Benjamin Adcroft for Arts On The Square

Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Rogue Chimp

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Their jazz techno fusion sets them apart from the crowd.  ScrantonMade sat down to interview Jacob Cole of Rogue Chimp to talk music, live shows and their new album.  We can't wait for their performance at Arts on the Square. 

Hey Chimpers,

Tell me a little about the band, it’s background and influences, and the type of music you play.

My brother Zach and I started this band 7 years ago, and we have been evolving ever since.  We have always been an original instrumental progressive dance band, but have since added the super funky bass lines of Jon Ventre and the magical, cinematic, and jazz infused violin of Mark Woodyatt.

Having a personal connection with the band I know you guys have had your ups and downs, what are some of the challenges a band faces?  

Basically just making sure everyone in the bands values are on the same page.  A band is like any relationship with other people; it can be very delicate.  We have gone through five bassists, and I think we have finally found the one!

What is the absolute best part of playing your music?  

The feeling it can give me when we are so deep in the music that the rest of the world's problems seem to fade away and the only thing that matters in that moment is the music! Also it's always a nice feeling to see fans dancing and getting what we take away from Rogue Chimp.

Can you explain your song writing techniques and song title choices?  Are the titles representative of stories the songs are telling?  

Usually the songs all have come about from a single idea that someone in the band has at practice, then we all throw ideas at that and it naturally evolves from there.  Basically, most of our songs have come from jamming at the beginning of rehearsals, then frankensteining other new ideas at the beginning or end of the original idea.  Thats why our songs are very unpredictable; they are certainly not the cookie cutter song form you hear on pop-radio.  The titles have come about in many different ways, from how the song makes us feel, maybe from the name of a synth patch on a keyboard; we even named a song after our original bassist's garage heater!

Word on the street is that you guys sometimes play with chimp masks on?!? Will you be wearing masks at Arts on the Square?!

Hmmm, this is true. We have been known to regress to our former chimp selves, but usually it's at night when its a bit cooler out.  But its not out of the question for Arts on the Square!

I see you have a new EP out will it be available at AotS and where else can fans buy it?

Yes we will have digital drop cards that one can purchase for $5 and then download on a home computer.  You can also buy it from our website.

Do you have any videos we can share with our readers?

Here is a video that was captured us in our natural habbitat

Thanks guys!

Follow Rogue Chimp:
Band Name: Rogue Chimp
Contact for Booking:
Instagram: @roguechimp/
Twitter: @roguechimp

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Twitter:  ScrantonMade
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Arts on the Square: Some Great Press

Need more reasons to check out the inaugural Arts on the Square event this Saturday?  Well, here ya go!  Here are a few lovely and informative features on the event...

Arts & commerce: Inaugural Arts on the Square festival set for this weekend in downtown - Lifestyles - The Times-Tribune

Can't wait to see you there!  xoxo, Chrissy, Cristin, Sam/ ScrantonMade

Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Lindsay Barrasse of L. Productions

Monday, July 22, 2013
Popular around town and the world wide web, Lindsay Barasse of L.Productions has been producing videography for Arts on The Square and is also hosting “The Artist's Showcase” - a series of DIY art classes being held at the event.  Her vinyl cut clocks have been featured on as well as many other popular websites and blogs. Get to know a little more about Lindsay...

Hi Lindsay!  

Tell us a little about L. Productions and your Vinyl Cut collection.

L. Productions is everything I create; it is my baby.  I produce art in many different mediums and just keep growing in my passions and talents.  L. Productions encompasses everything I do:  my fine art, my crafty vinyl record clocks, and my camera work and video production.  It is everything me.

The hand-cut vinyl record clocks was one of those “AHA!” moments.  I collect vintage brownie cameras and I had the idea to turn them into clocks.  Then my boyfriend (David Corigliano) suggested making a clock out of a vinyl record, but I thought it would look too plain.  I thought maybe it would be more interesting to cut into it the records and make designs, and went to a craft store to purchase a woodcutter or hot knife.  I thought “What is round and a cool design?”  My mind quickly went to the Death Star as I am a Star Wars fan.  My boyfriend put my design on Reddit and it was a huge hit, racking up hundreds of thousands of hits and directing traffic to my ETSY page, where I quickly began to sell a lot of clocks.  From there I branched out into other designs.

