Celebrate “National KiddiePreneur Day” with a night of rollerskating and fashion at Branch Brook Skating Rink

The KiddiePreneur Online Academy will be celebrating their “National KiddiePreneur Day” with a “Rock the Rink Glow Fashion and Skating Event” at the Branch Brook Skating Rink on June 18.

The academy is welcoming educators, schools, community programs and individuals to their event. Programs in attendance will have the opportunity for their children to participate in their free entrepreneurial training program, geared towards children 8 to 17-years-old.

The entire skating rink will be rented out for event participants. Ticket price includes admission, skates, pizza, soda, and entertainment such as a fashion showcase, music and vendors.

The fashion show element of the event is seeking child models between the ages of 3 and 16. No experience is required, and interested participants should email info@just4uexpo.com.

Educational institutions and programs in attendance will also receive a copy of the academy’s new book “The KiddiePreneur in You,” which encourages children to start their own businesses to become “leaders of tomorrow.”

The KiddiePreneur Online Academy is an online learning environment where children can learn the skills necessary to be successful in running their own business. The course curriculum includes idea development, marketing, finances, presentation and branding. It ultimately culminates with the participants showcasing their business to family, friends and the public.

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the skating rink, located at 7th Avenue and Clifton Avenue in Newark. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

Featured Image courtesy of the KiddiePreneur Online Academy

Military Park is bustling today, with “Super Tuesday” kicking off several classes and activities for the summer

Visitors can buy fresh produce in the park’s fresh air and buy some snacks for their lunch at the farmers market, which returns today.

Old market favorites will return, including Matarazzo’s produce, kettle corn, soaps and crafts. There are also new offerings such as Meredith County Breads, Santo Burrito, and Anthis Greek Food.

There will be several events at the market throughout the summer, such as a “Friends of the Newark Public Library” book sale on June 16. The book sale will then continue on the second and fourth Tuesday of the summer months.

Two park fitness classes also return today for the Tuesday summer line-up. “Mad Cool Cardio” will be held at 5 p.m. with Jennifer Turner, offering a healthy active workout.

The Newark Yoga Movement will also return to Tuesdays with a 6 p.m. class.

Other events and activities will also be held later in the week. On Wednesday, the ongoing “QBR/Newark Book Festival Author Reading Series” will begin at noon.

This week will feature Kathy Carter reading from and discussing her book “Summertime with Lizzie B. Hayes,” and Anasa Maat, author of books such as “A Little Bit of Honey.”

Later on Saturday, the Military Park Flea Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., featuring vintage items, art, crafts and cosmetics.

Visit MilitaryPark.com for a full calendar of summer events.

Featured image courtesy of Military Park

Gallery Aferro to hold 7th annual benefit art auction and party

Gallery Aferro will be holding their “LUCKY 7, 7th Annual Benefit Art Auction and Party”, featuring art auctions, live entertainment, activities and prizes, on June 13.

The event will include a silent auction of art works by more than 100 established and emerging artists. A large selection of 1990‘s Cuban artwork has recently been added to the auction.

“LUCKY 7” will feature live music by Emily and the Ideals, an “old jazz, flamenco pop, Brazilian bossa, and American soul” band. It will also include different activities such as an interactive art performance by Jackie Du, outdoor art selfie stations, food, and signature cocktails and craft beer from Hunterdon Brewery.

There will also be several prizes available to win, a three-night stay in Reno at the Atlantis Casino Resport and Spa for two, including airfare. Other prizes include a hot air balloon ride, dancing lessons, theater and sporting tickets, fine dining experiences and portraiture sessions.

The party will run after the VIP hour from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., followed by an after-party for participants over 21-years-old, featuring DJ Deep Creep.

VIP tickets include advanced bidding options, such as ‘buy it now,’ on artworks prior to the main event from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All proceeds from tickets and purchases will contribute to Gallery Aferro’s year-round exhibitions, artist residences, publications, public art, educational offerings, and its ongoing expansion as a downtown cultural hub.

