The Elkins Park Fall Festival

On Sunday October 29th, Elkins Park East will again become a block party music festival, with live music being played in four locations continuously throughout the day. High School Park, Elkins Central, Creekside Co-op and The White Pines Place will be performance venues for a variety of musicians, from garage rock bands, to singer songwriters, a cappella groups, jazz and classical ensembles. All the events are free, with donations being accepted to pay musicians. Once again, the heroic David Heitler-Klevans (an Elkins Park native and accomplished musician himself) is the organizer. 

At White Pines, the schedule is as follows:

11:00 am - Marielle Kraft - Indie Pop

12:00 pm - Acoustic Blender - Alternative Folk

1:00 - Dave Posmontier Quartet - Jazz/Latin Jazz

2:00 - CubiZm - Original Folk, Rock

3:00 - Meghan Cary - Singer-Songwriter

4:00 - Spring Muse - Celtic-influenced Folk

5:00 - Saul Broudy and Jim Dragoni - Folk/Country

The full schedule can be found at the Elkins Park Fall Festival Facebook page - click here! 

Look for this poster in local venues, and up and down the "611 corridor"!

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Pennsylvania Council on the Arts supports Bright Invention!

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Bright Invention performing at The White Pines Place

Bright Invention performing at The White Pines Place

White Pines was awarded a Project Stream grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to support a unique initiative being developed by our resident ensemble Bright Invention. The Bright Invention Salon will pair the ensemble with other nonprofits to create a unique evening of improvisation. 

At the outset of each show, we will ask our partners whimsical questions: “Tell us something funny that happened at work?”, “Does someone in your office have an interesting routine?”, “What’s one aspect of your job you find challenging?” And we will ask more meaningful questions: “What do you want to the world to know about your organization?”, “Describe an encounter with someone who was deeply touched by your work?”, “What led you to this organization as a career?” From the answers to these questions, and the brief conversations they elicit between the cast and the audience, Bright Invention will then perform an hour-long, spontaneously created improv show inspired by these exchanges. At the end of the show, a representative from the partner organization will be invited to speak briefly. Then the audience will be invited to stay, nibble on snacks and converse.

Aimee Goldstein and Bob Steinman performing in Improv Invasion last spring

Aimee Goldstein and Bob Steinman performing in Improv Invasion last spring

The Bright Invention Salon Series represents a development of new style of improvisation: immersive improvisation. White Pines has recently redesigned the interior of its performance space, The White Pines Place, and furnished it with comfortable “living room” furniture: sofas, arm chairs, and side tables.  Combined with the small size of the space which sits about 50, Bright Invention is creating a style of improvisation which emphasizes intimacy, closeness and connection between audience and actor.

Our goal is to blend the audience our partner organization drives to the shows, with our local Cheltenham Township audience. We accomplish several goals here: we introduce our audience to the mission of the partner organization and we expand our audience, while performing innovative and entertaining improvised theater. 

We are grateful to the council for their support! 

Bright Invention 2017

Bright Invention 2017

The White Pines Masque

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The sanctuary of St. Paul's Episcopal in Elkins Park where the Masque will be held

The sanctuary of St. Paul's Episcopal in Elkins Park where the Masque will be held

White Pines is excited to announce a gala fundraiser: The White Pines Masque! Held at the beautiful Sanctuary of St. Paul's Episcopal church in Elkins Park, this fun costume party will raise money to support White Pines programs serving youth with disabilities and refugee youth. 

"We are thrilled about the Masque!" said Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd. "This is the first of what will be an annual event for us, stimulating our community of supporters, and developing the essential support we need to offer our programs." 

Sutie Madison (far right) with some students from Acting Out! 

Sutie Madison (far right) with some students from Acting Out! 

This year, the Masque focuses on White Pines' work with youth with disabilities, and with refugee youth.  Since the fall of 2014, White Pines has been offering Acting Out!, a creative theater class for youth with a variety of disabilities. "One of the things that's unique about Acting Out," comments Sutie Madison, one of the co-teachers of the class, "is that we have all kinds of actors in the room with us from Cerebral Palsy, to Downs Syndrome, to Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a person with a disability myself (Sutie has Tourette Syndrome), it's quite energizing to create and perform with such a diverse group of individulas." This year, some of the students from Acting Out! will be performing at the Masque.

Klementina Budnik works with two kids from refugee families at the White Pines Residency at Spruance Elementary.

Klementina Budnik works with two kids from refugee families at the White Pines Residency at Spruance Elementary.

"Last fall, I was introduced to the HIAS (Hebrew International Aid Society) after-school program for refugee youth through our animation teacher, Klementina Budnik," explains White Pines' Director of Education Dani Bryant, who leads this program. "This year we will expand our partnership with HIAS to offer Spruance Elementary students an exciting program in creative drama, visual arts and animation. WPP's innovative arts programming will help students - from nations all over the world - with literacy and language arts skills, self-confidence, and of course, transformative creativity!"

"The White Pines Masque marks an important step forward for the organization," remarks Board President David Cohen. "With the full support of the board, we are fostering donor development, and creating innovative, fun events like this meant to showcase the important work we do, to raise money, and to have a great time." 

