Haverhill Leaders Gather to Dedicate Five-Panel Downtown Mural, ‘Reading Takes Us Places’

Officials gather to cut the ribbon at the mural, “Reading Takes Us Places.” From left, Haverhill Promise Campaign Director Jenny Arndt, City Councilors Timothy J. Jordan and Joseph J. Bevilacqua, state Rep. Leonard Mirra and City Council President Melinda E. Barrett. (Jarvi Productions photograph for WHAV News.)

A five-panel mural, designed to encourage daily reading, was formally dedicated Friday in downtown Haverhill with a cross section of public officials, business leaders, educators and others joining in for a ribbon cutting.

Called “Reading Takes Us Places,” the mural below the Railroad Bridge in downtown Haverhill depicts children floating down the Merrimack River reading. It was painted by more than 50 children who demonstrated a commitment to daily reading during the COVID-19 spring school closures. Haverhill Promise Campaign Director Jenny Arndt recently appeared on WHAV’s morning program and explained the mural’s simple purpose.

“Hopefully, its going to grow and inspire some more young readers to keep on reading,” she told WHAV.

The mural was a collaborative effort between Haverhill Promise and Creative Haverhill. During the interview Arndt acknowledged the growth of downtown art, such as Alexander Golob’s Mount Washington Artist Alley at 217 Washington St.

“We’ve been talking for years, but that’s kind of the grand entrance to downtown so it’s wonderful to see more color and vibrancy and really showing off the creativity of our city in that area,” she said.

Golob, who also appeared live over WHAV Dec. 2, described his building-sized mural as public art space built “around the theme of equity, inclusion and diversity.”

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