(Hackensack, New Jersey; February 12, 2020) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a leader in creative placemaking in the region, is offering scholarships to attend The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking’s Northeast Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit from March 26 to 27 in Philadelphia. Residents of Bergen County, New Jersey, who are artists, non-profit, municipal, arts, or community leaders, or whose work or practice is designed to enhance communities, are eligible for a scholarship up to $250 to attend the Summit. Further information about the scholarships and an application are available at www.cpcommunities.org/
Creative placemaking is the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block to build more vibrant communities and stronger local economies. “The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation continues to promote its work as an advocate and practitioner of creative placemaking in Northern New Jersey by providing consulting services and learning opportunities such as a scholarship to attend this Summit. This is an opportunity for attendees to learn new skills, network, and make connections,” 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. For further information about the Summit, visit The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking’s website, https://www.cpcommunities.org/
NNJCF: A Proponent of Creative Placemaking
The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a Hackensack 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 in the region. The NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative holds a 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 Bergen County
Since 2015, NNJCF’s ArtsBergen has partnered 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 was 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, including the Demarest Place Walkway Mural ‘Greetings from The Sack, New Jersey; ‘The Hacktivator’ a temporary live, interactive art installation at a NJ Transit Bus Station in Hackensack that gathered commuters’ feedback about what they would like to see on Demarest Place; and the Main Street Alliance’s ‘Live Painting on Vintage Doors’ at the Downtown Hackensack MAIN Music Art Brew & Fare.
NNJCF’s ArtsBergen also assisted with the development and implementation of several other public art projects in downtown Hackensack. These included the Main Gateway Mural, a 60 foot mural beautifying a burnt down building; ‘Art on a Stick: Raccoons’, a series of anthropomorphic raccoons bringing the ordinary to life, at the Johnson Public Library; and the ‘Utility ARTBox Project’, a street art project that presents anti-littering messages via art on utility boxes along Main Street and beyond.
In 2019, the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen expanded its creative placemaking work into the municipalities of Bogota and Ridgefield Park. Partnering with Bogota Beautiful, the Borough of Bogota, artist Katherine Daniels, and the Bergen Makerspace, the public art project, The Path of Us: A Public Art Fence Weaving, was created and installed at Oscar E. Olsen Park on West Main Street before the Lt. William C Ryan (USMC) Memorial Bridge (formerly the Midtown Bridge) in Bogota.
Throughout 2019, The Foundation worked with the Village of Ridgefield Park to assess and gather community members’ input in several forums about public art they envisioned in the municipality. This collaboration informed a Public Art Plan, developed and written by NNJCF’s ArtsBergen, to be considered for adoption into the Ridgefield Park Master Plan.
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, the environment, 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.
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 www.nnjcf.org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 201-568-5608.
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