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To develop cohesiveness and community spirit through participation in this unique artistic project.
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Purpose of Program:

We want to involve students in securing sponsors for 30+ life-sized fiberglass bear sculptures on the streets of Boyertown, PA, by May 2005: the effort will create greater community cohesiveness among the businesses, civic organizations, and individuals in our school district community in an effort to develop students’ interests, skills and knowledge of careers in the arts, communications, and business arenas; to provide students with information about the community, its wealth of resources, and its support for them and their education; and to promote community spirit and cohesiveness across generations, professions and interests.

Program Information

Bear Fever’s mission is to continue the work of promoting community spirit and cohesiveness through participation in a unique public art project—the sponsorship and creation of 30+ life-sized fiberglass sculptures of our school district’s mascot that will be placed around the community for its enjoyment and beautification.

The initial phase of Bear Fever will have run for approximately 2 years, involving many volunteers within the school and the community. Students have worked with community members, professional artists, and school personnel in promoting the project, marketing the sponsorships, creating the sculptures into works of art, publicizing the project, and developing additional community activities related to its mission throughout the duration of the project and into the future.

We’re not looking for a cure for “bear fever”anytime soon, but the 30+ fiberglass bears should be ready to present to the community by May 2005.

Students have and will organize and actualize the following types of activities:

  • writing newspaper articles
  • creating posters, brochures, tickets, signs
  • designing T-shirts, mugs, prizes for sponsors and interested supporters
  • fundraising
  • creating commercials for television and radio
  • speaking to civic organizations and businesses formally and informally
  • writing grant requests
  • interviewing assorted members of the community and being interviewed by them
  • developing ideas and participating in assorted promotional activities
  • marketing sponsorships
  • researching and reading about leadership and successful strategies to enhance this local community art project
  • designing and producing bases/installations for bears

We’re looking to increase the understanding between and among one another throughout our community—all age groups, all professions—celebrate our diverse gifts to benefit one another and the community at large. That students and community members work together during the entire project--from planning to completion—has been one of the unique features of our program among many projects of this kind. That we are embarking on a journey we’ve never gone before and “making things up”as we go along speaks to our innovativeness, our positive spirit and creativity, and our sense of fun. We want everyone to bring their talents to the “table”when and however they can, offer them with joy, and celebrate the synergy that is created through the process. We want to have a good time together making our community an even better place to live.


A course entitled “Leadership 101”has been offered during the 2004-2005 school year as an adjunct to the Bear Fever project. Students have explored the characteristics of leadership, practiced their skills, and developed projects to enhance the community/school projects already in existence as well as explored other ideas for additional projects.

After the bears hit the streets, we’re looking to create posters of the bears, mugs, t-shirts, a coffee table book—memorabilia that will help celebrate the project as well as create further positive energy within the community and perhaps opportunities to raise funds for activities, groups, or individuals within the community. These types of ideas may take background funding to actualize.

Bear Fever begins officially on January 19, 2004, at the annual Progress Dinner, held at La Massaria at Bella Vista Golf Course at 5:00p.m., where the two prototype fiberglass life-sized “raw”(undecorated) bears were introduced to the community. They were then placed in the hands of a local artist and retired art teacher and current art instructor at Boyertown High School their student apprentices who turned them into pieces of art.

On May 1, 2004, at Boyertown High School’s annual Arts Expo, the two bears—fully fashioned were introduced to the community and sponsorships were sought for the 30+ additional bears from the business community, civic organizations, individuals, and other schools within the district.

At Boyertown High School’s Arts Expo 2005, the complete collection of Bear Fever bears will be on parade for the community, and the Bear Fever project’s initial phase will conclude.

That’s the plan and the timetable for the project.

I have no doubt that bringing together the assorted groups within our community—young and old—will help to build a better Boyertown. Currently an organization which calls itself BBB (Building a Better Boyertown) is seeking to generate and coordinate projects like this one; our community is poised for projects like these as witnessed by the support, praise, and success of some of our recent school/community projects named above.

“Build it and they will come” serves as a theme for our project: invite people to work together, have fun, and create a better community, and they will gladly serve their turn with joy. We believe our projects have resonated with our community’s need to come together for good cause and that we will realize success through positive newspaper articles, notes of thank you to one another, a beautiful collection of 30+ sculptures, and a flurry of additional projects like posters, mugs, T-shirts which have “spun off” from our initial bear sculpture project and continue our mission ad infinitum.