From stage to community's backyard: Appell Center bringing entertainment in free concert

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
The Appell Center for the Performing Arts offers a message of hope shortly after 8 p.m. in York City, Friday, March 27, 2020. Gov. Tom Wolf added York County to the stay-at-home order earlier in the day in hope of preventing further COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Dawn J. Sagert photo

What started as a series of conversations between community members and the Appell Center morphed into something more — a free concert with crafts, games and food at Kiwanis Lake Park in York City.

The Appell Center's "Tuned Into York," slated to start at 4 p.m. Aug. 14, evolved from discussions with underrepresented communities in York County, said Todd Fogdall, the Appell Center's president and CEO.

“We as an organization have been thinking about how we are engaging with the larger community," he said. "It's about getting outside the walls and getting into the community to share music and performing arts around those kinds of experiences."

To learn more about the York County community and the needs of its residents, the Appell Center has hosted one-on-one listening sessions with communities of color and those in the LGBTQ community.

One of the key points to come out of those sessions was how to make the Appell Center more accessible and create an environment where it feels welcoming for everyone, Fogdall said.

“This (concert) is sort of one of the first key outcomes of these listening sessions so far," he said, adding that removing the price barrier to entertainment is important in increasing accessibility.

Those interested in learning more about the August concert can visit the event website at https://tunedintoyork.com/ or https://appellcenter.org/.

Performances in the first-ever "Tuned Into York" concert will feature RalphReal and the Family Jam, Grupo Exito, Everyperson, the YWCA Temple Guard, DJ Psycho Fobia, LD Legendary and Coco Shantelle.

Games, crafts and food trucks will also be available.

Fogdall said he hopes this is only the beginning for "Tuned Into York," suggesting he center could transform it into an annual music festival.

“For us internally, this is a bit of a prototype, but we definitely envision this continuing in the future," he said.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.