Beyond Exile: Cubans in New Jersey exhibit presented by Newark Public Library

The Newark Public Library’s annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration will feature an exhibit Beyond Exile: Cubans in New Jersey and a series of complementary public programs at the Main Library on 5 Washington Street.

New Jersey is home to the second-largest Cuban population in the United States; the area of Union City and West New York was nicknamed “Havana on the Hudson” in the late 70s and 80s. Beyond Exile illustrates why Cubans were drawn to the Garden State during the second half of the 20th century and how— as they built strong, intimate, and vibrant communities—they transformed the culture and economies of many towns in Northern New Jersey.

The exhibit also examines the roles of women, the arts, religion, political culture, and the effect of exile itself in the community’s immigrant experience. It includes a selection of works by Cuban-American artists, historical maps of La Habana, photographs, and vintage Cuban postcards from the Library’s Special Collections Division. The exhibit will be on view in the Main Library’s 2nd Floor Gallery during regular Library hours, Monday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from September 17 through December 31, 2015.

Sociologist Lisandro Pérez will present the keynote address at the opening reception on September 17 at 6 pm in Centennial Hall. Dr. Pérez has devoted his career to the study of Cuba, with particular attention to the Cuban presence in the United States. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York and is the author of The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States.

Additional programs include a concert, The History of Cuba in 12 Songs, on September 26 at 2 p.m., and a film screening of The New Latinos followed by a panel discussion on October 17 at 2 p.m. Both programs are cosponsored by Rutgers University Libraries as part of the ‘Latino Americans: 500 Years of History’ grant project.

A lecture and demonstration, Defining La Regla Lucumí: Dispelling Misconceptions about Santeria, on November 7 at 2 p.m. will explore the evolution of Santería in Cuba, its preservation as a legitimate system of belief and worship, and its connection to art, music and everyday life. This event is presented in partnership with La Casa de Educación y Cultura Latina, Inc. of Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

On November 21 at 2 p.m., viewers of the short film The Lost Child will follow the personal journey of one of the more than 14,000 children sent from Cuba to the United States by their parents in the early 1960s as part of what came to be known as “Operation Peter Pan”—the largest recorded exodus of unaccompanied minors in the western hemisphere. The series of programs ends on December 5 at 2 p.m. with Moving to the Rhythms of Cuba, a guided tour through Cuba’s rich and diverse dance and musical landscape, from early African percussion to modern-day Salsa and Timba.

La Casa de Don Pedro’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program will host a Domestic Violence Prevention Fair in collaboration with the Newark Public Library and Union City Artist Collective. The event will be held on the 4th floor of the Library on October 5 through October 7 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

On October 24 at 2 p.m., join author Fausto Romero for a book presentation (in Spanish) of the novel Los Rieles del TamarindoEl tiempo del Cóndor followed by a discussion and signing.


The Newark Public Library is located at 5 Washington Street. All programs are free and open to the public. More details about the exhibit and programs are available at http://www.npl.org. Please call the Sala Hispanoamericana at 973–733–7772 or email ibetancourt@npl.org for further information or for group visits.

Find the above-noted events on here on BrickCityLive.com’s calendar.

Featured image used via Creative Commons license.

(Em)Power Dynamics exhibit opens at The Gateway Project tomorrow

tomorrowThe art exhibition (Em)Power Dynamics: Exploring the Modes of Female Empowerment and Representation in America, will debut tomorrow at The Gateway Project with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The exhibition features the work of thirteen artists, and is inspired by work dating from two generations of American feminist art: Georgia O’Keeffe’s early twentiety century flower paintings, and Ana Mendieta’s Untitled (Facial Cosmetic Variations), dated 1972.

these artists exemplify the diversities of concerns, aesthetics, concepts, and approaches that make up the movement. The participating artists look to confront the pervasiveness of patriarchy within the American social landscape with their work.

