(Bergen County, New Jersey; April 27, 2018) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a leader in creative placemaking in the region, returns for a third year as a sponsor at The Northeastern Corridor Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit. This year’s event, Playing Fair: Cultural Design, Sports, and Gentrification, is produced by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, and will be held on May 3 and 4, 2018 at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
Creative placemaking is the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block. “As an advocate and practitioner of creative placemaking in Northern New Jersey, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation supports this Summit by being a sponsor and reinforcing its work and message. 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 2018 program focuses on some of these key issues: sports and their role in arts development, making space for creativity and design, funding, introducing creative placemaking to communities, gentrification and the ethical ambiguity of creative placemaking, and physical design. For further information, visit the Summit’s web site, https://www.cplsummit.org/northeast .
NNJCF: A Proponent of Creative Placemaking
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a Hackensack-based not-for-profit organization, has presented “The Smart Person’s Guide to Creative Placemaking” at a previous Summit, and has been an active proponent of creative placemaking in several forums throughout Bergen County. The NNJCF’s initiative, ArtsBergen, holds its 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 2014, the Northern NJ Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative 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, ArtsBergen assisted the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), a group of local stakeholders in developing a 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 140 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 also managed 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. The Northern NJ Community Foundation envisions 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 Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts. 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.
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