Advance tickets are available for purchase online until June 12, and cost $25 for standard tickets and $100 for VIP. Tickets will be more expensive if purchased at the event. Gallery Aferro is located at 73 Market St. in Newark.

Featured Image courtesy of Gallery Aferro

Mayor Ras Baraka and Jesse Jackson to host economic June 2nd

Mayor Ras J. Baraka  and Rainbow PUSH Coalition President and Founder Reverend Jesse L. Jackson will host a summit about leveraging technology for economic success at Rutgers-Newark on June 2nd. Entitled “PUSHing Technology to Achieve Economic Success, ” the event will be held at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, located at 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in downtown Newark.

The one day state-wide event will convene over 200 corporate executives, small business owners, entrepreneurs, academics, and community and faith leaders to discuss the role of technology in the economic development and growth of New Jersey. Its primary goal is to encourage tech education, training, programs and strategic partnerships to ensure New Jersey’s diverse communities are better prepared to take full advantage of tech-driven economic opportunities.

In a nod to the importance of preparing today’s youth to be competitive in the tech space, the summit will also host a youth seminar. That  session will feature discussion of career opportunities in technology, as well as a hands-on introduction to coding.

“Today’s business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees must be prepared to compete in a high tech global economy…As the largest city in New Jersey, Newark is transforming itself with groundbreaking initiatives in public safety, economic development, housing and community engagement. We are looking to lead the way in highlighting the importance technology is playing in our continued economic growth,” commented Mayor Baraka.

Rev. Jackson added, “[The Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project] serves as a catalyst for aggressive change in the areas  of procurement, employment, corporate board diversity and access to capital. During our 18th annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit held this past January, we focused on innovative approaches that corporations and minority entrepreneurs are taking to improve economic diversity,
as well as a focus on the lack of diversity in the tech industry. We look to broaden this discussion at the summit in Newark.”

The summit will feature remarks from Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Dr. Nancy Cantor and State Senator Ronald L. Rice, and will spotlight scholars from Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, who will present information on the most innovative practices for urban economic development, what manufacturing opportunities look like in New Jersey, and what the public and private sector should be doing to drive the growth of the state’s urban centers.

Author and Power Patterns of Innovation CEO Sarah Miller Caldicott, the great-grandniece of inventor Thomas Edison, will discuss her great uncle’s collaboration process as a means to re-skill workers for the digital age, leverage social networks, and propel innovation during the summit’s lunch program. That will be followed Reverend Jackson’s one-on-one conversation with Donald R. Katz, Founder & CEO of
Audible.com., and a panel of New Jersey mayors including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Hillside Mayor Angela R. Garretson, Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, and Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor, moderated by Newark municipal council President Mildred Crump.

The summit will conclude with Rev. Jackson and Mayor Baraka presenting a wrap-up and next steps on how to continue the dialogue around technology, and create strategic partnerships that encourage diversity, building scalable solutions to address and reduce economic disparities, bridging the digital divide, and catalyzing community transformations.

Newark Developer’s Finance Forum keynote speakers announced

The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation and United Fund has announced the group of keynote speakers for their 2015 Developer’s Finance Forum on June 5.

The forum will discuss new trends in public and private finance and real estate development opportunities in Newark. The event welcomes developers, lenders, financial consultants, real-estate professionals, not-for-profits, community development entities and investors.

