In honor of October being Italian Heritage Month, organizers of the Downtown-Go-Around are planning to bring a taste of Italy to the streets of downtown Clarks Summit on Friday, Oct. 11.
“We have reached out to many of our favorite Italian restaurants in Clarks Summit and they are working to bring some tastes of Italy to State Street. We are hoping to have some fine Italian wine sampling available at State Street Grill, and at some of the art walk stops around the town,” said committee member Mari Walker.
Poetry and a free movie at the Abington Community Library are also planned.
In conjunction with this month’s Italian theme, the committee is also working with the Italian-American service organization, UNICO, to raise awareness and money for St. Francis Commons, a homeless veterans’ shelter being built in Scranton.
“All proceeds and donations that night will be given to help UNICO in their efforts to assist the St. Francis Commons Project for local homeless veterans,” Walker said.
“Live music will fill the air,” according to Walker, with Jim Carro at the Clarks Summit Borough Building, James Barrett at the grand opening/expansion of the Abington Art Studio and a “Basement Jam” at Everything Natural, featuring cocoa and the Swanx and other local, younger bands. An “After-Jam” at Duffy’s Coffee House will be held from 9 to 11 p.m.
Dorothy O’Connor, committee member, recently announced she applied for and was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in the amount of $1,968, to be used by the organization to promote the arts from Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2014.
“Usually artists apply for it. I’m not the artist, but I am coordinating the artists. We wrote the original grant for $2,500,” said O’Connor, who received help writing the grant from group members, Walker and Leah Ducato Rudolph.
The grant will enable the non-profit organization formed under the auspices of the Abington Business and Professional Association to bring more events to the art walk .
“The Downtown-Go-Around is bringing more events to the art walk. It’s enhancing the art walk. To enhance the visual arts, we’re bringing the performing arts,” said O’Connor.
“I’m really excited, because we’ve been counting on people (musicians and other street performers) to do this pro bono since we started in April. They’ve been coming and playing for free and helping us out. The whole idea of getting this started was to be able to help the artists out…by hopefully being able to pay them. We want some place for them…to come and be able to show off their talents, but we would also like to be able to help them out and pay them. This helps us because now we can actually pay them. There’s so much talent in the area.”
In addition to the grant award, O’Connor said they are seeking sponsors at a cost of $500 for a period of six months.
“We need extra money. If we’re putting out $400 per month in advertising, musicians and street performers, that grant doesn’t cover the whole cost, so we need sponsorship on top of that. If we have sponsors, it shows that the community supports us,” said O’Connor.
Additional information regarding the Downtown-Go-Around can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/Downtown-Go-Around/182639395221251.