Swarthmore Borough Authority Funds College’s Capital Projects

“Flex space” in Whittier Place academic building will house labs, faculty offices, and eventually, art studios. Photo by Laurence Kesterson

“Flex space” in Whittier Place academic building will house labs, faculty offices, and eventually, art studios. Photo by Laurence Kesterson

With its adoption of Resolution 2017-02 last week, Swarthmore Borough Council gave its final approval to the development plans for Swarthmore College’s Biology, Engineering, and Psychology (BEP) building project, which is scheduled to begin this summer along Whittier Place at the north end of campus. It’s another significant step forward in the borough’s integral involvement with the college, a symbiotic relationship which goes back more than 30 years to the establishment of the Swarthmore Borough Authority.

The Authority was established in 1985 to help the college finance capital projects, and has been successfully used for that purpose to the tune of $747 million in bonds issued over three decades (about half of this total was for the purposes of refinancing prior issues). A $25 million bond sale last year provided funds for part of the 170,000 square foot BEP project, as well as capital for construction of dormitories at Harvard Avenue and Chester Road, the new 19,000 sf. Whittier Place academic office building, and the Cunningham Field student parking lot. In addition, the Authority issued bonds in 2016 to refinance $74 million of College debt at lower rates, which will save the College $24 million over the life of the bonds.

Greg Brown, Swarthmore College Vice President for Finance and Administration, said recently that “Generally, we prefer to raise money for projects [like BEP] before we actually build them. If we anticipate gifts coming in over a period of time, we may borrow against those pledges … and in recent years, when there has been an urgent need to do special projects — e.g. the Whitter Place building and the new residence hall — we have gone ahead and borrowed money. The bond proceeds are invested in the College’s endowment, which in most interest rate environments yields more than the cost of borrowing.”

The Swarthmorean recently spoke with Steven Goldfield, an attorney specializing in public finance who is the solicitor for the Authority and a former member of Swarthmore Borough Council. He contributed the article below to “provide a glimpse into how the College and the Borough work together to finance and refinance projects on the College campus in a manner that is mutually beneficial.” Unless otherwise noted, the words below are Mr. Goldfield’s.

Why does the College borrow through a municipal authority?
As a tax-exempt institution, the College has many options available to it for financing its capital projects, including the capability to borrow directly from a financial institution, or to issue taxable or tax exempt debt. Under Federal and state tax law, interest paid on a bond issued by a state agency or instrumentality (such as the Swarthmore Borough Authority), the proceeds of which are being used by a 501(c)(3) organization (such as the College) is tax free to the holder. Because investors are receiving a tax benefit equal to income tax savings, investors in the tax- exempt market are willing to buy bonds bearing interest at a lower rate. This can be illustrated with a mathematical calculation of what the taxable equivalent yield is compared with a tax-exempt yield for a Pennsylvania investor in a specific marginal tax bracket.

3-24 box

The lower interest rate the tax-exempt investor is willing to receive translates directly into a lower borrowing cost with savings for the benefit of the College. The College bears the full responsibility for issuance costs and the repayment of its outstanding debt. The Borough assumes no liability in these transactions.

Why does the College issue through the Swarthmore Borough Authority?
In 1985, longtime Borough Solicitor Guy Smith applied for the necessary approvals to create the Swarthmore Borough Authority. Interest rates were high at this time; Guy and another former Mayor, Eck Gerner, conferring with then-College President David Fraser, realized that a board of volunteers coupled with a more reasonable fee structure using local professionals would serve the College and the Borough well. The College had rarely borrowed for its capital improvements up until this time; instead, it had been paying for capital improvements from other amounts it had saved. According to Guy, his notion was to help “improve town/gown relations, improve communication between the two entities, give a financial benefit to both entities and tie them together for a long time to come.”

That vision has been fulfilled. For more than 30 years now, the College has been using the Swarthmore Borough Authority to access low-cost capital, despite the availability of several other options including the Delaware County Authority, and the Delaware County Industrial Development Authority, and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority, which are used by Widener and Temple, among other colleges and universities.

