Breaking New Ground at the Banana Factory

Last night was Artsquest’s Breaking New Ground event for their SteelStacks project. Thanks to a very generous friend of mine, Telly Diacogiannis, I was able to attend the event at no charge. The event kicked off around 6pm, however I didn’t arrive until about 8:30. Regardless the party was still in full swing and there were movers and shakers from the Valley all over the venue. I saw Linny Fowler and Jeff Parks talking with visitors as well as many other people from the organization and community.

On hand playing music in the tent set up outside were the Flamin’ Caucasians with pad thai and various Asian cuisines being served along with delicious desserts. On the side of the Banana Factory funk band Post Junction was playing a hand-crafted soundtrack to the movie Car Wash as onlookers took in the music in the chilly October air.

Inside, in the Banko Gallery, patrons were having their pictures taken in front of an image of the SteelStacks while kids played Guitar Hero and popcorn was served in small bowls. Film shorts were being shown on a projection screen to give visitors a taste of the eclectic mix of features that will be displayed at the two cinema screens when the SteelStacks project is projected to open in May of 2011.

In the hallway leading to the Crayola Gallery and the GlassWorks was a small look at the InVision photography festival that Artsquest and the SteelStacks will hold in November 2010. In the Crayola Gallery the Dueling Pianos were playing, however it was pretty loud for the area and you couldn’t really talk to anyone too well so I grabbed a glass of Little Black Dress 2007 Merlot and wandered around some more. Eventually I made it up to the glass blowing area where renowned artist and GlassWorks studio manager John Choi was demonstrating his skills for the patrons at the Banana Factory. Thankfully it was a cool night so the usually sweltering glass studio wasn’t too warm for those in suits.

It was a fun night filled with tasty samples of decadent snacks, good music, and a final look at the blueprints of the Musikfest Cafe, outdoor market, and SteelStacks before they’re put into action. Afterwards I ran over to Bethlehem Brew Works for Cask Night where they tapped their Pumpkin Raisin Ale. It was delicious and you should go get some before it’s all gone!





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