December __, 2014

In addition to running, I run content for a technology company based on Los Angeles. In December of 2014, my marketing colleagues and I flew out to the headquarters for end-of-year meetings and some holiday corralling. Part of the holiday activities was a gift exchange hosted at one of my colleagues’ homes in Venice Beach.

My colleagues all brought “fun” gifts to the party, including a cider maker, which is what I went home with. But I as in a more serious mood. Although we tend to post more upbeat stories on, the underside of life in our city is never far from my mind. So while my colleagues had brought feel-good gifts to the parties, I came toting a book: The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.

The book is about a young man from East Orange who went to high school in Newark, then off to Yale, where he studied biochemistry. Despite his genius and potential, his life ended when he was shot to death in a Newark basement. In the book inscription I wrote the message to whoever would receive it: “A little more information about where I’m from.” I wanted to give the gift of another reality to someone on my team.

That someone wound up being our team’s honcho – our Chief Marketing Officer. She had an opportunity to exchange the gift for something else, but she didn’t. I was happy she got it. I knew she’d appreciate it, and I knew she would read it. As we wrapped up our LA meetings and headed into the holidays and New Year, life went on. I eventually forgot that I’d given her the book. I had not for seen the devastating symmetry and irony that would come to pass just one year later.

October 24, 2015

I woke up in the late afternoon in my downtown apartment with a start. On most days – even on the weekend – I wake up with work on my mind. What is there to be done? I stretched a little and then sauntered out into my living room. The first thing I noticed was a print perched on top of my screen. It was The Unusual Suspects photograph I’d purchased after writing a story about the making of the print. The photograph depicted black men from all walks of life in the city. In my mind, I always add one face to the photo.


Darel is my cousin. He arrived in the world only seven months before I did, and we grew up together in my grandmother’s house on Wainwright Street. As kids, we were inseparable. In my mind, 80 percent of my childhood memories had him in them. Like lots of siblings, we fought like cats and dogs when we were very young, but were co-conspirators in all sorts of households shenanigans. We forged an incredibly special bond as we grew into adolescence, our teenage years, and adulthood. Darel was one of the greatest people I’d ever met. He was so great that it didn’t take hindsight for me to appreciate his genius or specialness — I knew it then.

I’ll save the details about Darel’s biography for another time. Suffice it to say, he became fairly popular when he was featured on Brick City on the Sundance Channel, where he was referred to as “Creep”. By that point I’d known about his Crip affiliation for three years. It still confused me. The docuseries aired on the Sundance Channel in September 0f 2008. I applied to Columbia Journalism School that November. One of the driving reasons for me applying was to have the tools to figure out what happened to my cousin.

While Darel was living that life, our relationship carried on as usual. I’d see him at family holidays. We’d call and text each other. He’s stop by my house. When he launched his comedy career and had a radio show, I created his website and started his Facebook page. Because we were so close, I knew how to talk like him. I posted as him on his page.

But in the past year, we hadn’t seen each other as much. Our communications had slowed down to every two months. Our grandmother had passed away in 2013. We both had very special relationships with her. Her passing made it hard for me to come around to family outings, so I’d missed a number of them over the past year.

And now there I stood in my living room, staring at a photograph of black men in Newark, thinking about how much I missed my cousin. Yesterday was his birthday. I’d left a message on his Facebook page but hadn’t called. That wasn’t how we do things. I think I’ll give him a call and tell him I miss him.

I second-guessed myself. That would be kind of corny.

I doubled back. But you are kind of corny when it comes to loving your family, Andaiye.

I grabbed my cell phone. It rang one time before Darel picked up. I didn’t even say “hello”.

“I miss you!”

“I miss you too cousin.”

And we fell in from there. I told him it was ridiculous that we lived in the same small city and didn’t see each other a lot more often. He’d just taken the firefighter’s exam. I told him I’d take him for a drink to celebrate. We talked about how he planned to cut of his locs and get a new start. He told he about a healing surprise conversation he’d had with our grandfather the day before.

“Call me when you pass, cousin.”

“I will Day-Day.”

“I love you!”

“I love you, too.”

December 7, 2015

I was in the last couple weeks before my company went on hiatus for the holidays, scrambling to finish up yearly plans for both the company and for Brick City Live. This year, I’d give myself the gift of a full vacation by shutting down the site for the holidays.

Our Chief Marketing Officer had invited me for a one-on-one lunch to catch up and talk about what I’d accomplish in the New Year. We went to a nice Japanese restaurant in east midtown and started chatting. We spent the beginning of the conversation catching up on family and our personal lives. She brought up the book, which I’d given her nearly a year before, to the day.

