Events

Soul Party set for July 27

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Preparations are underway for a night of great eats, funky pottery, good soul vibes and all your favorite people all in one place.

Party goers interested in a festive and seasonal soiree should mark their calendars for July 27, when BLOOM Collaborative transforms into the hottest spot in the city for the second annual Soul Party. The event that will showcase the unique BLOSSOM’s Clay Studio will kick off at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:30 p.m.

The Soul Party returns following a rousing debut in 2016, when more than 120 guests were able to experience BLOSSOM’s and purchase handmade ceramic items while indulging in soulful food options and seasonal craft cocktails. This year’s version of the event will include many of the same great features in addition to some exciting new attractions. Soul music will once again feature prominently in the night’s revelry.

All proceeds will better the lives of those who need it most in our community. BLOOM Collaborative, a program of Stairways Behavioral Health, has become a leader of transformational change in Erie, as the only mental health healing arts program in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

The event is for people ages 21 and older and costs $75 per person.

For more information or to RSVP by phone, please call (814) 878-3688. Online registration and payment is also available by visiting https://squareup.com/store/bloom-collaborative.

13th BLOOM Art Show and Sale hits records

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Even the first blizzard of the season couldn’t dampen the festive spirit surrounding the annual BLOOM Collaborative Holiday Show and Sale.

In fact, the show set new records during its 13th version in early December, as sales hit an all-time high and more than 100 artists sold pieces.

For the second straight year, BLOSSOM’S Clay Studio hosted the show and sale, again serving as an ideal gallery space. BLOSSOM’s, a former Koehler Beer storage facility located on the 25th Street side of BLOOM’s historic campus, has provided a fresh look to the art show by utilizing an open floor plan that is ideal for showcasing hundreds of pieces of art.

A VIP sneak peek event on Dec. 7 kicked off the show, giving more than 100 donors an advance opportunity to peruse and purchase works, meet artists and mingle over refreshments.

On Friday, the largest single-night gallery event in the region debuted to the public, as art lovers browsed the unique paintings, gourds, fused glass and pottery items available for sale by BLOOM and community artists.

As an added bonus, the show featured greater availability because of the snowfall. Due to the weather, BLOSSOM’S kept its doors open all day Friday and parts of the next week to offer customers ample opportunity to shop the inventory.

The sale is an opportunity for clients who have improved health thanks to the healing power of arts to receive greater exposure and a source of income. Stairways clients have earned over $100,000 during the 13-year history of the event.


Stairways hosts 28th Annual Client Picnic to great acclaim

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Clients, staff and friends of Stairways Behavioral Health took in a festive atmosphere at the 28th Annual Chuck Schaaf Client Picnic Wednesday, Aug. 10 at St. Nick’s Grove.

In excess of 800 people attended the picnic to take part in games, face painting, arts and crafts and karaoke. In addition, a photo booth was also on site, allowing picnic goers an opportunity to capture the fun memories from the picnic.

Each year, the picnic provides an opportunity to unwind and celebrate the accomplishments and growth of clients as well as acknowledge the contributions of Stairways staff.

As usual, Stairways staff members pitched in by preparing and serving food and helped clean up afterwards.

At the conclusion of the picnic, four clients were recognized for their courage and persistence in their journey of recovery during the Hope is Real Award presentation. New this year, Stairways also recognized additional clients by naming their journeys as “Stories of Distinction.”

A funky night: 2016 Soul pARTy

Monday, July 25, 2016

A stifling late July night got a bit cooler at Blossom’s Clay Studio on the campus of BLOOM Collaborative.

Blossom’s cranked out a party for the ages when it played host to the inaugural Soul PARTy, a 70s soul and funk themed gala at the unique ceramics studio.

More than 120 guests in attendance had a chance to peruse the state-of-the-art space and purchase handmade ceramic items while indulging in soulful food options and seasonal craft drinks with fresh garnishments catered by Calimari’s. Artists were also on hand to give tutorials on throwing clay, and DJ Born (right) provided the sounds for the evening by spinning vintage vinyl tracks.

Blossom’s has been holding ceramic clay classes for clients since the facility opened its doors in early 2016. It is the last remaining structure from the original Koehler family brewing dynasty, beginning with patriarch Charles Koehler’s brewery at East 26th and Holland streets.