In selecting artists for the exhibit, The Gateway Project sought to showcase the wide diversity of concerns, aesthetics, concepts, and approaches that comprise feminism and feminist art. Participating artists include Jaishri Abichandani, Renée Cox, Ayana Evans, FLUCT, Angela Fraleigh, Chitra Ganesh, Rachel Mason, Marilyn Minter, Sophia Narrett, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Michele Pred, Ventiko, and Shoshanna Weinberger.

Newswire: 3rd Annual Hot Rods & Classic Car Show Returns to Newark’s North Ward

Hot cars, cool music, great food and fun for the whole family will return to Mt. Prospect Avenue in Newark’s historic Forest Hill neighborhood when Mt. Prospect Partnership (MPP) presents the 3rd Annual Hot Rods & Classic Car Show on Sunday, September 13th from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. The Partnership has also partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the event to help raise awareness and financial support for the fight against breast cancer. Admission is free for the general public. The rain date is September 20th.

This year’s show will award over $1100 in cash prizes, with more than 100 vehicles expected to compete for top honors. Other event highlights will include a chance to meet Superman, Batman and Captain America, music provided by the Newark Arts High School Jazz Ensemble plus a DJ, a variety of food and ice cream vendors and children’s entertainment like face painters, stilt walkers, balloon artists and more.

“Thousands of people from Newark and other communities in Essex County and beyond participated in last year’s event and we expect more this year,” noted Frank Petolino, MPP’s Executive Director. “We are attracting lots of local classic car owners and enthusiasts and more from outside of Newark with ties to the city who want to be part of the family-friendly atmosphere we have created on the Avenue for the show.”

“We look forward to welcoming community members and visitors to the car show and showcasing the streetscape upgrades, new welcome banners and other improvements the Partnership has supported that are changing the face of our community,” stated Michael Sheehan, MPP President. “For classic car owners, it’s a minimal amount ($15 pre-show/$20 day of show) for a great event, great prizes and a worthy cause. For attendees, it’s a wonderful time to enjoy together with friends, family and neighbors.”

Mt. Prospect Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic during the event between Delavan Avenue and Heller Parkway. Absolutely no bicycles or skateboards will be allowed in the display area.

Staging of the vehicles will start on the day of the event between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Those that register early to secure specific locations must be in their assigned spots by 9:30 a.m. or they may lose those specific locations.

For more information about the event or to register, please contact Frank Petolino (973-481-6200) or Chris Bernardo (973-424-6499). Prospective participants can also pick up a registration form at Petolino Florist (650 Mt. Prospect Avenue).

“The Prize” author Dale Russakoff to discuss Newark education reform at public library panel

The Newark Public Library will be hosting a panel discussion and book signing to commemorate the publication of The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools, by journalist Dale Russakoff, on September 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Prize details the fate of the $100 million pledge made to Newark schools by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2010. The New York Times called the book “brilliantly reported” and a “sobering yet exhilarating tale” that may be “one of the most important books on education to come along in years.”

The book’s author, a former Washington Post reporter who is also a member of the Newark Historical Society, will be a part of the panel discussion.

Other panelists include Shané Harris, Vice-President of the Prudential Foundation; Mary Bennett, former Newark Public Schools teacher and leadership coach;  and Ryan Hill, executive director of KIPP NJ Charter Schools. The panel will be moderated by Richard Roper, president of the public policy consulting firm The Roper Group.

Free books will be given out to the first one hundred event attendees, courtesy of the Victoria Foundation. The Prize will also be available for purchase and signing.

The free public event will take place in Centennial Hall in the library. RSVP by calling the library at 973-733-7793. The Newark Public Library is located at 5 Washington Street in Newark.

Featured images courtesy of the Newark Public Library

Bassist Mimi Jones to perform free WBGO jazz concert in Newark

Jazz enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a free concert this week in Newark featuring bassist Mimi Jones, hosted by WBGO radio. The concert will take place Wednesday, September 2 at 12 p.m. at 2 Gateway Center in downtown Newark.

Jones has toured all over the world as a United States Jazz Ambassador, and performed or recorded with artists such as Lionel Hampton and Tia Fuller.

