IN THE PARK SUMMERFEST Artisans In The Park Organization, Ephrata Cloister



Visitors to Ephrata in the 1700s found a unique monastic settlement they labeled a Cloister. Conrad Beissel, Ephrata’s founder, came to the site in 1732 seeking to live as a hermit following his own religious ideas. By the early 1750s, nearly 80 celibate Brothers and Sisters were housed in impressive Germanic log, stone, and half-timbered buildings. At the same time, nearly 200 family members known as Householders, occupied nearby homes and farms. Celibate members followed a life of work balanced with hours of private prayer. Wearing white robes, they adopted sparse diets, and slept little, all to provide discipline as they prepared for an anticipated heavenly existence. Labors included farming, papermaking, carpentry, milling, and textile production. Ephrata became known for the German calligraphic art of Frakturscriften, self-composed a cappella music and an ambitious printing establishment. During the American Revolution, Ephrata served as a hospital for nearly 260 American soldiers, some of whom rest in the Mount Zion cemetery overlooking the historic grounds.

The Society declined after the death of the charismatic Beissel in 1768. The last celibate member died in 1813 and the next year the remaining Householders incorporated into the German Seventh Day Baptist Church. Members continued to live and worship in the Cloister buildings until the close of the Church in 1934.

Ephrata Cloister’s historic buildings, collections, and programming invite the exploration of this unique community’s spiritual, creative, and intellectual accomplishments by encouraging visitors to develop a personal connection to Pennsylvania’s significant role in religious toleration and intellectual freedom. Ephrata Cloister is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is actively supported by the Ephrata Cloister Associates which is a non-profit community-based organization. The Ephrata Cloister Associates rely on funds from memberships, donations and sales from their gift store to help fund the programming that is done at the Cloister each year. The Associates group is responsible for sponsoring most special events on site such as lectures, living history, reenactments, tours, etc. It also provides much needed funding on site for special projects and provides volunteers for events.

To help raise money, the Ephrata Cloister Associates ( has joined together with the Artisans In The Park Organization, Inc. ( to bring you a great annual event that takes place the last Saturday in June. The 1st annual Artisans In The Park Summer Fest will take place on June 29, 2019 from 9 am to 4 pm at the beautiful Ephrata Cloister. The funds raised through this event will help the “Associates” to update old equipment, invest into their programming and help them to make improvements and repairs to the buildings and grounds in order to keep the site open to the public.

The Artisans In The Park Organization, Inc is formed by people that share a love of history and want to aid in its preservation. They organize and promote community fundraisers for historical landmarks in the form of art shows and festivals. By showcasing a variety of handmade art, they are able to donate a portion of the event proceeds directly to the hosting organization to help preserve history for generations to come. All of their wonderful events are admission free and take place rain or shine.

This year’s Summer Fest Silver Partner is Freas Farm, Winery. Organizer Michelle Pearson ( said the event will showcase the skills of several artisans including pottery, body & household products, wood carvings, paintings, paper art, glass art, fiber art, hooked and penny rugs, metal art, jewelry, photography and much more! Pearson said that the show will include mouthwatering food, delicious farm to table wine from Freas Farm Winery, hot and cold drinks from The Perkup Truck and more. There will be live artist demonstrations from Earth Tone Crafts & Weaving, Andy Smith, Bill Kassel Fine Art, LaBella’s Paper Petals, The Apple of Your Eye, CMK Creative Designs and more.

Enjoy the great live music from the great alternative soft rock group The Groovebirds from Portland, Oregon throughout the park all day. Be sure to play the Toss for Tickets game for your chance to win some amazing prizes from the artists in attendance as well as several community businesses and remember, proceeds from the game benefit the Ephrata Cloister Associates! The Ephrata Cloister Visitor Center and gift store will be open to the public and tours of the buildings and land will be going on throughout the day. It is a great opportunity to find out about the amazing programs and events that are held at the Cloister throughout the year.

For more details on the Artisans In The Park events, advertising or volunteer opportunities that are available, visit the website, follow Artisans In The Park on Facebook or contact Michelle Pearson at This is a community event you do not want to miss!


D. Michelle Pearson, President

Artisans In The Park Organization, Inc.

PH: (484) 335-0091

©2019 Artisans In The Park | 40 W. Penn Avenue

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