Thank you, Scranton!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014
We can't thank you all enough!!! So grateful for all of the  people who worked so hard to make this happen: Lackawanna County Arts & Culture DepartmentWVIA, The570, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce ShantyTown Design, Organicography, Voyager VideoEvan Hughes ArtBenjamin Adcroft Fine Art Studio, Spirited Art ScrantonAshley KujatMaureen McGuigan, all of our talented vendors, artists, customers, friends, family and supporters!!!!!!

See you tomorrow at Arts on the Square!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014
There are so many things going on at Arts on the Square tomorrow.  Here’s a sneak peek!!!

Live Paintings by Benjamin Adcroft and Evan Hughes to be raffled off to the public!

Curated live #instagram Photo Wall and Polaroid portrait photography by John Ingiaimo!

Slow Motion Photo Booth by Voyager Video, PA Film School and JVW!

Free Painting Classes by Spirited Art Scranton!

The Big Three Tent- Everhart Museum, Scranton Cultural Center & Lackawanna Co. Library Systems- “Summer of Science: the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water” an interactive science experience and art installation for all ages.  

Free Drawing Classes with Dino Denaples!

Interactive art piece & photo station by Shanty Town Design!

Live Music on two stages!!!

Free Yoga Classes all Day!

Food Trucks and Outdoor Cafe!

Also, Children's Activity Tent, Street art installations by artists Nicole Laurel, Maura Cummings and Ashley Kujat. Yarn Bombing by Annie Cadden and her team of fiber artists and SO MUCH MORE!


AOTS pARTner Spotlight: Meet Samantha Nardelli of Shanty Town Design

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Shanty Town Designs has been a part of ScrantonMade and Arts on the Square since day one helping us with almost all of our design needs..a true creative pARTnership!  Sam and her team are able to take our ideas and magically bring them to life. Shanty Town has created a fun, interactive piece of street art for Arts on the Square that we can’t wait to see it in person!!!

Hey Shanty!!!!!!!  

Tell us about how the Shanty Team got together.
We've all been friends for a long time and it just so happened we focused on very similar careers. I've know Des since Kindergarten. I stole her ring once in first grade and we were in a girl band together in high school. We met Matt in high school and our groups of friends have been buds ever since!

Des and I both went to Marywood for graphic design and we ended up focusing on complementing parts of the design world. Des works more with print design and I am more focused on web design. I've been working on all kinds of freelance and creating more as a profession since 2010, fine art, illustration, design, bookbinding and crafting, when I got really into web design in 2012. It's always been a dream of ours to run a company and have a team of amazingly creative people to do great work and collaborate with. I was trying to start Shanty Town for about a year before Des and I really sat down and were like 'Well why not do it now?' It worked out perfect since we complimented each other so well. I enjoy the business side of things and web design, and Des has great knowledge of print design and the processes along with being a great brainstormer! Since we were busy organizing what we wanted our brand to really be we needed help with marketing and that's when we decided to bring in Matt. He graduated from Mansfield with a degree in PR and is really good at talking to people and simplifying information.

When was Shanty established?
August-ish 2013.

What’s Shanty’s mission?
To help smaller businesses, independent creators, artists, and musicians with branding, visual marketing, and web design. We're run by creatives who like working with other creatives because we know how fun building a brand can really be. It doesn't have to be a stressful venture and communication is key. We also like to keep it all local. Whether it's Scranton-based or USA-based. When it comes to the work we don't personally handle in house (printing the actual designs or promotional items) we have a network of small businesses we've built relationships with to make sure we get the best quality work from an ethical company.

How would you describe your design style?
Trendy, sophisticated, understated, and current.

What’s / Who’s  the biggest influence on your work?
There are almost too many to list! We value innovative design, whether it’s graphic, interior, industrial, product, and fine arts. Des is constantly reading autobiographies/biographies about people she admires in any field. I recently turned into an avid podcast listener, some design related, some business related, which in turn inspires us. We draw inspiration not only from the world around us, but from the world we want to create.

Why is design so important for small businesses?
A company's brand or image is the first thing customers or clients see. Having or building on a brand that people can trust and recognize is how your audience decides whether you're a worthwhile company for their business. Whether it is a logo, your website, or how you handle your social media accounts, it's all about showing your audience you are relatable to them.

