Calendar + News


African American female in blue cap & gown holding flower bouquet

Class of 2024 Set to Graduate at Bucks County Community College

Bucks County Community College will confer more than 980 degrees and certificates to its Class of 2024, including 537 May graduates. Of those, 494 earned associate degrees and 43 earned certificates. The College will hold two commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 16 in the College’s gymnasium on the Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). The 2 p.m. ceremony is for graduates from the following three academic departments: Business, Innovation, and Legal Studies; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Social and Behavioral Science. The 6 p.m. ceremony will include graduates from four academic departments: Arts and Communication; Health Sciences; Kinesiology and Sports Studies; Language and Literature. Both commencement ceremonies will be streamed live for those unable to attend in person. Other celebrations this week include the Bucks County Public Safety Training and Certification Fire Academy Graduation and the Nursing Pinning Ceremony. The Basic and Advanced Fire Academies’ graduation will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in the Newtown Campus gymnasium. Firefighter training is integral to the public safety of the region as the majority of fire departments in Pennsylvania are comprised of volunteers. The training allows the students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to serve in fire departments state-wide. The Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 6 p.m. in Newtown Campus gymnasium. All 56 graduates have earned their Associate of Science in Nursing and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The Bucks program’s pass rate for the 2022-23 year was 96.97%. The Associate Degree Nursing program is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Female middle school students representing various building and construction trades as well as emergency responders pose for a group photo during ‘Girls Ignite'

Philadelphia Building Trades Partners with Bucks for ‘Girls Ignite’ Trades Expo

The Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council, led by Business Manager Ryan N. Boyer once again partnered with Bucks County Community College today for “Girls Ignite”, a one-day career exploration expo in which female Building Trades’ members introduced young women to the many benefits of careers in the unionized construction industry. Approximately 60 young female middle school students from the Bristol Township School District gathered in the community college’s new, state-of-the-art Center for Advanced Technologies facility on the Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks to be introduced to the basics in a wide variety of unionized construction industry jobs, including: Sheet Metal Insulators Finishing Trades (Painters, Glaziers) Electricians Carpenters Boilermakers Elevator Constructor In addition, the students gained valuable insights into firefighting as a career option. Bucks County Community College operates the third largest fire school in the country which provides both basic and advanced public safety training. Bristol Township Fire Department participated in today’s event as well. “We have forged a great partnership with Bucks County Community College, beginning with the establishment of the 10-week Building & Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania,” said Building Trades Business Manager Boyer. “Today’s ’Girls Ignite’ trades career expo is intended to interest young women in the construction industry and to empower them to pursue careers that have long been the province of their male counterparts.” “Bucks County Community College is proud to once again join forces with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council to present today’s ‘Girls Ignite’ event,” said Tom Jennings, Chair of the Bucks County Community College Board of Trustees. “Bucks is committed to providing our students with pathways to meaningful and relevant career opportunities, and this collaboration furthers that commitment.” Female recruitment efforts such as Pre-Apprenticeship programs, “Girls Ignite,” “Rosie’s Girls” and others are clearly working. As of 2022 (the most recent national analysis), there were approximately 1.3 million women working in the U.S. construction industry, which accounted for 10.9 percent of the entire national construction workforce. That equates to a significant 53 percent increase in women working in construction over the past decade.
Photographs by Fran Orlando

