Newark Celebration 350 offering full schedule of events to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day, kickoff yearlong jubilee

newark celebration 350 cardNewark Celebration 350 (NC350), the yearlong commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Newark’s founding, has announced a citywide celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This weekend’s NC350 calendar will kick off a year’s worth of celebratory and commemorative programs and activities.

This weekend’s activities include performances, film screenings, panel discussions, and family-oriented programs. Read on both for this weekend’s schedule and for the newest additions to yearlong celebration.

Key Newark Celebration 350 events commemorating Dr. King:

YMCA of Newark 45th Annual Memorial Breakfast Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 8am at Robert Treat Hotel
For tickets (973) 624-8900 attn: Olga Lorenzo or purchase at YMCA Newark.

Guest Speaker: Pastor Rev. Tony Jackson Bethlehem Baptist Church.

An event to remember and reflect on Dr. King’s vision of a community and world of peace, love and understanding.


NJPAC’s Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

January 15, 8pm at New Jersey Performing Arts Center
For tickets visit or call (888) GO-NJPAC

Performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem with an introduction by Savion Glover, NJPAC’s newly appointed Dance Advisor. Guest speaker the Rev. Dr. Jerry M. Sanders, Senior Pastor of the Fountain Baptist Church in Summit.

January 16, 11am-3pm NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education

Free community event Embodying the Dream: A Family Festival Celebrating the Life and Work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Activities include dance, storytelling, song, art and more.

January 17, 2pm

Free panel discussion Jazz Music and the Movement for Civil Rights at the Jewish Museum at Congregation Ahavas Sholom with David Amram, composer, conductor and author; Steve Colson, jazz pianist, composer, educator; Gwen Moten, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism; Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Columbia University; Junius Williams, Esq.

Chairman NC 350 and Director, Abbott Leadership Institute, Rutgers-Newark; and musical guest saxophonist Leo Johnson.


Newark Public Library Centennial Hall’s The Movement

January 16, 11am & 2pm
Free admission. RSVP (973) 733-7793

The Movement, an a cappella musical, by Kathy D. Harrison, was inspired by the Children’s Crusade, a 1963 protest in Birmingham, Alabama, in which children risked their lives to demonstrate against segregation.


Newark Museum’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 18, noon-5 pm
Free museum admission

Screenings of I Have A Dream Speech, Martin Luther King Jr.’s message at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. August 1963.

Selma: Bridge to the Ballot, a production of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A performance of Legacy x Lineage: A Spoken Word Odyssey through the Collections curated by Akintola Hanif, founder and editor-in-chief of HYCIDE magazine.

Gandhi, King: Aspects of Aggression, a musical tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. presented by Kevin Maynor.

Family activities for all ages including Civil Rights Teen Tours, MLK Jr. Scavenger Hunt and more.


Special Screening of the Film “Selma” presented by Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and The Newark Municipal Council

CityPlex 12 Newark
January 19, 9am (Discounted tickets $4.75 at box office)

The Academy-Award winning film depicting the epic freedom march led by Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.


East Side High School Martin Luther King, Jr.  Celebration

January 19, 12-3pm

A full program of music, poetry, hip-hop, dance, and art dedicated to the legacy of Dr. King. Free admission. For info call Ironbound Community Corporation (201) 240-5840

Recently added Newark Celebration 350 programs:

Newark at 350: Settlement, Growth, Renewal exhibition and monthly program series Newark Lifetimes: Recollections & Reflections

Newark Public Library 3rd floor gallery & Centennial Hall

Opening reception January 19, 6-8 pm

On view through December 31

An exhibition tracing Newark’s remarkable history from its founding to the present day. Local author and historian Guy Sterling kicks off a monthly speakers’ program in a conversation with notable Newarkers: Victor Parsonnet, M.D., a pioneering cardiovascular surgeon, and Donald Karp, Esq., former vice chairman of the Independence Community Bank and former chairman and CEO of Broad National Bank.


