Crowd Attends Rainy Ribbon Cutting for Redesigned Art Mural “Better Bear”


by Jane Stahl

Boyertown is a Special Kind of Place and the community proved it once again by coming out Saturday, October 14, 2023, in pouring rain for a ribbon cutting celebrating the redesigned mural, a “Better Bear.”

In under three weeks, mural artist Chris B. Murray spray painted his colorful and whimsical design onto the west side of Rita’s Water Ice building, owned by Parrish and Brenda Stauffer, located at Franklin Street and East Philadelphia Avenue.

The design features a Boyertown bear, images of Boyertown’s historic Twin Turrets Inn, State Theatre, the Clocktower of Good Shepherd UCC Church, a few of his favorite creatures, flowers, sunshine, and clouds.

Attending the ceremony led by Ellen Martignetti, Building a Better Boyertown’s (BaBB’s) Main Street Manager, were Chris, his wife, and young daughter; several of BaBB’s board members; Lori Carnes, Boyertown’s mayor; representatives from the funding organizations; members of the school district; and devotees of the arts and the Boyertown community.

For those who elected to stay dry, Ellen’s comments follow. Her remarks include the process of deciding on the design and thank you’s to the individuals, businesses and organizations that donated funds, time, expertise, equipment, materials, and support throughout the process.

A “B Inspired” podcast episode, recorded following the ribbon cutting and featuring a conversation with Chris B. Murray, can be found on your favorite podcast platform Anchor FM, Spotify, Google, Castbox, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic, and Apple. Stay tuned for an article about Chris in The Boyertown Area Expression.

by Ellen Martignetti

Welcome, everyone and thank you for coming out in the rain!

In 2021 the Boyertown Community rallied together after the original “No Place for Hate” mural was vandalized. Our community demonstrated love and support during that time and proved that Boyertown is a welcoming place for all. Here we stand today, moving forward and continuing to share that message of unity.

Building a Better Boyertown formed a mural committee consisting of community members and leaders of area community groups. After many meaningful conversations, the committee decided to have the mural redesigned. We held a contest in the spring of the year seeking a design that would represent Boyertown as a welcoming place for everyone, with a positive message of kindness, unity, and love. We also wanted community engagement, so the committee voted on our top three designs and the public voted on their favorite. The winner was Chris B. Murray. We are grateful for Chris’ talent and are lucky to have beautiful, vibrant piece of public art which he created uniquely Boyertown.

We could not have gotten here today without support and help along the way.
I would like to thank:

Building a Better Boyertown/s board of directors and staff.
The Mural Committee
Jillian Magee for her fundraising efforts
Parrish and Brenda Stauffer, property owners
Rita’s Water Ice—Brian Schlegel, franchise owner, and Cathy Knapper, manager
Pottstown NAACP
Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation
United Way of Boyertown
Berks County Community Foundation
The Borough of Boyertown
Studio B
Boyertown Area School District
Blick Art Materials
PA Industrial Equipment of Boyertown
Willow House Paints of Gilbertsville
Martignetti Construction Company

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