A Poem For Her by Jenny Johnson

She is hurt over and over again
She loves so deeply, tenderly and genuinely
She loves everyone so easily

Her presence always speaks grace, beauty and love
The kindest words aren’t enough
To show this angel what an inspiration she is to me
Everything she is I want to be

Her smile is so peaceful and her eyes are filled with joy
Her mind is bold and her heart is coy
Her actions and words teaches me right from wrong
The faith she shares guides me along

…Read More…


A Field Guide to Getting Lost: Book review by Andrea Hartley

Andrea HartleyJust as there are a  chain of circumstances which lead to the perfect storm; there were a many factors which lead to my intense involvement with the text of Rebbecca Solnit’s  A Field Guide to Getting Lost.   The very day that I picked up the book, I had watched Stg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,  a movie that, if I had seen at all, it was only once, many years ago.  It left no particular impression on me at the time.  On this day, however, I whimsically noticed the styles of the early 70’s.  I did  more than reminisce about the clothes I wore when I was in my early twenties.  I seemed to be transported, in my mind, back to the time when most things were big.  Men’s hairstyles were big, or ample, reaching below the earlobe.  And cars, well, they were certainly big.  Then, the … [Read more]


Julia HeadshotMusikfest: A Summer Tradition, by Julia Johnson

Don’t miss the 31st annual 10-day MusikFest from ArtsQuest! Featuring performances by ZZTop, All-American Rejects, Jason Derulo, Sheryl Crow, The Moody Blues, Steely Dan, The Avett Brothers, Alan Jackson, Weezer, and Keith Urban. Musikfest was founded in 1984 by ArtsQuest, a community-based nonprofit organization, and more than 180,000 people came to historic Bethlehem for the first event. The event featured 295 performances and had six stages (Stages are called “platzes,” a homage to the city’s Germanic heritage; platz is the German  word for “place”).  Now, MusikFest has fourteen stages, eleven of them completely free.  Only the PNC Performing Arts Series and the Sand SteelStage require tickets.  There are over  500 free shows …[Read more]


Alfonso ToddThe FUZION 2014 – ROCK, RHYME, and RELIEF Event, courtesy of Alfonso Todd

It’s the END OF THE SUMMER Event you have been waiting for: FUZION 2014 / www.fuzionevent.com !Saturday, August 16, 201412:00 PM – 6:00 PM 555 Union Boulevard, Allentown, PA Don’t miss the LIVE performances of some of the most talented local and regional artists! Businesses and organizations will be available to share information about new products and opportunities that may be available. It will be a FAMILY AFFAIR so EVERYONE is WELCOME! In fact, we will be giving away FREE school supplies, school uniforms, and more… It’s an event that supports the future of all youth and their families. Vendor, sponsorship, and volunteer opportunities are always available and they are needed to make this event a success! FOR … [Get more information]


(L to R) Tesia Nicoli, Renee Wadsworth, Krystel SeierGIG’s “Motherhood Out Loud” – Joyous, Emotional, and Very Funny, by Eric Stoveken – Author, Playwright, Screenwriter

Something remarkable happened at the Macungie Institute this past May. In the auditorium of this inconspicuous converted schoolhouse turned community arts center, a delicate balancing act was playing out with astonishing results. Global ImpACTORS Group’s production of the off-Broadway hit Motherhood Out Loud straddles the line between raucous irreverence and intense pathos with a deft hand that serves as a remarkable showcase for the depth and breadth of talent in the Lehigh Valley. Motherhood Out Loud is a series of vignettes and monologues written by a group of 14 playwrights. If that sounds like a lot of writers, the cast, under the guidance of Director Tesia Nicoli, keeps the pace brisk and light. Minimal but well-crafted sets allow for smooth transitions from one segment to the … [Read more]


Stevie BlatzWhat’s HOT in kids parties and How Does Stevie Blatz Entertainment Keep Up? By Stephen T Blatz

If you stop and look around you as a parent, you will see  100+ themes, trends, ideas, and color schemes for your  child’s birthday party. We obviously can’t have 100  parties as kids. However, we tend to sometimes make  our own adult dreams come true and live the parties we  couldn’t have through the eyes of our kids. I am not yet a  parent, but I have done much research on children’s entertainment and themes. I specialize as a kids DJ. In  other words, my career involves me keeping up with the  latest trends. Some themes go out of style and some are  still HOT and always will be. We offer FREE advice on  any subject regarding kids parties if you are a client or  not. We never focus on the immediate dollar we can  make. We focus on the fact that you may be our client … “…we have this down to a science…”