New residences under construction at Chester Road and Harvard Avenue will afford 120 Swarthmore College students suite-style living, and a great view of the ballfields. Photo by Laurence Kesterson

New residences under construction at Chester Road and Harvard Avenue will afford 120 Swarthmore College students suite-style living, and a great view of the ballfields. Photo by Laurence Kesterson

What do the parties get out of the relationship?
The College avails itself of a user-friendly local authority to issue long-term debt at a competitive cost. Because tax law requires a governmental hearing and approval, the College uses this as another opportunity to keep Borough Council, the public and the Mayor informed about various projects. This benefits both parties, at no cost to the Borough — in fact, there are substantial benefits to the town.

The College pays all costs of the Borough Authority in connection with the financings (i.e. legal fees, legal advertisements in the Swarthmorean and accounting). The College also pays an issuance fee to the Borough Authority for each bond issue and an annual fee based upon the aggregate principal amount of bonds outstanding (the Borough Authority passes these fees through to the Borough to support the Borough’s operating budget).

In 2016, the College paid $15,000 in issuance fees for the bond issue and $127,817 based upon a formula for all bonds issued by the Borough Authority that are outstanding. Since 2004, the total of these remittances from the College is well over $1 million. The net income goes to the borough’s general and capital funds. Use of the funds is not restricted, and has been used in the past to support operations of the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association and other public safety initiatives. These amounts are separate from the College’s other voluntary contributions to the Borough and its property tax payments, which include:

• Payment of half the salary of one Swarthmore police officer;
• Taxes paid on approximately 80 taxable properties subject to real estate taxes: borough taxes at the rate of 5.673 mills, and the Wallingford Swarthmore School District at the rate of 43.403 mills. The total of these payments in 2016 was more than $1,000,000;
• Trash fees and sewer fees paid to Borough; and
• Contributions to Centennial and Central Parks.

Swarthmore’s Borough Council and Authority include talented people with relevant expertise, an inclination toward cooperation, and curiosity about the College. The Swarthmore Borough Authority is currently served by these volunteer board members: Chair Maria M. Zissimos, Vice Chair David Wolfsohn, Secretary Steve Carp, Treasurer Elric C. Gerner, and Assistant Treasurer/Assistant Secretary Tom Mandel. Their counterparts at the College are Greg Brown, VP of Finance and Administration and Alice Turbiville, Assistant VP of Finance and Controller. I’ve seen instances in other municipalities where for political reasons, boards and solicitors have created rancor by holding up approvals, forcing choice of a certain counsel or auditor, and making the process so difficult as to discourage an institution from seeking to raise capital through bonds. Our community is fortunate to be represented in its relationship to the College by people of such substance, integrity and goodwill.

Borough Council Okays Speed Cushions on Yale Avenue

Swarthmore Borough Council
By Chris Reynolds

At its legislative session on Monday, March 13, Swarthmore Borough Council voted to proceed with phase two of the traffic calming measures suggested in a report by the borough’s engineering consultant Pennoni Associates to reduce the speed of traffic on Yale Avenue. This phase will involve installing two sets of “speed cushions” at equidistant intervals of about 1,200 feet between Chester Road and Swarthmore Avenue. The engineer’s recommendations last fall cited PennDOT reports which suggest the potential for 15% reduction in speed and 30% reduction in traffic volume where speed cushions are installed. Unlike speed humps spanning the width of the road, speed cushions leave gaps which allow wide-axle emergency vehicles to pass without having to reduce speed.

Council president David Grove was among three members (joining Michael Carey and David Murphy) who opposed the measure, dissenting at some length. He pointed out that phase one of the traffic calming plan — two solar-powered digital speed readouts now in place — have already reduced average speeds significantly, thus limiting the incremental benefits of further measures. Further, Grove said, traffic cushions or humps could create noise problems beyond what now exists — “harm I am not willing to inflict on neighbors for an uncertain benefit.”

