After a successful inaugural year, Arts Montco Week is back for 2022.
Starting Sept. 16 and running until Sept. 25, the 2nd year of this creative activation will feature over 200 arts, culture, and entertainment venues in Montgomery County with the overall goal of providing visitors with a first-hand look at the area’s robust arts and entertainment sector, and the role it plays in regional tourism.
“The goal of Arts Montco Week is to shine a spotlight on the diverse arts, cultural, and entertainment industries in Montgomery County,” noted Rachel Riley, vice president of communications for VFTCB in a statement. “These people and organizations not only provide tremendous positive economic impact to the region, but also serve as a vital reminder that the arts are essential for everyone.”
Throughout the multi-day experience, visitors can peruse through different stops ranging in offerings, which includes live music venues, award-winning playhouses, historic movie theaters, unique architecture, museums, art galleries, and some of the finest gardens and arboretums in the country.
Arts Montco Week highlights specifically the people and organizations that make these venues special to showcase why thousands of visitors annually come to see their special performances, gallery exhibitions (including the return of the popular Montco Studio Tour), and discount deals for the public. The festival is free for arts and culture venues to participate.
This year’s Arts Montco Week will also be home to the first ever Montco Jazz Fest, which is described in a release as: “A world-class weekend of some of the nation’s most celebrated jazz musicians performing in intimate and engaging concerts throughout the Montgomery County region.” A special kick-off event for the Fest will take place on Sept. 21 at Rivet Canteen and Assembly in Pottstown starting at 7:30 p.m. with the Erich Cawalla Quintet playing a set.
Jazz Fest will also feature performances from trios, British funk bands and “two of the most significant jazz voices of the past 30 years” (aka Peebo Bryson and Oleta Adams), with all information to activations available online. A series of Jazz Brunches on Sunday, Sept. 25 will then round out the weekend with performances at the Rivet Canteen again, the King of Prussia Mall, The Blossom Cafe, and Iron Abby.
“The Arts Montco brand is an important and vital brand for Valley Forge Tourism, and the addition of our premiere Montco Jazz Festival helps solidify Montgomery County as a first-rate arts and culture destination,” explained VFTCB President & CEO Mike Bowman in a statement. “Arts and culture can change us, shape us, and have a positive impact on all of our lives. We need that now more than ever.”
The Montgomery County Studio Tour is also back during the creative activation on Sept 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Now in its 5th year, this specific showcase will offer first-hand access to 30 studios throughout the county with artists on-hand to interact, answer questions and explain more of their process. Studios will showcase exhibit paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, clay, glass, paper and fiber throughout the experience.
The best way to experience the Studio Tour is through a personalized itinerary that visitors can curate themselves. By checking out countystudiotour.com, Philadelphians can click the “Add to Itinerary” button of their favorite artists, and have Google Maps plot the most efficient route, providing turn-by-turn directions to each chosen studio. Members of the public can also start with a studio close to their starting point, or anywhere they like, by using a map, according to a release.
“The artists are the soul and fabric of our rich cultural community. They are responsible for the success of the County Studio Tour,” finished tour creator Jeff Schaller in another statement. “Artists contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the area by presenting original artwork and sharing their studios with the public. We can truly celebrate five years of bringing the arts to Montgomery County.”
Whatever you’re looking for during Arts Montco Week, there’s a little something for everybody, and the festivities will highlight the artists, entertainers, makers, and attractions in the region which normally represent $100 million in positive economic impact, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs.
The festival is free for arts and culture venues to participate, with no requirements for in-person or virtual programming, and will feature a website, blog, video, public relations, and social campaign. Patrons are encouraged to check each venue for their specific safety measures, and updates to the Arts Montco Week lineup can be found at valleyforge.org