The White Pines Masque will feature light refreshments by Creekside Co-op, beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages. The White Pines Ensemble Bright Invention will perform, as will the acoustic hip-hop group BEATPEACE. The finale is a secret - but we can tell you that it is a tribute to Michael Jackson, and will feature board members, ensemble members, summer campers and Acting Out! students all performing together!

The White Pines Masque occurs at St. Paul's Sunday evening October 22nd, from 7 - 9 pm. Click on the box below to order tickets!

Purchase Tickets

WPYAC update!

WPYAC stands for White Pines Young Artists Camp - and we're halfway through our summer! We thought it might be a good time to share some of the magic our campers have been making at The White Pines Place!

Week One was all about creating your own superhero. Here's a .gif of our beloved camp teaching assistant Julian playing a dastardly villain and getting his just desserts from a gang of superheroes!

Week Two was film school - and the campers made skits based on some of their favorite movies. Below are pix of a Harry Potter inspired scene, and an Indiana Jones inspired scene!

In week 2 they also made their very own music videos with Tina Budnik of KXB studios!

In Week Three we looked at making creative choices with social media. We made some frames . . . 

 . . . and some masks! 

Week Four was Hamilton week. It was the second most well attended week in the history of camp! We learned songs from the hit musical, studied the history and ideas it is based on, and made our own performance! Check out these videos from our week 4 share!

The next video is thanks to Devon's dad Joe Dougherty. Our memory chip ran out of space before the final song "Yorktown", but you can watch it here, along with Xander's poem! 

We have three more weeks of camp, and some spaces left for you! Sign up today! Click on the title of the camp week to enroll . . . 

Week Five: August 14th-18th

What's Your Story?

Everybody has a story to tell. Even young people. Especially young people. We'll show you how to tell those stories through visual and performing arts.


Week Six: August 21st-25th: 

Actionable Arts!   

     
Art can change the world an inspire communities into action. This week we'll explore how we can contribute art into our families, neighborhoods and community that can activate change.

 

Week Seven: August 28th-September 1st: 

Books Alive! 

        
Join us for a week that honors and celebrates our favorite books! We'll engage in hands on arts projects involving creative writing, illustration, theater and storytelling! 

 

Prices

Full Day: $270 // 9:00am-4:00pm

Half Day (morning): $150 // 9:00am - 12:00pm

Half Day (afternoon): $150 // 1:00pm - 4:00pm


Other FAQs

  • For ages 8-14 (there is flexibility!)

  • Students provide their own lunch.

  • Full camp days run 9:00am - 4:00pm with extended day options available 8:00am - 5:00pm.

  • Camp location is The White Pines Place in Elkins Park PA. Outdoor activities in High School Park across the street.

  • Camp Celebration is at 4:00pm on the Friday of each camp week.

 

Contact Dani at education.wpp@gmail.com  for any questions!

White Pines receives grant to support theater with seniors!

Program director Jerry Perna works with a senior citizen during The Senior Theater Initiative. 

Program director Jerry Perna works with a senior citizen during The Senior Theater Initiative. 

White Pines Productions had received $2,000 from the Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial to support its Senior Theater Initiative. The Henrietta Tower Wurts Memorial is a charitable foundation formed to carry out the wishes of Henrietta Tower Wurts, who died in 1933. It supports programs in which a modest grant can play a significant part, and which have meaningful goals in relation to the total resources committed to them. The Philadelphia Foundation provides administrative and management support services for the memorial.

Led by program director Jerry Perna, the Senior Theater Initiative transforms the lives of seniors in low-income senior living sites. For the past three years, we have partnered with federation Housing, Inc. to serve seniors in three of heir sites: The Samuel F. Green House in Elkins Park, Sidewater House in the Northeast, and currently the Saligman Apartments on Roosevelt Blvd. 

"We use a fun and in-depth memoir process," says Perna, "in which the participants are asked to share memories and tell stories about their lives. And we also play some theater games and do some gentle exercises to get the creative juices flowing!" Perna then weaves these stories together in an original piece of theater, supported by professional teaching artists from our ensemble Bright Invention. These residencies meet once per week, last between 10 and 12 weeks, and culminate in a performance at the site shared with friends and family. 

"The Residents of Federation Housing have been so thrilled to have been a part of White Pines' Senior Theater Initiative. They found it to be very interactive and they enjoyed sharing their stories with each other. White Pines and their staff have been wonderful to work with and we look forward to future opportunities to work together," remarked Donna Boyer, Director of Community Services at Federation Housing, Inc.

"At White Pines, we are convinced that performance creativity can improve the quality of life for seniors, and for everyone!" say Executive Director Benjamin Lloyd. "The communal process Jerry creates, with its focus on memories and stories, benefits participants in many ways. We are deeply grateful to the Wurts Memorial and The Philadelphia Foundation for supporting us!"

Jerry, joined by two members of Bright Invention, and the participants of last year's Saligman residency. 

Jerry, joined by two members of Bright Invention, and the participants of last year's Saligman residency.