I brought up Darel.

“That book was on my mind because he’s like the mirror image of my cousin,” I said. I explained that Darel had gone the wrong way when we were teenagers, but was taking steps to do more positive things, like starting his comedy career and taking the firefighter’s exam. I mentioned how hard it could be to move on from that life in a place like Newark. “I’m proud of what he’s trying to do,” I told her.

We spent the rest of the launch talking about business. I came home that evening and worked well into the night, energized by my conversation. I packed up my computer a little after midnight. As I settled under the covers, I had no idea that my cousin what terrible fate had already befallen my cousin.

December 8, 2015

Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh! Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh!

At first I thought I’d woken up on my own.

Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh! Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh!

My phone’s buzzing? I shuffled over to the edge of the bed and grabbed it. What was this 973 number?

Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh! Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh!

My eyes adjusted to the stark contrast between the darkness of my room and brightness of my screen. It’s 2:55 a.m.?

Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh! Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh!

They must have the wrong number. I rolled over and tried to settle into the sleep stance. The phone stopped buzzing.

And then it was buzzing again.

Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh! Eh-eh-eh-ehhhhhhhhh!

I grabbed my cell. “Hello?” I rasped into the phone. I turned up the sleepiness in my voice on purpose. Just so you know, whoever you are calling me at this ungodly hour, I’m still asleep.


A shaky, small voice addressed me on the other end. She identified herself. This person was also like a sister to Darel. What is going on? My whole body tensed. The dark room got darker. My boyfriend stirred.

“I never wanted to have to call you and tell you something like this.” Her voice caught, and suddenly I was sitting up. My stomach dropped. Please God no.

“Don’t tell me this,” I said. My boyfriend was sitting up now. “Please don’t tell me this,” I repeated. I practically coughed it out the second time. My breath was all but gone.

“They got Darel. He’s gone.”

I think this is when I gasped. “I’m so sorry Day-Day. His mom is here with us.”

I’m not sitting at the edge of the bed. “Oh shit. Oh shit. Dammit! This can’t be happening.”

“His mom is at my house.”

“Okay. Okay.” I hung up the phone.

OH shit Oh shit should have left Newark

Now I was on the floor. My boyfriend was at the edge of the bed, rubbing my back. “How do I tell my mom?”

My mother had always told me never to tell her news like this on the phone if I could help it. But it was now after 3 a.m., and she knew I didn’t have a car. What would she think if I showed up to her house in the middle of the night, red eyed? That delivery might be even worse.

“I think you should call her,” my boyfriend said.

I welcomed someone else making a decision for me in this moment. My hand was shaking. Darel was like a son to her. Her favorite nephew. Your only nephew! Darel would say when she’d tell him that.

My mom picked up the phone.


“Hi mom!”

I didn’t want to alarm her, and overcompensated by sounding way too cheery. I realized at this point that I was about to usher her into the worst day in her life. There was no good way to say this.

“It’s Darel.”

“No!!!” She screamed.

“Mom I’m so sorry.” This I kept repeating, over and over again. I’m so sorry. We were both crying into the phone. I told her I’d take an Uber to her. I could tell she was not doing well.

My boyrfiend and I started getting dressed when she called me back a minute later. She was gasping for air. “Just stay on the phone with me,” she said.


We hopped into the Uber. My boyfriend held my hand as we navigated over westward, up Orange Street and onto my mother’s block. I rang the doorbell and she answered. “I just can’t believe this,” she said. We walk in and I sit on the couch. We had to get over to his friends’ house to pick up my aunt.

We pull up to the house in Hillside, and I see his friends and girlfriend standing out side. I’m afraid to see my aunt. When I walked into the living room, I looked right past her. She looks so small. I sat next to her on the couch and held her.

“I spoke to the detectives,” said his close friend, who had been at the scene on Dewey Street where Darel was shot. “She has to be there at 9 a.m. to identify him.”

My chest clenched. This was only just beginning.

My mom got into the driver’s seat; I saw and held onto my aunt in the back. We drove in a circle, trying to figure out what to do next. I glanced at my phone. The Facebook icon was staring me back in the face.

He broke the tie. I thought of the macabre countdown happening in the media. When will the murder rate in 2015 match the one last year? I realized that Darel was the one.

Then I remembered Brick City. He’s a public figure, I thought. For at least a day, this was going to be news beyond Newark. This was going to go viral.

My mind rewound back a half hour, to the cluster of friends gathered outside his friend’s house. Someone had to have posted a tribute already. This was about to go viral. My aunt’s was now crying into my lap. I held my breath and fired up Facebook. Darel’s picture was the first thing I saw. “I can’t believe this. Rest in peace forever, Creep.”