Grove and other Council members favor adoption of phase three of the engineer’s report: the installation of “bulb-outs” which would extend the curb into the shoulder of the road at intersections on Yale. In conjunction with signage and crosswalks, these extensions would serve not only to visually narrow the roadway, but also to shorten the pedestrian crossing distance. Following discussion, Council decided to defer such installation pending study of the effectiveness of three such bulb-outs to be constructed this summer on Chester Road at Harvard Avenue, Yale and Rutgers avenues, and Yale and Harvard.

Swarthmore College Remembers and Mourns Student Sam Jenkins

At a Collection on Swarthmore College’s campus on Sunday, fellow students, friends, family members, professors, and college staff shared reminiscences and appreciation of Swarthmore student Sam Jenkins of Wickford, R.I., who died on Sunday, March 19, following a skateboard accident on the College’s Magill Walk.

Sam was a member of the Class of 2019, a technologist, video game designer, ice hockey goalie for the College’s club team, a musician in the gamelan orchestra Semara Santi, and by many accounts, an inquisitive and vital member of the college community.

In a message circulated Monday, Swarthmore College President Valerie Smith lamented the loss of “a creative, joyful, and gentle individual whose infectious enthusiasm and genuine kindness made a lasting impact on our community.” Plans for a memorial service will be forthcoming.

Exploring Fun and Faith on First and Second Sundays

“Faith and Play” is part of the Swarthmore Friends Meeting’s First Day School children’s program.

“Faith and Play” is part of the Swarthmore Friends Meeting’s First Day School children’s program.

In a gentle, Quaker way, young people in the Swarthmore Monthly Meeting are encouraged to develop their spiritual nature through the Meeting’s new Family Program, on the first and second Sundays of each month. They’re also having fun with old and new friends in the Meeting’s First Day School every Sunday.

Meeting member Rich Schiffer, a First Day teacher and assistant clerk of the First Day School Committee, said that children aged from pre-kindergarten through high school have adjusted some of their traditions. On the first Sundays (next meeting on April 2), they welcome families at 9 a.m. in the Whittier Room for an hour-long program before the broader community worship. Younger students hear a Faith and Play story and are given “wondering questions,” then encouraged to express themselves in crafts and play downstairs. Parents remain in Whittier Room reflecting on and discussing ways to instill and nurture the values expressed in the story.

Rich is also the father of 13 year-old twins Chuck and Joe, who as “older youth,” he said, “are equals in the faith community, and in this they are facilitators; they help children open up, as well as parents.” Middle and high school youth also host an Inter-generational Worship Sharing period, 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on second Sundays (next on April 9). “The curriculum is fluid and answers to the spirit of the moment,” Rich said.”

Each month, the youth conduct their own business, and together develop a query which they then offer to the community through Worship Sharing, which could be compared to a form of guided meditation.

“The youth put a great deal of thought into developing the query,” Rich said, “which works to put the emphasis not so much on the silence of the more traditional worship meeting, but in thoughtful, personal responses. It also serves to engage the adults in the issues the youth are exploring.”

A core group of three or four families are regulars, usually joined by several other families who are “Quaker-curious,” Rich said. “An intentional community is developing organically here, from the bottom up.

“There are no cliques here; kids feel comfortable, respected, and welcome.”

Philadelphia Flower Shop Fun

3-24 caulfied 1

Kelly Caulfield of Rose Valley and Sarah Makin of Wallingford chaired the Rose Tree Gardeners exhibit in the Table Class at the Holland-themed Philadelphia Flower Show. “We won a second place on our first judging, and we just won first place on the second judging,” Kelly said last weekend. She is quick to credit her RTG colleagues including arranger Delton Lewis of Aldan, and Polly Edmondsen of Rose Valley, who developed the “Intent” statement, which describes the scene in the Royal House of Orange as floral designers prepare an arrangement of all orange blooms for a celebration.