The keynote speakers are industry experts on “New Market Tax Credits,” EB5 funding options, and other incentives. They include the following:

Margaret Anadu – Vice President of the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs
Julio Colon – Director of Real Estate and Housing for the City of Newark
Samer Hanini – Principal of the Hanini Group development firm, developer of the Hotel Indigo
Colin Rowan – Founding member of the United Fund Advisors and co-head of management and investment activities of UFA
Neil Faden – Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, whose practice represents community development entities, investors, lenders and borrowers
Jeff Monge – Managing Partner of Monge Capital Group, a Latino owned and operated firm focused on providing advisory services for real estate projects
Ommeed Sathe – Vice President and head of the Social Investment Program in the Community Resources Department at Prudential
Tom Oldenburg – originated and structured NMTC and HTC investments located in markets throughout the central United States
Ron Beit – founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, LLC, and president of RBH Management, LLC, asset and property management companies
Gina Nisbeth – Director in the Structured Lending and Investments Group and responsible for the management of Citi’s New Markets Tax Credit program
John Murray – Chief of Credit and Business Development for the NJHMFA.
Matthew Abraham – Senior Business Development Officer in the North working for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

In partnership with the city’s Department of Economic and Housing Development, the forum’s goal is to improve the local and regional economy into one that revitalizes Newark into a city of dynamic neighborhoods.

The event will be held at The Newark Club at 1085 Raymond Blvd. from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost of admission is $50 and interested attendees can RSVP online.

Featured image courtesy of the Newark CEDC and United Fund


United Cycle to lead bike tour for “Better Block Newark”

United Cycle, a Newark biking group, will lead bike tours of Weequahic Park on June 6, as part of the “Better Block Newark” project.

The biking route is 3.6 miles and will be ridden at a slow pace to accommodate everyone. Participants need to bring their own bike, but there will be some rentals available from the Bike Exchange.

There will be two to three tour sessions throughout the day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is open to all ages.

“Better Block Newark” is a pilot initiative of the Department of Economic & Housing Development, modeled off of the national “Better Block” neighborhood revitalization movement. The ongoing Newark project focuses on transforming Bergen Street (between Lyons and Lehigh Avenues) through community efforts.

Featured image via United Cycle


New NJTV studio in Newark, boasting community meeting room and welcoming public viewing of nightly broadcast, enjoys ribbon cutting

The new Agnes Varis NJTV studio on the 2 Gateway Center concourse here in Newark, which hosted the first broadcast of its NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams show on May 18th, enjoyed its official coming out party yesterday with a formal ribbon cutting. The ceremony featured remarks by Senator Cory Booker, Essex County Executive Joseph D. DiVincenzo, New Jersey Senate President Steven Sweeney, station General Manager John Servidio, WNET CEO Neal Shapiro and a host of other New Jersey political figures and station board members and personalities.

The speakers touted the station and its new facility as saviors for New Jersey public television, with Booker and DiVincenzo calling out the station’s particular significance to the media and redevelopment landscape in Newark and Essex County. Before relocating to its new 10,645 square-foot space in Newark, thanks in large part to a $2 million gift from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust, the station was headquartered at Montclair State University.

The anchor chair in the new studio faces out to the concourse, enabling passersby to see Mary Alice Williams in action when the broadcast airs live on weekdays for an hour starting at 6 p.m. “There’s a feeling that people walking outside are part of the newscast,” said Servidio in a telephone call a few hours before the ribbon cutting. “At 6 o’clock, we pipe the audio into the hallway, and people stop and look,” he added.

The new location confers many benefits on the station: a central location for its 50 employees via its connection to Newark Penn Station, top-notch infrastructure, and the dynamism of a highly-trafficked location that may increase awareness of the station and, ultimately, viewership and viewer support for the public television channel.

But it also promises to add some cachet to the media scene here in Newark. In addition to the purposefully visible view of the station’s newsroom and anchor desk to the public, the station also boasts the New Jersey Manufacturer’s community room, a space that will be available for meetings, seminars, talks, and other community events. Servidio called that space “the Barnes and Noble of NJTV.”

“I think the longer we’re here, the more people are going to look at us,” Servidio said. “And the longer they’re here, the more likely they are to become members,” he added.

NJTV with Mary Alice Williams airs live weeknights at 6 p.m., and re-airs at 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., on THIRTEEN and NJTV.

