POTTSTOWN PA – The patient efforts of a large group of volunteer painters now shines across the 300 block of King Street in the borough, as the YWCA Tri-County Area on Saturday (Oct. 21, 2023) caps its 2023 Week Without Violence observance with a block party.
With brushes in hand and about 20 gallons of coating available in many colors, the volunteers’ donated their time to restore the street’s worn “Black Lives Matter” art installation to vibrant life. They spent most of sunny weather available Thursday and Friday (Oct. 19 and 20) working at the center of the barricaded downtown block. The group refurbished details scuffed and dimmed by traffic.
Scheduled to follow Saturday are hours filled by a community event. It includes a student art contest, dance, poetry, music, games, food, community resource tables, employment opportunities, and other activities. The block party is free to attend and open to the public, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the YWCA offices at 315 King St.
The party serves as a celebratory ending to the organization’s annual campaign that participants say creates awareness of, and seeks solutions for, acts of violence plaguing Pottstown and other municipalities. The YWCA national theme of this year’s observance, also reflected locally, is “Not On Our Screens, Not In Our Streets: A Movement Toward Violence-Free Communities.”
The street mural was originally installed during October 2021. It was commissioned by the local YWCA as a recognition of what at the time were nationally publicized incidents of heightened violence involving individuals of color and law enforcement officials. The installation was approved by Pottstown Borough Council, and mirrors one also created in nearby Norristown.
The painting group was focused on its tasks as members began their work Thursday morning, but there was plenty of conversation and laughter. Music was available too … witnessed more than heard. Several painters wore earbuds, and as they worked their heads enjoyably nodded and bobbed to rhythms only they could hear.
Photos by Travels With The Post