PHOTOS: NEPA Scenefest at Backyard Ale House and The Keys in Scranton, 12/09/17
During the NEPA Scene Rising Talent open mic and talent contest, local artists and longtime fans of NEPA Scene surprised founder and editor Rich Howells with a keystone logo cake and the announcement that they had secretly organized the first-ever NEPA Scenefest, a fundraiser to give back to the website and bolster its mission to support arts and entertainment in Northeastern Pennsylvania in ways that no other local publication has. And these musicians, comedians, artists, business owners, and community organizers did it in the best way possible – by getting everyone together and performing at a celebration of the scene on Saturday, Dec. 9.
While NEPA Scene has blown up over the last three years and become a trusted, award-winning source for news, reviews, photos, videos, podcasts, and more, funding has always been sporadic, so the event at the Backyard Ale House was a welcome relief from the growing costs of running an independent publication, one of the few in the area that isn’t owned and controlled by a large company or corporation.
Hosted by Jess Meoni, the lineup included comedy from Dan Hoppel, Ted Hebert, Russell Austin, Angelia Petrillo, and Elliott Elliott and music by Joe Craig, Katie Evans, Candi Vee, Anthony “Shiny” Montini, and The Charming Beards. Attendees donated money through the cover charge, a 50/50, and basket raffles, which included generous donations from the Electric City Tattoo Gallery, The Keys, The V-Spot, Boote Photography, Tsunami Self Defense Systems, Comics on the Green, Mountain Sky, Jason Riedmiller, Sophia Kowalczyk, Robert Wolf, and Michelle Craig.
When the jokes from Russell Austin got a little too raunchy for the venue, the event finished the night at The Keys just a few blocks away and successfully raised hundreds of dollars for NEPA Scene, which we are eternally grateful for. Without fans, artists, and friends as dedicated to our cause as we are, we could never have accomplished everything we have so far and could not continue into 2018. Thank you to everyone who donated time, money, gifts, and talent to NEPA Scenefest – we’ll see you all next year.
by Alex Seeley
Alex is a Lake Ariel resident whose photos can be seen in several local newspapers, websites, and art galleries. He runs Alex Seeley Photography and shoots everything from portraits to weddings to concerts.