There's always something good happening in downtown Wilkes-Barre!
February 14 - February 20, 2017
Successful community revitalization efforts build upon those elements that make a place special. In Downtown Wilkes-Barre, one of our most special assets is the Irem Temple - the minaret-topped fantasy of a building that has been a center city landmark since 1907.

On Wednesday, the community group working to stabilize and reuse the Irem Temple will hold a fundraiser at the Westmoreland Club from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Join the movement, contribute to the cause, and learn more about the effort to save this magnificent historic building. There will be food and drink, silent and live auctions, and great company. You can register for the event here.

The Irem fundraiser is just one of the many happenings in Downtown Wilkes-Barre this week.

Tuesday is, of course, Valentine's Day - and there's no better opportunity for a romantic dinner at one of Downtown's many superb restaurants.

If you're a fan of Cirque de Soleil, then you'll want to be at the F.M. Kirby Center on Thursday evening, when the Kirby's "Lobby for the Arts" series presents Cirque Zuma Zuma, in which African performers provide their spectacular take on the contemporary theatrical circus.

February 17th is the third Friday of the month - and in Downtown Wilkes-Barre, Third Friday means one thing: an evening focused on the arts. Head to the Wyoming Valley Art League for the opening reception of sculptor Skip Sensbach's new exhibit, "Mental Blocks," explore painter Elaine Walton's exhibit at Rodano's, enjoy the Walnut Street Theatre's revival of Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers on the Kirby Center stage, or sing along with Wilkes University Theatre's performance of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Darte Center (continuing through the next two weekends).

Finally, for all the photographers out there: there are two different opportunities for your photos to help spotlight our community's beauty and heritage.

Wilkes-Barre is the northern terminus of the Delaware & Lehigh National Historic Corridor, which  is currently holding its annual online “Shutter Madness” photo contest. Entries are free and welcome until the end of February; you are invited to submit your best digital photos showcasing features from any of the D&L's five counties: outdoor activities, architecture, events, or landscapes.  

And, because Wilkes-Barre is a river town, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership invites participation in their 6th annual photo contest, "Treasured Towns and Landscapes of the Susquehanna." This free contest seeks to celebrate the connections between the river and its communities, with prizes awarded to the winners within each category: Treasured Towns, Treasured Landscapes, Susquehanna Adventures, and Youth. The contest runs until June 30, 2017.

Hoping to see you soon in Downtown Wilkes-Barre!

Larry Newman, Executive Director
Diamond City Partnership
larry@wbdcp.org
This week at the F.M. Kirby Center:
Downtown Events

Tuesday, February 14
Rotary Club of Wilkes-Barre Weekly Meeting

TIME: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
PLACE: Genetti Best Western Hotel & Conference Center, 77 East Market Street

The Rotary Club of Wilkes-Barre meets every Tuesday at noon. We are neighbors and community leaders uniting for the common good. The meeting is open to members and their guests, prospective members, and visiting Rotarians.
More information: www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofWilkesBarrePa

Wednesday, February 15
Osterhout Teen Night

TIME: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
PLACE: Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street

Every Wednesday night is Teen Night at the Osterhout! Enjoy snacks, bring your friends, make new friends and - most importantly - just relax and have fun! Free and open to teens aged 12 to 18.
More information: www.osterhout.info or 570-823-0156.

Wednesday, February 15
Irem Temple Restoration Project Information Session/Fundraiser

TIME: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
PLACE: Westmoreland Club, 59 South Franklin Street

Come learn more about the community initiative to stabilize and ultimately restore Downtown's famous Irem Temple. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and participate in silent and live auctions. Proceeds will be contributed to the Luzerne Foundation's Irem Temple Restoration and Preservation Fund. Tickets: $60.00 (includes hors d’oeuvres and first drink.) 
Tickets and more information: http://luzfdn.org/cause-posts/irem-temple-restoration-and-preservation-fund/

Wednesday, February 15
Family Business Alliance: Leveraging Analytics to Make Better Marketing Decisions

TIME: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
PLACE: Wilkes University Henry Student Center ballroom. 84 West South Street 

The Family Business Alliance latest Breakfast Forum will feature Blackout Design's Jack Reager, who will explain how to maximize your company's marketing by organizing your message across multiple media, and how to use the data you collect to make better marketing decisions and grow your audience. Free and open to the public; advance registration required.
More information: www.wilkes.edu or 570-408-2120.