I also love making the vinyl record clocks because it is upcycling at its finest, and enables me to be part of the local business community.  I support shopping locally.  I purchase the records from RJ at Embassy Vinyl on Adams Avenue, Scranton.  They are records he cannot use or that have been destroyed so they would otherwise just sit in a landfill.  I take them and I create something that will live on.  The back of the clocks have corks to support them against the wall.  I purchase some corks from craft stores but a good chunk of them come from the wine bottles opened at my father’s restaurant, Billy B’s.  It saves me money and keeps them out of the garbage.  I then buy clocks for the parts I need.  The plastic casings either go to my sister (Nicole Barrasse) or other teachers and crafters to create shadow boxes.  I have also used them to store my handcrafted jewelry.  Then the leftover cardboard from the record sleeves are used as paint palettes.  Everything is used and nothing is wasted.

What’s your favorite thing about being behind the camera?

To put it simply: I capture life.  Even though I am not going to live 100 years from now, the thought of creating something and having it live on is just a great feeling.  There is so much beauty in this world; to capture it and share it is wonderful.  I feel at home behind the camera or involved with production and film in any fashion, it makes me feel complete.

What classes will be offered in your tent at Arts on The Square?

There are so many talented people who will be participating in “The Artists Showcase”.  I will be assisting David Corigliano with a lecture about how to film with a DSLR camera.  It is a brief version of what will be offered at The Pennsylvania Film School.  There is also a seminar about the Film School Workshops offered through The Pennsylvania Film School by Joe Van Wie and Tim Calpin.

The day will start off with a Meet and Greet with some animals from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter.  At 1pm there will be a demonstration of the unique craft of handcut paper art by artist Jamie B. Hannigian.  Following that, at 2 pm, is a brief introduction to Acting by Michaela Moore.  At 3 pm is the Filming with your DSLR camera followed by the Film School workshop at 4 pm.  At 5 pm, Theatrics, Unveiled: a behind-the-curtain chat with Eleanor Gwyn-Jones!  Rebecca Sitar of Bex Body Sculpting will be teaching a body sculpting yoga class at 6pm.  Then the art of belly dancing by Sandstorm Fitness Dancer and Kalii at 7pm.  Additional information will be available at the welcoming station during Arts on the Square and

Why are events like this important to you and the community?

Events such as Arts On The Square contribute to the exchange of culture and ideas while helping the area prosper, grow, and live on.  Art in general helps bring a community to life; it defines unique characteristics.   This can then attract tourists and they contribute to the economic well-being of the community.

Why should people be excited for Arts on The Square?

Festivals not only bring in tourism, but also engage and inspire residents of the community.  There will be so much going and something for everyone.  Arts On The Square - as corny as it sounds - I hope, will bring happiness.  Scranton looks good happy so let’s make it have one big smile.

The Artist’s Showcase Schedule 
12 pm – Griffin Pond Animal Shelter Meet and Greet with Animals
1 pm – Hand Cut Paper Art by Jamie B. Hannigian
2 pm – Theater Discovery with Michaela Moore of All About Theatre Performing Arts School
3 pm – Movie Making Using Your DSLR Camera with Lindsay Barrasse and David Corigliano
4 pm – A Film School Workshop Seminar by The Pennsylvania Film School
5 pm – Theatricks, Unveiled; a behind the curtain chat with British writer and Scranton resident, Eleanor Gwyn-Jones
6 pm – Body Sculpting Yoga with Rebecca Sitar of Bex Body Sculpting
7 pm – The Art of Belly Dancing with Sandstorm Fitness Dancer and Kalii

Follow Lindsay and L. Productions: 
Twitter: @TheLindsayBoo
Instagram: thelindsayboo

Follow Arts on the Square & ScrantonMade:
Twitter:  ScrantonMade
Instagram: @scrantonmade_blog
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A huge thank you to L. Productions, JVW Inc., Voyager Video, Fox 56, The Pennsylvania Film School and, of course,  Lindsay Barrasse for the making of this video!

Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Mike Lello of Highway 81 Revisited

Sunday, July 21, 2013
Mike Lello is certainly passionate about music and writing.  Together with a host of creative collaborators, Lello's Highway 81 Revisited truly gives the local music scene their due.  Check out some of what Lello and the H81R team are currently up to and definitely stop by and meet them at Arts on the Square. 

Hi Mike!

We’re stoked that Highway 81 Revisited is a part of Arts on the Square and can’t wait to hear what you have in store!

First, tell us a little about your music blog Highway 81 Revisited … why the name?
Highway 81 Revisited was launched in 2011.  The name is a localized take on the classic Bob Dylan album and song “Highway 61 Revisited.”

What can people expect to read, see and hear on the blog?
We cover various genres of music through artist interviews and concert and album reviews.  Primarily, we focus on artists that are based in our area, have a connection to our area, or will be performing here, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.  We also have a series called My Back Pages (also named after a Dylan song), in which our contributors and guest writers share the personal connections they have with certain artists or genres.

We have just launched a re-designed version of our site, and one of the new things, for now, is a song player.  We’ll be featuring some tracks that we like, then changing them out for newer songs.

Photo: Jim Gavenus (pictured And The Moneynotes from Old Farmer's Ball)

Do you feel like music blogs give writers an influential cultural voice?
Absolutely.  People started relying on the Internet years ago to actually get their music, starting with things like Napster, and I think that, tied in with the consolidation of radio as well as MTV shifting its focus away from music, created a void.  People began turning to sites like Pitchfork to be turned onto new music.  Now artists like Arcade Fire and Bon Iver are winning Grammys and playing to huge crowds with zero mainstream radio play, and coverage from online outlets is one of the primary ways people found out about artists like that.

What do you love most about your work?
I love music and I love writing, so it’s natural that I’d want to combine those two things I guess.  I also have enjoyed working with some friends and colleagues who have helped me out with the site, whether as contributing writers and photographers, web designers, etc.  I really enjoy conducting interviews, and I still feel a little nervous before I do one, but it’s a good nervousness.

Have you’ve partnered with other venues and promoters in the music industry to sponsor events. Tell us a little about that.
We worked with The Bog, which hosted our launch party two years ago; we sponsored Record Store Day at Gallery of Sound; we worked with the local show promoter Get Cryptic to sponsor some of their shows; and we sponsored the Panked! dance party series, also at The Bog.  We hope to expand on those types of things.

We have also worked with some great musicians to exclusively debut songs and videos, such as Mike Quinn and The Great Party.  We plan to do more of that soon.

Where’s the most interesting place your blog has taken you.
One of the most fulfilling things was being at the Old Farmer's Ball festival this spring, which was at ToyotaPavilion at Montage Mountain.  I was really happy and proud for the organizers, who are friends of mine, as well as the bands, in which I have several friends, in that they got to play on that big stage and they killed it.  I think it really was a statement moment to see a lot of talented people getting their due, and hopefully a sign of things to come.  It was cool to watch it all go down, and a lot of fun to write about.

How did you get into writing about music?
In my freshman English class at Penn State, we had to write a criticism paper, so I wrote about a Phil Collins concert I had been to in high school.  I was a sportswriter at my college paper, but I did one music story on a State College performer named John Cunningham just to help out, and I really enjoyed it.  Since then, music journalism has alternately been either a focus of my career or something I’ve done on the side, but I have never let it go.

