All posts tagged franklin

PennDOT to Host Open House Meeting

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) invites the public to an open house meeting to review options developed through the Liberty Street (Route 62) and 12th Street Intersection Improvements Study in Franklin.

The purpose of the meeting is to share safety and geometric improvement options for the intersection and gather feedback from attendees on which options best meet the safety needs of the project. 

PennDOT representatives, along with design consultants, will be available to answer questions and explain the various options.

The open house will be held on Tuesday, January 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church fellowship hall 1102 Liberty Street, Franklin (Enter the red, street-level side door off 11th Street).

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s January 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Partner in Business of the Year: Barrow-Civic Theatre

barrowThe 2018 Partner in Business Award goes to the Barrow-Civic Theatre (BCT), owned and operated by the Franklin Civic Operetta Association (FCOA).  The FCOA’s mission is to be a leader in the cultural growth, diversity, and vitality of the region, with a vision to provide opportunities for quality programming and entertainment by tapping the resources of all age groups and encouraging the pursuit of artistic talents.

The FCOA celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2018 and had a full schedule of events, presenting award-winning literature from a diverse array of genre.

With a commitment to improving processes, staff made major updates to production guidelines by streamlining the process. Multi-member production teams developed into a new standard, ushering in several non-board members as FCOA show producers and members of the Programming Committee.

BCT’s Little Theatre maintained a lively schedule of events. The Off-Barrow Committee completed an internal review over the summer and created a Committee Overview document for the Board Development Committee. A production of the play Wait Until Dark was a great hit in November, selling out several shows, and proving the Little Theatre is a special and unique downtown venue for smaller plays and events.

The first phase of building improvements began in the Little Theatre over the holidays. A new technical booth featuring an audio snake, light board, and new stage are part of the improvements. Barrow

The Youth Theatre program produces annual shows and workshops that allow our area’s youth to develop skills in all aspects of theater. The program encourages parent participation, and the staff continue to work as a team to empower each young participant.

The Barrow Theatre Institute (BTI), a series of after school, evening, and weekend classes and workshops taught by local instructors is gaining momentum and hopes to recognize continual growth in registrants and classes offered.

Another educational event included an Artist In Residence, in collaboration with Erie Arts & Culture (EAC) and Pennsylvania Partner for the Arts (PPA).  Two Teaching Artists spent several weeks working with local youth to install a mosaic tile installation for the entrance to The Little Theatre (see left).  The finished product tells the stories the participating youth gathered to answer the question “Why Franklin?”  This is a much-needed, vibrant and colorful update to the facade of the Little Theatre.

2018 was an active and productive year for the FCOA Board Development committee. A Board Retreat was held in September, focused on values and Board roles.

The theatre presented over 100 ticket vouchers to area non-profits for fundraisers.  The theatre was represented at downtown events and FCOA cast members attended festivals and concerts in the park to promote shows, and the theatre opened its doors for concessions and rest room facilities.

Many building improvements were made or begun in 2018, including the replacement of pumps and one of the boiler units.  Staff members painted the outside alley wall, a much-needed improvement to the cosmetics of the building. Additional improvements included the replacement of two damaged doors, as well as carpet throughout the building.

“The opening of the Barrow-Civic Theatre 25 years ago was a dream come true. Today, this organization is still making dreams come true for performers and the community,” said Zach Covington, Executive Director.

The Barrow-Civic Theatre will be honored at our Annual Dinner on Wednesday, February 27.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s February 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Victorian City Making Changes in Honor of 25th Year

VCAF_NVictorian City Art and Frame is gearing up to celebrate 25 years of business in 2019 by redesigning the gallery over the next few months. They plan to work with local businesses through this transformation. Some have already helped them to redesign the logo and print new signage.

They will hold a clearance event February 8 and 9 during Franklin on Ice to clear out old stock and make room for new art. Victorian City Art and Frame is located at  1273 Liberty Street in Franklin.

Trails to Ales Donates to Nonprofits

Mud Puppy StoutWhen they opened Trails to Ales Brewery, located on Liberty Street in Franklin, the owners knew they wanted to find a way to give back to the community. That is exactly what they’ve done through their Community Quencher Donation Program. Each month, Trails to Ales donates 3% of the sales of one of their local brews to a nonprofit organization in the community. There is an application process and more information can be found here:

This month when you order a Mudpuppy Milk Chocolate Stout, that 3% will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Chocoholics For a Cause Relay Team. Visit the Trails to Ales Website for hours and more information or visit their Facebook page at

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s January 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

The Positive Impact of Public Artwork

Rotary 1Artists have been hard at work, adding to the many reasons people should be visiting the region’s downtown business districts. At the least, murals provide an attractive way to spruce up a building.  Done well, public artwork is educational and often engages a community in its creation.  In Franklin, two of the most recent projects do exactly that. Rotary Way, an alley off of Liberty Street, has long sat as a white canvas.  Recently, the Rotary Club solicited the services of local artist Stephen Leccia to complete a mural. After sharing concepts, Stephen and the Club settled on a montage which included the Venango County Courthouse and images representing the various service projects that the Rotary Club supports. Much of the mural is done, but additional art is likely to be added.  An unveiling and “meet the artist” will be held on October 17th.

Zach Covington, President of the Franklin Rotary and Director of the Barrow Theatre remarks “The trend for public art is to engage people, creating a connection between the art and the community.  It may involve community members actually creating the art or it can be that they interact with the art, as in those who take their picture with the butterfly wings on the side of Buffalo Street Lanes.” Ronnie Beith, Franklin Events Coordinator agrees “Murals are a fantastic addition to our downtown, educational and historic, for residents and visitors.”

The Oil City Main Street Program is building on its downtown murals initiative. Three new original murals will appear in the North Side Business District in the weeks ahead, with a Mural Walk in late October to celebrate their completion.

Deac Mong Mural - Leah GesingAll three of the new murals are original works of art created by professional muralists. Two of the artists have local ties, including Deac Mong of Rocky Grove; and Berry Breene, an Oil City native who now lives in the Pittsburgh area. Bernie Wilke, a Pittsburgh artist who also created a downtown Oil City mural in 2016, is the lead artist in the third project. The location of the new murals includes 50 Seneca Street (Mong), 275 Seneca Street (Breene) and the underpass of Veterans Memorial Bridge (Wilke). The murals, funded by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the National Park Service via ORA as the Oil Region National Heritage Area, and the Elizabeth S. Black Charitable Trust via PNC Charitable Trusts and Penn Soil RC&D Council, carry various themes that include elements of oil history & heritage, transportation, wildlife, and music.

Schools are also getting in on the benefits of incorporating art.  Students are now being encouraged to paint ceiling tiles, parking spaces and contribute to other art projects around the Oil City High School.  Principal Scott Stahl suggests that this all contributes to a more positive school climate, one where students share ownership of the facilities.  Studies suggest that this improved climate has a significant impact on academic performance.Murals

In addition to the new downtown murals, original works of art, the aging oil & gas signs on a mural created by Oil City High School art students in 1998, on the side of Williams Travel, will be updated by Sign Designery of Titusville and Caldwell Signage Solutions of Oil City.

The Oil City Main Street Mural Walk will be held on Saturday, October 27th beginning at 10:00 am. Details are still in the works and will be posted on and Facebook @oilcitymainstreetprogram and @artsoilcity once finalized.

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s October 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.