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Waterfront exhibit in New Hope honors LGBTQ+ community

A new exhibit emphasizing the participation and inclusiveness of New Hope’s LGBTQ+ community is on display all month along the waterfront promenade between Bucks County Playhouse and Stella restaurant.

“Inside + OUT in New Hope” is a collection of eight doors, each painted a bright color from the renowned rainbow flag, that commemorates “the progress and abundant colorful gay history which has served as a beacon of community spirit, as well as a paradigm for equality nationwide,” according to New Hope Celebrates (NHC).

The contents of each door corresponds to the meaning of its color as established in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist who created the rainbow flag: magenta for sexual equality, red for the brighter side of life, orange for healing, turquoise for magic and art, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for serenity and harmony, and purple for community spirit.

Opening the doors symbolizes “coming out of the closet,” and more than 650 images are on display, mostly by local photographer Sandy Santello, along with information relating to each symbolic meaning. Research and much of the editorial was written by Santello and her wife, former New Hope Borough Council President Sharyn Keiser, with support from the NHC History Committee and NHC Board of Directors.

The opening of the exhibit was held Oct. 11 on the 41st anniversary of National Coming Out Day, and was attended by over 200 local residents along with dignitaries including Bucks County Commissioner Chair Rob Loughery, Pa. Rep. Wendi Thomas, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Pa. Senator Steve Santarsiero and Falls Township Supervisor Bob Harvie. Also attending were New Hope Mayor Larry Keller, Council President Connie Gering, Council Member Laurie McHugh and Chief of Police Mike Cummings. Speaking on behalf of the project were history project managers Sandy Santello, Sharyn Keiser, and NHC president Matthew Hanson.

(L to R) Matt Hanson, Sharyn Keiser, Gordon Pulaski, and Sandy Santello

Special citations were presented by Thomas and Santarsiero recognizing NHC’s service the LGBTQ+ community since 2003.

“Inside + OUT in New Hope” was made possible by a grant from Visit Bucks County and the vision of NHC Creative Director Gordon Pulaski.

A reception following the event was hosted by Ghost Light Inn and Stella by Jose Garces. Other contributing sponsors include Tim Molnar of New Hope Remodeling, Niece Lumber Building Supplies, Delaware River Chamber of Commerce, Don Roberts of Impact Signs, and website designer Eric Rounds.

More information about “Inside + OUT in New Hope” is available online at its mobile site or at NHC.

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