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    Thinking Bigger: Stacie Brennan, Banana Factory Arts Center

    “Our goal is to continue to expand access to the arts, and opportunities for artists in the community,” Brennan says.

    “People don’t realize how accessible public art can be, and the impact it can have,” says Stacie Brennan, Senior Director for Visual Arts at ArtsQuest, the nonprofit that owns and operates the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks and the Banana Factory Arts Center. People may also not realize that the Banana Factory, located on 25 West Third Street, is a community arts center. That means that the building is free and open to the public every day, and includes exhibitions, artist studios, and arts classes. “These are just a few of the many ways we’re providing access to the arts,” Brennan says. “An extension of this is our public arts program, which gives artists the opportunity to make an indelible mark on the community.”


    For the past three years, ArtsQuest has worked with community groups and businesses to install five large-scale murals and sculptures by regional artists across Bethlehem. They are also in the process of securing locations for additional murals and sculptures in preparation for SouthSide Arts and Music Festival on May 3rd and 4th.


    ArtsQuest welcomes everyone to participate in its programs, regardless of financial circumstances. Scholarship and tuition assistance are available for those who qualify based on financial need, and they always offer free family programming at all of their festivals and events. “Our goal is to continue to expand access to the arts, and opportunities for artists in the community,” Brennan says, “in order to make it a visible reminder of how the arts provide an opportunity for individuals to feel ownership over, and get excited about, being a part of the city and their community.”