area, to produce artistic, cultural or historical events. These events could showcase art, theater, music, dance, children’s programming and anything else you could dream up and accomplish!

  

With so many genres scheduled during the main Gettysburg Festival and the Fringe Festival, there are selections for everyone and the variety makes the ten days of the festival exciting for all.

 

I think that sometimes the word “culture” scares people, but culture truly enriches all of our lives.  I love the aura and benefits that surround a community brought alive by arts and culture.  Whether people realize it or not, we are all touched by culture in our daily lives.

 

Anyone interested in participating in the Fringe Festival should please contact me at fringe@gettysburgfestival.org.  Note: please have a venue for your event.  Also please note the Fringe application and other materials are posted on the website:  http://www.gettysburgfestival.org/program/fringe.asp

 

During the first Fringe Festival last June, the spectrum of events ranged from art exhibits at galleries, to events by non-profits such as Historic Gettysburg Adams County, to music on the square, to an open house showcasing the historical preservation of documents, to Battlefield Harley-Davidson bringing in the Batmobile and a stunt cyclist.  This year we look to expand the boundaries of the Fringe Festival to include many more participants in the community. 

I am already hearing from potential participants with very exciting ideas for the 2009 Fringe.  Ideas floating around include a historical home tour, a living history event with “Mamie Eisenhower,” and many more fun and artistic events.

My primary goal and expectation for the Fringe Festival is to enliven the community through the arts.  Please come, participate, and join us for the joy of the arts!

 

 

The Gettysburg Fringe Festival Committee, a dynamic group of community volunteers, is gearing up for a fantastic 2009 Fringe Festival!

The Gettysburg Fringe Festival Committee, a dynamic group of community volunteers, is gearing up for a fantastic 2009 Fringe Festival!

Welcome to the first posting on The Gettysburg Festival’s blog page! We invite you to mark this page and check back often, as members of the Festival team take turns offering insights into Festival happenings from their unique perspectives. It is a “behind-the-scenes” work in progress, and you never know who will stop by to write the next post!

By: Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

The *new* Gettysburg Festival offices, 113 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg.

The *new* Gettysburg Festival offices, 113 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg.

We begin this blog at a time of new beginnings for the Festival. After a year and a half, Festival offices have moved out of the Gettysburg Railroad Station and into a new location that is more spacious and more accessible to the public. And we didn’t have to look far, to find this great new space—it is literally “on the other side of the tracks” from the Railroad Station. Our official address is 113 Carlisle Street, so we still have great proximity to top Festival venues–the Festival Main Stage at Gettysburg College, the Majestic Theater and Lincoln Square. We are also located right across the street from the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Carlisle Street location—a wonderful resource for visitors to Gettysburg.

Unpacking is SO much fun!

Unpacking is SO much fun!

We leave some happy memories on the second floor offices of the Gettysburg Railroad Station. What an honor it was, to work in such an historic place—the station whose most famous traveler was President Abraham Lincoln, arriving in Gettysburg in November, 1863 to deliver the now-famous Gettysburg Address. The second floor of the station housed railroad offices and storage space at that time. Gettysburg Festival staff moved in shortly after renovations were completed, in the summer of 2007. The large, open space probably provided the best scenario for us as a staff, as we embarked upon the vision of a cultural festival in Gettysburg. The lack of interior walls or cubby spaces allowed us to share ideas, compare notes, easily pass paperwork between our desks, and transfer calls to each other without needing an intercom system. We truly learned how to function as a well-oiled team.

But our second-floor penthouse was stretched to the limits during the first Festival in June of 2008, and our volunteers can attest to this fact! Imagine boxes upon boxes containing Festival merchandise, T-shirts, posters, programs, and welcome packets, scattered throughout a functioning workspace also containing four desks, a conference area, copier workstation, oh and the path to the coffee pot/coffee cabinet had to be kept clear at all times. On any given day during the Festival, six Festival staff members could be found working at “ground zero,” with the aid of two diligent Festival interns Chloe and Leslie, and a fleet of fabulous volunteers—say five to ten at all times, with another fleet downstairs, manning a Festival Headquarters information booth. And the visitors never stopped flowing through our doors. Actually, rather than doors, we had a winding staircase that measured a pre-Civil War era 24 inches in width, at its narrowest spot. Dozens of visitors admired our “charming” offices—from our Festival Artistic Directors to the dozens of technical staff, performers and artists who stopped by, some of them on their very first visit to Gettysburg. One of our local newspapers captured this organized chaos perfectly, in an article archived here:

http://www.eveningsun.com/entertainment/ci_9646682

Following the Festival, one of our first missions was to find a space able to grow with the Festival. The Festival’s new “house” fits the bill. There is plenty of office space, a conference room, plus it offers greater visibility and a welcoming presence in downtown Gettysburg.

We’re cooking up plans for a fun open house celebration, to officially christen our new location–date TBA soon! Also keep an eye out for new Gettysburg Festival signage, which will be hoisted into place any day now. And keep an eye on our large display window fronting Carlisle Street—a window into the Festival’s happenings.

Festival Office Window Display

Festival Office Window Display

So, what are we up to, now that we have this great new office space to call home? If only these walls could talk! Our new conference room would have some juicy info, on our proposed, upcoming 2009 Festival lineup. The Festival’s artistic directors have been hard at work since July, planning their dream lineups. Last week, we hosted a comprehensive Festival programming meeting, where all 2009 programming ideas were presented, discussed, and dove-tailed into a “master matrix” of all ten days’ worth of programming. What a fabulous afternoon! All of the Festival artistic directors came, along with the Festival Programming Committee formed by our Festival Trustees, plus Festival staff–about 15 of us in all. For now, I can only say that great things are in store for the 2009 Festival! For example, we explored fun ways to tie the great jazz lineup presented by Buzz Jones, into the Festival’s expanding culinary programming.

 To “whet your appetite,” the 2009 Festival will offer a mouth-water palette of culinary events from which to choose, many of them paired with world-class cultural art events. Stay tuned! Great things are in store and will be announced soon.
 

2009 Culinary Delights

2009 Culinary Delights

With that in mind, I also want to mention that our artistic directors and Festival staff are very cognizant of the current state of the economy. The 2009 Festival will follow a similar model to the 2008 Festival, in that more than half of our events will be free and open to the public. We are working very hard, crunching the numbers, to offer our ticketed events at the lowest rates possible. I don’t think there’s a better “cultural bargain” out there! But I’d love to hear your thoughts on that subject. I invite you to “blog” along with me and write about your 2008 Festival experience(s). Which events did you attend in 2008? What was a standout memory for you personally? Did you attend our “Prelude & Portraits” weekend in October of 2007? What are your suggestions for future Festival programming? We welcome your thoughts, comments, suggestions and memories.

Exciting plans are being finalized for The 2nd Annual Gettysburg Festival and we’ll be thrilled to begin sharing them soon. In the meantime, “save the dates:” June 18-28, 2009 and we’ll look forward to Celebrating America’s Cultural Arts together!

Office Manager Bev Grazulewicz, coordinates a project with Festival volunteers Phyllis Netherland, Frances Rowell and Phyllis Hale, in our new, spacious conference room.

Office Manager Bev Grazulewicz, coordinates a project with Festival volunteers Phyllis Netherland, Frances Rowell and Phyllis Hale, in our new, spacious conference room.