Kutztown University and the Kutztown Community Partnership were awarded the Townie Award for Organizational Excellence and Community Partnership by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) for its work toward the Keith Haring Fitness Court at annual statewide gala June 26 in Scranton, Pa. Accepting the award were Dr. Duane Crider, professor of Sport Management, and Jordan Davis, sport management intern who oversaw Keith Haring Day this past spring.
The Keith Haring Fitness Court was dedicated October 2022, on the corner of Baldy Street and Normal Avenue, on the KU campus. In collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation, Outdoor Fitness Court and the National Fitness Campaign, the Fitness Court features a 32’x35′ outdoor bodyweight circuit training system with 30 pieces of body-weight fitness elements, including seven full-body circuit training stations and a body-weight training wall.
This past spring, KU sport management students and faculty led the charge to provide the campus and local communities exercise clinics and competitions. Community members attended an open fitness clinic, followed by a competition of local organizations and an art walk celebrating Haring’s work, led by the Kutztown Community partnership. Keith Haring Day marked a celebration surrounding Haring’s birthday, May 4, with the goal to bring awareness to Haring, the Fitness Court and provide the community with exercise leadership.
Kutztown Community Partnership is a community-driven non-profit organization dedicated to the economic revitalization and preservation of Kutztown. The Partnership serves as a liaison to build community, to forge positive relationships and to foster cultural and economic collaboration in the historic college town. Kutztown Community Partnership envisions Kutztown as an inclusive community that welcomes all our best efforts: to get an education, to do business and to live well at every stage of our lives.
The Keith Haring Fitness Court is an incredible opportunity for the Kutztown community to pay reverence to one of its native sons, as Haring was born and raised in Kutztown, Pa. Despite his worldwide fame, Haring always stayed true to his roots and would often refer to himself as “Keith from Kutztown.” Haring went to Kutztown High School and his legacy lives on throughout the borough of Kutztown. To recognize and honor the love he had for his hometown, Haring gifted the ‘Untitled (Figure Balancing on Dog)’ to Kutztown Park in the early 90s, where the sculpture remains today. More of his iconic art can be found on a floor mural in the New Arts Program building nestled right on Main Street, where it is preserved under coats of polyurethane.
The Townie Awards are a festive and venerable tradition designed to recognize the commonwealth’s core communities and individuals for creation and implementation of projects, programs and events that exemplify the goals of PDC’s community revitalization mission. Eligible communities consist of Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s nearly 200 member organizations, including Main Street and Elm Street programs, making the Townies a competitive award process each year.