Latrobe Art Center, Saint Vincent scholars invite the community to show kindness

When looking for ways to be kind, it’s always good to look to Mr. Rogers for inspiration.

Latrobe Art Center is doing this for its second annual Kindness Week, Monday through May 23.

The center invites people to spread intentional acts of kindness throughout the community during the week leading up to 1-4-3 Day on May 23, Pennsylvania’s designated kindness day inspired by Fred Rogers.

This year, the center partnered with the Saint Vincent College Fred Rogers Center for the event with a special exhibit curated by Fred Rogers Scholars from the school which is currently on display at the center, 819 Ligonier St.

Anyone interested in participating in Kindness Week is encouraged to pick up “You’ve Been Fred Roger-ed” cards at the center.

Using the card, the person, business or organization is invited to do a good deed, capture the moment and share it on social media with the hashtag #YouveBeenFredRogered.

One side of the card contains information about the event and tells recipients what to do next. The other side features works by member artists of the center who respond to the prompt “What does kindness look like?

“Being kind to others and loving our neighbors are such simple tasks, yet can make a world of difference in the lives of individuals and the community as a whole,” said Michael Tusay, executive director of the Latrobe Art Center. “During this designated week of kindness, our goal at the Art Center is to create a ripple effect of kindness and share some much-needed joy and hope with our community.”

Saint Vincent students participated in a month of kindness on campus in November in conjunction with World Kindness Day, said Dana Winter, executive director of the Fred Rogers Center.

“When we were invited to participate in Kindness Week, of course we said yes,” Winter said. “It was a great partnership with Latrobe Art Center, to be able to merge two organizations that both have such a strong history with Fred Rogers. Our Fred Rogers Fellows just took the idea and followed it.

The art center was co-founded in 2002 by Rogers’ sister, Nancy Rogers Crozier. The Fred Rogers Center advocates for the healthy development of children and contains an archive preserving documents related to the personal and public life of Fred Rogers.

People of all ages are encouraged to participate in sharing and spreading acts of kindness, Tusay said. Special equipment for children is available.

Kindness Week will culminate with an event from 3 to 5 p.m. on May 21 at the Art Center, celebrating kindness and the closing of the special exhibit on the life and legacy of Fred Rogers.

Pennsylvania introduced 1-4-3 Day in 2019 to create a statewide kindness movement and to honor Fred Rogers, Latrobe native and kindness advocate, by encouraging Pennsylvanians to show their neighbors more friendship and love.

The digits for the day refer to Rogers’ penchant for the number 143, with the individual digits reflecting the number of letters in each word of the phrase “I love you.” They also refer to the 143rd day of the year, which falls on May 23 (unless it is a leap year).

For more information about Kindness Week, call 724-537-7011 or visit latrobeartcenter.org.

Shirley McMarlin is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .