Perry County Placemaking Team Seeking Artists and Designers

Newport, PA—The Perry County Economic Development Authority (PCEDA) and Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA) are seeking artists and designers to assist with downtown placemaking efforts in each of the county’s nine boroughs.

Through recent Main Street planning meetings, the PCEDA and invested members of the community have been working to identify project locations within each borough that will serve as the environment for public art installations. Each project will highlight key assets and local history/culture while encouraging community use.

Artists and designers are encouraged to submit their interest along with samples of their work by January 6, 2023. Varying art forms will be considered including and not limited to painting, sculpture, lighting, illustration, pottery, performance, and writing.

“We will strive to match qualified applicants with the project(s) that best suits their medium, skills and budget. Their creative vision and engagement will be valuable to the resulting impact of each project,” says PCCA’s Executive Director Jasmine Colbert.

PCCA was approved for a $50,000 Our Town award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a countywide creative placemaking initiative. This is one of 51 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category to support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.

PCEDA Board President Martha Roberts says, “This community-led program will be conducted in all nine of Perry’s Boroughs as one component of a countywide Downtown Revitalization project.” PCEDA received a grant from the Pennsylvania Keystone Communities Program to fund half of the project.

Apply Here

(photo courtesy Mary Hetrick)

Newport Veterans Mural

The Newport Veterans Mural is a co-creation of the Newport High School art class and visiting artist in residence Jon Laidacker of Philadelphia, with the support of art teacher Jessica Barlup and the Newport High School staff and administration, and through the Arts-in-Residency program of the Perry County Council of the Arts. PCCA is an Arts in Education Partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Nearly 100 community members of all ages also helped paint the mural during Youth Art Day in 2017.

In the students’ own words, “we really tried to capture the essence of our veterans and their legacy….the watch is intended to signify the passage of time, as the overall theme of this piece is unifying the past, present, and future…The butterflies not only add an attractive appeal to the portraits, but are actually a symbol of eternal life as well as transformation. We were also attempting to tie in the rural aspects of our community in order to connect the mural to its viewer.” The items in the foreground and the uniform are meant to represent our military’s branches.

The models on the right are VFW Newport veteran Chris Gross and his two grandchildren. His granddaughter wears his uniform with love, respect, and admiration. The Newport students considered the children to represent themselves as students.

The man represented in the photo at left is William H. Saylor, who was killed in battle at Bouresches, France during World War I. The VFW post in Newport is named in his honor.

The mural was formally honored on Saturday, July 8, 2017.

We thank our generous financial supporters of this project:
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
VFW Post 34 of Newport
Newport American Legion Post 177
The Lotus Fund of the Perry County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities, on behalf of Meredith and Matthew Schuler

Quilt Mural Trail

Perry County Council of the Arts’ (PCCA) Quilt Mural Trail is a newly expanded loop of 29 8’x8’ painted quilts mounted on barns along Perry, Juniata and, NOW Mifflin, county roadways! Students from each county participated in this Arts-in-Education project, which began in 2012.

Six years in the making, the Quilt Mural Trail is a symbol of cultural identity, community pride and artistic exuberance, connecting the county to its rich history and folk art tradition. Under the mentorship of quilting artist-in-residence Denise Hoke, students participated in a cross-curricular initiative to create this community project. Combining history, geometry and art, the students researched, designed and painted each quilt with great care and pride.

Quilt Mural residencies were made possible by the Cultural Enrichment Fund, the Robert H. and Beverly Utley Fowler Family Foundation, the Perry County Community Foundation of the Foundation for Enhancing Communities, East Juniata, Greenwood, Juniata, Mifflin County, Newport, Susquenita and West Perry School Districts; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Bella Vista Massage and Spa; Brookmere Winery; The Juniata Cultural Arts Committee, and Harriet Magee; and through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program: American Sentinel Insurance Co.; Davis Vision; Dumor, Inc.; PNC Bank; FNB Mifflintown (Pennian Bank); First National Bank of PA; Eichelbergers, Inc.; Orrstown Bank; Riverview Bank; United Concordia; Brookmere Winery and John and Laura Jean Podganjy.

Schools and community organizations who are interested in creating their own Quilt Murals are invited to contact PCCA at 717-567-7023 or

Download a Trail Map

Quilt Mural Trail maps are also available at the PCCA Gallery, One S. Second Street, Newport.