Downtown AbbeyBethlehem Church Street Mansion Chosen as SOTA Show House 2014

Society of the Arts of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley announced today the selection of the home of Drs. Bill and Peggy Hoffman at 47 East Church Street in Historic Bethlehem for the SOTA Show House 2014. “As supporters of the arts, it gives us great pleasure to loan our home to the Society of the Arts for its fundraiser, Show House 2014, which will benefit the educational programs of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley,” said the Hoffman’s. The SOTA Show House 2014 is being nicknamed “Downtown Abbey” due its grandeur and its connection to the Moravian community, which together invoke parallels to the popular TV show. “The Museum appreciates the hard work and dedication our SOTA volunteers invest in the Show House event.  It’s a great fundraiser as well as a longstanding tradition that has been embraced by the communities throughout the Lehigh Valley over the last forty years. … [Read more]


KJHeadshotDon’t Miss Your Chance to See Motherhood Out Loud, By Kelly Herbert James

When I was in elementary school, our class assignment was to figure out what profession we wanted to be when we grew up. While the other kids struggled to write something, with steady hand I wrote three little letters on my poster board: MOM. One of the kids tried telling me that being a mom was not a profession, but I knew better. Besides, since I could remember, my dream has always been to be a mom. I finally got my dream several years ago with the birth of my first child. Since then I have been enjoying my time as my dream profession. Last week I had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of Global ImpACTORS Group’s Motherhood Out Loud, which will open May 16 at the Macungie Institute. I was familiar with the show, so I knew that it was going to be funny and entertaining. What … [Motherhood Out Loud, runs weekends May 16-24]


Stevie BlatzHow to Choose an Entertainer for Your Event, by Stephen T. Blatz

First Off I would like to ask you, have you ever booked entertainment, planned a party or wedding or hired children’s entertainment for a birthday party? Have you ever felt overwhelmed or unsure how to do these things properly? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then it’s my pleasure to assist you. You are not alone. I may be young but I have proven myself to hundreds of clients and hundreds of other event professionals. I encourage all readers of this article to check out what our company can do for your next event, wedding, corporate event, fundraiser, or birthday party. Below are a few tips for selecting the proper entertainment for an event. These are very basic but VERY important. Please know we offer FREE advice for anyone at anytime. Whether you are a client or … [read more]


KJHeadshotGlobal ImpACTORS Group Giving Birth to Motherhood Out Loud, By Kelly Herbert James

There are some days I would honestly rather be a little kid. Now that I am a parent, I know how much easier it was to be a child. I’m pretty sure my ten-year-old self would disagree, but wondering where to sit on the school bus wasn’t as much of a big deal as I originally thought, at least not when I compare it to the decisions I have to make as an adult. Being a parent is constant work, but most parents will tell you that the pay is totally worth it. As Mother’s Day approaches, let us take a few moments to thank our mothers. I thank my mom for, well, everything. Sure, we think we know what Mom has gone through to raise such well-adjusted and successful offspring (that’s us, of course), but parenthood is no easy task. r … [Read more]


Rick Moyer (Mad Dog) Tribute Photo Credit: John Bedics of Shogun PhotographyThe 15th Annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards – Back and Better Than Ever, by Mary Pierce

The Lehigh Valley Music Awards (LVMA) is in its 15th year, and like a fine wine, gets better with age. LVMA 15 delivered on its promise of professionalism. Historically, the event has run several hours long, but this year, the event was lighter and tighter. The improvement is thanks to some pruning of the awards categories from more than 100 down to 65 and a creative lineup of combo groups that included many of the 20-year Veteran award recipients. The event wasted no time in pulling heartstrings as it opened with a tribute to our Armed Forces. Scott Marshall and the Hillbilly Souls were joined by James Supra and Freddy Award winner Juanita Shockley to perform Marshall’s song, “Letters and Prayers”, which won the Best Original Song award later in the night. This year’s … [read more]


Run free run wild 2

Run Free! Run Wild! by William Cohea

Lighter than air! Faster than wind! The power of your legs to propel you forward at breakneck speeds! A very positive feeling! finding confidence at a very young age is priceless! How did I get the shots? Well, with children, you think small, very small! I don’t recommend this for the amateur photographer unless you’re quick on your feet. I was on my stomach in the middle of the course shooting with a 24 mm at f-stop 16. So not to get trampled by a herd of excited young runners I had to keep one eye in the viewfinder and one eye on the approaching mayhem. Life is filled with stories.   I enjoy the art of visual story telling. For me, it’s all about getting closer to the story that lies beneath the surface; the emotion that is the human being. I am currently taking … [Beautiful Photos]


Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Youth Education in the Arts Hold Auditions for the Official 2014 Drumline

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) are proud to announce the return of the popular Designated Hitters Drumline to the game-day entertainment line-up for a second season. To kick-off the 2014 season, the IronPigs and YEA! are inviting talented young drummers throughout the Lehigh Valley region to try out for the Drumline at an open audition on Sun., Jan. 19 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Coca-Cola Park. The 15-member Drumline will once again be a featured act at 15 home games and will welcome crowds to Coca-Cola Park in the parking lot and at the main entrance gates before games. Their performances will also be extended within the games to include appearances between innings and alongside the IronPigs’ popular mascots. The Designated Hitters range in … [Read more]


I want to fly 14

I Want to Fly, by William Cohea

I Want To Fly is a story about a young man who is 12 years old and his desire to learn how to fly. Do you remember being 12 years old? For me, it is an ancient memory that is clouded with time. But Nick, who is in the process of becoming a young man, is full of the itch to learn how to fly.  With the help of a gifted flight trainer, he is moving very close to that goal. Nick started his flight training with this vintage aircraft. To fly this type of aircraft you have to literally learn how to fly by the seat of your pants. Part of his training is do a complete walk around … [Read more about Nick]


Anastasia Alexandrin standing in front of her work (titled “Monarch”)

Anastasia Alexandrin standing in front of her work (titled “Monarch”)

Getting to know Anastasia Alexandrin, by Marc Londo

Lehigh Valley product taking part in Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2013 She speaks fondly of her formative years in the Lehigh Valley. Calling it a rich life of watching the colors change with the seasons, and sitting under the stars at night, Anastasia Alexandrin describes her hometown, Allentown, as a magical place that nurtured her dream of becoming a professional fine artist. Today, that magic resides within the ornate frames she constructs that illuminate, and give focus, to her narratives. Through the lens of these frames, Alexandrin conducts an aesthetic concerto of past, present, and future, worlds. These world views encompass her ideal of what is, what was, and what can be. As a young woman striving to chart a path, within an art world that has historically relegated female artists to the periphery, she goes against the grain. Alexandrin makes art that celebrates the … [Read more about Anastasia]


BIO PICYou Get What You Pay for, by Christina Salkowski

Raise your hand if you are on a budget. Raise your hand if you have cut down dinning out to save money. Raise your hand if you have ever been grocery shopping. Yes, grocery shopping. Everything that affects the common grocery shopper in the store affects the common chef in a restaurant. If you are buying groceries on a budget, so are we. If you are paying more for pork per pound, so are we. At Gracie’s 21st Century Cafe and Catering in Pine Forge we do not let price interfere with giving you the best quality, healthy food, however when a customer comes out to eat with us, they look, first, at the prices, then, from the prices decide what they want. There is another way that this chef wants you to look at a menu. I want you to think about what you pay in a grocery store for the … [read more]


Carribean CarnivalCaribbean Night at Gracie’s 21st Century Cafe, by Christina Salkowski

Gracie’s 21st Century Café was truly the place to be on Friday September 13, 2013..or..were we somehow transported to a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, with music, dancing, and an island inspired buffet, which perfectly represented the national dishes of some of Gracie’s favorite islands? I’m still trying to figure that out… Caribbean Fest at Gracie’s 21st Century Café is an annual charity event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, held because the charity is one which she holds close to her heart. Gracie has been studying Caribbean cuisine since the 1970’s, it’s one of her favorites, and the menu she created represents the spirit of the national dishes from some of her favorite islands. The first course was a plate of appetizers in which every guest … [Read more about the Caribbean Carnival]


Say it with doves logo

Area Entrepreneur Finds Way to “Dovetail” Two Divergent Businesses, by Ashley A. Henry Shook

Say It With Doves and Barbosa Family Enterprises Keeps Businesswoman Busy Year Round How does she do it? It’s a question we’ve posed to those stellar women in our personal and professional lives who seem to be able to do it all. The question is all the more fitting for Heather Barbosa, owner of two Lehigh Valley businesses – Barbosa Family Enterprises and Say It With Doves. Both ventures couldn’t be more different – Say It with Doves is a Doves-release business used for weddings, fundraisers, funerals and other events while Barbosa Family Enterprises is a transportation and delivery business. Barbosa has developed a way to allow the businesses to support one another. Monday through Friday Barbosa can be seen in and around the Lehigh Valley delivering and picking up … FAQs regarding dove releases