All proceeds from the Soul PARTy went to BLOOM, a creative wellness campus intended to provide a holistic approach recognizing the healing power of creativity, mindfulness and environment.

To view photos of the event, please click here.

Catch you at the SOUL PARTY at BLOOM Collaborative

Monday, June 20, 2016

Great eats, funky pottery, vinyl soul vibes and your favorite people… all in one place.

You’ll find it at the SOUL PARTY at BLOOM Collaborative on Thursday, July 21 in Erie’s newest and coolest spot for spinning clay, Blossom’s Clay Studio!

Preparations are underway for the event that will run from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will feature soul food catered by Calamari’s, craft cocktails and a botanical garnish station. Should the soul and funk tracks that DJ Born spins move you to boogie, feel free to get down on the dance floor. Pottery art will also be available for purchase.

Blossom’s, situated on the BLOOM campus at 138 E. 26th Street, is a state-of-the-art ceramic clay space located in a former Koehler brewing storage building. BLOOM has been holding clay classes in the facility since February.

All proceeds will better the lives of those who need it most in our community. BLOOM Collaborative, a program of Stairways Behavioral Health, has become a leader of transformational change in Erie, as the only mental health healing arts program in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

The event is for people ages 21 and older and costs $75 per person.

For more information or to RSVP by phone, please call (814) 878-3688. Online registration and payment is also available by clicking this link (http://bloomcollaborative.org/news/item/102-soul-party).

BLOSSOM'S Clay Studio makes debut at BLOOM Holiday Art Show and Sale

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A previously vacant building on the campus of BLOOM Collaborative has broken the mold.

The unique BLOSSOM’s Clay Studio made its much-anticipated debut to resounding acclaim while hosting the 12th Annual BLOOM Holiday Show and Sale Dec. 10 and 11.

Patrons took in the area’s newest ceramics studio located on BLOOM’s historic grounds during a pair of events that celebrated the arts and the spirit of generosity that helped support the studio’s creation.

A VIP sneak peak event on Thursday unveiled BLOSSOM’s in front of more than 200 donors and guests while helping kick off the Holiday Show. Blossom McBrier (above, middle right), the studio’s namesake and major supporter, christened the space with remarks and a ribbon cutting. Stairways Board members Dr. Kristine Nelson (left) and Laura Schaaf (right), Executive Director Valerie Vicari (middle left) and Bloom director Lee Steadman (middle) also spoke before those in attendance.

Artists were on hand for meeting and demonstrations, while the Steve Trohoske duo added its acoustic sounds to the environment. La bella Restaurant provided the event’s gourmet catering.

Friday saw the studio hold the largest single-night gallery event in the region. Art lovers browsed the unique paintings, gourds, fused glass items, bowls and other works of art for sale by BLOOM and community artists.

The sale is an opportunity for greater exposure for clients who have improved health thanks to the healing power of the arts and socialization that occurs at BLOOM.

Stairways client artists have earned over $100,000 during the 12-year history of the event, which boasted a fresh look as well as historic context this year at the one-of-a-kind ceramics studio.

BLOSSOM’S is the last remaining structure from the original Koehler family brewing dynasty, beginning with patriarch Charles Koehler’s brewery at East 26th and Holland streets. Artists from BLOOM and the community will have the chance to utilize the new and fertile space year-round for the opportunity to use clay as a way to heal, grow and connect with others.

For more event photos, click here.

BLOOM hosts Chamber social event

Thursday, September 17, 2015

About 150 local professionals experienced the urban oasis that is BLOOM Collaborative when the healing arts and wellness campus hosted the September Business After Hours event, a monthly networking and social event put on by the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.

Business After Hours gave BLOOM the opportunity to showcase its beautiful five-acre campus and picturesque Carriage House Studio.

Those in attendance got a chance to preview Blossom’s Clay Studio, BLOOM’s state-of-the-art work space and gallery that is set to open this fall. Blossom’s is located in a former Koehler Brewing Company keg storage facility that will soon house the largest ceramics studio in Erie.

Attendees also took in the former Koehler-Curtze estate grounds by following the Inspiration Trail, a guided tour that encourages mindfulness and meditation.

BLOOM Director Lee Steadman said a few words of welcome to guests and explained the mission of healing arts.

“We have a variety of different languages— arts, yoga, gardening, environment— that could help anyone have a better day,” Steadman said.