What services do you offer?
We offer the whole package! Since brand and visual marketing is constantly on going when it comes to owning a business, we adapted ourselves to be able to help small businesses out wherever they may need. We offer logo design, full branding and rebranding, web design, print (business cards, promotional items, t-shirts, wedding invites etc), and any other form of visual marketing we can think of (billboards, signage, illustration, etc)!

Are you offering a discount to AOTS vendors?
We're offering a free 'friends' package to anyone who decides to use us for any type of service we offer. Whether it's a logo design, a wedding invite, or the whole package! The package includes some freebies such as a Shanty Tee, some stickers, and just a handful of little surprises. : )

What do you love most about being a business in NEPA?
The amount of support out there. The community is thriving and there are so many people taking the extra step to do great things in our area. It's great to be a part of that! : )

What was your favorite project thus far done for ScrantonMade/AOTS/HOTS?
Either the shop local map or this current redesign of the Arts on the Square website. All of ScrantonMade's work is my favorite!

What is the best part of being a small business owner?
The hours : ) I am NOT a morning person. Then of course the flexibility of my own decision making and seeing clients be happy with the work we bust our butts on.

What 3 tools would you recommend for vendors/small businesses?
An easy to navigate website for one! It can help organize those businesses that are selling items. Working with a cms/ecommerce store to manage products helps keep track of sales easier and it also comes in handy come tax time.

Some type of photo editor. Whether it's Gimp, Picassa, Adobe Photoshop, or something comparable even if it's a phone app. Especially if you post photos or hold contests on Facebook or Instagram. It helps when it comes to resizing images or adding text on top of it. It would come in handy most if you have a website that you'd like to update often. We make templates for our clients when they need help making sure an image fits in, say, a slider on the home page. So some type of photo editing tool is much needed for promotion.

Constantly keep an eye out for new trends in marketing. Always keep one ear to the ground and try to figure out exactly who your client base is (even if it changes over time), and what they want. There’s nothing better than a business that knows it's customers and caters to them while still cultivating their own world.

Business name: Shanty Town Design
Location: Scranton Area, PA

Team Members:
Samantha Nardelli - Owner | Co-founder | Web Design
Desiree Vispi - Co-founder | Print Design | Concepts
Matt Rinkunas - Account Services | Marketing
plus a handful of independent contractors

AOTS pARTner Spotlight: Our Interview with Erika Funke of WVIA!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
We got to sit down with Erika Funke of WVIA and she interviewed us on ArtScene. We thought it would be fun to turn the tables and interview the interviewer about her prolific career in radio and the arts.  Erika and the WVIA team have been an invaluable pARTner in spreading the word for Arts on the Square.

Hello Erika!

When you were a college student at University of Chicago, what was your dream for your career?  Would that you be surprised at how it unfolded and where you are today?
The University of Chicago was a hothouse of ideas and, at the time, I was fascinated by the way various art forms can "talk" to each other and tell us something about what it means to be human.  But really, I had no idea how I would spend my working life.  It was Chicago after all, and my friends and I tried to hear as much live music as possible.  And unexpectedly, it was a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that literally changed my life and gave it a focus, a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 that took  our collective breath away.  We'd somehow experienced the power of music to move and connect us, bring us exhilaration and true joy.  It was clear that finding a way to bring people together with music would be the next step for me.

Was WVIA your 1st Radio Job?  Did you always want to work in radio?
As it happens, I'd already been doing radio shows all through college, but not with a career in mind.  And actually, you might say that I backed into radio, though my mother had done some radio here in NEPA when I was growing up, and she'd almost gone into radio theater at the network level when she returned to NYC after college.  

(Of course, there's the irony of my name.  "Funk" in German means "spark" or "flame", and it's the root of the word for "radio"--"Rundfunk".  A Swiss doctor reminded me about the early radio operators in his country who used to call each other "Spark" and "Sparky" because of the spark-gap transmitters that were standard.)

One thing led to another, and I was fortunate enough to teach media studies at a branch campus of Goddard College in the Boston area and to have yearlong apprenticeship at WGBH-FM, where I worked on their local version of "All Things Considered".

I came back to NEPA to recover from some surgery and began volunteering at WVIA to keep my hand in radio.  Within a few weeks, the morning classical host resigned to head west, and I had a terrific opportunity to join the staff and realize that dream of bringing music and people together.  