3-24 De Stijl-8

Michael Petrie’s Handmade Gardens won a Silver Medal for their major landscape exhibit, De Stijl (The Style), at the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show. The exhibit was inspired by an early 20th-century Dutch abstract art movement famous for clean simple lines and little color. It featured a gate by Greg Leavitt Studios (famous for their Swarthmore College Rose Garden gates) and metalwork fountains by Turpin Ponds of Chester County. Michael Petrie, who lives in Swarthmore, also created designs this year for The Green Mountain Energy Company and the Men’s Garden Club of Philadelphia.

3-24 caulfied 2

Wallingford residents Patti Kelly of the Gardeners of Rose Valley and Shirley Mitrovich of the Rose Tree Gardeners took a first place ribbon for their quadrant arrangement of the Silver Skates.

3-24 jeannine

Jeannine Osayande of Swarthmore is all wrapped up in the Green Mountain Energy exhibit designed by Michael Petrie, also of Swarthmore, for this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show. Jeannine, her mom Betty Ann Wilson, Mimi Muhlenberg and several other Swarthmoreans worked as volunteers to help create the exhibit which featured a multi-hued wire-wrapped, button-flower festooned “electric tree” and retro tire planters. Photo by Lisa Seward, who also worked as a volunteer on the exhibit.

Annie Get Your Tickets for RVCO Spring Musical

Courtney Boches as Annie Oakley and David Price as Frank Butler in the Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra’s production of Annie Get Your Gun.

Courtney Boches as Annie Oakley and David Price as Frank Butler in the Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra’s production of Annie Get Your Gun.

The Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra continues its 110th season with a classic Broadway musical, Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun, opening next Friday, March 31, at Strath Haven Middle School’s auditorium at 200 S. Providence Road in Wallingford.

It’s a fully costumed, fresh take by Peter Stone on the original book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, featuring Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show within the show. Berlin’s durable hits still shine brightly, including “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.”

Sally Foster-Chang is the stage director and Florrie Marks, the music director.

Additional performances will be on Saturdays, April 1 and 8, at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Wednesday, April 5, at 8 p.m.; and Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the door at $20 for adults, $17 for seniors over 60 and students, and $7 for children 12 and under. Wednesday tickets are two for the price of one. Discounts are available for advance and group purchases — send orders with an SASE to RVCO, Box 414, Media, PA 19063.

What to do? What to know!

3-24 kids with book it t on

David (left) and Gabby Picos (right) are ready to Book It! for Swarthmore Public Library and Helen Kate Furness Library in its first 5k Walk/Run Fundraiser! The point to point 5k race starts at 9 AM at Helen Kate Furness Library and ends at Swarthmore Public Library. There will be a community celebration in Central Park after the race including an awards ceremony, activities, kid races, snacks and more. For information, call the Swarthmore Public Library at (610) 543-0436, the Helen Kate Furness Library at (610) 566-9331, check www.runtheday.com and search Book It, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/bookit5krace.

Job Fair Boot Camp at Media Presbyterian

Learn how to work a job fair with the help of career coach Jacqueline Tusman on Tuesday evening, April 4, at Media Presbyterian Church in the “Job Fair Boot Camp” presented by Joseph’s People of Delaware County.

The session from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. gives strategic guidance on how to make the most of the opportunities for job changers to meet and impress prospective employers in a job fair setting, from the perfect handshake, to the elevator speech, to the real meaning of “tell me about yourself.”

The session is free and open to all. Come to the Hassler Chapel, entry to the left of the main door of the church at 30 E. Baltimore Avenue in Media. More information is at josephspeople.org.

Examining Gerrymandering at SPL

The Swarthmore Public Library presents a panel discussion on Thursday, April 6, on the hot topic of gerrymandering, the practice of creating legislative districts that represent partisan interests rather than those of the electorate. Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, which surrounds but does not include most Swarthmorean readers, is a famously egregious example.

The panel will feature Pennsylvania Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Swarthmore, Peter Mardinly of Fair Districts PA, and Ben Geffern of the Public Interest Law Center. The event is co-presented by Fair Districts PA, a coalition of citizens and organizations interested in ensuring that elections “represent the will of all the people” by advocating for impartial creation of voting districts.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the library, 121 Park Avenue in Swarthmore. Admission is free and open to all. Register by phone: (610) 543-0436 or e-mail: swarthmore@delcolibraries.org.

