Official statement from board president Carla Anderton

Yesterday, I broke my silence about the so-called “riot” at Homecoming in California and spoke to the good people at the Herald Standard. Hopefully, you’ve read the article that was printed in today’s edition, but for those who haven’t, I feel it’s important to go on the social media record, so to speak.

As many of you are aware, two fraternities rented the Jozart space to have an alcohol free party for California University of Pennsylvania students last Saturday night. We required the fraternities to hire security for the event in the form of two on-duty Sheriff’s deputies. The party was shut down around midnight due to overcrowding. Because of the large number of students involved, local police felt it was prudent to ask other departments for assistance. They made one arrest outside the Center. That’s it. Period.

However, several members of the media irresponsibly reported that the situation turned violent. This is blatantly untrue. Based on every account, one fight broke out at the bar across the street from Jozart and was quickly ended. There was no violence whatsoever inside the function being held in the Jozart space.

It’s our belief that local law enforcement acted in the manner they felt was appropriate and we aren’t contesting their wisdom by any stretch of the imagination. However, we feel it’s important to air our voice on this matter.

Furthermore, it’s been reported that 400 people were inside the party. Again, I must point out the inaccuracy in this allegation. Jozart can’t hold 400 people, even at full capacity, and we blocked off several areas of the Center and told the event organizers beforehand we could at best handle 200 occupants. I wish we could hold 400 people but we simply can’t.

Additionally, we would like to state that our experience with the two fraternities was overwhelmingly positive. As I mentioned to the reporter at the Herald Standard, they were extremely polite and extremely respectful to both myself and to other Center volunteers. They worked tirelessly ahead of the event to ensure no one would be able to damage the space. After the party was ended, they cleaned up after themselves and left the Center in an immaculate condition. You don’t have to take my word for it; I’m also posting pictures taken at Jozart less than six hours after the event ended.

When the fraternities first asked us if they could rent the space for their event, I personally was impressed by the fact that they specifically intended to throw an alcohol free event. I’ve lived in California since 1999 and can testify to the truth that students and alcohol aren’t a good mix. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer students to congregate in safe spaces as opposed to gathering in bars where alcohol is definitely a factor. That’s one of the reasons Jozart offers a weekly Open Mic Night every Wednesday from 8-11 p.m. that is and has always been an alcohol free event. We want to be a space where people can gather without worrying about the dangers associated with drinking.

Jozart Center for the Arts is, always has been, and will continue to be a responsible member of the community. We are an all-volunteer organization and we’re funded entirely by donations, proceeds from our own sponsored, free or low cost events and proceeds from event rentals. Our board members and volunteers donate their time and talent to help us survive and thrive. While we treasure our interactions with California University students and faculty, we aren’t affiliated with California University of Pennsylvania. We don’t receive any local, state or federal funding. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization whose stated mission is to preserve and promote the cultural arts.

While I’ve got you on the hook, let me tell you what we do at Jozart. In addition to the Open Mic Nights I mentioned, we also have art workshops, gallery exhibitions, concerts by local and touring musical acts, plays, readings by local authors, workshops for grade school and high school students and we offer guitar and mandolin lessons. Inside of our space, we have a large selection of books that anyone is welcome to take and read. A generation of children, including my own son, have grown up on our stage, learning self-confidence that’s taken them in amazing directions.

I could go on and on about all the great stuff that happens at Jozart but, again, don’t take my word for it, come visit us. Don’t let a situation that was overhyped by social media and inaccurately reported on by everyone but the Herald Standard keep you from experiencing all that we have to offer. On a final and related note, I would like to say the Herald Standard was the only news organization who reached out to us at Jozart and asked for our version of events.

I’m posting this to both my personal Facebook as well as the Jozart FB page and web site. Feel free to share and to contact me at carla@jozart.com with any questions or comments.IMG_20141012_092437 IMG_20141012_092425 IMG_20141012_092319 IMG_20141012_092218 IMG_20141012_091739 IMG_20141012_091702 IMG_20141012_091623 IMG_20141012_091610 IMG_20141012_091601 IMG_20141012_091554

Jozart Center for the Arts has a full slate of programs and events planned for fall 2012.

Jozart Center for the Arts has a full slate of programs and events planned for fall 2012.

In October, bluegrass band The Weedrags will perform on Oct. 12, with local band LocaL opening for the talented trio. The Weedrags are an area favorite featuring musicians Gary Antol, Andy Gregg and Mark Snyder. Check out their unique sound at www.theweedrags.com. Don’t miss this opportunity to see them in Jozart’s intimate setting, with BYOB for over 21 with ID. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show starting at 8. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be reserved by calling the Center or sending an email to carla@jozart.com.

The Center will be open during California’s Homecoming Parade serving complimentary coffee and light refreshments to parade-goers. If you’ve never visited the Center, take advantage of this opportunity to tour the 7,000 square foot space. Board members will be on hand to answer your questions.

Also in October, the Center will hold their annual Halloween Open Mic Party on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Come in costume and vie for prizes for best and most original attire. Enjoy coffee and tea in the Center’s café while jamming along to the sounds of area talent. Sign up for a performance slot and wow an all-ages audience. Open Mic is held every week and begins at 8 p.m. This alcohol and smoke free event is free and open to the public.

Another “Wine and Line” event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 30. Bring a bottle of wine and a light snack and join teaching artist Joyce Gazdick as she guides you in the creation of an original oil painting. There is a $20 fee, part of which directly benefits the Center’s operating expenses. All materials are provided. For more information about “Wine and Line” email Cheryl Lewis at cher@zoominternet.net or call the Center.