The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando at BCCC

Bucks County Community College is pleased to announce the opening of The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando at Hicks Art Center Gallery at the College’s Newtown Campus on Wednesday, May 22. The exhibition features more than 40 portraits from Orlando’s project photographing the residents of the small New Jersey town in the late 1970s. Roosevelt, New Jersey, began in the 1930s as Jersey Homesteads, a planned community to help Jewish garment workers escape poverty and the city. Although the social experiment failed when the factory closed a few years later, the town soon became a rural mecca for artists such as Ben Shahn, Bernarda Bryson Shahn, Gregorio Prestopino, and Jacob Landau. Orlando intended to create a portrait of the town by photographing the people who lived there, several of whom were original residents. She photographed for two years, in black and white with 35mm and medium format cameras. During that time, she received recognition and support for the project from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, exhibited at the New Jersey State Museum, and had a solo exhibition of the work in progress at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie. The project was put on hold when she left New Jersey to attend graduate school in Philadelphia. During the intervening years, Orlando established a photography business in Philadelphia, worked in various museums as an educator and exhibition planner, and served as Director of Exhibitions and Artmobile at Bucks County Community College for 35 years. She currently works as assistant editor at The Photo Review, a critical photography journal of international scope and readership. Orlando notes, “Much has changed in the 45+ years since I started this project. Neither the town nor photography are the same. The elders that I photographed are gone; the children are grown. My original gelatin silver prints are considered ‘vintage.’ Moreover, the project has taken on a historical significance that I never considered when I began. “After all these years, I didn’t feel like I could return to the darkroom and begin literally where I had left off. My life has been spent teaching and learning and I couldn’t deny the changes in myself either. I needed to leave my original gelatin silver prints in the past to bring my work to the present, so I scanned the original negatives and printed the work digitally with my current sensibilities.” All are welcome to the opening reception on Wednesday, May 22 from 4–7 p.m. at the Hicks Art Center Gallery, Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940. The exhibition will remain on view through July 3. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from noon – 4 p.m. The Roosevelt Project: Photographs by Fran Orlando is presented in conjunction with (re)FOCUS, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia Focuses on Women in the Visual Arts/1974, a citywide festival recognizing women artists. With over 150 exhibitions, panels, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations, it was one of the first large-scale surveys of the work of contemporary American women artists, signaling the inception of the American Feminist Art Movement. (re)FOCUS 2024 is also a Philadelphia citywide festival showing how women-identified and BIPOC artists have moved from the periphery to the center of the art world. Like its 1974 predecessor, (re)FOCUS is a collaboration among Philadelphia's large, small, and diverse visual arts institutions. This exhibition is funded in part by the Bucks County Community College Committee on Cultural Affairs and the Bucks County Community College Foundation. Photography: Jonathan Shahn with bust of Peri Prestopino, 1980/2023, archival pigment print Marilyn and Peter, 1978/2023, archival pigment print.
2024 High School Poet of the Year

Neshaminy Senior Named Bucks County High School Poet of the Year

Hailing from Neshaminy High School, senior Cecelia Shine rose to the top of more than 100 entries to be named the 2024 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year, announced officials at Bucks County Community College. The 37th annual contest is part of the Bucks County Poet Laureate Program administered by the College. With the first-place finish, Shine wins $300 and will be honored at the annual Reading + Celebration on Saturday, May 4, 1-3 p.m., in room 142 of the historic Tyler Hall mansion on the College’s Newtown Campus. The event will feature the contest winners, finalists and judges. Shine’s three poem submissions were entitled “one heart too many,” “The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine” and “it might be just a dream.” This year’s current Bucks County Poet Laureate Tara Tamburello and last year’s Bucks County Poet Laureat Tom Mallouk served as judges and reviewed a strong field of entries from all over the county. In addition to the winner, the judges also named Jack DeBoyace, sophomore from Central Bucks High School East, as first runner-up. Second runner-up was Kade Booker, a senior from Neshaminy High School. The third runner-up was Olivia Cao, a Central Bucks High School South senior. The three runners-up will also read from their works during the celebration. The entire competition, including the awards and refreshments, is sponsored by a generous donor, Gary Kephart, originally of Levittown and currently of Fort Collins, Colorado. Thanks to Kephart’s generosity, and new this year, each runner-up will receive $100. The annual Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest is another way that Bucks County Community College contributes to the cultural heritage of the region. For more information contact Dr. Ethel Rackin, a Professor of Language and Literature at Bucks and the director of the Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program at Shine’s winning poems: one heart too many one day the doctors told my mother i had two heartbeats. they said thiswith a downturned wince and a crinkle between their brows,like a sheet of paper which can not be unwrinkled, can notbe made perfect again. when i was born,it was with double the blood flow, double the oxygen, double the fear. when i was born,my two hearts beat a rhythm that echoed through my skull and gave me somethingto march to, a hopeful anthem to keep me moving, to keep my bones from crumblingand cracking under the weight of my organs, the overproduced instruments humming too loudly,beating too quickly, working too well. when i was born,it was with extra love built in; extra love for gifting neighbors, gifting mailmen,gifting worms that wash up when the rain pours down. when i was born,it was with too many feelings, too many obstacles, too many faults.doctors said i was a miracle; my mother said that thats just life.i dont know how my two hearts are functioning, how their pulseis strong enough, suitable enough, for my long limbs, but they are.they are calling to each other and answering back, creating a song thatwakes me up in the morning and puts me back to sleepwhen i need it to. i have two hearts, and theyre surviving and theyre thrivingand theyre dying one secondat a time, but theyre mine,theyre god, arent they mine? The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine All of a sudden I am an ant in a city of marble and stained glass,cemented in porcelain skin, thin like bible paperin an old friend’s cabinet. Technicolor light showers infrom crystal windows, swaddles me in beacons of riverand sky, paints over me with patterns of rainbow shine.I am becoming unbreakable, like my bones are rooted through tile,like my existence is sanctioned between these tall walls. My weight is somehow pardonedbecause every statue and pillar above, every archand emblem is grand like my heart, is grand like the seaand bluebirds chirping in boiling heat. Candlelight darts alongthe wrinkles of a praying woman on her knees. This place of worshipwas once on fire and then rebuilt, remade, rebeautified, and I realizethere is a cathedral hiding inside all of us, a religion restingright under the skin, and I realize that I am no stranger here.No one ever could be. it might be just a dream now and then when my hurtclouds over and fizzles at the sides,i see another version of meflickering between my outline,proclaiming herself just tow i t h e r away again.and for one meaningless moment,we become the same person, andeach of my steps leaves a footprintof purpose behind, and my tearsfeed flowers by the front door,and my hands don't leave scratcheswhere lovebites should be.and then she is gone, and i’mmissing her, and every footstepis almost as heavy as the last,and i'm trapped within this visionof other me on the opposite endof a black hole, and i'm hopingshe is as happy as i know her to be.maybe one day i'll understand herbeyond fleeting meetings, beyondsuperficial thoughts. maybei'll know her well enough to engravethe shape of her smile to the backof my eyelids, and to see it reflectedon my own forsaken face
ShadowGrass on stage