Thursday, February 16
Franklin Street Sleuths Book Discussion
TIME: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM 
PLACE: Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street

This month’s Franklin Street Sleuths book discussion focuses on The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan. Books may be purchased at the Osterhout. Free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.
More information: www.osterhout.info or 570-821-1959.

Thursday, February 16
The F.M. Kirby Center presents Cirque Zuma Zuma

TIME: 7:30 PM
PLACE: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square

After sell-out seasons in Europe, Cirque Zuma Zuma is ready to “wow” audiences in the US! Many describe it as an African-style Cirque du Soleil; such is the standard of the performers and the quality of the live musical score. The show features an array of remarkable talents and the best-loved skills of African variety arts. Tickets: $20.00 in advance, $25.00 day of show.
More information: www.kirbycenter.org or 570-826-1100.

Friday, February 17
Osterhout Friday Movie Matinee: Sunrise at Campobello

TIME: 2:00 PM
PLACE: Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street

Join us every Friday for a themed movie selection. This week's movie will be Sunrise at Campobello (1960), starring Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson and Hume Cronyn in a biographical film telling the story of how Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family coped with FDR's polio and subsequent paralysis. Free and open to the public; popcorn provided.
More information: www.osterhout.info or 570-823-0156.

Friday, February 17
Opening Reception: "Mental Blocks"
TIME: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
PLACE: WVAL Circle Centre for the Arts, 130 South Franklin Street

Join the WVAL on Friday, February 17 for the opening reception featuring sculptor Skip Sensbach's new exhibition, “Mental Blocks.” The exhibition, which will run until March 30, features Skip’s sculptural work, created in response to a loved one’s dementia, and exploring memory, language, and those afflicted with the disease. Free and open to the public.
More information:  www.wyomingvalleyartleague.org or 570-288-1020.

Friday, February 17
Art Exhibit: Black and White- Exploring New Realms in Portraiture
TIME: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
PLACE: Rodano's, 53 Public Square

Local artist Elaine D. Walton presents Black and White: Exploring New Realms in Portraiture, a four-hour art exhibition on Friday, February 17, 2017. This one-night-only exhibit will feature new works on canvas featuring portraits ranging from pop culture icons to cats! All work on display will be one-of-a-kind works for sale. Free and open to the public.
More information: www.elainewalton.net  or 774-234-6472.

Friday, February 17
The F.M. Kirby Center presents Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers

TIME: 7:30 PM 
PLACE: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, 71 Public Square

Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater presents this freshly conceived production of Neil Simon’s classic play, Last of the Red Hot Lovers. True comedy ensues when a modern man in the hip sixties looks for something new and different, but ends up finding himself in the same situation, again, and again,…and again! Tickets start at $18.00. 
More information: www.kirbycenter.org or 570-826-1100.

Friday, February 17
Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

TIME: 8:00 PM
PLACE: Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, West South Street 

Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Join the Peanuts gang - Charlie, his sister Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, and of course his best pal Snoopy - as they sing and dance their philosophies of life in this 1967 classic - a playful and heart warming musical that reminds us that the little moments in life make all the difference. Tickets: $10; $5 for students and seniors; free for Wilkes students, faculty and staff with ID. 
More information: www.wilkes.edu or 570-408-4540.

Saturday, February 18
Osterhout "One More Row" Knit and Crochet Group

TIME: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
PLACE: Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street

Learn, share, knit or crochet! Come out and join our knit and crochet group! New members are welcome. Free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served. 
More information: www.osterhout.info or 570-823-0156.

