Roots of Revitalization

Social Change Through Action In Pottstown PA

Springtime Student Open House at Tri-Pac Performing Arts Center of Pottstown, PA March 11, 2012


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Mission statement of  Village Productions located at 245 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464 (ph. 610.970.1199) is to “seek and strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and educational opportunities geared toward a diverse audience.” This local theater did just that Sunday, March 11th, 2012 offering free acting workshops for area children during their Springtime Student Open House.

The acting workshops were divided into grade aged groups K-4th, 5th-7th, and 8th-12th grade, and the classes involved theatrical games similar to charades and simple improv scenarios. Mr. Tony Girozzi taught the acting classes, and some of those in attendance were Hannah Paczkowzki, Sebastian Coates, Ben Williams, Erin Miller, and Dane Jensen-Sellers.

Tony G. has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Univesity of The Arts in Philadelphia, PA and has been involved with Tri-Pac since 2008. Tony G has filled many roles at the theater from acting to set and costume design to directing. You may have seen Tony G. perform in “Honk”, “The Frog Prince”, and Peter Pan” which are all past Tri-Pac shows. At 1 pm the community and open house guests were treated to a student performed “Hansel and Gretel”.

Beyond acting classes the Tri-Pac Performing arts center also offers monologue coaching, voice, flute, trumpet, piano, and guitar musical lessons. Acting classes range in prices from $95-$185 for a two month duration, where students have classes weekly. Contact the Tri-Pac for an entire list of class offerings, and financial aid tuition may be available for acting students who qualify.

Please contact Marta Kiesling at Village Productions if you wish to support Tri-Pac through volunteering, monetary donations, and or supplies.


S H A R E! by tjs March 4, 2012

Each of us “Town Square Bloggers” as part of the Mercury online community are encouraging the greater Pottstown area to drop off non-perishable items for a current food drive. Click the link below for a map that identifies centers where donations are gratefully being accepted until the Easter holiday.

Times are tough, during what seems like a never ending recession, but as far as I am concerned, if you are able bodied and of sound mind you can devote some of yourself to making Pottstown a better place. Plenty of people are unemployed and discouraged, but volunteering in a town where many complain would be a very positive step forward! A personal hero of mine, Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


A great “take initiative” program through Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, is called Self-Help And Resource Exchange or (SHARE)  which fosters community and rewards volunteers with reduced grocery costs.  People who contribute time to their community, neighborhoods and schools can exchange their services for discount food prices. According to the SHARE website,  “Typically, every 2 hours of service will earn 50% off retail prices” Through this food co-op buying service participants can buy $40-$50 dollars worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats and staples for just $20.  There are various types of packages.  Some are all meat, some all produce and some are a mix.  In the summer there are also locally produced foods sponsored by the Food Trust. There is also an extensive list of foods that can be bought in bulk at wholesale prices.”

 This program is open to everyone who is willing to work towards a better Montgomery County by offering to do something pro-active with their free time.  There are no income requirements or other restrictions.  Some of the “good deeds” that qualify volunteers for the SHARE exchange are helping an elderly neighbor, cleaning up litter in your neighborhood (WHICH POTTSTOWN DESPERATELY NEEDS), serving food at soup kitchens, helping dispense items at food cupboards, and other approved acts of kindness. 

The SHARE website explains, “This program provides a monthly food package for $15 to $20 (valued at $40-50).  The customer will also have completed two hours of good deeds in the proceeding month.  Food package types include: produce, meat specials,holiday specials and seasonal farm fresh fruits and vegetables”.


For further information on how to volunteer for reduced food rates call SHARE at: Food Resource Center
610-277-6363 x123

A full program brochure can be downloaded and printed directly from the SHARE website:–20/search–share/serviceid–65/

 Please consider joining the SHARE movement and do so thinking of the words of  Eleanor Roosevelt:

 ” When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”


Community Land Trust to Hold Informational Meetings on Garden Project February 8, 2012

MOSAIC Community Land Trust

Contact: David Jackson at 484-949-4235

Pottstown, PA— Have you ever wanted to have your own garden, but didn’t have enough room in your yard? Would you like your children to learn how to grow their own fresh vegetables, but don’t know where to begin?

This spring MOSAIC Community Land Trust is building Pottstown’s first community garden at 423 Chestnut Street. They will be holding three information sessions during the month of February to explain what community gardens are all about and to take applications for approximately 40 raised bed garden plots for the 2012 season. In addition to the garden plots, there will be compost bins, rain barrels, pavers, fencing, trellis, perennial gardens, a storage shed, and water service for irrigation.

The MOSAIC Community Garden is being built with a $30,000 grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation. The property at 423 Chestnut Street was donated by…

View original post 288 more words


Sites where You Can Sign Petition for Montgomery County to Keep Pottsgrove Manor Open December 6, 2011

Filed under: Family Friendly Activities — roots of revitalization @ 4:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Bill Sharon spoke to Pottsgrove Manor about having a petition there for our County Commissioners.  They are 100% for it, but with a problem.  They can’t use their staff.  He came up with the idea of having a table Sunday from 2PM until 8PM or sooner. Looking for people at this late date to help him.  It could be 1 hr shifts, and it should be fun………..Please call Bill Sharon at 610-326-7183 if your interested in helping!

Petition also available to sign at Gallery on High,

Hours Tuesday-Friday 10am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am-3pm Closed Sunday and Monday

Location 254 E. High St. Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone 610.326.2506



Meet Julie Tonnessen of The Gallery School of Pottstown December 1, 2011

Julie Tonnessen is the Assistant Director at The Gallery School of Pottstown located at 254 E. High St. Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone 610.326.2506

Hours Tuesday-Friday 10am-4:30pm and

Saturday 10am-3pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

“I have always been a crafty person. My mom started me at a young age participating in creative pursuits like dance classes. My educational background is in English and history. I have a BA from Ursinus College and a Masters from Rosemont College. I have worked the retail side of the arts and crafts business and have taught arts and crafts for a very longtime, beginning with a summer playground program when I was still in highschool.”

At the Gallery School, “I teach adult fiber arts (knitting,crochet, felting) and jewelry classes, and recycled art for kids and teens. Ialso teach a fun class called Crafty Kids, where we explore the three-dimensional and crafty arts. I get to pass on all the techniques and projects I most like to do, which makes this class always a lot of fun. We work in all mediums, from glass and mosaic tiles to paper and fabric. I also teach in the Gallery School’s out-of-school-time programs, where thestudents are all ages, from elementary to high school. These programs can be particularly rewarding, when you connect a student with the fun of creating something with their own hands. In an increasingly virtual world, it’s important to give our children an experience of working in the real world. Itis amazing to see a child gain confidence and pride in their work, and perhaps discover that although they may not be a great athlete, or have the best gradesin their class, they have this talent they never knew they possessed.It’s just as important to convey the value in the journey, that havin gfun and stretching themselves in a new way is more important than getting everything “perfect.””

For further information on classes available to the community go to this link:

Find The Gallery on High on Facebook as well!!/pages/Gallery-School-of-Pottstown/208707525132



2012 Will Be The Year Of The Carousel! November 30, 2011

Filed under: Family Friendly Activities,Quality of Life Issues — roots of revitalization @ 2:14 pm
Tags: ,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Several years ago a group of Pottstown citizens formed a committee with a common goal to revitalize our once-proud downtown area and make it a safe and appealing hub of activity for families to enjoy. We knew that, realistically, we could not revive every building on every street, but we knew from studying other depressed towns whose urban centers had made remarkable comebacks that a single, unique attraction often proved to be the inspiration for a turnaround.

For a number of cities, the downtown attraction that brought families and businesses back — right along with the pride of community that had been lost — was a carousel. 
We decided that a carousel for Pottstown could be a reality and committed ourselves to achieving this goal for our children, grandchildren and future generations who will call Pottstown “home.”

This initial influx of money has enabled us to purchase a 1905 carousel mechanism made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and to commission animals, which have been carved by world-famous carousel artisan Ed Roth.

This project represents a wonderful opportunity to restore a sense of place to our downtown. Please help us make a huge difference in our town’s society, economy, and the quality of life that we pass to our children.

The Carousel at Pottstown is an official part of the Community and Economic Development Action and Implementation Strategy for Pottstown. Thus far, the project has won support from the Mayor and Borough Council, the Pottstown Historic Society, Preservation Pottstown, the American Carousel Society, the Pottstown Artists Guild, US Congressman James W. Gerlach, State Senator John Rafferty, State Representative Thomas Quigley, and the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce.

The pictures span over a 4-5 year period.  Each animal on the Carousel has been hand-carved by a Disney Artist in California, shipped to our Work Shop on High St, where volunteers sand, prime and paint each animal.  On average each animal has taken approx 200 hours from start to finish.  We have some amazing artists in Pottstown that have pained these animals, volunteering one night a week for several years.
The most recent pictures are of the Carousel after numerous hours of cleaning, painting and erecting the Carousel.  Again this is all volunteers.
Website is; where there is some more history on the project.
The contacts that will be able to answer any and all your questions are the following:
Ken Weaver  610-469-6331  or email:
Jim Arms  610-587-1278 or email:
We have also started a Facebook page.  Carousel at Pottstown
We still have some animals available for sponsorship, along with panels.  George Wausnock can give you more details on the sponsorships available.
Contact Info:

We hope to have the Carousel turning by early 2012.  The building will not be completed due to more funds needed, but people will be able to ride the Carousel.  People called it a pipe dream, in 2012 we can call it REALITY!

TIME TO BUY POTTSTOWN HOLIDAY BALL TICKETS~DEC 9th is just around the corner! November 23, 2011

Filed under: Family Friendly Activities — roots of revitalization @ 1:56 am
Tags: , , ,

This years Holiday Costume Ball is themed with artists and creativity in mind! Pottstown is in the middle of a renaissance,  because like

minded artisans, craftspersons, painters, musicians, and community volunteers are taking action towards the revitalization.  This is a

“FUN FUNDRAISER” that will help support the Mosaic Community Land Trust and Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority.

Tickets can be bought online here : (This link also has location and band information!)

Or call Sheila Dugan, PDIDA Chairman, at 610-323-5400. for paper ticket purchases!