NEPA Scene Staff

F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre holds holiday auction online Nov. 11-13

F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre holds holiday auction online Nov. 11-13
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From a press release:

Today, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Wilkes-Barre announced an online auction called “Shop from Home for the Holidays” that begins on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. and runs through Friday, Nov. 13 at noon.

The silent auction will take place on the Kirby Center Facebook page. Auction items will include holiday items, gifts for everyone on your list, experience packages, restaurant gift certificates, show tickets, and more. The auction will also include special signed posters from artists that have visited the Kirby Center, such as Sebastian Maniscalco, Billy Strings, Jason Isbell, and more.

The auction will give shoppers the opportunity to buy their holiday gifts from home while supporting the venue. In June, the Kirby Center held an online photo auction of prints taken by local photographers and shot at the venue.

“Like most nonprofits and small businesses, the past seven months have been nothing short of a challenge at the F.M. Kirby Center,” Director of Development Joell Yarmel said.

“Proceeds from this online auction will help to sustain the daily operations of the Kirby Center while our stage is dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our doors may be closed, our dedicated staff continues to work to ensure that our community will be able to enjoy all that the Kirby Center has to offer once it is safe to reopen.”

As an independent performing arts venue that has been closed since March, the F.M. Kirby Center is one of nearly 2,000 members of the National Independent Venue Association, formed at the onset of the coronavirus shutdown; other local members include Stage West in Scranton and State College, the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, and ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Cafe and Levitt Pavilion at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem, as well as festivals like the Briggs Farm Blues Festival and Musikfest. When surveyed, 90 percent of NIVA members said they will be forced to shutter forever if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no federal support.

“We have been sounding the alarm since April that if our members don’t get emergency assistance, they will go under forever – and it’s happening,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, director of communications for NIVA, on Oct. 6.

“This is real. We need help. We urge Congress and the White House to continue negotiations and reach a deal quickly or there will be a mass collapse of this industry. The Save Our Stages Act has already passed the House and has strong bipartisan support with more than 160 Congresspeople cosponsoring because they know independent venues can be part of our country’s economic renewal once it’s safe to welcome people back – if our venues can survive this pandemic. We’re also hoping for the sake of our furloughed employees that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be extended, as people are suffering through no fault of their own.”

Read NIVA’s facts on the industry and proposal to save independent music venues here and support legislation by filling out a short form at

Watch Episode 132 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, a coronavirus shutdown panel discussion recorded at the onset of the pandemic in the area that includes Kirby Center Artistic Director Anne Rodella, Wilkes-Barre singer/songwriter Dustin Douglas, and Scranton Fringe Festival Executive Director Conor Kelly O’Brien, below:

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene