Arab musician Simon Shaheen to perform at WCR [Spotlight] – Reading eagle

The WCR Center for the Arts, 140 N. Fifth St., will host Grammy-nominated musician Simon Shaheen as he performs with his trio on March 26 at 8 p.m. Gates open at 7:30 PM and parking is available at the Abraham Lincoln parking lot. , Fifth and Washington streets.

Palestinian, born in the village of Tarshiha in the Galilee, Shaheen’s childhood was steeped in music. Her father, Hikmat Shaheen, was a music teacher and master oud player.

“Learning to play the oud with my father was the most powerful influence in my musical life,” Shaheen recalls.

He began his studies with his father at the age of 5, and a year later began studying violin at the Western Classical Music Conservatory in Jerusalem. Shaheen continued his musical studies in the United States earning master’s degrees from Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University.

In 1994, Shaheen received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor for traditional arts in the United States. In addition to his work on traditional and classical Arabic music, Shaheen has participated in numerous cross-cultural collaborations, including performances with Sting, Quincy Jones, Bill Laswell and The Klezmatics. He is also a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Today, Shaheen is one of the most important Arab musicians, performers and composers of his generation, skilfully leaping from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and western classical styles.

Tickets are $35 ($20 for students) at Masks and a vaccination card are required for entry.

black history month

Community partners and educators teamed up with Black Inventors Hall of Fame founder James Howard to bring seven pioneering black inventors to Reading on February 27-28, just ahead of the release of their short film, “Black Inventors Got Game.” .

Howard said the event will serve as the first leg of a national tour across college campuses, delivering a message about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion for innovation industries and of technology.

The inventors are co-hosted by Albright College and the Science Research Institute, the Reading School District, the City of Reading, the NAACP Reading Branch, the Reading Film Office and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

On February 27, the Inventors will tour the city of Reading with politicians, NAACP Reading Branch leadership, the Reading Film Office, administrators from the Reading School District, Albright College, and members of the Institute of Scientific Research.

On February 28, Inventors will host a full day of educational and experiential learning events at Albright College, sharing stories of passion, perseverance and innovation through workshops, film screenings, multiple Q&A panels and participating in a student-led podcast. . One hundred students from the Reading School District will attend the morning sessions, which will be available via live stream to all 18 school districts in Berks County, and students and faculty will participate in the afternoon experiments.

The following inventors participate:

• Howard, who holds 19 patents and has designed more than 400 products in his 40-year career, including toys for Crayola and Johnson & Johnson.

• Elliott Eddie, creator of the Entrepreneur Game, the world’s only STEM-authenticated board game.

• Helen Harris, inventor of the patented Jottit Down word game.

• Ken Johnson, creator of Phase 10, the world’s second best-selling card game.

• LaMont Morris, inventor of the Real Meal Easy Bake oven and holder of nine patents while being one of the
Hasbro’s oldest toy creators.

• Nicole Murphy, app designer for Barter Black, connecting conscious black entrepreneurs on a budget.

• Joeffrey Trimmingham, co-author of “A Life’s Design” on his mentor, the late Charles Harrison, creator of the 1958 ViewMaster.

• Al White, author of “A Race for The Net” and CFO of Lonnie Johnson, who is the creator of the Super Soaker and the NerfGun.


The Penn State Berks Black Student Union will host an event titled Being Black at Berks on Friday from 5-6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Perkins Student Center. This event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be provided. Students will share their experiences and history, culture and fashion. There will also be student performances.

For more information, contact Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, Diversity and International Programs Coordinator, at 610-396-6080 or email


The Camel Project has announced that Berks Arts will join them in presenting the second annual Berks Street Art Festival on May 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain date: May 21) at the Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, 2615 Warren Rd.

The Berks Street Art Festival is a free outdoor family fun day filled with music and dance performances, street performers, and interactive art demonstrations where adults and children can have fun and participate. In addition, many other community organizations will join this event. Like last year, the Reading Town Police K-9 unit is expected to make an appearance.

Initially an event where all ages could show off their chalk drawing skills, the partnership with Berks Arts will bring a new level of artistic experiences to the festival to include demonstrations like African drumming, music, dance and traveling street artists.

The Camel Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help communities, including schools, organizations, and individuals, change the culture of violent and unacceptable behaviors that lead to trauma and abuse.


The invitational exhibit “Tender Hearts Club,” a show about closeness, intimacy and tenderness of the heart, runs through March 20 at Clay on Main, 313 Main St., Oley. A reception will be held on March 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The exhibition features 16 local artists who have created new works based on what they have learned about relationships, isolation and togetherness, and how it has changed them and their relationships with others.

Curated by Ray Lapinski, it includes contributions from Dolores Kirschner, Constance McBride, Shae Glodowski, Lapinski, Amanda Lee Condict, Christine Hoh-Smith, Bob Wood, Lorraine A’Brunzo, Sharon McGinley, Phyllis Moser, Karen Wolf, Lisa Gauker, Terre Sychterz, Pirijo L’Espérance, Rachael Yoder and Sandra Britland.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 5 to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome or call 610-987-1273 for an appointment.


The Scholastic Affiliate Eastern Central Pennsylvania has announced the regional winners of the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Presented by the nonprofit organization Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the 98th Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the scholarship and recognition program the nation’s oldest and most prestigious for creative students in grades 7-12.

More than 200 students from 19 schools in Berks, Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties were honored. The list can be viewed at

An awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on March 5 at Kutztown University’s Schaeffer Auditorium. Families and teachers are welcome to celebrate the winning students. The gallery will be open from noon to 4 p.m.

The Eastern Central Scholastic Awards are supported by Kutztown University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Kutztown University’s Arts Society PLAY initiative, and Blick Art Materials.

The jurors were Isla Gordon, director of galleries at The Goggleworks; Doug Wunder, jeweler from Kutztown; and Sandy Corpora, painter from Bethlehem.

Most of the students in this competition are taught by former students of KU’s Department of Art Education.

The following four students received nominations for the American Visions Awards, representing Best of Exhibit: Akashdeep Bhullar, sophomore, Conrad Weiser High School, for photography; Sadie Kennedy, senior, Emmaüs high school, for the drawing; Emma Li, junior, Easton Area High School, for the video; and Julio Pena Sosa, second year student, Lycée Louis E Dieruff, for painting.

An exhibition of the artwork is on display at the Miller Gallery in Kutztown University’s Sharadin Arts Building through March 5. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

An online version of the exhibit can be viewed at