Photo provided courtesy of ArtsQuest, Photo credit Keith Huylebroeck
Sergeant Blake Kuntz will receive this year’s ArtsQuest First Responder Valor Award
BETHLEHEM, Pa. –The SteelStacks campus will host Patriot Day, presented by Embassy Bank, honoring the community’s first responders and revealing the Hometown Heroes First Responders Banners on Sunday, Sept. 11. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. and include a presentation of ArtsQuest’s First Responder Valor Award to City of Bethlehem Police Sergeant Blake Kuntz.
“We’re extremely honored for this opportunity to acknowledge real-life superheroes, those who bravely go to work each day, placing others before themselves,” said Curt Mosel, ArtsQuest’s Chief Operating Officer.
Opening the event, Stop the Presses will perform on the Highmark Blue Shield Community Stage on the Air Products Town Square from 5:30 to 7 p.m. before the reveal of this year’s Hometown Heroes First Responders Banners. The banners consist of photos submitted by the community of family members, neighbors and friends who have served or are currently serving as first responders. The Banners will be on display throughout the SteelStacks campus.
ArtsQuest’s First Responder Valor Award recipient and Lehigh Valley native, Sergeant Blake Kuntz, is a Kutztown University graduate. He began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer for the City of Bethlehem for two years before being transferred to a specialized unit dedicated to the community policy efforts in public housing areas. In 2018, he was promoted to detective in the BPD Criminal Investigations Division. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2020 and is currently serving as the Sergeant of the Community Services Division. Kuntz has been a member of the City’s Emergency Response Team for 12 years. During his career, he has received a dozen Letters of Commendation and two Unit Citations for Merit. Kuntz serves the community as a liaison for the Cops ’n’ Kids program and led the City’s community engagement program Citizen’s Police Academy designed to educate the community on the police department by providing an opportunity for officers and community members to engage in meaningful conversation around community issues and concerns.
Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott, State Representative Steve Samuelson and Mosel will be featured speakers at the event. There will also be a moment of silence to honor our nation’s fallen.
Following the ceremony, the season’s last free show at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, presented by Lehigh Valley Health Network will feature performances by Slingshot Dakota and Catbite at 7:30-9:15 p.m. Food and beverages will be available on-site at the Mack Truck Stop and Palette & Pour, the full-service bar and quick-service kitchen located on the first floor of the ArtsQuest Center.
ArtsQuest’s mission is to provide access to exceptional artistic, cultural and educational experiences using arts and culture as key elements of economic development for our urban communities. ArtsQuest™ supports this mission via the presentation of performing and visual arts, film, arts education classes and outreach, youth programming and cultural events. Through festivals such as its flagship event, Musikfest; the Banana Factory Arts Center; and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks arts and cultural campus, ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually. The organization’s programs and events, approximately 50 percent of which are free to attend, have a combined economic impact of more than $136 million annually in the region. ArtsQuest is a proud member of NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association and NATO, the National Association of Theatre Owners.
Information provided to TVL by:
Kelley Andrade, ArtsQuest
Public Relations Coordinator