The Central Pennsylvania African American Museum has high aspirations in expanding the knowledge it holds not only to the surrounding community, but to anyone with a heart for learning. While the location is housed in the original structure of the historic Bethel A.M.E. church, the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum did not create itself. Just as a watch has many intricate parts moving according to the vision of a watchmaker, CPAAM also follows a vision created by Frank Gilyard.
"We've gone from the slave ship to the spaceship" words often said by Frank Gilyard the late founding president of the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum, author, and notable historian of Berks County. It was through his procurement of historical items, archives, and research that CPAAM was birthed. And It's through his vision that the future of the museum drives towards.
In 2013 the City of Reading honored Frank Gilyard after his passing with a mural created by a Mohnton based artist and the Olivet Boys and Girls Club. In what the mayor hopes to be a string of artworks to honor citizens who contribute to the city, the mural is located on the North 100 block of 3rd street and is believed to be the first mural in the City of Reading to feature an African American.