There may no longer be a Reading Railroad, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a train that “ties” our past to our future. We want to bring the train back to Reading for a very special reason. All too often, segments of the Greater Reading community feel alienated from the arts. To some of our neighbors, art is inaccessible. We’d like to change that!
Reading Arts In Local-motion, or RAiL, is a project that will bring the arts to the community — literally and figuratively. The vision is to develop a new “Reading Railroad,” that showcases art in a variety of forms and travels around Greater Reading and Berks County. Launched in three phases, RAiL is a transmedia arts project that will provide canvas, location, and audience to Reading area artists in multiple disciplines. In the first phase, visual arts will transform rail cars to art installations. Phase two will comprise performing artists and filmmakers who will create or adapt theatre and film to the railway venues. And, of course, there are many more possibilities to add cars for other disciplines such as culinary arts, architecture and design, and agriculture, for some examples. Phase three involves the audiences who get to “take a ride” when the RRR arrives at a nearby “station” throughout the community.
But for the first year, RAiL will remain at the “station” and feature a box car with a stage highlighting the work of our community’s visual, performing, and film artists. The car will be transformed by a visual artists and come alive through performances and exhibitions in a way that complements the theme of “preserving our history by progressing with it” which is the impetus for creator and local artist, Andrew Pochan. RAiL is more than an art history project, but that is certainly its inspiration, “ according to Pochan.
RAiL Launch Event October 26, 2014
Take a look at just some of the goings on at the first RAiL Event. I am so proud to be a part of a team that means so much to me and that is capable of doing anything... Like rigging a stage to a box car and having performers make their art.
The image above loosely portrays Andrew's idea of how the train cars would be utilized for this project. It was coyly based on the painting to the left, by renouned Railroad (more specifically the Reading Railroad) painter John Holton.
The Event will be located at
S 3rd St, Hamburg, PA 19526.
Progress on Track
Take a look at some photos of the actual work being done by our schools and artists.
Reading High School
Schulykill Valley Middle School
TEA Factory - featuring Saint Sanchez
Wyomissing Area Jr/Sr. High School
Yocum Institute for Arts Education
Channel 69 News
Pochan brought the idea to Santo D. Marabella, of ReadingFilm (a program of the Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau) and the Greater Reading Alliance of Community Theatres – and in no time, both organizations were “aboard.” Additional collaborator joined as well, including playwright and filmmaker, Sue Lange, Liz Clark, community activist and train enthusiast, and the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum. Under the auspices of the Heritage Museum and with support from local community members, there is a Steering Committee planning the event.
The event is to be held on October 24 -26th, 2014 at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg, PA. There will be live performances by various local, musical, theater and dance groups as well as food and beverages provided by local restaurants. Volunteers and funding are being sought now to make this inaugural event a success.