Why is promoting the arts important to you?
As we know, radio is a remarkable medium.  So many people love the way radio engages the human imagination--that we as listeners create the "pictures".  It's also the intimacy of the relationship between the speaker and the listener that contributes to its power.  Putting that together with an exploration of the creative life of the region seemed a natural thing.  The "conversations" we can have in and through the arts allow us to touch levels of experience that remind us of the range of our humanity, from the most profound to the most light-hearted moments.  And I've witnessed the way the conversations with creative individuals in the region and beyond on "ArtScene" can inspire us and get us out into the community to experience various art offerings directly.

What do you like most about our arts community here in NEPA?
I'm thrilled at both the quantity and quality of the arts activity in the region and also by the impact that artists are having on the quality of life of the communities where they live and work.  Also by the fact that creative people are returning to the area to settle in and help us experience our home turf with fresh eyes.   In fact, few things excite me more than meeting creative people giving shape and form to their vision of  this place.

How long have you been hosting ArtScene and who was your absolute favorite interview?

Conservatively, we say we do on average 250 or more separate arts interviews each year--for at least 9 years running now. There have been so many conversations at the "ArtScene" table that have been memorable, but there's one I'll mention because it was among the most difficult interviews I've ever done and one that unfolded as a truly moving experience

The Academy Award-winning actor Jack Palance from the Hazleton area was having an exhibition of his paintings at the Everhart Museum in Scranton.  He'd been on the media circuit that day, and WVIA was his last stop.  He arrived and he was weary, and his body language said it all.  He took his seat  and twisted his huge frame as far away from the table as he could, while still allowing his voice--rich as it was--to reach the microphone, almost over his shoulder.  I'm certain that my questions were respectful and I tried to make them fresh, but his answers were terse and dry-as-toast.  I'd just about given up hope of  breaking through his reserve, when I decided to go for broke.  His eyes had been wandering and scanning the CD shelves, so I asked if he saw anything he liked among the classical albums.  He paused and stretched his long (push-up?) arm over and pulled out a recording of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro".  

His rigid frame softened, and he turned back to talk about how important music had been in his life--Mozart especially.  He may even have said he listened to music while painting.   And then he asked me whether I knew that he wrote poetry, and he talked about his various inspirations and the book he created for his beautiful wife. He actually recited some of his verses.  And suddenly were experiencing a side of this talented and successful actor who had grown up in the hard-scrabble community of Lattimer Mines.  His father worked in the mines and so did he.  He played football and became a boxer, and of course, he was eventually known for his tough-guy persona in Hollywood.  Here he was talking about the delicacy and power of Mozart, about the romantic emotions he expressed in his poetry.  It was a remarkable transformation and a privilege to be permitted some access to the interior world of an extremely private person.

And truly, it's moments like that when I pinch myself and realize how blessed I am to be able to share such conversations with listeners each day, so that we can get to know more about this remarkable place, ourselves and each other.

WVIA Public Media - Television / Radio / Internet / Theater

VIA Studios Global - Broadcast, Internet, Mobile Production Services

CHIAROSCURO Records - Fine Jazz Recordings

#shopscranton Spotlight: Meet Julie MacDowall of Northern Light Espresso Bar

Monday, July 21, 2014

The ScrantonMade team can often be found sitting at Northern Light planning or dreaming about our next event.  We got the chance to chat with owner Julie MacDowall to talk about the joys of owning a downtown business. Northern Light will be providing coffee cuppings and tastings outside their storefront during Arts on the Square.  We can’t wait!

How long has Northern Light Espresso Bar been in business downtown?

​Northern Light has been in business in downtown since 2003. Darby and I purchased the cafe in 2009. ​

What made you decide to purchase a cafe in downtown Scranton?
​We were looking to open a Cafe in town, and found out that this business was for sale.​

What do you enjoy most about being downtown?

​Our customers and our employees. ​

We have made many lifelong friends within our customer base. These are the people that you see every day. The life blood of the business, and we have an opportunity to chat every day, even if the conversation is a brief one. Our employees are our family. Darby and I couldn't imagine our lives without them being a part of it. We celebrate our joys and sorrows together. We have watched many of them grow from being young students into successful adults, with career paths of their own.

What’s your key to success?

​Hard work, dedication, treating employees fairly, and giving the customers what they want. We love to hear from our customers when they let us know what they like or don't like. We have really changed the face of Northern Light. When we purchased the business, there were limited food options; basically nothing more than frozen pastries. Now we offer freshly baked cookies, muffins, scones and cakes, as well as Salads, Sandwiches, Soups and Wraps. We have Bagels and Breads delivered fresh each day. We strive to offer the best and largest assortment of Fair trade, Organic coffees and Loose Leaf Teas.   