The event featured specialty beer from Erie Brewing Company and deluxe pizzas from Valerios. BLOOM also raffled off a Corporate Wellness Retreat.

To see more photos, click here.

To view WJET-TV's coverage of the event, click here

27th annual Chuck Schaaf Stairways Client Picnic

Monday, August 24, 2015

Client Picnic

Clients, staff and friends of Stairways Behavioral Health took in a festive atmosphere at the 27th Annual Chuck Schaaf Client Picnic Wednesday, Aug. 12 at St. Nick’s Grove.

The more than 500 individuals in attendance took part in games, face painting, arts and crafts and karaoke. In addition, a photo booth was also on site, allowing picnic goers an opportunity to capture the fun memories from the picnic.

Each year, the picnic provides an opportunity to unwind and celebrate the accomplishments and growth of clients as well as acknowledge the contributions of Stairways staff.

As usual, Stairways staff members pitched in by preparing and serving food and helped clean up afterwards.

At the conclusion of the picnic, four clients were recognized for their courage and persistence in their journey of recovery.

For photos of the event, click here.

Night of laughs commemorates ADA

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nationally known performer Brett Leake and Handicap This, a two-man comedy team, headlined Come Laugh With Us, a night of jokes presented by Voices for Independence Saturday, July 25 at Penn State Behrend’s McGarvey Commons.

WJET-24’s Raychel Vendetti served as emcee of the event, which commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the civil rights legislation that passed in July 1990. Stairways Behavioral Health was a sponsor of Come Laugh With Us.

As the opening act, Handicap This paired Mike Berkson, a 26-year-old man with Cerebral Palsy who is in a wheelchair and only has limited use of his hands, with his former teacher Tim Wambach. Having used humor to bridge their differences, Berkson and Wambach utilize the same method to address stereotypes and the judgements often associated with people with physical handicaps.

In addition to telling their story of friendship and their mission of inclusiveness, Wambach and Berkson also share the challenges they personally face, such as depression. In a particularly poignant moment, Berkson, who has difficulty speaking, discusses his persistent depression and suicidal thoughts.

Leake, who bills himself as one of the nation’s top sitdown standup comics, became the first comedian with a physical disability to appear on the Tonight Show in 1991. Leake has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair.

During his set on stage, Leake discussed the importance of finding humor in all of a life’s challenges, sprinkling personal anecdotes and musings throughout his monologue. While incorporating humor and inspirational speech, Leake kept audience members captivated by urging them to recite motivational phrases, such as “Fun gets things done.”


BLOOM Holiday Art Show and Sale a hit

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fused glass ornaments suspended on tinsel trees, tables dressed with jewelry, “raw” prints placed in artful disarrangement – in December, work becomes a holiday at BLOOM Collaborative as preparations are made for the Annual Holiday Show & Sale.

On Friday, Dec. 12, over 500 art lovers attended the 11th annual event, browsing room after room of one-of-a-kind gifts and original works of art. Paintings, photographs, decorated gourds, fused glass plates and bowls were among the pieces offered for sale. The Show & Sale is the largest, single-night gallery event in the region.

Each year, BLOOM Collaborative creates opportunities for local artisans to earn income by bringing their products and their stories to the community. For sale are “gifts that give back,” as many of the pieces are created by students of BLOOM’s traditional art and crafts classes offered to Stairways Behavioral Health clients and their family members.

A total of 128 artists sold work at this year’s event – including 55 new-to-BLOOM artists – generating over $11,000 in sales in a single evening. In addition to income generated by the artists, BLOOM provides a unique opportunity for exposure to a greater art world through collaboration with local and state-wide arts organizations. Some of this year’s artists have been invited to exhibit paintings at the new Pennsylvania governor’s inaugural art show on January 9.

Lee Steadman is the director of BLOOM Collaborative and the master-mind behind the annual event. Steadman has watched the Annual Holiday Show & Sale grow each year and is overwhelmed with gratitude for the ongoing show of community support.

“What we sell here this night is ‘art with a conscience,’” said Steadman. “I offer my giant ‘thanks’ to the community and the support you’ve shown through the years – you come here confident when you purchase that the majority of proceeds go back to the community artists or the client artist that we serve all year round.”

Stairways client artists have earned over $100,000 during the 11-year history of the event.


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