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    Curated By Community

    Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites turns to local creatives to create unique experiences centered around art and design.


    Who spends their Friday nights at a decorative arts museum? Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites aimed to answer that question with the launch of Design After Dark, an after-hours programming series. In addition to regular trivia nights, performances, and film screenings, the inaugural year saw the Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts transformed into a retro arcade, took participants on a historic bar crawl, and even hosted a pop-up exhibition of art generated by artificial Intelligence.


    The result was a unique experience according to Director of Collections & Programming Lindsey Jancay: “These programs invigorated and transformed the museum space through immersive experiences that spoke so authentically to Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ role as a hub for storytelling, documentation, and expression within our community.” This year, the series is back with Design After Dark: Community Curated which brings in creatives from all over the Lehigh Valley to respond to a quote from the late designer Sylvia Harris, “Design teaches us not to make assumptions.” The quote, serving as a unifying theme throughout the series, distills the original intention of Design After Dark—to challenge the perception of what a decorative arts museum is (hint – it’s not just antique furniture).


    JULY 30, 2021

    Artists of Hispanic descent will share an honest depiction of who a Third Culture Child is in an evening of art and expression. Mario “Qbah” Fernandez, a Bethlehem-born entrepreneur, music producer, audio engineer, video director, and content creator, was the first Community Curator to sign on for 2021. His 12+ years of experience in the television industry and 9+ years of experience in the music industry allow him to work and travel with Latin Grammy winners and three-time Grammy nominated producers. He also proudly serves as the Vice Chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


    AUGUST 26, 2021

    Global Water Dances uses the international languages of dance and film to promote awareness and a behavioral shift toward solutions for water preservation and conservation through community engagement. Watch the screening of the site-specific performance and join in the discussion around water issues in the Lehigh Valley.


    SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

    Jazz music is all about freestyle and feeling the music— defying expectations about where the piece will go next. Enjoy an evening listening and dancing to an exclusive performance from some of the best jazz musicians in the Lehigh Valley.


    SEPTEMBER 26, 2021

    In June 2018, Ms. Matthews arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, where she plans to open an art school called Real Art Works (RAW). Join her at the Luckenbach Mill for a Kenyan cultural experience through art, food, music, and an open conversation about RAW.


    OCTOBER 28, 2021

    Shweta Jajodia of Allentown’s SJ Interiors debunks common assumptions about interior design with this lecture and workshop.


    NOVEMBER 8 & 18, 2021

    Join Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG) for a hands-on still life drawing workshop that features works from the permanent collection at the Kemerer Museum. In conjunction with the exhibition Thinking through Drawing: Works on Paper, Drawings, and Sketchbooks from the Collection and Community on view at LUAG, participants will be encouraged to experiment with a variety of tools and techniques to strengthen their observational skills.


    JANUARY 2022

    Side/The Other Side is a program of experimental film and video art curated by Ghen Dennis that investigates how people negotiate design systems—both as autonomous individuals and as collective social forces.


    FEBRUARY 2022

    Visualize as you venture into any community no matter the size, there is always a person who has left their footprints in the sand of time. Mrs. Esther M. Lee, the current president of Bethlehem’s NAACP, is that person. Visit the exhibition during Black History Month to celebrate the legacy of Mrs. Lee.