How many shows do you go to a year?  Do you review them all?
Great question.  Let’s just say “a lot,” but I’m not obsessed.  This spring and summer, I’ve been to about seven so far and I’ll be going to at least five more.  I make it a point not to review every show I go to.  As much fun as writing about a show is, it’s nice to take a break sometimes and just be a fan and not have to worry about taking notes.

What’s your dream for H81R?
Short term, I’m really excited about some of the things we have in the works, like our Peach Festival coverage and, of course, being a small part of Arts on The Square.  Long term, I would like to expand from a multimedia standpoint, whether that means adding video performances, a podcast or partnering with a radio station.  Most of these things take money, so I would love to have a budget, which would likely require selling ads or having sponsors, which would be great.

What do you have planned for Arts on The Square? 
We will be giving away some pins and stickers that feature our logo.  Also, if you sign up for our mailing list, you’ll have a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Jason Isbell at the Kirby Center, and you’ll automatically qualify to save $5 if you buy a ticket from the Kirby.  There might be some other things we’ll be doing at the event, but nothing that’s confirmed just yet.

Do you think events like this are good for our area?  Why?
I think they are not only good, I think they are crucial.  They put a spotlight on some really talented people in our area that maybe we would not otherwise know about.  They help bring together many creative people who can bounce ideas off one another and maybe collaborate in the future.  We’re not Brooklyn, Portland, Seattle or Philadelphia, but we have some amazing people here, and events like this are great not only for the public and the area but also the arts community.

Also, this isn’t an answer to any of your questions, but I wanted to add that this is not my personal website or a solo project by any means.  Although I’m the founder and editor, I have had a lot of help from folks like Bill Orner (who designed the initial site, helped plan the launch party and designed the launch party poster), Brian Langan (who designed our logo), contributing photographers Jason Riedmiller and Jim Gavenus, several contributing writers, currently Michael Lester and Nikki Mascali, and Matt Morgis, who did the new design.

Follow Highway 81 Revisited
Twitter:  @highway81Rvstd

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Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet The Great Party

Saturday, July 20, 2013
The Great Party assures us that they most definitely live up to their name.  They'll be bringing their party down to Arts on the Square next Saturday and we can't wait!  Wear your dancin' shoes and get ready to have some fun!

The Great Party! I must ask, do you live up to the name?!!

We like to have fun and like to make our shows fun, so if you’re the type of person who enjoys this thing called fun, you’ll hopefully agree our name is appropriate.

Who’s in the band, what do they play?

This gets tricky with the first names…..

Michael Nordberg – Keys, Guitar
Michael Eastman – Vocals, Guitar
Matt Thomas – Drums
Matt Mang – Bass
Rosaleen Eastman – Vocals, Keys

How long have you guys been playing together?

This party’s been going on for about 2 years

How do you describe your music?

We often are described as a nostalgic 80s sound with a modern twist. Comparisons are tough so we call ourselves Ameri-Pop/Style-Rock.

Who are your biggest influences?

We’re all over the place with this one but influences most of us have in common include Bowie, Radiohead, Blur, Matt Thomas’ home brewed beer and cheddar cheese combos.

What is the band’s overall dream?

Of course we’d love to do this for a living, see the world, improve people’s lives with quality tunes

What has been your favorite show so far?

We very much enjoy playing Dobbs on South St in Philadelphia. The people there are great and there’s a great history to the venue. We’re definitely looking forward to Arts on the Square though. It will be our first time playing outdoors!

What’s your one piece of advice you’d give to a young musician starting off?

Play as much as possible with as many different people as possible and learn from everyone you can.

What do you love most about playing together?

The fun we have, lots of joking and laughs.

Follow The Great Party

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Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet The Pop Up Studio

Friday, July 19, 2013
We are always inspired by The Pop Up Studio’s curated experiences.  This dynamic group is creating one of their signature experiences for Arts on the Square.  You won’t want to miss out on being a part of it and getting to know this visionary team. 

Hi Mike!

Tell us a little about what inspired The Pop Up Studio and how the members came together.

The Pop Up Studio was formed by a group of young artists, thinkers, and designers.  We are inspired by Scranton's amazing architecture, unique culture, and tremendous history.

