(Hackensack, New Jersey; October 21, 2022)—The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative joins thousands of arts organizations, programs and communities nationwide to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month and Discover Jersey Arts Month in the Garden State.
The NNJCF, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on the arts, civic engagement, education, the environment, philanthropy, and public health.
Black Women's Mural to be Painted
From October 28 through November 11, the public is invited to watch artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh paint the "Black Women's Mural: Celebrating Black Suffragists and Black Women in Englewood" using the design input from Black women in the city and the larger community. During those days, the painting takes place during general hours Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. Filming of a video, sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Englewood and the Teaneck Englewood And Vicinity Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., will also take place, documenting the project and mural process, as a memorable event in women’s history in Englewood. The design will be painted and revealed on the east-facing wall of The Women's Rights Information Center building, located at 108 West Palisade Avenue in downtown Englewood, New Jersey.
Fazlalizadeh, a Black-Iranian visual artist and Oklahoma City native, is a painter, whose work ranges from the gallery to the streets, using visual art to address the daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people through beautifully drawn and painted portraits. Her street art series, “Stop Telling Women to Smile”, addressing sexual harassment in public spaces, appears on walls across the globe. In 2019, she was the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, the New Yorker, and Time Magazine profiled her work.
Black Women's Mural Reveal
The mural will celebrate Black women's voices, raise awareness about Black suffragists, and encourage civil discourse within the community. The official reveal of the Black Women's Mural takes place on November 14, 2022 at 3 p.m. in an outdoor ceremony. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation and its partners invite the public to celebrate the completion of this special project driven by Englewood Black women and the Black suffragists, who inspired them.
The NNJCF's ArtsBergen initiative is implementing the project in collaboration with these community partners: The Women’s Rights Information Center, Metro Community Center, and the Woman’s Club of Englewood. The major supporters for the project are the NNJCF, AARP New Jersey, Valley Bank, Sozosei Foundation, Visions Federal Credit Union, Age-Friendly Englewood, and PNC Bank. Learn more about the project on the Foundation's website at https://bit.ly/AARPCommunityGrant and bit.ly/3qpZvTG.
SACKtoberfest Kicked Off the Arts Celebration
On the beautiful, sunny Saturday of October 15, the NNJCF's ArtsBergen kicked off National Arts & Humanities Month and celebrated Discover Jersey Arts Month with three free public arts projects focused on storytelling activities held at SACKtoberfest in a fun Oktoberfest event in Atlantic Park in Hackensack. The three family friendly events featured:
• "Our Stories Are Main Street" Community Tiled Mural. The nonprofit co-Lab Arts collaborated with muralist Amrisa Niranjan to design an arts mural cut into tiles on which festival participants shared their own ‘Main Street moments’. A photo of the finished arts mural and the stories will be incorporated into the ‘Stories on Main Story Map’ on The SACK Business Alliance’s website.
• The Hacktivator’, an arts favorite! Two sets of actors performed a participant-prompted comedy improvisation and ‘mad lib stories’ for participants activating the Hacktivator booth. Passersby activated the ‘Hacktivator’ and watched the actors from Howdy Stranger, as well as Claire Porter and Renee Reddings Jones create a personal comedy performance just for them.
• The ‘Stories on Main Street’ Docuseries. This series, highlighting the inspirational stories of immigrant business owners on Main Street in Hackensack, was presented in two screenings at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. The featured business owners were Domenico and Marco Daniele from Coffee Break and Nelfita Rodas from Colombia Bakery Factory. The series also presented Yusef and Tugce Ural from El Turco Grill and Aida Yungasaca from Colombia Fashion LLC telling their stories. Award-winning filmmaker Dana Glazer filmed and produced the four, five-minute documentaries spotlighting immigrants, who own and run a business on Main Street in Hackensack.
Celebrate the Contributions of the Arts
During National Arts & Humanities Month, the NNJCF's ArtsBergen initiative brings the message of the important contributions of the arts to communities in northern New Jersey. Members of the community and artists in all fields are encouraged to participate in what has become the country’s largest annual collective celebration of the arts and humanities.
“Whether you watch or listen or do it yourself, the arts allow us to explore ideas, express emotions, and better appreciate other cultures. National Arts and Humanities Month is an opportunity to enjoy a little more art for yourself and to recognize and celebrate its positive impact. I hope that everyone will take part to celebrate and recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities,” said Nolen V. Bivens, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.
Arts: Lifeblood of Communities
Americans for the Arts coordinates national Arts and Humanities Month. This month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, started in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts. More information about National Arts and Humanities Month is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org/nahm.
About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
Founded in 1998, 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, the environment, philanthropy, 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 and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.
ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an 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 Bergen County artists and arts organizations and connect the communities in the region to the arts.
For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (201) 568-5608. Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen, Instagram at nnjcf_artsbergen, Twitter @NNJCF and YouTube.
Photo Caption: ‘The Hacktivator’ entertained passersby at SACKtoberfest in Hackensack.
Photo credit: Northern New Jersey Community Foundation