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AARP AARP States Pennsylvania Press

Allentown Mayor, AARP Pennsylvania Unveil New Mural

Mural picture with AARP volunteers
Kellie VonStein & AARP Leigh Valley volunteers

For Immediate Release: June 29, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT:TJ Thiessen | | (202) 374-8033

Allentown, PA – AARP Pennsylvania joined Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk, Allentown Mural Arts, and mural artist Hector Castro to unveil Allentown’s newest public art focused on healthy aging, diversity, and opportunity. The mural is in La Placita mini park on Hamilton Street, connecting the rapidly growing downtown and the city’s new waterfront developments.

In January 2022, AARP Lehigh Valley’s Associate State for Director for Community Outreach and Advocacy Kellie VonStein, initiated conversations with Allentown Mural Arts.  The goal was to identify a space and a muralist to create the newest artwork in Pennsylvania’s third-largest city.  As a result, this project emerged. Allentown Mural Arts solicited applications from Pennsylvania artists, ultimately deciding on Allentown-based muralist Hector Castro’s proposal.

“Recognizing that the City of Allentown has a vibrant history of public art, AARP Lehigh Valley was pleased to collaborate with Allentown Mural Arts to support this mural,” said VonStein. “It beautifies the community, supports local art, and reminds us of the importance of staying connected at every age and life stage.”

The chosen artist, Hector Castro, grew up in Allentown and explained that he has always seen both sides of Allentown – its past struggles and more recent growth and vibrancy -- which has helped inspire his work. Castro’s La Placita mini park mural focuses on his interactions with people from all walks of life, and highlights diverse perspectives within Allentown.

“Public art is always going to unify people. It’s a tool you can use to communicate with people who live in completely different worlds,” said Castro. “It helps out the community in ways that go deeper than words. It gives people hope. I’m just a paintbrush, delivering the colors. We have to come together in order to build each other up.”

During today’s press conference, Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk spoke about how this project came to be and the role of public art in creating more livable communities for people of all ages in Allentown.

The Allentown city government, including Mayor Matt Tuerk and City Councilmember Cynthia Mota, supported the project.

“With today’s mural unveiling in La Placita mini park, we recognize two assets that help make our city great: Public art and diversity,” said Allentown Mayor Matthew Tuerk. “Public art has played a vital role in Allentown’s downtown revitalization, but our city could not become what it has without its people, and that’s who we’re really celebrating today. I hope this mural lights up the day of Allentown residents for years to come.”


About AARPAARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's most significant circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP@AARPenEspanol@AARPadvocates and @AliadosAdelante on social media.

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