Lehigh Valley arts administration students hold first-ever campus Arts Fest

Students make buttons at Arts Fest

Students get a tutorial on button making at the inaugural Penn State Lehigh Valley Arts Fest. 

Credit: Corey McDonough

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Penn State Lehigh Valley bustled with activity during the final weeks of the spring semester, with events both familiar and brand new.

Among the new ones — the campus’s inaugural Arts Fest, which was coordinated by students in the Arts Administration 404: Event Planning Practicum taught by Associate Teaching Professor of Arts Administration Elizabeth Flaherty.

The outdoor event drew a large crowd of campus community members who checked out 12 creatively themed tables set up by campus clubs, community organizations and local businesses throughout the courtyard.

The tables included everything from handmade jewelry to button-making, including spray-painting demonstrations, kindness rocks from the Community Heroes Club, and miniature plants handed out by the members of the Gardening Club. The Business Society showcased companies that make good use of art in their branding, while the Lehigh Valley Arts Council and Lehigh Art Alliance passed out literature in hopes of attracting new members.

The festivities also included live music, walking tacos and Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream.

Planning for the Arts Fest was spearheaded by Delilah Jabbour, a sophomore integrative arts major with a focus in arts and museum administration.

“We worked with the Art Club to carry it out. We had to put everything together pretty quickly,” Jabbour said. “I enjoyed it, and I gained a lot of experience from it. It was quite an education.”

“Delilah did such a wonderful job planning the fair,” Flaherty said. “She’s really been the anchor of all this. She’s very good at communication, multi-tasking and last-minute problem solving.”

Jabbour will head to Penn State Abington this fall to complete her degree, but she hopes other students will take the Arts Fest concept and run with it.

“Hopefully, it becomes an annual event for the campus,” she said.