Saturday, February 18
Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

TIME: 8:00 PM
PLACE: Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, West South Street 

Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Join the Peanuts gang - Charlie, his sister Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, and of course his best pal Snoopy - as they sing and dance their philosophies of life in this 1967 classic - a playful and heart warming musical that reminds us that the little moments in life make all the difference. Tickets: $10; $5 for students and seniors; free for Wilkes students, faculty and staff with ID. 
More information: www.wilkes.edu or 570-408-4540.

Sunday, February 19
Wilkes University Chamber Singers at First Presbyterian Church

TIME: 10:00 AM
PLACE: First Presbyterian Church, 97 South Franklin St.
 
The Wilkes University Chamber Singers will be the guest choir at First Presbyterian Church's 10:00 AM worship service. The Chamber Singers typically perform a wide range of a cappella repertoire, from Renaissance to contemporary music. Join us at the worship service and at the reception following. Free and open to the public.
More information: http://www.fpcwb.com or 570-824-2478.

Sunday, February 19
Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

TIME: 2:00 PM
PLACE: Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts, West South Street 

Wilkes University Theatre presents You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Join the Peanuts gang - Charlie, his sister Sally, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, and of course his best pal Snoopy - as they sing and dance their philosophies of life in this 1967 classic - a playful and heart warming musical that reminds us that the little moments in life make all the difference. Tickets: $10; $5 for students and seniors; free for Wilkes students, faculty and staff with ID. 
More information: www.wilkes.edu or 570-408-4540.
Downtown Exhibits
 
Luzerne County Historical Society Museum
(69 South Franklin Street)

The Luzerne County Historical Society will be closed from December 24, 2016 through February 28, 2017. We will still accept research requests by mail and by phone. During these weeks, we will be available for limited pre-arranged group tours of the Museum. We will reopen on our regular schedule in March 2017.

More information: www.luzernehistory.org or 570-823-6244.
 
King’s College Widmann Art Gallery
(Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center, between N. Main and N. Franklin Sts.)

HOURS: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
 
"For the Love of... Painting"
DATES: January 9 to February 17, 2017


The students from the Jim Rogowski Studio will exhibit their talents and love of painting. 

Marquis Art & Frame Second Floor Gallery
(122 South Main Street):

HOURS: 9:00 PM - 5:00 PM; Third Friday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM


More information: www.marquisartframe.com or 570-823-0518.

The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University
(Stark Learning Center, 150 South River Street)

HOURS: Tuesday - Sunday, 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 
"Lydia Panas: After Sargent"

DATES: January 20 to March 3, 2017

Award-winning photographer Lydia Panas explores vulnerability, tension and emotion within the classic but non-traditional portrait. Panas captures a revealing and compelling honesty through body language, facial expression and the model's relationship with space.
More information: http://wilkes.edu/SordoniArtGallery.

 

Wyoming Valley Art League’s Circle Centre for the Arts
(130 South Franklin Street):

HOURS: Tuesday-Thursday, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM; Third Friday Art Walk, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Skip Sensbach: "Mental Blocks"
DATES: February 17 to March 30, 2017


The exhibition will focus on Skip’s sculptural work, created in response to witnessing a loved one’s dementia, its impact on memory, and how it effects perceptions of those afflicted with the disease - especially as it relates to language. 

WVAL Members Exhibit
DATES: Opening January 20, 2017

The WVAL's current members' exhibit displays work in a wide variety of media and styles.

More information: www.wyomingvalleyartleague.org or 570-288-1020.
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This week's historic building is:

James M. Coughlin High School 
80 North Washington Street (1912)
 
When it was opened, Coughlin High School was “Wilkes-Barre High School” – the city’s only public high school. Within a decade, however, Wilkes-Barre’s population growth necessitated the construction of two more high schools – Grand Army of the Republic and Elmer L. Meyers – in other sections of the city. Wilkes-Barre architect Owen McGlynn won an architectural competition organized to select a design for the high school; for more than a century, McGlynn’s florid Beaux Arts building continued to serve its original purpose. The midcentury modern addition, still in use, is by the Wilkes-Barre firm of Lacy, Atherton, and Davis. The future of this beloved downtown landmark - now in need of substantial repair and proposed for replacement - is currently the subject of considerable civic debate.
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