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.

Index Art Center to present “Working the Unit” and “Art World Watch”

Index Art Center presents, “Working the Unit,” a group exhibition of artists using smaller repetitive units to create a larger whole. Curated by Jeanne Brasile, the show includes artists influenced by Minimalism and its adherents’ emphasis on materiality, form and viewer experience. While influenced by this movement, the participating artists transcend the austerity associated with Minimalism by moving into new, fertile territory where artists are free to introduce color, non-industrial materials and overt subject matter, while maintaining an interest in repeated forms.

The opening reception will feature a live string trio throughout the evening and a performance by artist Hayoon Jay Lee at 8:30pm. A solo exhibition by artist Darren Jones, “Art World Watch,” will be on view in the Side Gallery. “Working the Unit” features eleven artists from the New Jersey tri-state region, including; Gregory Coates, William Corwin, Kate Dodd, Lorrie Fredette, Ruth Hardinger, Robert Lach, Hayoon Jay Lee, Lynn Koble, Karen Margolis, Matthew Nicolosi and Alexandra Phillips. The artists work in a variety of materials including plaster, cement, rubber tubing, wood, fabric and repurposed tape rolls. The themes addressed by each artist are as divergent as their chosen media. A poetry reading on Thursday, June 25 at 7pm will feature published author, Jonathan Goodman.

Index Art Center was established in May 2009 by three of Redsaw Art’s former founders; Lowell Craig, Seth Goodwin, and DC Smith. Their mission is to help strengthen and revitalize Newark’s emerging art scene. They wish to create an environment where the local community and artists of all media can come together and take part in a unique dialogue, one which affirms Newark as a center for contemporary art.

Index Art Center is located at 237 Washington Street, Newark, New Jersey near the corner of Market Street. It is easily accessible by car, The PATH and NJ Transit. Hours are Thursdays 6 to 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 1 – 4pm and by appointment. Admission is free and open to the public.

New Gateway Project exhibition “Provisions” to open in June

The Gateway Project’s next exhibition “GlassBook Project: Provisions,” a collaborative project by artists Nick Kline and Adrienne Wheeler with Endless Editions, Samantha Boardman and Rutgers University Newark, will be on display from June 4 to August 14.

“Provisions” is an exhibition of artist books inspired by the recordings of the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection, consisting of over 200 audio cassette recordings of interviews with African-American residents of Newark who migrated to the city between 1910 and 1970.

The title of the collection was influenced by descriptions of the boxes and bags used by individuals to carry food on their long journeys northward, a custom developed in response to “Jim Crow” laws that barred African-Americans from most public accommodations and restaurants.

The conceptual starting point for “Provisions” is the portrait series, “Elizabeth” by GlassBook Project founder and artist Nick Kline and artist-in-residence Adrienne Wheeler, whose mother migrated from the South during the Great Migration, and whose father was from a long-time Northern family.

Working with Kline to re-photographs the images from her parents’ wedding album, Wheeler examines a personal history through the focal point of her mother. Following the original narrative of the wedding album, the series is projected as a large-scale slideshow that alternates between entire images and carefully cropped details such as hand gestures, light fixtures, textures of church pews, and graphic elements of the bride’s dress.

Similarly, each of the artist books on display, created by students of Kline’s Book Arts class at Rutgers University Newark, is an abstract, conceptual portrait based on specific details drawn from the interviews.

Other works in the exhibition include a glass reproduction of the Wheeler family album, a Risograph publishing workshop, and digitized historic photographs from the City of Newark Municipal Archive.

There will be with a free reception on June 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. that will feature artists, curators and other key partners of the project. The gallery is located at 2 Gateway Center in Newark, adjacent to Newark Penn Station.

Featured Image information:

Provisions, Nick Kline & Adrienne Wheeler with Endless Editions and Rutgers University-Newark Book Arts Students, from GlassBook Project #10. 2015, (18)
Risograph artists publications, 3”x6.25”x8.5”, edition 150 + 5AP
Photograph by Nick Kline

Newark to host inaugural Recycling Summit workshops

The City of Newark will host an inaugural Recycling Summit at Rutgers University Newark on June 24, which will feature four educational workshops.

The Recycling Summit is hosted by Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s office, the Newark Municipal Council, and the Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services. The workshops will include the following:

Workshop 1: Solving Problems through Collaborations and Partnerships
This session will explore the intricacies of building a relationship with businesses, colleges and universities to partner with the City of Newark to recycle and how business recycling can stir up urban growth.

Workshop 2: Community Engagement 
These presenters will show that engaging the public and being familiar with one’s audience is essential to ensuring the success of a project or program. This workshop will target multi-family and residential recycling creating a relationship as one.

Workshop 3: Newark Recycles
The City of Newark Recycling Team will help the audience understand the roles of the residents, business owners and agencies with moving Newark forward to become the recycling champion in New Jersey.

Workshop 4: Sustainability into Schools
This event will give participants an opportunity to network with other local business owners, managers and multi-family owners and schools and learn more about recycling, waste reduction and buying recycled products as well as the services the City provides.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Paul Robeson Campus Center in the Essex room at 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. in Newark. Continental breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

Please contact Brenda Anderson at 973-733-6685 or email Andersonb@ci.newark.nj.us to confirm  attendance by June 1.

Featured image via Creative Commons 

Live from Newark, it’s Monday Night!

More energy is set to flow through the concourse of Gateway 2 tonight when NJTV, New Jersey’s public television network, airs the first live broadcast of NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams from its new state-of-the-art studio here in Newark. The studio’s next door neighbor, The Gateway Project art gallery and studio spaces, enjoyed its ribbon-cutting in April.

The program runs every weeknight at 6 pm, 7:30 pm, and 11pm on NJTV and THIRTEEN. Tonight, guest-anchor Michael Hill will cover President Obama’s visit to Camden, the expansion of Camden County’s K-9 units, PARCC testing bills before Senate Education Committee, and Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s “The Composer is Dead.

The news facility, whose operations are plainly viewable from the Gateway2 concourse, also boasts staff office space and a community room for hosting public events and program productions. Although the first program from the studio airs tonight, the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new studio is scheduled for May 27th.

Featured image from NJTV News. For real-time NJTV News updates, visit njtvnews.org and follow the conversation on Facebook facebook.com/njtvonline and Twitter @njtvonline #njtvnews.

Solo(s) Project House debuting “Fourfold” exhibit

The Solo(s) Project House will be featuring an art exhibit called “Fourfold” from May 30 to June 20. An opening reception will be held on May 30 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The exhibit was created by New Jersey based artists Christine Soccio, John Spano and Eric Valosin. In “Fourfold,” the artists combine their practices to explore the implications of various perspective on reality.

Soccio’s approach is scientific and pattern based, using irregular, non-repeating patterns in her sculptures and light installations to reveal “the underpinnings of an emergent coherence to the world.”

Spano explores “nature’s reaction to the human infestation,” using symbols of environmental contamination such as smoke, hazmat suits and artificial light.

Valosin’s art “delves into the mystical, exploring post-secular society” using painting, projection and interactive new media.

The Solo(s) Project House is a project space that showcases and elevates creative individuals or groups that produce as one. It acts as a ‘house’ for artists providing unique studio space, as well as a creative atmosphere where they can interact with each other and produce art.

The Solo(s) Project House is located at 972 Broad St. in Newark and is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Featured image courtesy of The Solo(s) Project House