Civic, Muhlenberg partner for facilities, programming
Muhlenberg College and The Civic Theatre of Allentown have announced a new four-year partnership, beginning July 1, to support Civic's Digital Cinema Challenge and provide Muhlenberg students, faculty and staff with expanded access to Civic Theatre facilities and programs.
"The College has been an active and enthusiastic community partner with Civic Theatre for at least a decade, and I am thrilled that we are building on that strong relationship in new and creative ways that will benefit both organizations as well as our Allentown neighborhood. We were both among the original members of the West End Alliance, a group formed to promote the historic West End Theatre District," said Muhlenberg President Randy Helm.
"Our students have easy access to Civic Theatre, which is just a few blocks from campus, and this new alliance gives them more opportunities and a greater incentive to enjoy the cultural offerings of our community," Helm said.
Certain special events generated by the partnership will be open to the public, including a late-night film series, which will show at least 10 films per semester; red carpet screenings for 'Berg's HYPE program and other student film projects; and the possibility of hosting events such as "A Cappella Fest," an annual concert from the College's six a cappella groups.
Additionally, Civic Theatre will offer daytime access to its spaces to the Muhlenberg community. A formalized internship program will be established, and students will receive free year-long memberships to Civic Theatre, giving them a discount on all films and theatrical programming.
"Although Civic Theatre and Muhlenberg have championed Allentown and our West End neighborhood for many years, Civic believes that this formal partnership with the College is a dream come true," said Michael Traupman, Civic Theatre's Managing Director.
"We have always relished the opportunity to provide our Muhlenberg neighbors access to independent film, theatrical programming, and special events that enhance the exceptional education they receive from the College, and this partnership will open Civic's doors even more members of the Muhlenberg College community," Traupman said.
"In conjunction with the cultural atmosphere of the campus, Civic hopes to expose the students to additional experiences in developing a lifelong appreciation for the cinematic and performing arts. An important by-product of our combined effort is the influx of students and faculty in the 19th Street corridor. I can't think of a more exciting way to continue the buzz currently being generated by our revitalized neighborhood," said Traupman.
Muhlenberg College, founded in 1848, is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For the past seven years, its department of theater and dance was ranked in the Top 10 in the United States by The Princeton Review, and its film studies program is popular and well-regarded.
Civic Theatre of Allentown is a landmark, community-based, professionally-staffed Lehigh Valley performing arts center emphasizing theater, cinema and theater education. The theater is a keystone to the city's West End revitalization efforts. For more than 80 years, Civic Theatre has provided live theater, independent and foreign films, and other cultural entertainment.