Berlin Mural Recognized By MD Tourism Coalition

Berlin Mural Recognized By MD Tourism Coalition
The Maryland Tourism Coalition recognized the Town of Berlin and Beach to Bay Heritage Area for the Tindley mural. Pictured are Melanie Pursel, a heritage area board member, Lisa Challenger, heritage area executive director, Ivy Wells, heritage area board member and the town’s economic and community development director, and Mindie Burgoyne, a heritage area board member.

BERLIN– The Maryland Tourism Coalition recognized the Town of Berlin and Beach to Bay Heritage Area this week for the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley mural.

During the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit held in Ocean City this week, Berlin and Beach to Bay Heritage area officials were presented with the “Best Product/Event” award. The honor came in recognition of the Tindley mural installed on Commerce Street in Berlin earlier this year.

“It was a surprise,” said Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic and community development director. “After everything our group went though to bring this mural to life the award was appreciated.”

Tindley, whose “I’ll Overcome Someday” is considered the basis for the U.S. civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” was born in Berlin in the 1850s. In an effort to celebrate Tindley and his connection to the town, officials applied for a grant last year to have artist Jay Coleman paint a mural of him in the downtown Berlin Arts and Entertainment District. While Beach to Bay Heritage Area was successful in getting the grant, it took several months of working with citizens and members of the Berlin Historic District Commission to settle on an appropriate building and suitable design for the mural. In May, a design was finally approved. Coleman painted the mural, which depicts Tindley as well as a church and some musical notes, on the side of the Bruder Hill building in June.

“Partnerships are the key to success,” said Lisa Challenger, executive director of the Beach to Bay Heritage Area, in a Facebook post.

Wells said it was an honor to have been nominated for the award from the Maryland Tourism Coalition.

“There’s nothing better than being recognized by your peers and an official state coalition,” she said.

She said the town had partnered with Beach to Bay Heritage Area to use art to create a tourist destination. They selected Tindley as the feature because his connection to Berlin was often overlooked. The mural not only brings attention to the gospel icon’s roots in Berlin but is also drawing tourists to the town, as it is part of a larger African American history trail throughout the Lower Shore.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.