Newark Public Radio, WBGO Jazz88.3FM was New Jersey’s first public radio station that strives to promote and preserve jazz as an American cultural art form. The radio station has been producing free concerts for the Newark public since 1981.

WBGO’s “Afternoon Jazz” and “Singers Unlimited” host Michael Bourne will present the concert.

Featured image via WBGO

Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival will hit Newark this Fall

The city will come alive with art this October, with a vast variety of visual, performing and literary art cropping up throughout Newark during the “Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival,” hosted by the Newark Arts Council from October 15 to October 18.

“Open Doors” will take place throughout the Newark community across 40 venues, each celebrating “Newark’s unique and diverse contributions to the arts and to American culture,” according to the council.

The festival will include work in diverse mediums, in forms such as art installations, new media, poetry and screenings. The art has been curated by the Newark Arts Council from submissions from local artists. Thursday evening will kick off the festival with a “traditional art reception.”

The council is still looking for volunteers and sponsors of the festival. Individuals, groups, organizations and businesses interested in participating in the festival should contact Joyce Anne Judd at joyceanne@newarkarts.org.

For more information about the festival or the Newark Arts council, visit www.newarkarts.org, or call the council’s office at 973-643-1625, and stay tuned for an events schedule.

The Newark Arts Council is located at 17 Academy Street in Newark, and it is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Featured image courtesy of the Newark Arts Council 

Scene: Co-Creating in Newark at Co-Lab Open Mic

Work by Newark artists line the exposed brick walls of Seed Gallery, located on the third floor of a Market Street walk-up downtown Newark.

But Seed doesn’t just showcase the work of Newark’s visual artists. At 8 p.m. every Tuesday night, Newark-area singers, instrumentalists, spoken word artists and rappers trudge up the gallery’s steep and narrow stairs, some with instruments in tow, to participate in Co-Lab, an event that is parts open mic, art show, and concert.

seed gallery tableau

Above: A sampling of Co-Lab’s weekly flyers

Seed Gallery founder Gizem Bacaz describes the weekly event as “a fusion of different vibes, all created by chance.” Since the gallery’s inception in 2007, Bacaz and her team have used the space to encourage local artists of all genres to showcase their work. Co-Lab is a weekly manifestation of Seed’s mission.

“Seed is not your cookie-cutter art gallery,” said 33 year-old Bacaz before last week’s open mic. “It’s more involved, and there’s more life to it.”

In addition to their gallery setting, the key appeal of the Co-Lab open mics is that audience members and performers can’t predict how the evening will take shape. Instead, both parties co-create the show as it goes along.

This particular night, dim lights and the seductive sounds of R&B set the tone for the evening as performers take the stage. The mix was eclectic: soulful musings about natural hair in one performance; stories culled from the streets of Newark and reenacted on stage in rap form in another.

“What happens at Co-Lab is the turning of your life into art. That’s really what it’s all about,” said Bacaz.

Co-Lab is intended as a safe space where the line between art and life is blurred and where artists find themselves dissecting history, politics and society in the name of performance. According to Bacaz, this differentiates Co-Lab from any other open mic on the scene.

“Co-Lab isn’t just an open mic, it’s a full fledged experience,” Bacaz concluded.

Relax and refresh at Military Park this weekend at the first Urban Stress Less Festival

City life can be stressful, but the Newark Collective is offering a day out for women and families to unwind, reduce stress and improve their health. The first Urban Stress Less Fest will be held this Saturday, August 29 at Military Park from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“The Urban Stress Less Festival is a celebration of life designed to bring awareness to women about the causes of urban stress, and how it affects our health and well being,”  said Camille Ferguson, Newark resident and founder of the Newark Collective, who is completing her PhD in the study of urban stress at Rutgers University in Newark. The Newark Collective is an informal collection of women scholar community activists.

Programs at the festival include a vision board workshop, fitness demonstrations by the Newark Yoga Movement and Move it Nation, activities for kids such as the Montclair Art Museum Art Truck, music and more.