Celebrating Newark‘s 350th Anniversary

Newark Public Library Centennial Hall

February 6, 2pm

Free admission

Jonathan Capehart, a Newark native, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Washington Post editorial board member, PostPartisan blogger and MSNBC contributor, will discuss “White Balance: Distortion of Black Images on Television.” Guest producer is Celeste Bateman & Assocs., LLC. PNC Foundation is proud to support the Newark Public Library’s Black History Celebration.


Restoring to Public Memory the Puerto Rican Riot of 1974 and its Causes

Rutgers University Newark, Dana Library, 4th floor February 3 – April 2

Opening reception:  February 3, 4-6 pm

Free admission for reception with RSVP to Nicole Torres, 732, 770-8986,; or Keishla Rivera-López 973.280.7000

An exhibition “Newark ’74: Remembering the Puerto Rican Riot” featuring photographs and other historical artifacts documenting the Puerto Rican protest of mistreatment, racism and police violence in the summer of 1974. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 3, with remarks by Dr. Olga Jimenez de Waggenheim, on the importance of teaching Puerto Rican history at Rutgers University-Newark.

For more info visit Facebook:


36th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture: Long Time Here: Prisons and Policing in African-American History

Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience

February 20, 9:30 am-3:30 pm

Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University-Newark

Free admission

With increased national attention on issues of policing and incarceration, the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture will host a discussion of the historical developments that have brought us to recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore and many other American towns. Ruth Wilson Gilmore (CUNY Graduate Center) will give the keynote lecture. Other speakers will be Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) and Heather Ann Thompson (University of Michigan) and moderator John Johnson, Jr. An afternoon panel moderated by Marcia Brown and composed of Junius Williams, Larry Hamm, Deborah Jacobs and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka will explore the history of police reform in Newark.


We Lift Our Voices: Newark Women Singers
Five Women

The Newark Public Library, Centennial Hall
March 12, 2-5pm

Free admission
Five Women, a performance ensemble, founded by Celeste Bateman, promoting the works of women writers, playwrights, poets, singers and songwriters with a four-piece band under the direction of singer/songwriter Gail Lou DeSandies, will perform songs by Newark’s renowned female singers: Tisha Campbell, Faith Evans, Connie Francis, Gloria Gaynor, Whitney & Cissy Houston, Queen Latifah and Sarah Vaughan.


Knowing Newark
The Newark Public

March 2016

With support from Newark Celebration 350, the Newark Public Library will develop a keyword-searchable website with all 500 of Charles Cummings’ “Knowing Newark” columns which appeared in the Star-Ledger from 1996 to 2005. Information on an astonishing variety of topics, inNewark history, from the founding in 1666 up to the present, will be available to be collected for public use for the first time. Information from neighborhood and company data to family genealogy and the social and cultural groups that enriched Newark will be available.


Neighborhood History Day: In Celebration of Newark’s 350th Birthday

East Side High School

March 12, 11am – 6pm

A special day devoted to learning about the history of all the cultural groups that live – or lived – in the Ironbound. Pop-up exhibits, talks, video booths to tape stories, historical artifacts and photographs, food, and more.


Sarah Vaughan First-Day-of-Issue Stamp Ceremony
Newark Symphony Hall, Sarah Vaughan Concert Hall

March 29, 11am

Free and open to the public event requiring tickets

For tickets visit or the box office

The United States Postal Service will release a Sarah Vaughan Commemorative Forever Stamp during a First-Day-of Issue Stamp Ceremony honoring Newark’s jazz and pop singer who was described as having “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century.” Program includes the stamp dedication by USPS Deputy Postmaster General,

Ronald Stroman, and remarks by Grammy-awarding singer Dianne Reeves and other performers to be announced.


A Third Space: The Arts, Community, Rutgers-Newark and Change

The Urban Civic Initiative, Department of Arts, Culture and Media
Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University-Newark
April 6, 2016

A public discussion, led by local community leaders, international experts, and members of the RU-N faculty, about the role of the arts and creative media in helping realize Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s vision of Express Newark as “Third Space” in which “the university and community come together to advance scholarship, strengthen our community, and build the momentum behind Newark’s renaissance.”



