Dream it. See it. Do it.
September 2009

The Williamsport Guardian @ the Pajama Factory

We're thrilled to welcome one of our newest tenants – The Williamsport Guardian, a progressive, non-profit organization that publishes a bi-monthly newspaper. The Guardian serves to encourage dialogue about important local, national and international issues. It aims to help readers connect the dots between the national and the local, between government action and individuals and families in local communities. Guardian Editor, Anna Alford, calls her new digs at the Pajama Factory “the hippest commercial venue in Williamsport.”

You can visit the Guardian's website to find out more.



It has been a busy summer, with courtyard BBQs every month, our first ever Artist-in-Residence program, building construction and improvements, impromptu studio parties and even a 24-hour Blues marathon at the Uptown Music Collective! And, as if that wasn’t enough, we provided the venue for a wonderful Arts and Wine festival in early August – hopefully the first of many such events.

Our Pajama Czar, Marshall Harris is now on-site full-time after a summer of commuting back-and-forth while attending a Masters program at the University of Arts in Philadelphia. He is overseeing progress on our building improvements and making sure our growing tenant base is well-taken care of and happy.

As always we appreciate your spreading the news about the happenings and opportunities here at the Pajama Factory.

– Mark and Susie Winkelman

Artist-in-Residence 2009 – Becky makes the Move!

This past summer Becky Reiser participated in the 2009 Artists-in-Residence Program (co-sponsored by the Public Art Academy). We are happy to say, she has decided to move to Williamsport and settle into life at the Pajama Factory. We asked her to tell us about her experience and why she decided to stay.

“After graduating from Penn State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture, followed by a semester as a teacher’s assistant, I was ready to find a place where I could concentrate on my studio work and be inspired by new people and new surroundings. When I heard about the Pajama Factory’s Artist-in-Residence program, I was instantly interested. After contacting Michael Pilato I submitted my resume, artist statement, and images of my work, and soon thereafter was accepted into the program.

The building is amazing – 300,000 square feet of wide open space, thriving with potential. My studio space was refreshingly rugged, and undoubtedly had the capacity to house my creativity. The free housing provided by the program on West Fourth Street were equally amazing. The two-bedroom, first-floor apartment in a building on Millionaires’ Row provided me with a more than comfortable place to live for my month-and-a-half long stay.

My change of location, in combination with being surrounded by a talented and helpful community of artists, reinvigorated my art-making. While my choice of materials is often minimal (i.e., Styrofoam, duct tape, and glue), my ideas were becoming more complex.

When my time as a Pajama Factory artist-in-residence was finished, I knew I wanted more. I had a desire not only to serve myself and my art career, but also to help the Pajama Factory reach its potential. Michael Pilato and Marshall Harris helped turn my desire to a reality. I have been hired as a Pajama Factory employee, doing topical renovations such as painting, to help improve the integrity of the building. At the same time, I have access to a new studio in which to continue my artistic pursuits. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help give the town of Williamsport access to the world of art that as a community, it so richly deserves.”

Studio Update

Construction of 16,000 square feet of new studio spaces on the second floor of building 10 are well underway. Our contractors, Bob and Candy Taylor are moving at breakneck speed to get them completed by mid-September. While many of these new spaces are already spoken for, there are still some left for rent. You can see what's currently available on our website.

The range of folks in the building is growing - from Carrie Pauling, a writer and Kim Antanitis, an on-site masseuse who occupy smaller spaces, to Nick Tinney (wood turner) and Ralph Wilson (photographer) who have taken larger spaces. There are plenty of options to accommodate a wide range of needs. We even added eight storerooms since a lot of people have been asking for them. If you are curious, just drop us a line for more details.

First Annual Arts and Wine Festival

We were thrilled to have the Williamsport Arts and Wine Festival at the Pajama Factory this past month. There was a wonderful turnout. Seven Pennsylvania wineries (including our own Eagle Rock Winery) provided hundreds of attendees the chance to sample their many varieties of wine. In addition there was lots of great food and art (local artists, art galleries and arts organizations) plus a wide variety of local products and services. Folks were able to wander throughout the building and visit the studio spaces of many of our tenants, who displayed their work, hosted contests or performed in the outdoor gazebo. This urban festival was a true celebration of Williamsport’s vibrant art scene and the regions’ growing wine industry.

Breaking News...

The Pajama Factory has been designated as “eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.” This is just the first, but a critical step in what looks to be a long process. Getting listed (as opposed to being eligible) will require a whole lot of “i” dotting and “t” crossing but the path is clear. And we are happy we are able to say, as we begin to build anew at the Pajama Factory, that we are making sure we preserve its historic past.

Again as a reminder, please help us spread the word to friends and family (small business owners and artists in particular!) about this ‘urban HISTORIC oasis’ in Williamsport, nestled within the beautiful surrounding area of “Pennsylvania wilds.”

– Mark and Susie Winkelman