It was starting. We had to tell as many people in our family as possible before daybreak. We diverted to my cousin Nikki’s house. I took two phone calls to wake her up and tell her to open the door. My mother, my aunt, and I crossed the street as she pulled open her door, glasses on, bonnet, and pajamas on. My mother and I sat on either side of her in the livingroom, illuminated only by a string of Christmas lights. We could hear cartoons blaring from her bedroom. She knew something was wrong.

“Somebody killed Darel,” my mother said.


I held onto her, and we all went through it again.

We sat there in the dark, plotting out who we would tell and how before social media or the news got to them first. His oldest daughter. His father. His grandparents.

I saw the first notification on RLS Media: “Newark South Ward Shooting Fatally Injures Man”

I felt like I was outside of myself. I was reminded, for every headline such as this, perhaps a thousand people had experienced the same nightmare that I had.


[Video] Let’s do better: Newark sanitation worker seen angrily throwing garbage cans on Sanford Avenue sidewalk

Update (12/30/15, 2:04 a.m.):

Amos Crudup, Assistant Director of Newark’s Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services, posted an update about the incident to his Facebook page:

Good evening all, I know you have viewed a video of a sanitation worker abusing a constituent receptacle, I would like to be clear; under no circumstances that this is acceptable to neighborhood and recreational services or this administration, we have taken the necessary steps to discipline this employee we appreciate everyones input and we encourage you if infect [sic] you see any city employee abusing or any misuse of their position please don’t hesitate to document and exposed them individual of any illegal behavior, thank you again.

Original post:

neighorhoodsIn a nearly six-minute video posted to Facebook by a West Ward resident, a Newark sanitation worker wearing an orange jumpsuit can be seen pointedly throwing garbage cans onto a Sanford Avenue sidewalk after dumping their contents into the back of a sanitation truck.

His colleague, wearing a green apron, can be seen standing the cans that were initially thrown to the ground upright along the side of an apartment building. While that worker mostly placed the additional cans he handled curbside (with the exception of one towards the end of the video, which he didn’t pick up after it fell), the worker in the orange jumpsuit can be seen throwing cans a total of nine times: eight at the primary scene, and once a little further down the block.

Midway through the recording (at 2:45), a woman in a purple rain jacket pausedat the scene and looked around at the sanitation workers — it isn’t clear if she said anything to them. Moments after she proceeded to walk onto the stoop of the building the video was filmed from, the worker in the orange suit again slammed a can onto the sidewalk.

At one point later on (3:27), the worker in the orange suit emptied the contents of a plastic garbage can into the truck and then paused at the curb as a man walked by. Although he could’ve easily left the can standing upright at the curb, he instead threw it inside the gates of a Sanford Avenue property. He repeated the behavior with the last two garbage cans in the pile.

The woman who recorded the video said the offending worker was ticked off because a Hummer parked on the street was blocking the garbage pile, causing the workers to have to shuffle a few extra steps to retrieve and dump the garbage. Although today was garbage pickup day, it’s also an alternate side cleaning day, meaning cars could not legally be parked on the other side of the street.

Several people on the thread, including the original poster, tagged various city council and municipal officials on the post. Other posters on the thread commented that they’d experienced bad service from sanitation as well, including having cans obstruct sidewalks and driveways, and seeing garbage strewn about after pickups.

Watch the full video below:

Key Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services contacts:

Patrick Council, Director
920 Broad Street, Room 216
Newark, NJ 07102

Thomas McDonald, Manager
Code Enforcement
920 Broad Street, Room 216
Newark, NJ 07102

Kim Greene, Manager
Division of Sanitation
62 Frelinghuysen Ave, Newark, NJ 07114

We’re on hiatus until the New Year. Take our annual reader survey while we’re away!

Seasons greetings!

As we prepare to go on hiatus until the New Year, the team at Brick City Live wishes you a happy and healthy holiday. Stay tuned to our social media accounts for some of our top-ranked stories about Newark and Newarkers this year, and keep an eye out as we come back in 2016 with more stories, more technology, more custom events, more opportunities to contribute, and even a couple paid opportunities!

While we’re away, we’d love it if you take our annual reader survey in order to help us serve you better. The entire survey can be completed in five minutes or less.

Also, consider joining us and at Taste Venue downtown for a beer tasting with Stone Brewing on January 6th!

Have a wonderful holiday and thank you so much for reading,

The Team

In 5 dozen videos and counting, Gary Campbell reveals how Newark’s artists can shape our surroundings

people cardFor Newark-based artist and entrepreneur Gary Campbell, the responsibility for building a just and inclusive community is not one limited to City Hall officials.

