The third annual Unity Day Festival on Avon Avenue is on September 6. And they’ll attempt a Guinness World Record

In just over a week, the third annual Power Of One Unity Day Festival will kick off on Saturday, September 6, at 10 a.m. on Avon Avenue between Treacy Avenue and 14th Street.

The Unity Day festival was originally organized in 2012 by a group of ministers, including Minister Marvin Cratch, after a bullet pierced a window of the Good Samaritan Church. The festival was a plea to change the community and end the violence on Avon Avenue, even for just one day. The organizers say 4,000 people attended that first Unity Day festival.

Since then, the event has grown to feature numerous artists and performers. Liz Black, a popular radio personality at New York’s 107.5 WBLS, is now hosting the event. And the festival spurred the creation of the Power of One 3C Foundation, which aims to further enhance the relationship between the church, the community, and the city.

“The goal is to entertain, educate, and enhance,” said Minister Cratch. “We believe that when everyone works together within the community, we can address problems and deliver outcomes that are not easily or effectively achieved by working alone.”

The organizers say the objective of bringing the community together through the annual Unity Day Festival is made possible by the effort, donations, and support of individuals and the community. The event itself is comprised of live entertainment, music, comedy, vendors, food, dancing, prayer, and a scavenger hunt, all at no charge. Volunteer registration for the event is still open on its website.

And this year’s Unity Day could go down in the record books, literally. One of the events scheduled for Unity Day 2014 is an attempt to make the Guinness World Records by organizing the world’s largest praise dance.  The praise dance being attempted is the "Christian Walk", a dance performed to gospel musician Darren “Deac” Edwards’ song by the same name. (If you’re not familiar with the dance and would like to “get walking”, check out the video below, or see it here.)

Local hip-hop artist Shakespear is a finalist in the Underground Music Awards

Local rapper Shakespear has been nominated for "Most Dynamic Solo Artist" in the 11th annual Underground Music Awards. The winner of the category is determined by the number of online votes the artist receives.

The awards draw from a national pool of independent music and music-related talent, including hip-hop and R&B artists, plus writers, producers, DJ's, and journalists. The event itself will take place on September 21, and include the awards, performances, and seminars. As in years past, this year's awards ceremony will be held at B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in Times Square.

The other artists nominated in the category are Cozz, Termanology, Mic Handz, D Chamberz, Oun P, and Kur. Voting opened this past Sunday, August 10, and runs through Friday, September 10. The voting page for the Dynamic Solo Artist award is available on the UMA's voting page.

Learn more about Shakespear at his website,, and on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud.

Updated 8/14/2014:

Shakespear just released a new track commenting on Michael Brown's killing:


Best of the fest: Newark’s Lincoln Park Music Festival is underway this weekend. The best posts and photos of the weekend

The ninth annual Lincoln Park Music Festival is underway this weekend! We have a live feed of photos, posts, and updates directly from the festival grounds in Lincoln Park. This year, supporters can help keep the festival free by contributing to their Indiegogo campaign, which will be live through Monday morning.


Lincoln Park music festival to feature events in run-up to festival weekend, including cocktail fundraiser tomorrow

The 9th annual Lincoln Park Music Festival will take place the weekend after next, from Friday, July 25th to Sunday, July 27th. This year, the festival's organizers have instituted a number of fundraising opportunities to help keep the yearly festival free, including their first-ever Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which will accept contributions through July 28.

Tomorrow from 6pm to 9pm, the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District (LPCCD), which produces the festival, will host a $25 cocktail fundraiser at the Robert Treat Hotel, overlooking the Sounds of the City concert at the New Jersy Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Advance tickets for the reception are available online.

The following Wednesday, July 23rd, LPCCD will host an invitation-only "Festival Kickoff Soiree" featuring Grammy-nominated artist Luke James. Tomorrow's cocktail reception attendees will have a chance to win an invite to the event, which is being held at a secret location.

The next day, on Thursday the 24th, LPCCD will co-host NJPAC's Sounds of the City concert featuring Red Baraat.

The festival itself gets underway on Friday the 25th. As in past years, Friday will feature jazz and gospel, Satuday will focus on house music, featuring a performance by Melba Moore, and Sunday will feature hip-hop, including performances by Newark natives Redman and Du Kelly, otherwise known as Do-it-All from Lords of the Underground.

Image credit:

Hark! On an early summer night, Shakespeare in a Newark park


Stroll past the people playing table tennis and dodge children chasing each other on scooters, and a Newark parkgoer could witness yet another novel sight in the city's newly renovated Military Park.

