NEPA Scene Staff

Everhart Museum in Scranton begins monthly Second Sunday Folk Arts Series on cultural traditions

Everhart Museum in Scranton begins monthly Second Sunday Folk Arts Series on cultural traditions
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From a press release:

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts initiative, the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, and Art is working to sustain cultural and artistic practices rooted in people’s histories, traditions, and everyday lives in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.

To share and educate the community on creative practices in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Scranton museum has introduced the Second Sunday Folk Arts Series, which features a different folk or traditional artist each month. The first online presentation about Irish music with multi-instrumentalist Leo Schott premiered on Sunday, March 14 on the Everhart’s YouTube channel, where each future entry will debut.

“The Second Sunday Folk Art Series allows us to honor and highlight some of our region’s amazing artists who have spent their lives practicing, performing, and preserving traditional arts,” said Stefanie Colarusso, the museum’s director of programs and events.

“We have an amazing lineup for 2021. Some of the artists we’ll feature may be familiar to you, and some you’ll be learning about for the first time. Each one of them has incredible stories to share about their journey within their own art form.”

The folk and traditional arts often come from a specific ethnic, religious, linguistic, occupational, or regional group. These practices are shaped and shared within families, neighborhoods, and communities and are passed down from one generation to another.

“It is a program celebrating not only each artist’s art form but, more specifically, it is an exploration of their own journey within that art. Stories of the artists’ upbringing, their personal inspirations and teachers, their own artistic processes, and the way they have shared this art with others are also highlighted in the programs,” explained series host Kimberly Crafton.

Scheduled presenters include Maxwell Kofi Donkor, Gaston (Bonga) Jean-Baptiste, Nina Kouznetsov, Frank LittleBear, Peg McDade, Sujata Nair-Mulloth, Mona Pande, Doug Smith, and Dr. Kathy Wang.

The initiative seeks to identify and document traditional artists in the NEPA region, assist those artists in keeping their traditions, and create community access to folk arts through presentations, performances, workshops, and other programs.

Second Sundays Folk Art Series virtual program schedule

April 11 at 2 p.m.: Sujata Nair-Mulloth – classical Indian dance

May 9 at 2 p.m.: Maxwell Kofi Donkor – traditional African drumming and dance

June 13 at 2 p.m.: Doug Smith – Dixieland jazz

July 11 at 2 p.m.: Kathy Wang – traditional Chinese music

Aug. 8 at 2 p.m.: Gaston Jean-Baptiste – traditional Haitian music and drumming

Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.: Peg McDade – traditional fiber arts

Oct. 10 at 2 p.m.: Frank LittleBear – traditional Native American dance and music, handcrafts

Nov. 14 at 2 p.m.: Mona Pande – traditional Indian painting

Dec. 12 at 2 p.m.: Nina Kouznetsov – traditional iconography

The folk and traditional arts partnership was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The mission of the PCA is to strengthen the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Pennsylvania’s communities through the arts.

The Everhart Museum (1901 Mulberry St., Scranton) was closed until February due to a surge in local cases of COVID-19. It is currently open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.

The Everhart was founded in 1908 by Dr. Isaiah Fawkes Everhart, a Scranton physician and businessman with a keen interest in natural history. Located in Scranton’s historic Nay Aug Park, the Everhart is the largest general museum in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It is dedicated to the collection, care, and display of a diverse array of objects and specimens, including natural history, science, and fine arts. Through its exhibitions and programs, the museum has been an invaluable regional resource for educational and cultural opportunities for over 100 years.

General support for the museum is received from the Lackawanna County Office of Education and Culture, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the city of Scranton. For more information, contact the museum at 570-346-7186 or email