In November, the Weedrags will return to the Jozart stage on Nov. 9 with opener The Hillbilly Gypsies for another BYOB for over 21 show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show starting at 8. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be reserved by calling the Center or sending an email to carla@jozart.com.

Also in November, Jozart is pleased to welcome Pittsburgh blues, rock and R&B musician Tony Janflone, Jr. According to his web site, “Tony enjoys success with his group, ‘The Tony Janflone Jr. Band ‘, capturing the nomination for five years for Pittsburgh’s Best Jazz/Blues Guitarist for the Stroh’s/In Pittsburgh Music Awards. He has also captured the 1995 award for the Best album for his CD Pieces, best vocalist and best band. Tony’s performing credits include opening for or performing with B.B.King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood, Joe Bonamassa, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, The Manhattan Transfer, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Ted Nugent, Peabo Bryson, Gladys Knight, Chicago,” and many other, well known acts. Visit his site at www.tonyjanflonejr.com to experience his award winning sound. He’s set to perform on the Jozart stage on Saturday, Nov. 17. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show starting at 8. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. BYOB for over 21 with ID. This performance is certain to sell out fast so reserve your tickets now.

The Center’s regularly scheduled programming continues with “Open Easel Sessions” with Terry Binkney on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring in your current project and work in the Center’s unique atmosphere. Guitar and mandolin lessons with Duane Galensky are held Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Call the Center or email duane.galensky@gmail.com to inquire about scheduling a slot. Zumba! with Lynne Langley continues on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays beginning at 10 a.m., followed by Beginner’s Zumba! at 11 a.m. Finally, the Jozart Writer’s Group meets at 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Join facilitator and fellow writer Jonathan Romano and get feedback on your current writing project. All ages are welcome!

The Center is run entirely by volunteers and is supported largely by donations. As a qualifying 501(c)3 non-profit organization, all donations to Jozart are fully tax deductible. If you are interested in financially or otherwise supporting your local arts center or in helping to promote the arts in our local area, please contact board president Carla Anderton for more information. Additionally, the Center is always looking for volunteers. Email carla@jozart.com for more details. For more information on any of the aforementioned events or programs, call the Center at 724-938-9730 or visit their web site at www.jozart.com.

Jozart unveils new Winter/Spring 2012 brochure

Jozart announces busy slate of events for late Winter & early Spring

Pittsburgh Blues/Soul Legend Billy Price & the Lost Minds will appear March 16.

The bears may have been hibernating, but the volunteers and board members at Jozart Center for the Arts have been busier than bees prepping a full slate of events for late Winter and early Spring of this year.

On Saturday, March 10, area youth and college students are invited to dance the evening away from 6-10 p.m. during “The Bass is Upstairs”, an alcohol free, all ages event sponsored by the Center’s Youth Committee and featuring area DJs. Tickets are $5.

Kick off your St. Patrick’s Day holiday early on Friday, March 16 with Pittsburgh blues/soul legend Billy Price and the Lost Minds.  According to his web site, “Billy Price, east coast blue-eyed soul man, has been entertaining audiences for the past three decades. In his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., he is an institution. Price’s popularity isn’t hard to explain. As Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post has written, ‘Unlike so many blues revivalists, Price is not an imitation of older, better singers–he’s the real thing.’” In addition to a fantastic evening of music, the audience will be treated to complimentary green beer and other Irish themed goodies. Tickets goes on sale March 1st at $10 per person. This is a BYOB (or just enjoy ours) event for over 21 only. To reserve your seats, call (724) 938-9730 or email carla@jozart.com. Many more details on the Center’s web site at www.jozart.com.

Bram Stoker Award Nominated Horror Author Lawrence C. Connolly will appear April 7.

On Saturday, April 7, Bram Stoker Award nominated horror novelist/author Lawrence C. Connolly will headline an interactive evening featuring dark prose and poetry readings. He’ll be joined by horror writer Sheldon Higdon and dark poet Stephanie Wytovich. Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the novels Veins (2008) and Vipers (2010), which together form the first two books of the Veins Cycle. Vortex, the third book in the series, is due in 2012. His collections, which include Visions (2009), This Way to Egress (2010), and Voices (2011), collect all of his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, and Year’s Best Horror. His new collection Voices, featuring an all-new novella “Shrines” and artwork by World Fantasy Nominee Jason Zerillo, was released in 2011. The schedule for the evening is as follows: At 5:30, doors open for audience/guests; at 6 Stephanie Wytovich will read, from 6:30-7, Sheldon Higdon will read, at 7, Lawrence Connolly will take the stage for a dramatic reading/presentation, at 8 there will be a Q & A sessions with all speakers, and finally, at 8:30, a closing reception will be held. This event is FREE to the public.

In mid April, on Saturday, April 14, the second Annual Youth Talent Revue will be held featuring the pre-professional talents of singers Cat Zisk and Sully Dunn as well as dancer Allen Free, not to mention more youth acts to be announced. Slots are still being filled for this evening featuring area youth talent. If you are someone you know is interested in performing music or dance, reading poetry or exhibiting original artwork at this event, please contact Carla at carla@jozart.com or via phone at (724) 330-5141. Doors open at 6:30 with the show starting at 7 pm. This is an all ages event. Coffee, soda, water and light refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets are $5.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Center during one of our regularly scheduled events like our weekly Open Mic nights every Wednesday night at 8 pm or our bi-monthly Writers’ Group held at 7 pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. For more information on any of the Center’s events or programs, please visit their web site (www.jozart.com), email them at carla@jozart.com or call (724) 938-9730.