Campbell says the city’s artists have been taking on key roles as change makers for a long time. The community at-large just needs to take notice.

To help community members do just that, Campbell, who counts writing and music among his artistic pursuits, has added director and documentarian to his list of vocations with the production of his YouTube series The Artist Recreates the World, which documents his conversations with artists in Newark.

The title of the series, paraphrased from James Baldwin’s anthology, The Cross of Redemption, describes both the work of the interview series’ subjects, and Campbell’s work via the series itself.

“When I started going to open mics in the city, I realized that we have so many talented artists in the community, but they’re in their own little circle. I said to myself, ‘these artists need more exposure,'” said Campbell.

In videos that run from less than a minute long to a little over an hour, Campbell seeks to offer that exposure by conversing with these artists — ranging from poets to painters to professors — to discuss what art means to them and to the communities they address. For the vast majority of the participants, the community in question is Newark.

These candid conversations are recorded simply. Campbell turns a webcam turned on himself and his subjects in locations throughout the city: on a bench in Penn Station, or in Military Park, or in the artist’s own space. In plain language, Campbell and the artists unpack questions of race, responsibility and remuneration, and how these factors reveal themselves in the process of creating art.

Campbell’s series aims to educate viewers on what it really means to be an artist from the artist’s perspective. Using a diverse array of people simply creating heartfelt work, Campbell shows that there is no one way to be an artist. He also argues that art’s innate responsibility is as a tool for social change.  “Artists are the ones who know what need to be done in the community,” said Campbell.

In 2013, Campbell quit his job at the United States Census after working as a supervisor for over 10 years in order to focus on being  a full-time artist. “I wanted to create my own career,” explained Campbell.

Since then, Campbell has tirelessly championed for avenues to highlight the work of the artists in the community in hopes that it will lead to more sustainable conversations and partnerships that will uplift local artists. “I call the artists in the city a ‘Newark-modity’. They are a social commodity that need to be utilized and supported in order to bring about real change,” he said.

Although the year is coming to an end, Campbell is only about halfway through creating his series. After challenging himself earlier in the year to release 365 videos in 365 days, Campbell just released a complication of the first 60 videos in his 365 series on YouTube.

Campbell said he is committed to creating in as many formats as possible. Whether he’s writing, filming or singing, Campbell said digital media will be central to increasing community engagement with his work.

“I’m making the art public and accessible to everyone, and I know that by doing that, I’m bringing value to the community,” he said.

View Cambell’s The Artist Recreates the World series on his YouTube channel.


Watch the transformation of a rundown mansion in Newark’s Forest Hill neighborhood on HGTV

newark on tvOn Monday, December 21 at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. EST, New Jersey educator Shalina Joy will be debuting her new show “American Rehab: Restoring Victoria” on the HGTV Network.

Joy will take on the transformation of a run-down 1900’s mansion in Newark’s Forest Hill section of into a sunny, functional home for her family. The show will see her take on crumbling walls, holes in floors, and even decades of previous attempts at renovations to restore the 6,000-square-foot Mediterranean Revival style house to its original glory, and to give herself and her family a fresh start in the home.

Financial expert Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche’s free “Live Richer Challenge” is back with a focus on savings

Personal finance expert and educator Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche is back to help people fix their finances for the new year. Aliche will launch the 2016 Live Richer Challenge: Savings Edition on January 4, 2016. The 2016 Live Richer Challenge is a free, online financial challenge created to help thousands of women work towards their savings goals in 22 days.

As part of registration for the previous 2015 Live Richer Challenge, all participants were required to complete a comprehensive survey that identifies their demographics, current financial status, and financial goals. The number one financial goal chosen by women who participated in the 2015 Live Richer Challenge was to increase savings. As a result, savings is the primary focus of the 2016 Challenge.

“In 2014 women across the country began reaching out to me asking for help.  I spent a year creating a resource that would teach them how to shift their mindset, budget, save, pay down debt, increase their credit score, adjust their insurance, and begin investing,” said Aliche.

“In 2015, I launched the Live Richer Challenge in response to their request. The Challenge is more than money, it’s a movement, it’s an online community, a positive change and a supportive environment,” she continued.

The 2015 Challenge exceeded expectations by reaching over 20,000 women internationally. These women collectively saved over $4 million and paid off more than $500,000 worth of debt, and one-third of participants opened a new savings account. The Challenge’s success granted Aliche the opportunity to participate in three national tours: her 10-city Live Richer Tour, MSNBC “Know Your Value” Tour on behalf of Prudential Financial Inc., and Chevrolet’s Money Wise Tour.

