The Pennsylvania Dutch cultural influence echoes in Lehigh County – where the Pennsylvania Music Preservation Society (PAMPS) will host the annual Great Pennsyvlania Music & Arts Celebration (PennMArt) every year during Memorial Day Weekend at The Historic Allentown Fairgrounds.
This presence is visible on the decorated barns of the region, which are painted in a unique manner quite unlike anywhere else in America. Images of stars and floral patterns in brilliant colors – known as “hex signs” – serve as focal points in the farmscapes and accent an otherwise ordinary agricultural building, elevating it beyond mere utility to a level of folk art.
Here at PAMPS, we want to preserve this important part of Pennsylvania heritage, while educating the next generation as to its influence on our culture. That’s why we are partnering with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University to host a hex sign project for students in grades K-12, during PennMArt, which takes place May 26-28, 2018.
Students of all ages will have the opportunity to design their own unique hex signs during PennMArt. The public will then have a chance to vote on these works of art to select the signature hex sign for this year’s inaugural celebration.
The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University will also provide audio/visual educational seminars on Pennsylvania Dutch history, including hex signs and their significance, throughout the weekend-long celebration. To learn more, follow this link. To learn how you can get involved in the festivities, please reach out to us.