Dream it. See it. Do it.
February 2011

In Focus: The Williamsport Civic Ballet

One of our longtime tenants–here long before we arrived–is Thomas Enterline (Mr. E) and his wife Kay, who founded The Williamsport Civic Ballet School and Company in 1962. This organization is dedicated to fostering the art of theater dance, primarily classical ballet, through youth education and performances. They recently staged their 48th annual performance of the Nutcracker at the Community Arts Center downtown. The performance was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.



We finished up last year – and started this one – with a flurry of activity that brought our Pajama Factory community together in various ways.

First, we’ve upgraded the Pajama Factory’s presence on Facebook. Check out our new Facebook fan page – a place for Williamsport’s artists and art-lovers to connect, communicate and stay in touch with the happenings inside and outside the Pajama Factory. Please join our 500+ online fans by "liking" us on Facebook.

What better way to ring out the old and ring in the New Year than with wedding bells? Four of our tenants got married – two of them to each other – and all celebrated with wedding receptions at the Pajama Factory that they’ll forever remember. Congratulations to the happy couples.

The 3rd annual holiday bash for the building staff, tenants and their families ended the year on a high note of friendship, camaraderie, and amazing potluck dishes.

Thanks for taking a minute to read about our progress. We treasure your support and, from our community to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, and (somewhat belated) New Year. Stay in touch!

– Mark and Susie Winkelman

First Fridays @ the Pajama Factory

Excitement for First Friday events seem to be growing each month with more open studios, the receptions in the main gallery, after-parties and concerts. Here’s a quick recap of the past few First Fridays:

October: Our theme was “The Art of Wheels,” and was highlighted by live painting, an auction, and a collectors show that included motorcycles. Also we began what may become a First Friday tradition – organized after parties with live music and live art.

The Mayor stopped by

November: This month’s theme was “Get Your Nature On.” We joined forces with one of our tenants, Equinox (an outdoor manufacturing company), for an evening of landscape art, nature photography, and their annual warehouse sale. The evening was a great success for the artists, Equinox and all who attended.

December: The weather never holds us back from our annual holiday fun. We built off last year’s success and held the 2nd Annual Holiday Craft Fair, and many of you picked up gifts from local artisans (including our tenants). December’s First Friday even caught the attention of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who stopped by to hand out cookies.

Check out our photo galleries for the October, November and December First Fridays.

Although we took a break in January, this February’s First Friday will surely make up for it. The theme is “Factory of Love,” and will be organized by our tenants. Chad Andrews will give a sneak peek of the new Pajama Factory community ceramics studio; Artist-gallery director Christina Varga will exhibit at the Graphic Hive; and Becky Reiser (former Pajama Factory artist-in-residence director and current graduate art student at Syracuse University) returns with a large installation piece in building 7.

Construction and Building Update

The big news is that the elevator work is underway! The elevator shaft has already been extended 17 feet above the roofline to assure easy access to the roof (a rooftop beer garden would be awfully nice!). The elevator cab design is roomy, made out of transparent stainless steel mesh. Although we’ve paused construction for the winter, we'll begin again in March. The estimated completion date is still a few months out, but we are all looking forward to our first rooftop soiree.

In the meantime we have been battening down the hatches for winter, which means sealing up cracks with over 1,000 feet of foam rods. We’ve also instituted more building safety measures.

Lastly, we’d also like to welcome two new maintenance staff to the Pajama Factory team – Tony Grafius and Candy Taylor. Tony has over 30 years of building maintenance experience and Candy (who did a lot of sheetrocking and mud work on the studio build out) also brings in a great deal of experience and a “get it done” attitude.

Tenants Update


We’re excited to welcome new tenants to the building: New art-focused tenants include Steve Hirsch, collage and mixed media artist; Barbara Andreassen, freelance graphic designer and fine artist; Todd Lim, artist; Genna Pendergrass and Dan Alexander, who are opening a glass studio for lampworking and beads. The duo will also be offering classes; and Alleshia Funk who’s multimedia work includes jewelry, pottery, photography and painting. Machinist Frank Nickens has established an office and machine shop, Christopher Hayes is opening a recording studio, and Funenthings is a children’s boutique in our retail area on the first floor. We’d also like to welcome another retail tenant, Tanya and Jay Rice and their formal wear sales, renting, and manufacturing company that will be taking over 6,000 feet of space on the ground floor.

Welcome, all!

Good news, bad news

The good news, bad news is that we have just one larger space still available for rent and all of our smaller studio spaces are leased. The waitlist is growing, and we are all anxious for construction to continue on the third floor so we accommodate with growing demand.

In Closing...

We are also happy to announce that we’ve become the first recipient of the Revolving Loan Program through the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and the City of Williamsport. We hope to use these additional funds to further the development and modernization of the elevator shaft up to the roof of the building. We will, of course, keep you up-to-date with new developments as they come along.

As Mark said at the press conference, “It’s more than just a loan, it’s also a vote of approval, a vote of confidence of what we’re trying to do here.” (As you can see, Mark even wore a tie). You can watch a four minute video from the press conference here – Mark starts speaking at about 1:35.

We wish for peace and promise in this New Year, to our family, our friends, our tenants and our supporters. And despite the fact that Susie hails from Wisconsin, “Go Steelers!”

– Mark and Susie Winkelman