Welcome to our A&A Speakers Series

“Thank You, Places!: Louis Palena, Jordan Brennan and The Story of Music Mountain Theater”

Premieres October 20th on YouTube@NewHopeCelebratesHistory.


Music Mountain Theater means a lot to many people. It opened in October 2017 and celebrates St.John (Sinjun) Terrell’s Music Circus (1949-1970), which was approximately at the same location as this new theater on Woodward Mountain in Lambertville. Terrell always called the place Music Mountain. Louis Palena and Jordan Brennan opened the new theater with Ginny Brennan (Jordan’s mother) and have provided the area with top-notch theater entertainment all year long. It is a community theater with professional quality. Palena and Brennan are married. This video talks of history, a gay love story, theater and how the arts are home to many LGBTQ+ people, where other places are not. New Hope/Lambertville is a special place where the arts flourish and LGBTQ+ find home.

A shout out to the 1740 House, for hosting our video production. The 1740 House has been providing a quiet, riverside sanctuary in Bucks County since 1964. The Inn has 24 fully equipped rooms, all with river views.

New Hope’s “Drag Royalty.” IS HERE!  Watch New Hope Celebrates History’s latest A&A LGBTQ+ Speaker Series video which premiers Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 at Noon available anytime on NHCH’s YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to help us grow our channel.

For the past 50 years, New Hope, PA, has been blessed with a Who’s Who list of talented drag entertainers. Tinsel Garland, Danee Russo, Monica Rey, Ricky Paris, Pumpkin, Berrie Lyndon,  and so many more.

What are the origins of drag?  When did it get started in New Hope?  How has drag changed recently and what new directions is drag taking today?
Listen to speakers Domenick Scudera, M.F.A. (aka Summer Showers), Gary Schneider (aka Gary Christ) and Kevin Gilmore (aka Phoebe Manntrappe) as they discuss the origins of drag as a performance art and how it took root in New Hope. Visit NHC History Archive

About Out this Episode 

“New Hope’s Boardwalk Artists: Cathy Begg, Donna Lillo & Erin Simmons” New Hope’s kindred trio of artists on the Boardwalk studios of Canal Walk on Bridge Street share their history with viewers. Artists and Studio owners Cathy Begg, Donna Lillo, and Erin Simmons bring viewers inside their individual working studios. Along the way, we will learn how each arrived in New Hope with her own individual mission as a female artist. And we will hear how their neighboring studios have developed into a bond that transcends their senses of art, community, and – most evidently – friendship.

Guest Speaker – Jobert Abueva

A memoirist, fiction writer, poet, essayist, and journalist, Jobert Abueva is the recipient of the Arch Bruce and Brown Foundation Award for historical LGBTQ+ short fiction based on a historical event, two National Arts Club non-fiction scholarships, and the 2021 Writer’s Advice Prize for flash memoir. Also a global marketer, political and social activist, as well as volunteer in service to communities on both sides of the Delaware River, Jobert shares his inspiring if not dizzyingly nomadic life story and offers advice to those who want to write. For more information: www.jobertabueva.net

Guest Speaker – Stefani Moore

NHC History Speakers Series – The Last Dance In Paradise with Stefani Moore, Bucks County Resident, and Author. New Hope Lodge – Cub Room Session Filmed on April 19th Released on April 22nd on YouTube. NHC History Speaker Series with Stefani Moore, Bucks County resident and author of Last Dance in Paradise. Powered by New Hope Celebrates. Introduction from longtime New Hope resident, actor, and storyteller John Milman Dwyer.

Guest Speaker – Kenoka Wagner

Kenoka Wagner’s Story – Bucks County Artist. Mixed Media Artist, Painter, Printmaker, Sculptor. Born an Artist from Artist parents, there was no chance he was going to be a football player. From his first memory of painting alongside my Father to currently owning and running a gallery, art is his passion and in his blood.

He had many jobs along the way to support himself: Bartender, store manager, house cleaner, sales, and restaurant work. Yet art was always there in some form, drag costumes, faux finishing, and a 30-year long stint with making music. “The approach to my work is exploratory and full of joy. It is most rewarding when I’m trying something new and challenging myself. Discovery is always part of the process and accidents are welcome.”

Guest Speaker - Damian McNicholl

Please join New Hope Celebrates History for the second lecture in its “Artists & Authors Speaker Series” with author Damian McNicholl on Thursday, December 17th. At 7:00 PM. The event will be a live broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. 

Damian is an acclaimed author and former attorney. His first novel, A Son Called Gabriel published in 2017 was an American Booksellers Association Book Sense Pick and a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year awards. 

For more info on Damian McNicholl CLICK HERE > 

Guest Speaker - Bob Egan

Thanks Bob Egan and Michael Traupman for a fantastic Livestream Broadcast. Originally aired on Thursday, Oct 22 @ 7:00 pm click a link below to watch on Facebook or YouTube.

About Bob Egan, the performer and his organization Bob Egan Entertainment provides top entertainers and musicians for a multitude of events.  As a performer, Bob is known for regular appearances in the tri-state area. He is famous for discovering and nurturing local vocalists, many through his Open-Mic Nights at venues such as New Hope’s Bowman’s Tavern and Philadelphia Pa.; in NJ at The Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, The Clinton House, McLoone’s in Sea Bright, as well as in Asbury Park at The Asbury Hotel, Asbury Ocean Club and Moonstruck and Morris County, NJ as well as Provincetown. MA.  

Bob Egan has brought stars to his audiences such as Margaret Whiting, Carol Lawrence, Larry Kert, Andrea McArdle, Karen Akers, Barbara Feldon, Roslyn Kind, Maureen McGovern, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lainie Kazan, Sam Harris, Kenny Rankin, and many more.  Running for 21 years, the Cabaret also offered a place for up-and-coming talent to be seen, many who went on to do Broadway shows and TV.

Bob’s lively piano bar and “Open Mic” performances have become popular at venues in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, New Hope, Philadelphia, Morris County, NJ, and Provincetown, MA

Visit The Bob Egan Entertainment site. >

Help us get the word out and share our page.

About Our New Speaker Series 

For almost a century, New Hope and the surrounding region have attracted creative people; not only as a place of rural retreat and recreation but as a diverse and welcoming community in which to live and work.  

While best known for its painters, this arts community includes authors, musicians, and other artists as well. These individuals, among whom the LGBTQ+ community is well represented, often have stories of their life and work that would interest a diverse audience.

Our Program Goals

At this time of social distancing, this project seeks to bring these stories to that wide audience available online via Live Stream. All our speakers will be available on our YouTube channel for future viewing. Our Speaker Series will serve to inform and further New Hope Celebrates History’s educational goals.

New Hope Celebrates, Inc. (NHC), is a nonprofit organization established in 2003 – focused on highlighting the history and cultural nuances of New Hope, PA while stimulating the retail, hospitality, and professional community. NHC is comprised of an Executive Board that drives activities and events that serve the diverse LGBTQ+ populace through the creation and promotion of marketing opportunities, educational activities, and cultural events. Like our annual PRIDE celebration held in May and NHC History Exhibits and Out in New Hope Events – most notably the Annual High Heel Drag Race on Mechanic Street in October.