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Northern NJ Community Foundation Opens Community Foundation Week With Interactive Art Installation

November 14, 2019 , Luhrs & Associates


From ‘The Hacktivator’ booth, award-winning choreographer and performer Claire Porter welcomed commuters at the New Jersey Transit Bus Station on Atlantic Street in Hackensack. Photo credit: Josh Passaretti

(Hackensack, New Jersey; November 12, 2019) — During November, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) joins more than 900 community foundations across the United States to celebrate Community Foundation Week.  The NNJCF, a nonprofit organization observing its 21st anniversary, serves the region and promotes cooperation and civic engagement in the community to address prevailing issues.

Community Foundation Week, November 12 through November 18, was created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush to raise awareness about the important role philanthropic organizations like the NNJCF play in fostering local collaboration and innovating solutions to address persistent civic and economic challenges.  Community foundations steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits, one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy.  They also can serve as conveners, creating partnerships that address community issues through collaboration.

In undertaking its role as a convener, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative uses the arts as a community enhancer and works with the City of Hackensack to integrate arts and culture into its redevelopment plans.  In anticipation of Community Foundation Week, the NNJCF launched and installed ‘The Hacktivator’, a temporary live and interactive art installation at the NJ Transit Bus Station on Atlantic Street in Hackensack, from November 4 through November 8.


Actor Claire Porter greeted a New Jersey Transit employee. Photo credit: Josh Passaretti

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative works with the City of Hackensack to integrate arts and culture into its redevelopment plans.  ‘The Hacktivator’ was a collaborative effort of the Main Street Business Alliance, the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the City of Hackensack, and the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative.

“The arts make communities more vibrant and even boost local economies, especially when the art reflects the community’s character, people, and history.  ‘The Hacktivator’, an interactive project, engaged people in a fun and unique way to provide community feedback about what they wanted to see in the city.  This project provides community members with an opportunity to envision better where they live and work, illustrating the spirit behind Community Foundation Week,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Art Creates Connection

The project collected community input to plan for a future ‘Art Walk’, a permanent, interactive public space and walkway spanning from the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC) to the Atlantic Street Bus Terminal at Demarest Place, using arts and culture, lighting, landscaping, seating, events, and activities.  The ‘Art Walk’ concept would enrich and develop Hackensack’s Transit Village and connect the HACPAC, Main Street, and the bus terminal with an arts destination site and experience to attract visitors and interest pedestrians and residents, while reflecting the community’s character.  The walkway space would also serve as an area to provide programming and activities.


Actors Annemarie Hagenaars, Bill Atwood and Claire Porter surveyed and gathered information from commuters to develop future art installations at Demarest Place. Photo credit: Josh Passaretti

Actors surveyed and gathered information from commuters about Demarest Place to inform plans for the walkway.  Commuters interacted with ‘The Hacktivator’ booth by answering the question, What brings you back to life?, and awakened a sleeping performer to present a dance, skit, monologue or another art form.  The information collected will be used to develop future art installations reflecting Demarest Place and NJ Transit users’ ideas and engage the community about Demarest Place.

Support Future Projects

Individuals and businesses may support the NNJCF’s work with a tax-deductible donation, as permitted by law.  Donations may be made online at http://www.nnjcf.org/donation/.  Contributions may also be sent by check made out to ‘The Northern N.J. Community Foundation’ entered in the memo line. 
Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.  For further information about the NNJCF, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail to nnjcf@nnjcf.org.


The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on education, public health, civic engagement, philanthropy, the environment, and the arts.  The 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 www.nnjcf.org, 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 Northern NJ Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen Initiative

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern NJ 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 about the initiative, visit www.nnjcf.org/artsbergen/ .

For more information, 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.

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