What’s Up at the College? Find Out at TGP

Swarthmore College Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Brown will visit The Gathering Place next week to provide an update on what’s going on at Swarthmore College these days.

His talk will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, following luncheon at 12. Bring your own food, or enjoy soup and a roll from Occasionally Yours for a small donation. Dessert and beverages are provided.

Sessions are free and open to all at Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue.

‘A Quiet Night and a Perfect End:
Gregorian Chant in Swarthmore’

All interested singers are invited to participate in a drop-in session of Gregorian chant singing on Wednesday afternoons at 4:30 pm in the Chancel of Trinity Episcopal Church, Swarthmore, at the corner of College Ave. and N. Chester Road (entrance through office door).

Sung for over a thousand years, plainchant is the oldest repertoire that exists in the Western musical tradition. Participants will have an opportunity to sing and experience Gregorian chant in a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. We will learn the music aurally, using a combination of medieval and modern sources, imitating the experience of Medieval singers.

Sessions will take place weekly, and will be led by Professor James Blasina (Department of Music & Dance, Swarthmore College). Feel free to contact him at jblasin1@swarthmore.edu with any questions.

Musical Shabbat at Beth Israel

Congregation Beth Israel and Rabbi Linda Potemken welcome worshippers to a musical Shabbat service on Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m. The musical group Finally Friday will animate a participatory Kabbalat Shabbat service of traditional Jewish music, contemporary American and Israeli song, and works inspired by jazz motifs.

Finally Friday unites singer, guitarist, and educator Sally Mitlas with Philadelphia jazz stalwarts the Budesa Brothers — Richard on keyboards and vocals; Robert on guitar and vocals. Following the service, guests are invited to sing along with the performers in concert. The event continues until 9:30 p.m. at the synagogue, at 542 S. New Middletown Road in Media.

Faith and Life Series Concludes Sunday

Retired Penn State Religion professor Bruce Stephens leads the last of three classes in the current “Faith and Life” series at Swarthmore United Methodist Church this Sunday, March 26.

Dr. Stephens will provide an overview of the beliefs and practices of sects in the Radical Reformation, and their influences on the development of religion in America.

The class is free and open to all, and begins around 11:15 a.m., following worship. SUMC is at 129 Park Avenue.

Shred for Food at Wallingford Presbyterian Event

Wallingford Presbyterian Church invites neighbors to bring documents for secure onsite shredding on Saturday, April 1. Docuvault Delaware Valley will crank up its massive shredding machine between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the church parking lot at 110 E. Brookhaven Road.

You may bring boxes of documents (staples and paper clips are OK; binders are not) which will be destroyed as you watch. There is no charge, but those coming to the event are asked to bring nonperishable food items and/or monetary donations for food banks at Chester Eastside and Cityteam.

More information is at wallingfordpres.org under “News and Events.”

College’s Community Celebration Next Friday

Swarthmore College invites the whole community to celebrate together on Friday, March 31, at the Science Center, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. or whenever.

Dance to Brazilian rhythms of Alo Brasil, enjoy lawn games, food and desserts, watch a film about how the college has shaped the lives of Swarthmore students, and learn about the college’s comprehensive campaign and its goals.

March into Spring Tomorrow at DCCC

The Hardy Plant Society/Mid-Atlantic Group hosts its 21st annual March Into Spring garden extravaganza this Saturday, March 25, at Delaware County Community College. The program begins at 8:15 a.m. and continues through 3 p.m.

This eagerly awaited, enthusiastically attended conference features lectures and talks by a half-dozen eminent garden and tree experts on topics both timely — the emerald ash borer and organic problem solving — and timeless — plant breeding, garden design, and reviving civic gardens. Vendors offer all manner of plants, garden equipment and supplies, and books. A silent auction offers visitors a bid on unique experiences and goods.

