The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Petal, more play 6th Annual NEPA Holiday Show
SCRANTON — They’re not the traditional portrait of Santa Claus — they’re young, they scream into microphones and some can’t grow beards — but they traditionally visit Scranton every December to give a gift to Northeastern Pennsylvania children.
NEPA bands The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Captain We’re Sinking, The Swims, Three Man Cannon and Petal are all scheduled to perform on Dec. 17, the 6th Annual NEPA Holiday Show. The bands will rock Scranton Cultural Center, with proceeds benefiting the center’s youth programs, as well as Arts in Education in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Arts Alive! summer program.
The Menzingers guitarist/vocalist Tom May said NEPA Holiday Show was organized after his band and other local acts began to leave the area to carve out their place in the music business.
It was a way to get friends back together, and when it came time to choose a charity, May took inspiration from his fellow NEPA Holiday Show organizer and friend Robert Dodd.
“The whole idea was that we were trying to figure out a way to help out the younger generation of artists and musicians in Scranton and Bobby Dodd had attended Arts Alive! and we’d talk about it a lot when we were younger,” May said. “We realized that that was probably a great opportunity to get people to believe in themselves and foster a kind of creative community in Scranton.”
Arts Alive! is a summer program for children in grades five through 12 that focuses on visual and performing arts. While May pursued his artistic side through music, Dodd attended Arts Alive! as a high school student to explore his interests in painting and sculpture. He said the work he produced at Arts Alive! was integral to his acceptance into Rhode Island School of Design and helped him to better understand how to use his skill set in a modern workplace environment.
“I don’t believe that I would’ve been able to get into the university I went to, I don’t believe I would’ve fully been aware of the artistic opportunity and things that I could achieve creatively without being a student at Arts Alive!,” Dodd said. “I recognize how much it impacted where I am now and choosing this as the charity we ended up going with just speaks to how special this is.”
Dodd is currently the creative and production manager for New York City-based non-profit Cycle for Survival. His main role in NEPA Holiday Show preparation is on the digital side but he’ll return to Scranton Friday night to help ready the Scranton Cultural Center. This is the second year NEPA Holiday Show will be held at the center and benefit the center’s youth programs.
Scranton Cultural Center Art and Education Outreach Manager Camille Reinecke said the money donated will most likely fund scholarships for students to attend the center’s summer camp.
“Bobby Dodd and I both grew up in performing arts programs like Arts Alive! and like SCC summer camp and now here we are planning events such as this,” Reinecke said. “It just goes to show you that educating young minds in the arts leads to having arts in the future. It leads to bigger things and it’s something people take with them their entire life.”
NEPA Holiday Show is an event May said excites him more and more every year because “everyone’s older and kind of not getting older though, everybody seems to be kind of growing.” It’s also an event that allows May, his band mates, and fellow NEPA musicians to play for friends, see family and give back to the community.
“We definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this without the springboard of being from Scranton,” said May.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
What: The 6th Annual NEPA Holiday Show
Who: The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Captain We’re Sinking, The Swims, Three Man Cannon, Petal
When: 5 p.m. Dec. 17
Where: Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton
How Much: $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Proceeds benefit Arts in Education in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Arts Alive! program and Scranton Cultural Center’s youth programs. To purchase tickets fee-free, call the SCC Box Office at 1-888-669-8966 or visit the venue in person. To purchase tickets online, visit Ticketmaster.com.