Photo: Chala Jan Photographic Imagery

 Why is Pop Up unique and what has the community response been to your events?

Since our art isn't necessary something that is hung on a wall and often isn't an object at all, we design human interactions.  We create gatherings that engage the entire community through shared experiences where all of the senses are heightened.  The support has been incredible!  We continue to develop a fan base that seeks to learn more about each other and their surroundings, all while having fun.

What kind of events have you done in the past?

Because every event is an entirely new theme and location, our work is always fresh.  One event explored the idea of 'soft' and the numerous ways to interact with this sensation through constructions and environments created within the Tripp House. Another event was entirely about potholes and how to create a positive experience with them.  For this, we constructed a temporary gallery in an old garage that you roll through on your back to experience potholes from below.  Our website's photo archive does a great job of capturing the essence of all of our work.

Photo: Chala Jan Photographic Imagery

What are you putting together for Arts on the Square?

We enjoy asking people to participate in being creative with us. It allows people to physically engage and interact with their city in new and fun ways.  .For Arts on the Square, we are excited about hosting our first mini Sidewalk Art Festival where the community can take-on transforming the square with vibrant color and chalk art.  We will be providing buckets loaded with chalk and assigning sidewalk space.  As this event grows, we hope to make it around the square someday. 

Is there any other information you would like us to highlight about The Pop Up Studio?

Because we couldn't exist without broad community support, we always welcome the opportunity to meet new people, businesses, and organizations.  Contact us if you have an idea for an event, to discuss ideas, share materials, loan us space, or even to volunteer with us.  Email us at

Photo: Chala Jan Photographic Imagery

Follow The Pop Up Studio
Founding members: David Bosley, Valerie Kiser, Ruth Koelewyn, Mike Muller
Twitter: @

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Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Chet Williams

Thursday, July 18, 2013
No matter where you go, it’s always nice to come home. Musician Chet Williams moved to Philly but he’s looking forward to coming back to NEPA to play Arts on the Square with his new band. We can assure him, we’re equally excited to have him back!

Hey Chet!

What’s the official name of the group you’ll be playing with at Arts on the Square?

“Chet Williams (full band)”

Who’s who and who plays what?

Chet Williams- Guitar/vocals
Todd Fausnacht- Guitar
Kevin Boland- Bass
Tyler Dempsey- Drums

Tell us about your music background.

I played with So Long, Pluto from 2008-2011 and with AwkwardSilence from 2009-2011. So Long, Pluto played Penn State’s Movin’ On festival 2 years in a row, opening for Less Than Jake, Mayday Parade, The Spill Canvas, and others. We also went on a week-long tour and played in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other places. Awkward Silence played Warped Tour in 2009.

How would you best describe your current music project?

It’s folk-punk with pop melodies. We sometimes sound like Neutral Milk Hotel, sometimes like They Might Be Giants, and sometimes like Radiohead. Though, we are not quite as good as any of the three.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse, My Bloody Valentine, Beck, Wolf Parade, The Menzingers, Daft Punk, Nas, Jay-Z, The Beatles, The National, Bjork… we can go on and on.

Did you move to Philly to further your musical career? 

I went to Philly for college (Temple U). But it made it easier to find shows and meet a lot of great musicians. The music scene in Philly is thriving!

Is there anything you miss about NEPA and the music scene here?
Yeah. I was a semi-large fish in a semi-small pond when I lived here. Now I’m a drop of water in a river. It’s much tougher to be noticed in a city as big as Philly. It’s also not as close-knit.

Where can our readers find your music on the web? . My entire new album is streaming for free!

Is there anything else you would like us to share with our readers?

I’m so excited to be back in Scranton! Ahhh!