Information on the event, pricing and registration are available at hardyplant.org/2017-march-into-spring. DCCC is at 901 S. Media Line Road (at Route 252).

Putting It All Together:
Mosaic Courses at Schoolhouse

Novice and veteran mosaic artists can improve their skills and creativity in two five-session courses offered in April and May at the Schoolhouse Center. Mosaicist and worldwide instructor Carol Shelkin helps student artists of all ages understand technique and composition, ultimately creating their own pieces.

Both classes will be taught on the same days at Schoolhouse Center, 600 Swarthmore Avenue in Folsom. The dates are Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20, and May 11 to 18. Beginner classes meet from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and intermediate/advanced classes meet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. You must preregister.

The cost for each course is $84 for Schoolhouse members and $89 for others, plus a $30 materials fee payable at the first class. Call Schoolhouse at (610) 237-8100 with questions or to register.

Mrs. Benedict Arnold – A Traitor, Too?

Peggy Shippen, traitorous American and trusted mother. This drawing is based on a painting by Thomas Lawrence, circa 1783. The child is Peggy’s firsborn, Edward.

Peggy Shippen, traitorous American and trusted mother. This drawing is based on a painting by Thomas Lawrence, circa 1783. The child is Peggy’s firsborn, Edward.

Angela Hewitt of Wallingford is the featured speaker at the quarterly meeting of the Aston Township Historical Society. Her provocative topic is “Peggy Shippen (Mrs. Benedict Arnold) a Traitor, Too?”

Hewett is president of both the Nether Providence Historical Society and of the Friends of that township’s Thomas Leiper House. Her interest in Peggy Shippen tracks her interest in another Philadelphia belle of the colonial period, Elizabeth Gray, who became Mrs. Thomas Leiper.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, at the Aston Township Community Center, 3720 Concord Road. The program is free and open to all; donations are welcome, and volunteer opportunities abound.

Senior Recitals at Lang Tonight

Three Swarthmore College seniors perform recitals Friday, March 24, at Lang Concert Hall, beginning at 8 p.m.

Elliott Nguyen will perform solo piano and chamber piano pieces by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Poulenc. Sarah Tupchong will perform pieces by Mozart, Bellini, Fauré, and others. Natania Levy’s repertoire presents compositions offering reflections on love in different languages.

The concert is free and open to all.

Check Out ‘The Full Monty’ at LWV Fundraiser

Fun and fundraising harmonize in a special performance April 27 of the Tony Award-winning musical The Full Monty at the Players Club of Swarthmore. The “gritty yet touching” comedy is playing in April at PCS, and this particular performance on Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., is dedicated to benefit the League of Women Voters of Central Delaware County.

You are invited to join your friends and fellow LWV supporters for a drink and a bite, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Swarthmore Pizza, around the corner at Chester and Fairview roads.

Tickets are $32 apiece. Make your reservations (by April 10) and ask any questions of Barbara Amstutz at swhmdi53bwa@outlook.com. You can also mail ticket requests and payment to LWV-CDC, P.O. Box 131, Wallingford, PA 19086.

Lecture on Unintended Racism

Dr. Sam Lemon

Dr. Sam Lemon

Lifelong Media resident Dr. Sam Lemon will be guest lecturer at a free program entitled Unintended Racism, coming up Saturday, April 1, at Willistown Friends Meeting, 7069 Goshen Road in Newtown Square.

The program is a multifaceted look at the racism endemic to our society, hidden biases and sensitivities, and how we can increase understanding and improve communication.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. with refreshments and conversation, then turns at 2 p.m. to a two-hour program keynoted and moderated by Dr. Lemon, an author, historian, and educator, who is descended from runaway slaves. Registration is suggested ASAP by e-mail to willistownfriendsmeeting@gmail.com.

Reminder: APPRISE Counseling March 29

Senior Community Services reminds seniors that individual Medicare counseling sessions will be held Wednesday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Springfield Township Building, 50 Powell Road.