ShadowGrass Appearing Live at the Zlock Performing Arts Center

Get ready for a foot-stomping, banjo-picking good time as the Zlock Performing Arts Center presents an exhilarating bluegrass concert featuring ShadowGrass on Sunday, April 28, 2024. ShadowGrass is redefining the bluegrass genre with their fast picking and fresh arrangements, incorporating each member's diverse influences into a project that branches outside the bounds of traditional music while maintaining traditional instrumentation. Hailing from culturally rich areas of traditional music, the band members infuse their performances with a deep appreciation for their musical heritage, creating a sound that is both authentic and innovative. Feeding off each other's musical ideas and energy, ShadowGrass creates a constantly evolving musical landscape that draws audiences in at every show. Their dynamic performances showcase their passion for bluegrass and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of the genre. The concert will be preceded by a Lobby Bluegrass Jam from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., where attendees are invited to bring their instruments and join in for a jam session. Participants will receive one free drink on the house as they come together to celebrate the spirit of bluegrass music. Doors will open at 2:45 p.m., with the concert starting promptly at 3 p.m. Additionally, a cash bar will be available starting at 1 p.m. for attendees to enjoy refreshments before and during the concert. Do not miss your chance to experience the magic of bluegrass with ShadowGrass at the Zlock Performing Arts Center located on Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus (275 Swamp Road, Newtown, Pa. 18940). Tickets are available now and can be purchased online.
Installation view of 58th Annual BCCC Student Art Exhibition

BCCC Student Art Exhibition April 26 Through May 7 at Hicks Art Center

The Arts and Communication Department at Bucks County Community College is pleased to host the 59th Annual Student Art Exhibition; a showcase of work made during spring and fall 2023 and spring 2024 by students in the Arts and Communication Department. Medias include ceramics, dance, digital media, drawing, film, fine woodworking, glass, graphic design, jewelry, music, painting, printmaking, photography, 2D design, 3D design, video, and web design. The exhibition will be on view from March 28 through May 9 in Hicks Art Center. The public is invited to the exhibition reception, open studios, student art and craft sale, and the arts scholarship and award ceremony on Sunday, May 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. The schedule and locations for May 5 are as follows: 59th Annual Student Exhibition Reception1 – 4 p.m., Hicks Art Center2 p.m., Arts Scholarship and Award Ceremony Student Art and Craft Sale1 – 4 p.m., 3-D Courtyard (weather permitting) or 3-D Arts 001 Open Studios1 – 4 p.m., Hicks Art CenterFine Woodworking, Room 130; Jewelry, Room 111; Photography, Rooms 118 & 120; Printmaking, Room 106; Sculpture, Foundry, 3-D Building. Wood Turning Demonstration1 – 2 p.m., Hicks Art Center, Room 130Janine Wang shows her expertise in the art of Wood Turning. Bronze Pour Demonstration3 p.m., 3-D Arts Building, Metal FoundryJon Burns guides a team of artists through the process of casting bronze sculpture. For additional information please visit the Hicks Art Center Gallery online, follow the department’s Instagram account @bcccartscomm or phone 215-968-8432. Hosted by the Bucks County Community College, Arts and Communication Department at Hicks Art Center Gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the following Saturdays during the exhibition from 12 – 4 p.m.: April 27 and May 4, 2024.