The Artisan Collective to host closing reception for “Art at the Waterfront” and other summer events

The Artisan Collective is hosting many artistic events, programs and classes throughout the summer, beginning with a closing reception for “Art at the Waterfront” on Friday, May 29 at 5 p.m., located at 2 Grafton Ave. in Newark.

“Art at the Waterfront” features works from established and up-and-coming artists from Newark and the surrounding area. The reception will also include a spoken word performance by John Freddy Hurtado at 6:30 p.m.

Afterwards, participants can head downtown to enjoy live poetry and spoken word at “Crack the Mic,” an Artisan Collective event located at 25 Halsey St.

Attendees of the reception will receive $5 off admission to “Crack the Mic.” Regular admission is $15.

The Artisan Collective will also be holding several wine tasting events and do-it-yourself craft classes throughout the summer. Check out more information on how to RSVP for these events below.

DIY Candlemaking – June 13
1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. Learn how to make candles. $15 per person. Cost includes supplies and materials. RSVP by emailing moniquedecor@yahoo.com

DIY Beach Bagmaking- June 27
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn how to sew your own stylish beach bag to get ready for the beach. $15 per person. Cost includes supplies and materials. RSVP by emailing sewwhatbaglady@yahoo.com

Wine Tasting Wednesdays- June 3 (Wines of Portugal), July 1 (NY and NJ Wines), August 5 (South African Wines)
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Join the Sipper’s Delight Wine Tasting Social Club at The Artisan Collective for wine sipping and socializing in a fun and unpretentious environment. One the first Wednesday of every month, the club tastes and discusses three new wines. Light refreshments are also provided. This event is a great way to develop your wine tasting skills, learn about different wines and meet other wine enthusiasts. Admission is $10.

Featured image courtesy of The Artisan Collective

City’s new “We Are Newark” Tumblr showcases city employees

The City of Newark recently launched a new Tumblr blog entitled WeAreNewark, meant to showcase what Mayor Ras Baraka calls “Newark 3.0,” embodied in this case by a diverse legion of city employees.

The inaugural post is a profile of Carrie Velez, the city’s principal personnel technician. Angela Daniels, the city’s press officer and social media manager, said these snapshots of city employees are meant to put a face behind the people who ultimately make the city run. “Everyone’s job is important, and we are using this blog as a method to showcase who we are, what makes us different, and also use this as an outlet to share our love for our City,” she wrote in an email, before adding that the blog would highlight other developments in town.

True to its name, the blog is meant to further press home Baraka’s “we are the mayor” message from the campaign, underscoring just how many people who were heretofore unknown to the general public work behind the scenes in city government. City employees interested in being featured on the blog are asked to contact Daniels at danielsan@ci.newark.nj.us.

Newark Museum to hold 48th annual Fireman’s Muster

Families can become fire safety ambassadors, try on fire equipment, work the hoses and join in on other festivities at the at the 48th Annual Fireman’s Muster, which will be held on Sunday, June 7, at the Newark Museum and across the street in Washington Park.

Presented by the Newark Fire Department Historical Association and the Newark Museum, festivities and programming are scheduled in Washington Park, inside the museum and in the Newark Fire Museum.

An exhibition of model fire trucks will be on display in Washington Park, and a fire themed family activities will be ongoing throughout the day. A parade of antique fire trucks will begin at 12:20 p.m., and the Newark Firefighters Pipe and Drum Band will perform there at 3 p.m.

Hands-on family activities scheduled at the museum include a fire safety and hose demonstration, “Make Your Own Fire Truck,” “Bucket Brigade,” a “Fire Needs Air” demonstration, and “Make Your Own Fire Badge.”

There will also be available tours of the Newark Fire Museum, which is located in the Alice Dreyfuss Memorial Garden on the Newark Museum grounds.

Food and drink will be available courtesy of the Newark Fire Department. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.