GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Presents the 6th Annual Arts Festival Reading on October 7 & 8 and Welcomes Blind Boy Paxton as Part of Reading Blues Fest

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Attendees can shop handcrafted items and unique artwork by more than 90 of the area's finest artists and craft vendors, learn from live artist demonstrations, explore GoggleWorks' dynamic campus, enjoy live musical performances, sample local foods, and take a break at the terrace bar.

Attendees can browse handcrafted items from more than 90 artists and craftsmen. credit: Chris Kendig Photography

"This is an exciting year of change for the festival," said Levi Landis, GoggleWorks' executive director.

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts (GoggleWorks) presents the 6th annual Arts Festival Reading on October 7-8 from 10am-5pm. Attendees can shop handcrafted items and unique artwork by more than 90 of the area's finest artists and craft vendors, learn from live artist demonstrations, explore GoggleWorks' dynamic campus, enjoy live musical performances, sample local foods, and take a break at the terrace bar.

"This is an exciting year of change for the festival," Levi Landis, GoggleWorks' executive director, said. "Arts Festival Reading founder Penny Golden and co-chair Ginny Hand transition their roles to a new group of leaders in the committee. While they have enormous shoes to fill, this new team has brought unique ideas and fresh energy to our premier event."

The focus of this year's Festival is to expand appreciation for the handmade through demonstration. Over the course of the two-day Festival, participating artists will present ongoing demonstrations of their technique in a variety of mediums. Several of the GoggleWorks teaching studios will be open, allowing guests the opportunity to experience and learn more about woodworking, ceramics, hot glass, and virtual reality. GoggleWorks artist-instructors will present a pop-up shop and exhibition of their work and be on hand to discuss learning opportunities available on campus through the winter. In addition, local designers from Saylor House and Sweetwater Design will present interior vignettes and offer professional guidance on how to incorporate original artwork and handmade items throughout the home.

New this year, Arts Festival Reading has paired up with Berks Art Council to present national recording artist Blind Boy Paxton on the Sly Fox Stage on Sunday, October 8 at 1pm, as part of the inaugural Reading Blues Fest. Blind Boy Paxton, a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, draws from pre-World War II blues and jazz while being heavily influenced by Fats Waller and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Other live music performances throughout the weekend include Jerrett and Lawrence Zeng, Skip Moyer, Andy Roberts Duo, Tom Shugar, Carl Zeplin, and Tim Gross.

Arts Festival Reading is pleased to welcome food partners, Belly: Kitchen & Drinkery, who will be opening on the ground floor of GoggleWorks in the coming months. Belly will offer Arts Festival Reading attendees featured selections from their menu throughout the weekend. Expect a modern take on international cuisine, paired with specialty cocktails, assorted wine, and craft beer from Sly Fox Brewing Company. In addition, local vendors Sweet Ride Ice Cream and Le Petit Macaron Shoppe will offer desserts and coffee.

Arts Festival Reading is made possible through the generous support of the Jerlyn Foundation, First Energy Foundation, Marrella Financial Group, Masano Bradley, William G. Koch Associates, Grove Dental Group, Penske Truck Leasing, Reading Musical Foundation, Kuhn Funeral Home Inc., Kutztown University Foundation & Alumni Relations, Berkshire Mechanical, Reading Eagle Press, Windsor Garden Design, and Rustic Bunch.

Admission to Arts Festival Reading is $8 in advance; $10 at the door with children 12 and under free. GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is located at 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601 and offers free lot parking. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit goggleworks.org.

About GoggleWorks Center for the Arts:
Located in the former Willson Goggle Factory building, GoggleWorks is the largest community arts center of its kind in the country. The five-story, 145,000-square-foot complex features seven large teaching studios in ceramics, hot and warm glass, metalsmithing, photography, printmaking, and woodworking; 35 juried studios for artists and makers working in a variety of mediums; and the offices of dozens of music, arts, and other cultural organizations. The complex also includes several exhibition galleries; Boscov Film Theatre, showing art house films daily; and the Store, featuring the work of over 200 artists from GoggleWorks and beyond. GoggleWorks is open daily from 9am-9pm; admission and parking are always free. Plan your visit at goggleworks.org.

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Nova Harris
Goggleworks Center for the Arts
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