May 2016

HYCIDE magazine, an acclaimed city-based photojournalism and arts magazine founded by photographer Akintola Hanif, will produce an online series on Newark‘s five wards, told through archival images, street photography and portraiture. Stories will also feature content by former Star-Ledger journalist Carrie Stetler, contributing reporters, writers and photographers from Newark.

A 350 Mural-Arts on the Park
Newark School of the Arts

May 21, 2016
Newark School of the Arts will collaborate with a muralist in tandem with students, Newark organizations and neighborhood volunteers to create a mural for the school’s exterior west wall on the corner of Lincoln Park and Pennsylvania Avenue.  The mural will include references to Newark’s 350th anniversary, depicting the rich history of Lincoln Park, the city and the school and will help to distinguish the area as an arts and community hub.


Walk to the Water                      

ICC and Riverfront Revival

May 212016, 10am – 5pm

A citywide parade and gathering of Newarkers to celebrate the City’s 350th birthday. The walk begins at City Hall and culminates at the final destination of Riverfront Park, in a symbolic reclamation of the Passaic River, the location where the City of Newark was born. The walk will feature elements honoring Newark‘s history and culture and conclude with River Day, a daylong event featuring activities, performances and vendors.


Underpass Mural Party

Ironbound Community Corporation

Summer 2016

Ironbound Community Corporation, together with local residents and artists, will beautify an underpass along the Northeast Corridor line in the southern portion of the Ironbound with planter boxes and a mural, highlighting Newark‘s history and cultures.


“HERstory” ON ELM ST.

Ironbound Community Corporation 

317 Elm St.

June 2016

A celebration of the history of the Market St. Day Nursery (opened October 17, 1905), one of the city’s first emergency shelters for children, and 317 Elm St., the shelter’s third location, which opened in 1916 and continues to serve families and children to this day. A plaque and an award to our “she-roes,” the women who continue the work on Elm St. today, will be dedicated.



Newark’s Harvest”
Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc.
August 15-20, 2016

This week-long, historical garden tour and present day harvest, with Tobias A. Fox, Founder of Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc. (NewarkSAS), and in collaboration with more than a dozen gardens and urban farms across Newark, will provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to become informed about the various agricultural spaces that exist in Newark.


Environmental Justice Tours and Archives

Ironbound Community Corporation

Various dates 2016

Newark‘s history as an industrial and transportation hub has left a legacy ­­- as well as an ongoing history  – of land, water and air pollution. The Ironbound Community Corporation’s Environmental Justice Tours studies some of the causes for pollution impacting Newark and demonstrates how community action has successfully reduced pollution and recovered land. Contact (973) 817-7013 ext. 215 or email for tour arrangements. Visit and the Environmental Justice Archive at NewarkPublic Library’s Van Buren branch.


Celebrating Newark’s Women-Past, Present, & Future
Zonta Club of Essex County
United Nations Day October 24, 2016, 6pm

A celebration of Newark’s diverse women hosted by the Zonta Club of Essex County, part of Zonta International, which works locally and globally (including the UN), to empower women through service and advocacy. Participants are invited to submit a profile and picture of one or more women (pubic or personal) who made a contribution in Newark’s “her-story” for a “Celebrating Newark’s Women” wall. A donation of $30 per person will go to Zonta’s college scholarship fund to benefit Newark college-bound high school students.


Share the Harvest at Thanksgiving
Partners In ACTS/PACTION Newark Consortium

Clinton Memorial Church

November 26, 2016

The Partners in ACTS (PACTS) annual Share the Harvest at Thanksgiving is a collaborative effort by numerous faith and community-based organizations, (the PACTION Newark Consortium) to eradicate hunger in the community through the distribution of thousands of hot, full-course meals. Individuals and/or organizations may request meals on behalf of the aged, disabled, veterans, medically fragile, homeless or financially challenged.


Newark’s 16 Days of Advocacy for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
Zonta Club of Essex County
November 25 – December 10, 2016

Join the Zonta Club of Essex County for 16 Days of Advocacy for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on United Nations’ International Day through International Human Rights Day.

Leave a comment