Community Partnership Parade Winds through Collegeville

The Berman Museum of Art joined forces with the Collegeville community and nationally acclaimed group Spiral Q Puppet Theater to produce a successful Partnership Parade on Sunday, Nov. 7. The parade showcased the evolving partnership between the campus and the Collegeville community, facilitated in this project by the Berman Museum and expressed through community-based art.

Members of the Collegeville community, Berman Museum’s educational partners and Ursinus students, faculty, and staff met at Collegeville Park to decorate “Partnership T-shirts” and banners before the parade got underway. Student groups from Ursinus had created banners and “helping hands trees” that communicated the themes of collaboration and partnership.

“Community partnership grows from the ground, up.  It is an organic, collaborative project made all the richer by the making and displaying of community-based art,” said parade organizer Susan Shifrin, Associate Director for Education at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art.

Ursinus groups who contributed included UCARE, Art Exhibitionists, Gay Straight Alliance, UC Environmental Action and the Art Department.

Perkiomen Middle School East, Lakeside Girls Academy and the Junior Girl Scout Troop 741 from the Freeland hills Service Unit also participated in the festivities. Spiral Q, the community arts organization with whom the Berman partnered for this project, had demonstrated how to create props on a large scale. Some of the props carried in the parade will be on display in the Myrin Library on the Ursinus campus.

The group marched along the streets of Collegeville and then gathered for a finale on the lawn in front of the Berman Museum, where they were greeted by Ursinus Jazz Band musicians and one of Spiral Q’s super-sized puppets, holding out its arms to embrace the crowd. The parade reached its fitting end with participants mingling and enjoying food and festivities together, demonstrating the power of art and arts-based partnership. — By David Hysek 2011