Contact Eileen Haupt at (484) 496-2137 to schedule an individual session of 30 to 60 minutes with a state-certified APPRISE counselor. Sessions will be held in the same location on April 26, May 31, and June 28.

‘Gay for Pay’ Panel Today

“Gay for Pay: Swat Alums in Queer Careers” brings together a panel of Swarthmore College alumni who are professional LGBTQ+ advocates and activists, who will talk about their careers at Science Center 101, Chang Hou Hall.

Panelists include Noah Metheny ’03, Kayley Whalen ’07, and Jay Wu ’15. All are welcome to this free talk Friday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m.

Chester Children’s Chorus Kicks off Spring in Concert

Chester Children’s Chorus, under the direction of John Alston, performs its first spring concert next Saturday.

Chester Children’s Chorus, under the direction of John Alston, performs its first spring concert next Saturday.

The Chester Children’s Chorus, 40 voices strong, will perform its first spring concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the United Church of Christ in East Goshen. The United Church of Christ is at Route 352 and Greenhill Road, just east of West Chester.

The concert has been in the works for more than a year, said CCC executive director Kirsten Halker-Kratz, “and we look forward to meeting this community.” The program will include classical and sacred selections, from Mozart to spirituals, arranged by CCC’s artistic director John Alston. Founded by Alston in Swarthmore more than 20 years ago, the chorus has grown to include 130 boys and girls, aged 8 to 18, who are students in the Chester-Upland School District.

Donations will be accepted at this free concert. For information, visit chesterchildrenschorus.org.

‘Curb Alert’ Headlines Friday Night Live at CAC Next Week

Curb Alert headlines Friday Night Live at CAC.

Curb Alert headlines Friday Night Live at CAC.

Eclectic rock & rollers Curb Alert provide the soundtrack, and three local painters make art live during the creative excitement of Community Arts Center’s Friday Night Live, next Friday, March 31.

Curb Alert fuses Swarthmore rockers Bob Steinke, Brian McGillin, Dean Sophocles, Jay Rice, Peter Atsaves, and Vince Caruso in a tight band that masters classic and contemporary rock, with R&B in the mix. During the evening, the group plays while CAC mainstays Sally Paynter, Vidya Shyamsundar, and Rinal Parikh create paintings that will be sold at live auction during the evening and at a later fundraiser.

Snacks are included in the $15 admission charge ($10 for CAC members and free for CAC benefactors), and attendees may bring their own food and beverages. Ages 17 and up are welcome, though you must be 21 to drink alcohol.

CAC is located at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford. Doors open at 7 p.m. More info is at communityartscenter.org.

College Art Majors Show Their Best at List Gallery

This teapot by Zane Weinberger is one of the artworks on display in the first of the List Gallery's Senior Thesis exhibitions.

This teapot by Zane Weinberger is one of the artworks on display in the first of the List Gallery’s Senior Thesis exhibitions.

Swarthmore College’s senior thesis exhibition opens this weekend at the List Gallery with the first in a rapid-fire series of short gallery shows, each in place for four days.

Varying in media from functional ceramics to sculptures, paintings, prints, drawings, architectural studies, and collages, these exhibitions represent the capstone of each student’s course of study. Working independently and exchanging feedback as a group, these soon-to-graduate students develop and present a thematically and conceptually focused body of work.

This year, 17 majors will present their works over the course of eight weeks from March 23 through May 11. Opening receptions will take place each Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All receptions are open to the public and refreshments will be served. Gallery hours during the exhibition are Thursdays, noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

The schedule:
March 23-26: Zane Weinberger and Haoyu Wang
March 30 – April 2: Joon Sung Park and Jackson Hart
April 6-9: Leela Breitman and Julie Harris
April 13-16: Tessa Williams and Gavriela Mallory
April 20-23: Luiza Santos and Grace Farley
April 27-30: Ditiya Ferdous and Adán León
May 4-7: Steve Sekula, Christine Jung, and Max Hernandez Webster
May 11-15: Tess Wei and Wenting Tao