The Tamaqua Community Arts Center proudly presents Dear Tamaqua… In a New Light, the culmination of their two-year Dear Tamaqua project exploring the hopes, fears, and dreams of Tamaqua citizens. This free, large-scale, outdoor spectacle takes place on August 4th as part of National Night Out; the event starts at the Tamaqua Train Station at 7:30pm, with rolling admission until 8:30pm. The Grand Finale will take place at the Train Station at 9:30pm.
Inspired by over 500 letters written by current and former residents, the Arts Center is partnering with local businesses, churches, talent, and community groups to bring these voices of Tamaqua to life. From the Train Station, audience members will embark on a one-mile journey through familiar streets, transformed into an immersive, multimedia experience. Along the route, audiences will experience local sights, sounds, tastes, and memories, and explore the love/hate relationship Tamaqua has with itself.
“The most wonderful part of this project is that the community was given a voice,” expresses Leona Rega, Tamaqua Community Arts Center Director. “It has been an opportunity for us to relish in fond memories and our rich heritage, openly share our concerns, and now, focus on the future. This is a landmark event! One must experience it, as nothing like it has ever been experienced in Tamaqua.”
The production represents the second phase of the Dear Tamaqua project, a collaborative venture between the Tamaqua Community Arts Center, the Tamaqua Safety Initiative, and the Dear Tamaqua Leadership Committee. The project aims to build towards more complete ownership of Tamaqua’s unique identity and serve as a catalyst for positive local change. During the first phase, residents were encouraged to share personal memories, experiences, concerns, and hopes for the future in the form of letters. These 500+ submissions served as the source material for this second-year production.
Touchstone Theatre, a Bethlehem-based group with a long history of creating powerful, original community-based art, has partnered on the project to assist with the story-gathering of phase one and the artistic vision and execution of phase two. Dear Tamaqua…In a New Light is written and designed by Touchstone Artistic Director and Tamaqua native Jp Jordan and Touchstone Associate/Moravian College Director Christopher Shorr. Jordan also serves as director.
Dear Tamaqua is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through a partnership with Jump Street of Harrisburg, a community based arts incubator. It is also supported by Air Products, Boyer’s, LISC, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Nonprofit and Community Assistance Center.
Dear Tamaqua debuts August 4th at 7:30pm during National Night Out. The rain date for the event is August 5th. Also happening on August 4th is the Tamaqua Salvation Army’s Kidz Karnival, rain or shine, which kicks off Tamaqua’s National Night Out with family fun for children ages 3-12. Karnival goers will enjoy food, games, prizes, rides, and activities from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the North Railroad Street parking lot (across the tracks from the Tamaqua Train Station). Tickets are available for purchase at The Tamaqua Salvation Army, Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce and Hiles Brothers in Summit Hill; they will also be available at the Kidz Karnival. Further information on Kidz Karnival is available through Major Sharon Whispell at 508-574-9950 or Dina Depos at 570-668-0410. Further information on Dear Tamaqua…In a New Light (parking, mobility access, etc.) is available at www.deartamaqua.com. To get involved in the project, or to make a monetary or in-kind donation, please contact Leona Rega, Tamaqua Community Arts Center Director, at 570-668-1192 or Leona@tacp.info.
Click HERE to view the event’s Facebook page.