Follow Chet Williams:
twitter: @williams_chet
instagram: @iamsofun

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Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet the BIG THREE and the Arts in the City Stage

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Hey Amy,

I can’t help but call you guys The Big Three; The Scranton Cultural Center (SCC), Lackawanna County Library System, and last but not least The Everhart Museum.  Lackawanna County and ScrantonMade are so excited to have this team working together with so many talented artists and performers on a creatively stimulating piece. Tell us what we can expect from this diverse trio....

What’s the title of the collaboration?
Art in the City: Text in Action

L-R: Scranton Cultural Center, Everhart Museum, Lackawanna County Library System

Tell us all about the collaboration:  how it came about, how each organization is represented, and what ties them all together?

This collaboration will integrate visual arts, literacy and performance. The theme is “Art in the City: Text in Action” with an emphasis on street art and localisms. Street art is any art developed in public spaces.  Localisms can be defined as local interests and customs or in this case, local linguistics or language.

The visual element will be represented by the Everhart Museum. Local artists will be preparing a live and interactive mural piece that will wrap itself around part of our tent. Local artists will provide on-site demonstrations on creating a mixed media street art mural. This mural will incorporate local imagery and “localisms” provided by the Lackawanna County Library System.

The literacy element will be represented by the Lackawanna County LibrarySystem. They are going to provide the selected text that will be incorporated into the mural. The Lackawanna County Library System will also be working with local artists who will demonstrate the art of found poetry.

The performance element will be represented by the ScrantonCultural Center at the Masonic Temple. Local artists representing the SCC will demonstrate the art of spoken word and create interactive performance-based activities.

Writer/Performer Jennifer Hill: Wheat Pasting/Stencil Demonstration, Wordsmith Workshop.

Can people participate?  If so how?

Our tent will feature an ongoing interactive mixed media art mural that patrons may add text and color to throughout the day.  Additionally, there will be a comedy improvisation workshop, as well as,a writer’s workshop for patrons of the event.  Patrons may also observe live demonstrations and performances throughout the day.

Alternate Route to Hoboken: an original play by Jack McGuigan (from left: Conor McGuigan and John Pivovarnick)

What excites you most about the project?

We love collaboration!  We are thrilled to be a part of something new and are looking forward to partnering with a great group of local artists, and community groups.  Arts on the Square will be a great venue for our three organizations to showcase the kinds of educational programming we offer throughout the year.

Black Girl White Boy: A Spoken Word Poem by Jon Sands and Angel Nafis, performed by Zia Lawrence and Joe McGurl (Pictured: Zia Lawrence)

Have you collaborated before on this type of art exhibition and, if so, please tell us about it?

In past years, the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic, the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Art and Science, and the Lackawanna County Library System have partnered in several different capacities including; Sunday in the Park, First Friday, Summer Reading Program, and Pages & Places. All the events listed above were completely free to the community.

Here we are in Spain. (from left: Patrick Martin, Matthew Britain Perry Giblin, Patrick Holmes and Baxter Pancake.) Photo: Alex Seeley Photography.

Do you think there is a community benefit with events such as this?

The events held throughout the year educate the community on various art forms and provide a venue for local artists and businesses to showcase their work. These events are also an opportunity for our sites to promote all we have to offer.

Comedian John Walton


Art in the City: Text in Action

12:00 – 12:30   Liz Parry Faist, Jennifer Hill
Wheat pasting and Stencil Demonstration

12:45 - 1:15 Jennifer Hill and Andrea McGuigan
Wordsmith Workshop

1:30 – 2:00 “Here we are in Spain”
Improv Comedy Performance

2:15 – 3:00 Pamela Hill from Scranton Storyslam

Alternate Route to Hoboken, an original ten-minute play by Jack McGuigan performed by
Conor McGuigan, John Pivovarnick, and Sarah Regan

Black Girl White Boy: A Spoken Word Poem by Jon Sands and Angel Nafis, performed by Zia Lawrence and Joe McGurl

 & A Funny Coming-of-Age Story, by comedian John Walton

3:15 - 3:45 “Here we are in Spain”
Improvisation Comedy Text Workshop

4:00 - 4:30 Everhart Museum

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