June 22, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
SRU's Old Stone House presents 'Celebrate Pennsylvania'
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - SlipperyRock University's Old Stone House will present "Celebrate Pennsylvania!," an evening of historical stories and songs with award-winning performer Paula Purnell, at 7 p.m. July 10.
The family-friendly and interactive presentation will feature songs written by and about the people of Pennsylvania and feature authentic instruments, costumes and props.
The stories of native people of the Eastern Woodlands, early English settlers and the workers of the Industrial Age will be highlighted as Purnell invites the audience to explore how and why Pennsylvanians have been making music throughout their history.
Volunteers will don costumes to become George Washington, Queen Aliquippa and other notable people from Pennsylvania's past. Artifacts on display will provide opportunities to explore the daily life, toils and triumphs of bygone eras.
"I'm very excited to be visiting the Old Stone House," Purnell said. "It's a great setting for this type of performance." Purnell is a songwriter and performer who appreciates and loves historic folk songs.
"Folk music gives us a window into another time. From these wonderful old songs, we can learn how people of long ago interacted with each other, their environment and the world at large. While exploring Pennsylvania's diverse population - from the Haudenosaunee Native Americans to the early Scotch-Irish settlers and from the newly freed African Americans to the Eastern European immigrants seeking a new life in the industrial age - we learn that through diversity we can create community," she said.
"By celebrating and sharing the music of different times and cultures, participants come away with a better understanding and appreciation of the common bond that makes us Pennsylvanians," Purnell said.
Purnell earned her master's degree in elementary education at Seton Hill University and is the winner of the Parent's Choice Gold and Silver Awards for Original Children's Albums. She is the outreach artist for the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh and is co-founder of Mainstreet Music and the Family Arts Theatre.
The event is made possible by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council's Commonwealth Speakers program, which offers humanities-based presentations to nonprofit organizations across the commonwealth.
Admission is free, but seating is limited. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 724.738.2409, or contacting Aaron Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cowan is curator of the facility.
The Old Stone House, a reconstructed 1822 stagecoach tavern and history museum, is owned and managed by Slippery Rock University. The Butler County landmark is located at the intersection of routes 8, 173 and 528, 12 miles north of Butler.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.