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Northern NJ Community Foundation Supports Statewide Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit

April 29, 2017

community chest(Englewood, New Jersey; April 28, 2017) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a leader in creative placemaking in the region, returns for a second year as a sponsor at The Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit.  This year’s event, The Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit 2017 — Thriving Together, is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, and will be held on May 5 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey.

Creative placemaking is the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block.  “The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation is strengthening its position as an advocate and practitioner of creative placemaking in Northern New Jersey by being a sponsor and supporter of this summit.  We are convinced creative placemaking represents a win-win opportunity for any municipality interested in improving quality-of-life and boosting economic vitality in the community,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, NNJCF.

The Summit brings together hundreds of creative placemakers from various fields.  Public officials, developers, funders, urban planners, and cultural organization leaders learn and gain insights from others and share their interests in connecting public policy and the arts.  The 2017 program focuses on some of these key issues: best practices to use sustain creative placemaking, developing high performing partnerships, and developing and promoting social equity.  For further information about the Summit, visit The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking’s web site, http://www.artsbuildcommunities.com/.

NNJCF: A Proponent of Creative Placemaking

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, an Englewood-based not-for-profit organization, presented “The Smart Person’s Guide to Creative Placemaking” at the 2016 Summit, and has been an active proponent of creative placemaking in several forums throughout Bergen County.  The NNJCF’s initiative, ArtsBergen, holds it quarterly networking event, Connect the Dots, attracting artists, arts administrators, municipal and community leaders, business owners, and arts supporters living or working in Bergen County, who are interested in cultivating connections.  Through Connect the Dots, ArtsBergen’s goal is to build a unified local arts community and encourage collaborations between artists and arts organizations to develop community-based arts projects in the area.

Creative Placemaking in Hackensack

Since 2013, NNJCF’s ArtsBergen has been an ongoing partner with the City of Hackensack and the Hackensack Main Street Alliance, assisting in using creative placemaking to integrate arts and culture into the Main Street redevelopment plan.  Partnering with the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking of Union, New Jersey has been essential to form and coach the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), a group of local stakeholders that developed a shared creative placemaking vision plan for the city.

To achieve the plan’s goals, ArtsBergen has worked extensively with CAT on many projects, such as the downtown public art project — the Main Gateway Mural, a 60 foot mural beautifying a burnt down building, and “Art on a Stick: Raccoons”, a series of anthropomorphic raccoons bringing the ordinary to life, at the Johnson Public Library.  ArtsBergen is also managing a call for artists for the “Utility ARTBox Project”, a street art project that presents anti-littering messages via art on utility boxes along Main Street and beyond.

“ArtsBergen is invested in helping Hackensack’s downtown become a cultural and economic center — walkable, livable, and sustainable.  We envision Hackensack becoming a model of creative placemaking in Bergen County,” said De Laurentis.


The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, the arts, and the environment.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  The Foundation’s partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit http://s216151.gridserver.com/, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy.  The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.  For more information, visit http://s216151.gridserver.com/artsbergen/, send an email to artsbergen@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

5-21-15 Meeting Pix 10

Residents in Hackensack discuss plans for creative placemaking in the city


The Main Street Mural, an example of creative placemaking, is a 60 foot mural beautifying a building in Hackensack.

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