Jeff Parks '70 Collection
Scope and Contents
The scope of Mr. Parks’ collection includes genealogical records and examples of Fraktur of his ancestors who were early residents of Northampton County, parental memorabilia, high school and college (Lehigh University memorabilia, awards, gift plates, memorabilia from Musikfest, ArtsQuest, SteelStacks, photographs, promotional material including t-shirts, programs, community/urban development plans and local history books.
- 1741 - 2021
- Parks, Jeffrey A. (Donor, Person)
Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.
Collection is open for research.
Please inquire about copyright information.
Biographical / Historical
Jeffrey Albert Parks was born November 30, 1948 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, son of Albert Raymond and Marilyn H (Fley) Parks. Albert’s ancestors were Charles G. and Mary E. (Miller) Fley, Edwin Charles Harold (b. 1897) and Florence Irene (Jones) (b. 1899) Fley, daughter of Edwin and Emma (Troxell) Walter.
Jeffrey’s education included Liberty High School, Lehigh University Class of 1970 graduating magna cum laude, majoring in government and 1973 University of Pennsylvania Law School. While in Lehigh, Jeff was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Lehigh and Omega social fraternities. While in law school, Parks was employed by the U.S. Customs Service, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax Bureau. He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He is an attorney in business law and estate planning. Mr. Parks has served as president of Bethlehem Musikfest and executive director of Bethlehem Tourism Authority. In 1982 the only thing that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was known for was Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Lehigh University, Bach Choir Festival and Moravian College. At the time there was a concept to expand tourism in the city beyond the Christmas season associated with the city’s name and the Christkindlmarkt, so he came up with the idea of a ten-day summertime music festival known as Musikfest which began in 1984 as another tourism draw to the area. During his career Mr. Parks was very committed to promoting tourism in Bethlehem in spite of the many oppositions of Bethlehem residents affected by the crowds of tourists that came to participate in Bach Choir Festival, Christkindlemarkt and Musikfest. In 1993, he entered into a contract with the Bethlehem Tourism Authority to serve as its executive director and to use Bethlehem Musikfest Association to promote tourism in the city. He is considered the principal founder of Musikfest. Eventually the Bethlehem Musikfest Association became known as ArtsQuest, a non-profit community based arts organization and Parks became its President and CEO. Jeff has been active in various community organizations and served on the Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Bethlehem Historic District Association, Board of Trustees of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Sun Inn Preservation Association and Historic Bethlehem Incorporated. In 1995 he represented the Lehigh Valley at the White House conference on tourism. Jeff retired from ArtsQuest in December 2014 and returned to private life.
Jeff Parks and his wife Susan (Fulcher) have lived in the Historic Bethlehem district for many years. They have a son Jonathan. As an attorney, Jeff is partner with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott. Prior to that partnership, he was with law offices of Thomas C. Kubelius, in 1976 (Harry J.) Newman, (Lawrence B.) Fox & (Jeffrey A.) Parks formed a law firm while Parks served as Solicitor to the Controller of Northampton County and the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation.
6 Linear Feet (20 boxes + 3 frames)
Language of Materials
Jeff Parks, Lehigh University Class of 1970, locally known as “Mr. Musikfest,” assembled this collection which includes genealogical records and examples of Fraktur of his ancestors who were early residents of Northampton County, parental memorabilia, high school and college (Lehigh University memorabilia, awards, gift plates, memorabilia from Musikfest, ArtsQuest, SteelStacks, photographs, promotional material including t-shirts, programs, community/urban development plans and local history books. The collection documents his career in promoting tourism through musical heritage in Bethlehem (Pa.) after Bethlehem Steel Corporation collapsed as the main industry of the area
The collection arranged by chronologically and by format: Family genealogy - family bible, baptismal and confirmation certificates, military service records, photographs and albums; Mr. Parks’ personal history - newspaper articles, books, photographs; book manuscript records.
Material was donated to Special Collections by Jeff Parks, May 13, 2021.
Due to size and format framed material, posters, awards, large city plans have been filed in appropriately sized boxes.
- Bethlehem (Pa.) -- History
- Lehigh University--Alumni and alumnae.
- Miller Family
- Music festival programs -- Pennsylvania -- Bethlehem
- Music festivals
- Musikfest (Bethlehem, Pa.)
- Northampton County (Pa.)
- Parks Family
- Tourism -- Management
- Upper Saucon (Pa. : Township)
- Parks, Jeffrey A. (Donor, Person)
- Jeff Parks Collection
- In Progress
- Eleanor Nothelfer.
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Lehigh University Library and Technology Services.
Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA