Venture Academy II

Adult Venture Academy



This series of guided explorations is designed to promote provocative ideas, images, and sensations for venturesome adults seeking to cope with an increasingly complex, bewildering, exciting, wondrous, and interesting world.

This series of explorations takes up the eternal question of what art is about in relation to human life, culture, and community.  Why do human beings practice and respond to art? Does art help to build and sustain community? Where does art come from and where is it going?  Is there any relation to economic development? Is it all just a matter of “art for art’s sake”? These explorations are meant to cast a broad and user-friendly net that will include both practical and theoretical questions along with historical and common sense issues. Please join us for these exciting explorations.

Participants will uncover a new exploration each week, including:

Session 1: Tuesday, October 4 from 6:30-8:00pm
“What is Art?”  Most of us would have difficulty describing exactly what we mean when we single something out as being a “work of art.” Is it possible to define art?  What makes an art object different from other objects? How is art special?
GUIDE:  Dan Ault, Artist, Professor of Art and Art History at St. John’s University Queens NY.

Session II:  Tuesday, October 11 from 6:30-8:00pm
“Theatre and the Community.”  Seen through a survey of the ground-breaking work done in the Lehigh Valley by Bethlehem’s own Touchstone Theatre, we explore how the art of theatre can serve as a catalyst for change, mediating conflicts and ultimately as a means to bring communities together.
GUIDE:  J.P. Jordan, Artistic Director of Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem PA.

Session III: Tuesday, October 18 from 6:30-8:00pm
“Adventures of an Art Sleuth.”  Christine I. Oaklander will share her adventures in finding and researching important American art and historical objects.
GUIDE:  Christine I. Oaklander, Art Historian, Curator, Art Consultant; formerly associated with the Allentown Art Museum and New York’s Spanierman Gallery and the New-York Historical Society.

Session IV: Thursday, October 27 from 6:30-8:00pm
“From Metaphor to the Arts of Touch.” A multi-media tour of a revolution quietly underway over the past half-century that draws attention to the union of the arts and the sciences through the humble figure of metaphor.
GUIDE:  Ralph Lindgren, Selfridge Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Lehigh University.

Session V:  Tuesday, November 1 from 6:30-8:00pm
“The Secret Stories of Priceless Pieces and Other Confidential Mysteries.” Anthony Crisafulli will share stories about pieces in his own art and antique collection, spill the dirt on great works of art and explain where prices are trending and why.
GUIDE:  Anthony Crisafulli is a third generation collector of art and antiquities as well as a former    New York City art critic, magazine editor, author and a professor of fine arts and design.


The Venture Academy Talk or VAT Talk

A short personal exploration of a ‘trending’ topic in the spirit of the TED talks.

Wednesday, November 16:  6:30-7:00 PM

“How the Arts Saved Bethlehem” with Jeff Parks, founder of Musikfest, ArtsQuest, SteelStacks and Executive Director of the ArtsQuest Foundation. The Christmas City is recovering from the twin calamities of deindustrialization and suburbanization better than most small industrial cities in the Northeast and Midwest. Bethlehem parted ways with conventional urban revitalization theories in the 1970’s when it stopped tearing things down, focused on preservation and in the pivotal year of 1983, as steel plants across Pennsylvania were shutting down, devoted scarce resources to a strategy that focused on the arts – Musikfest. It has made all the difference.

Dates and Times for the Explorations

Venture Academy is held from 6:30pm-8:00pm on the following dates.  Your Adventure Pass covers all sessions.

SESSION #1:  Tuesday, October 4

SESSION #2:  Tuesday, October 11

SESSION #3:  Tuesday, October 18

SESSION #4:  Thursday, October 27 (* this is the only Thursday night)

SESSION #5:  Tuesday, November 1

BONUS EVENT:  Wednesday, November 16 (* this is the only Wednesday night)


Open to adults, 18+.

ADVENTURE PASS (Single):   $95 each

COUPLE/BUDDY PASS (Must purchase two at the same time):  $85 each

‘One Session’ Pass: $25


The above program is part of Charter Arts’ Adult Enrichment Workshop Series, which is open to the community.

Proceeds from the program benefit Charter Arts’ Fund for Teachers.

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