Those who can’t make the Urban Stress Less Fest can still get their share of relaxation in the park this weekend. “Sweet Peace Yoga” with certified yoga instructor Fayemi Shakur will be held on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Children’s Garden. “Gentle Yoga on Sundays” will be held the following day at 1:30 p.m. with Leslie Banger.

In the meantime, the Urban Stress Festival is recommending a “Five Star Approach” for mitigating the effect of stress.

  • Being mindful.
  • Paying attention to our mental,emotional and physical health and being.
  • Maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends and others.
  • Paying attention to our resource stability, such as occupation, finances and credit.
  • Achieving a work-life balance.

Military Park is located at 920 Broad Street in Newark, and it offers daily activities , classes, free Wi-Fi, and entertainment facilities. For more information on park activities, visit the park’s website.

Featured image courtesy of Newark Yoga Movement. 

Sample organic food grown by local urban farmers at Harvest to Table Fest this week

Organic food lovers will have a chance to taste locally grown produce, chat with urban farmers and enjoy the goods at Harvest Table, a daytime healthy cafe in Newark, from August 24 to August 28. 

Harvest Table owner Carissa Borraggine has partnered with Tobias A. Fox, the founder of Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. to bring patrons to the restaurant to sample organic food, and learn why buying from local farmers will help both their personal health and community pride. 

The event is called “Harvest to Table Fest” and Newark SAS hopes it will boost the trend of buying local by putting a spotlight on local growers. 

“It is our goal to create a local green economy and organizing events like this is definitely leading us in that direction,” Fox said. 

“This event is important because many local residents don’t even realize that they have access to fresh, organic produce right in their own neighborhood,” Borraggine said. “These growers are doing wonderful things for the community, and we want to support them.”

Harvest Table is located at 127 Halsey Street in downtown Newark and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cafe normally offers a collection of healthy sandwiches, salads, coffee and smoothies. 

For more information you can contact Fox at 646-399-0337 or email glocal@sasglocal.com.

Featured image courtesy of Newark Science and Sustainability Inc. 

Newark Museum Second Sunday program continues on January 10

The Newark Museum Second Sunday program features lectures, performances, tours, art and science demonstrations and workshops, music, and a special brunch menu. The day runs from noon to 5 pm and all events are free with admission unless otherwise noted.

The January 10 event will celebrate the holidays and the exhibitions The Shape of Light: Gabriel Dawe, Outside the Lines: Color Across the Collections and Chromatics: Minimalism and Color Field Experiments.

Program highlights include:

  • Brunch, catered by David Ellis Events and entertainment provided by NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens Ensemble, noon – 2 pm. Reservations are required; admission is $19.75 for full buffet brunch and $9.75 for continental breakfast. For tickets, call 973.596.6553.
  • Artist demonstration with Judy Langille, 12:30-1:30 pm and 2-3:30 pm Nationally-acclaimed fiber artist and arts educator, Judy Langille showcases her process in creating quilts, often layering color, shape and texture using hand-dyed fabrics. Along with her students, she invites visitors to explore and experiment with stitching techniques
  • Creative Play children’s activities, 1, 2, & 3 pm. Children will explore the lines and color of the quilts in our collection and create a mini-quilt to take home.
  • Newark Museum through the Eyes of Gallery Aferro Artists: Kenseth Armstead, 2pm, Kenseth Armstead, who has exhibited his videos and multi-media installations worldwide, finds works that inspire, intrigue and resonate with his artistic process.
  • Performance by New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra, 3 pm. Be swept off your feet with a special performance by the New Jersey Symphony Chamber Orchestra.  Mozart, Beethoven, Dvořák and Ravel transport you to Austria of the 18th- and 19th- centuries, America in the late 19th- century, and Paris at the turn of the 20th-century.
  • Conversation with Artist Michael James, 4 pm. Michael James, one of America’s most highly acclaimed contemporary art quilters and Newark Museum Chief Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts,Ulysses Dietz discuss James’s creative process, innovative use of materials and the impact of new technologies on contemporary quilt making.

For further information, visit www.newarkmuseum.org.