Why are events like Arts on The Square are good for our community and small businesses?

​Darby and I have always thought that a Market on the Square would be great way to get people into the downtown.  Arts on the Square does a great job of showcasing locally talented artist and musicians.

Why do you think it’s important to support local?
More and more people realize the importance of buying local and shopping at small businesses.  Keeping the money within your own community helps to provide a healthy economic environment and make downtown a vibrant place to shop, live and work.  

Will you be offering any day of specials during AOTS?  If so, tell us more…..

Our Barista Trainer and Roaster Luke Damiani will be in front of the shop
from 2 pm – 7pm providing coffee cuppings and tastings of some of his own coffees.  He will also be doing some brewing demonstrations featuring the Chemex Pourover, The Clever Dripper and French Press.

Find Northern Light Espresso Bar:
Location: 536 Spruce Street, Courthouse Square, Downtown Scranton

Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Lyn Carey of Earth and Wears

Saturday, July 19, 2014
We've been huge fans of Lyn Carey’s pottery and her lovely store Earth and Wears in Dallas which is a haven for local handmade enthusiasts. She’ll be bringing her hand formed stoneware & porcelain jewelry and pottery to Arts on the Square this year!

Tell us a little bit about your business.  We know you have a beautiful storefront in Dallas, PA.  When did you open and what type of wares and artists do you feature?
Earth and Wears opened on November 1st, 2008. My shop has been described as a brick and mortar etsy shop. All of the work is handmade, by mostly local makers. In addition to my hand formed porcelain and stoneware jewelry and functional pottery, I carry the work of several other potters and jewelry makers, wonderful wire art by local wire artist Sean Brady, hair accessories, hand painted silk scarves, felted wool creations, stone coasters, fused glass art, hand crafted wooden gifts, dreamcatchers, prints, cards, mixed media wall art, newborn and toddler tees, stained glass lamps made from recycled wine bottles and more. New items arrive every week. 

When did you realize that there was a need in the community for this type of business?
I love the unique handmade items I have found at craft shows and on etsy. I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could create a brick and mortar where shoppers could find the works of local makers all under one roof.
You are an artist as well as a business owner.  Tell us about your pottery and how you got started in that?

I started taking pottery classes in 2001 with Jean Adams (Wilkes University) and fell in love with clay. I began on the wheel creating functional pottery. I was disappointed with the way some of the glazes on my pots were turning out so I started to do some test tiles. Looking at the tiles, I thought I could use these tile-like pieces to create ceramic jewelry and shortly thereafter started my line of earthy ceramic jewelry. I very often incorporate vintage pieces with my jewelry as well as textures from vintage stampings. I participated in a few craft shows with my daughter (Nicole Carey of Nicole's Threads) and discovered people really enjoyed my pots and my jewelry. Around the same time, my friend Skip Sensbach of Green Dog Pottery put his brick and mortar up for sale as he was going back to school for his Masters. I decided to buy the tiny building and fill it with "handmade lovelies" from mostly local artists. It will be my sixth anniversary on November 1st.

What type of work will you be featuring at Arts on the Square?  

I will be bringing my hand formed stoneware and porcelain jewelry and functional pottery.

Do you do a lot of festivals and events and, if so, what’s your favorite thing about it?

I participate in nearly 40 craft shows and festivals a year. I love the people and the fact that they appreciate handmade things. Very often, a buyer will leave wearing the jewelry they just purchased. It's the best feeling in the world to be at a craft show and see a returning customer from the previous year walk in to my booth wearing the earth and wears purchase he or she made the year before. In addition, I love meeting other makers at the shows and many have become great friends. It's also a great place for me to find unusual items for the store.

What do you enjoy most about owning your own creative business?

 What’s not to love about being surrounded by all things handmade? And the shoppers are the best! I have met and become great friends with so many of the earth and wears customers. How many stores do you go into where the customer is hugging the shop owner (and vice verse) by the time they are done shopping!!!

Where else can our readers find you?

Store Location: earth and wears, 68 Main Street, Dallas, PA 18612
Instagram: @earthandwears

Other Festivals/events: Clover Market (Ardmore, Philly and Chestnut Hill, PA), Art Star Craft Bazaar, Communiversity in Princeton, NJ, BloomsburgArtFest, Arts at Hayfield and Homespun Christmas at PSU W-B, Indiemade CraftBazaar (Allentown), Fine Arts Fiesta, Danville Spring and Fall Festivals