The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Multimedia

February 26, 2012

[VIDEO] Bottle Works blooming with visual, performing arts

JOHNSTOWN — From its humble beginnings as a soft drink factory, the former Tulip Bottling Co. has flourished into the vibrant Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

Where glass bottles filled with brightly colored soda and marked with the distinctive tulip motif once clinked on a conveyer belt are venues for visual and performing arts.

Rich history

With Cambria City’s storied ethnic neighborhood so rich with history, it was only natural for Bottle Works’ founder Rosemary Pawlowski to want to locate her newly formed ethnic arts center right in the midst of it.

“At first, people wondered why I wanted to do it,” Pawlowski said.

“I didn’t have a clue how it would materialize. I had a board, and at the end of 1992, I thought about getting a building.”

The idea for Bottle Works took root for Pawlowski during the 1889 Flood Centennial.

She worked as a volunteer with Nick Jacobs, who would become one of the founding members of Bottle Works, at the four events held throughout that year.

Ethnic pride

“People were wearing shirts stating they were proud to be Irish, Italian, German, Polish,” Pawlowski said.

“My mother was born in Italy, but no one would tell me anything. They were poor, and everyone was supposed to be 200 percent American.”

With the public’s reaction to the flood centennial and the soon-to-come National Folk Festival, Pawlowski observed that people were getting excited about their heritage.

Then Johnstown continued celebrating its ethnic heritage with its own folk fest, and Pawlowski knew residents needed a place for an ethnic celebration all year and to find out about their heritage.

“People had been ashamed to be ethnic, but now they were proud,” Pawlowski said.

“You couldn’t stop it. They were on board. Bottle Works was a mandate from the people.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Multimedia
  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO | A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO | Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.25.07 AM.png VIDEO | Cement truck crashes into minivan

    A professor at Texas A&M University was fortunate to escape serious injury recently when a cement truck ran a red light at a College Station intersection and crashed head-on into his minivan. A dash camera that Dr. Guan Zhu had installed about a year ago captured the entire incident.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • McCutchen hair.jpg VIDEO: Pittsburgh catches on to McCutchen's hairstyle

    Major League Baseball is using Andrew McCutchen in its newest advertisement. The spot is part of the "For the Love of Baseball" campaign and features the Pittsburgh residents showing their support for the Pirates center fielder and reigning National League MVP by wearing their hair in his trademark dreadlock style.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.02.29 PM.png VIDEO | Nebraska prom mishap goes viral

    A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 3.36.06 PM.png 3 apps to make your flight easier

    Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO | White House may ban selfies

    The White House wasn't too pleased after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with President Obama that was later used promotionally by Samsung.

    April 9, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO | Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • hank_aaron_display_image.jpg VIDEO | Aaron's historic homer

    On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results

House Ads