Haven Salon and SpaHaven Salon and Spa Contest

September is finally upon us! Which means back-to-school, Labor Day picnics, shorter days, cooler nights… And at Haven it means it’s time to celebrate our Grand Opening!  All this month we’ll be celebrating in style with specials, giveaways and lots of fun treats for our guests! Each week we’ll announce new deals, promotions and more for you to enjoy and share in the excitement! Plus, every time you book a service in September, you’ll automatically be entered to win one of 3 amazing prizes at the end of the month!  And of course, what Grand Opening would be complete without a fabulous party?! Certainly not ours… So we’ll be hosting our Grand Opening Party on September 29th to cap off our month-long celebration! Be sure to check back on our website (or on our Facebook … Win prizes



Real Men Love Ballet

(This article orginally appeared in Jersey Man Magazine)

by Andrea Hartley

It’s Friday night. You and your wife are seated at a formal, fundraising dinner for a cure for breast cancer. They announce that the Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre will be performing. You wince. You stoically sit back in your chair, preparing to be bored. After all, ballet is for women, just like the fundraiser.… Continue reading →


slider2The Sport of Dance

by Andre Hartley

(This article originally appeared in Jersey Man Magazine http://jerseymanmagazine.com/sport-of-dance)

The mere mention of the words, “Let’s go dancing tonight, honey,” sends shivers up many masculine spines. He would much rather go to a sports event, or watch one on television. But wait, guys, maybe there is something that you have overlooked!

Think football. Players are assigned specific roles, follow designed plays, and move to certain spots, sometimes using a pre-determined route to get there. Now, think dance. Isn’t the approach the same, with hopefully less violent interactions? read more


Women in Music

by Mary Pierce

This month I am going to keep is short, sweet and to the point. There is so much going on I don’t even know where to start. The Woman’s Blues alliance and 2nd Story Blues are joining forces and the there is about to be an explosion of Blues centered activities in the region. Mona Rodriguez host of the “Assorted Women’s Show,” on WDIY wrote and fantastic book. Christine Ohlman the Bee Hive Queen of Soul is performing at the Stanhope house, Lucianna Padmore is a super cool chick drummer for Stratospheerius and the Coup de Gras, I will be booking bands at STORM nightclub. READ MORE

Got Music?

By: Mary Pierce

It is the Holiday season and as expected, there is quite a bit going on. It is a time of year when everyone sort of puts the mental breaks on and is in a mad dash to “get it all done” and that includes helping people. All of humanity should have some level of community mindedness and a desire to improve the quality of life for our fellow man. Unfortunately that is just not the way this world works. Thank God that I am not responsible for the world. I am only responsible for me. What little power I have to exact change, is in myself and so it is with you too. read more

Music Can Heal a Broken Land

by: Mary Pierce


So much has happened in the Lehigh Valley world of music this month. I want to tell you about my talk with Ms. Danielle Lubené, some great CDs by Martin Sexton, John Oats and Josh Garrett, the upcoming Beatles Showcase at Musikfest Cafe and the All About Bullies CD release party. But first I want to tell you about my recent trip to Houma Louisiana and how my new friend Tab Benoit and his friends are using music to heal their land.I had never been to Louisiana before. It’s a magical place, with friendly, unassuming people that live a simple life in the Bayou. I’m sure you have heard of “The Bayou”, but do you really know what it is? I didn’t, but I do now. read more



It’s All About the Music!!!

by Mary Pierce

I would like to thank Andrea for inviting me to be a part of the Lehigh Valley Women’s Journal family of writers. Each month I will be introducing our readers to some of the Valley’s most amazing talent. Although my column will feature both male and female artists, whenever possible, I will place special emphasis on the remarkable achievements of Women in Entertainment both locally and nationally. read more


Passion for Dance

“Where the passion of the earliest art form comes to life,” is the slogan that says it all for Amanda Armetta.  She lives her life by these words  and the students at Armetta’s Dance Studio greatly benefit by it.    For some of Armetta’s students, her weekly dance class is the only time they can really express themselves.   These children are autistic and are not usually able to express themselves verbally well,  but  with dance, it’s a different story.read more



Entertainment and Heart in the Lehigh Valley

By: Mary Pierce

It’s a great honor for me to work among what is arguably some of the most talented & community minded musicians/bands in the country. The Lehigh Valley is fertile soil rich with not only talent but heart. David Ivory the President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) is an advocate of the talent in our area and their mindset. At a 2010 open board meeting of the Lehigh Valley Music Awrds (LVMA) Mr. Ivory addressed the more that 60 in attendance and he spoke of the remarkable comradery of the industry here and how no where else in the business has he seen such a like mined group that supports each other and believes that we all have a vested interest in the success of our peers and that when one falls we all come together to lift them up. read more