It was the Next Stage Ensemble, acting William Shakespeare's comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and their captive audience, lounging in park-issued chairs, their own lounge chairs, and on blankets.




The Next Stage Ensemble, a program of the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, put on an hourlong version of the much longer play on the park's north lawn. While Shakespeare in the park is a time-honored summer tradition in New York City, Newarkers and other visitors got to experience the English bard's play on a near-perfect summer evening without crossing the Hudson.

The diverse audience was actively engaged with the play, frequently laughing as the story built to its crescendo. And the nine-person acting company was itself the picture of energy and adaptability: they contended with the sounds of the city, managed their own frequent costume changes, and changed out the set themselves, all while bringing the audience into the play's plot.




"We knew this was an outdoor space in Newark, but we didn't quite know the exact location," said one of the actors during an audience question and answer session after the play. "We were like, 'Alright, here we go. It's gonna be a challenge,'" he said.

But even more notable than the challenge of staging a play in an outdoor city environment was the availability of a fun, free, family-friendly cultural experience in a lovely public space here in town. "I've been studying Shakespeare since I was a young kid," said Jah Jah Shakur, a professor at Essex County College, "so to see that in downtown Newrk, here in Military Park, was fascinating."




After the play was over, patrons of a nearby bar were themselves fascinated to hear what they'd just missed. "I love it," said one patron, "Newark needs a lot more stuff like this. You don't always want to go to Manhattan to get some culture," she said.

"I'd love to see something like this in Weequahic Park," she continued.

Military Park features daily programming that includes, games, fitness, and poetry.  For a full schedule of Military Park activities, visit the calendar on the park's website.



The Traveler’s Newark: North Carolina-based acoustic artist Alex Christie plays Taste Venue [video]

Releases: Oprah’s bringing her 8-city tour to Newark


Los Angeles — Harpo Studios, O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) announced today the Fall 2014 launch of "Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend," an eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend featuring Oprah Winfrey and a team of special guests, sponsored by Olay and Toyota. The tour’s only New York metro area appearance will take place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on September 26-27, 2014.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning April 7 at 10 a.m. local time at

“All of my life I have wanted to lead people to an empathy space. To a gratitude space,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.”

Each tour stop will span two days. On Friday nights, Oprah will take the stage, bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening.  Then on Saturdays, Oprah will lead a day-long gathering of thousands with handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s hit series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell. Additionally, world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Deepak Chopra will take the stage in select cities.

Tickets for the weekend event start at $99. In addition, VIP experience, concierge and gift bag opportunities will be available depending on ticket level. For more information on the tour, visit

#BrickCity: Boris Bernard Pops Sh%t at SEED Gallery


It's the newest monthly mashup of art, music, and open gallery space in town. The invites for Boris Bernard's first monthly Pop Sh%t art show went out last week, along with this promo video.

The first Pop Sh%t, which will be held the third Wednesday of the month at SEED Gallery (Downtown Newark – 210 Market Street, 3rd floor, between Broad and Mulberry), was last night. Boris mingled with attendees with his usual kinetic energy on full display. His host (and the muse for a few of the pieces), Kasper Vargas, arrived soon after.

boris pop sh-t

SEED also hosts the CO-LAB open mic every Tuesday from 8PM to 1AM. See Boris' work from the show in the slideshow below:

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Showcase you sandbox

I am setting the record straight: style is not about wearing the latest trends or, dare I put it out there, the best name brands. Style is infusing your personality, interests, and life story into your look. It is the creation of a unique visual that is great only because it is 100% you.

So I thought I’d share some ways I see people creating personal style. I’ll lay out some general styles so you can decide which you gravitate towards, but remember: it is about you…it always has been.

Men Style

Women Style 

These are just a few types of styles. There are so many others, and they mean different things to different people. My desire is to show and identify some of them, and to see where you may find yourself. You can even mix them up and give me modern with vintage touches. The rule is: there is no rule.

Perhaps you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself. You might want to jump from one to the other and be a style chameleon. I know I do on a given day. I can be vintage and jump into a hip hop look with ease. Sometimes a modern aesthetic is calling me, and another day calls for my maximum sartorialist look a la Mad Men. The point here is to know them and infuse the different aspects of yourself into them. After all, that is what style is all about.


Which Style do you gravitate towards? Let me know?



Sneak peak: The sentinel of Broad and Market

We ask again: do you know this man?

He’s Max Henry, and he’s been selling house music and classics at Broad and Market streets for 20 years (disclosure: I’m a customer). BrickCityLive hung out with Henry this weekend to talk music, politics, who is benefitting from changes in Newark, who is not, and his not-so-hidden artistic talent. Look out for the full interview following our beta launch next week.