To date, the 2016 Challenge has over 40,000 participants signed up, with over 1,000 sign-ups daily. All participants will receive daily Challenge emails with financial tasks and reminders in the New Year. There is also a 24-hour online forum for participants seeking assistance, motivation, and accountability.

For additional information on the Live Richer Challenge, please visit

Maxwell will turn Prudential Center into his personal ‘Urban Hang Suite’ Valentine’s Day weekend along with special guest Nas

entertainmentTwo-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15 as part of his return to the New York Metro area after a five-year hiatus. Nas and Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

Tickets are $175, $125, $79.50, $45 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 18 at 10 a.m. via, all Ticketmaster outlets and charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at Prudential Center’s box office beginning Monday, December 21 at 11 a.m.

Maxwell’s show comes just weeks before the 20th anniversary of his genre-defining first album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. His most recent album, the platinum-selling BLACKsummers’night, was released in 2009, debuted at #1 and earned him a pair of Grammys.

Maxwell is putting the final touches on the much-anticipated second album in his trilogy, blackSUMMERS’night, planned for release in 2016.

NJPAC will host an eclectic celebration of Kwanzaa featuring performances and artisan markets this weekend

holiday cardThe New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the schedule for their 2015 Kwanzaa celebration, featuring a day of free activities and family-oriented performances on Saturday, December 19 from noon to 5:00 pm. The celebration looks to honor the rich and vibrant heritage of Newark’s African-American community.

The festivities will include a variety of programming that honor the African diaspora’s traditions of family, community and culture, including an array of no-experience-necessary workshops exploring African dance and music, storytelling, jewelry making, drumming and more for both adults and children. An Arts and Crafts Village will be open all day, and the Artisan Marketplace will offer one-shop shopping for holiday gifts.

NJPAC will also present a lively line-up of performances from talented area youths singing seasonal classics, marches, and gospel, including appearances by The NJPAC Youth Chorus, The NYC Marching Cobras, The Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts Middle School Concert Choir and The National Liturgical Dance Network.

Other highlights of NJPAC’s Kwanzaa festivities will include their annual Tribute to the Elders, honoring three pillars of the Newark community: Earl “Street Doctor” Best, founder of Street Warriors Inc.; Deborah Smith Gregory, retired Newark Public School teacher and NAACP Newark Chapter President; and Stanley Terrell, former Star-Ledger editor, author and journalist.

The day will also feature two performances at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in NJPAC’s Victoria Theatre from the acclaimed Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, joined by their special guest, the acclaimed poet and author Sonia Sanchez.

“Kwanzaa is an African-American tradition that focuses on family, so we are understandably excited to be able to invite you and your family to join us at NJPAC for a Kwanzaa Celebration that serves as part of Newark’s 350th Anniversary Celebration,” said Junius Williams, chair of Newark Celebration 350 and the director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University.

Schedule of Events

Artisan Marketplace
Friday, December 18
Saturday, December 19 – 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sunday, December 20 – Noon to 10:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Prudential Hall Lobby

Kwanzaa Children’s Festival
Saturday, December 19 – Noon to 5:00 pm
At NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education (24 Rector Street in Newark)

FREE Performances in Prudential Hall Lobby

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm: NJPAC Youth Chorus led by NJPAC Faculty, Pastor Chantel Wright

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm: NYC Marching Cobras led by Director Terrel J. Stowers

2:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Folilaye African Drum & Dance Company; Foluso Mimy, Artistic Director

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm: Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts Middle School Concert Choir directed by Jean James

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm: National Liturgical Dance Network

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre: Kwanzaa Celebration with special guest, poet Sonia Sanchez

2:00 PM & 7:30 PM in NJPAC’s Victoria Theatre

Celebrate Kwanzaa with this daringly theatrical company, which combines the element of modern dance, traditional West African dance, ballet, hip-hop, and even martial arts. Visually inventive and creatively brilliant, the multi-ethnic dancers and drummers of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre perform one-on-a-kind programs that are “sizzling…nothing short of sensational, “ says The Washington Post. For tickets: call 888.GO.NJPAC(888.466.5722); online at; or in person at the NJPAC ticket office.


Congressman Donald Payne announces app competition for high school students in the 10th Congressional district

opportunities cardCongressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. announced that New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District will participate in the 2015 Congressional App Challenge (CAC), a nationwide event that gives high school students an opportunity to build software applications, or apps, for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

“This competition showcases the innovation and technical skills of our students, the tech leaders of tomorrow,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “I encourage students to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to demonstrate and hone their skills in a competitive but fun competition designed to enhance youth engagement in STEM.”

The Challenge submission period will run until January 15, 2016. Winners will be selected by a panel of local judges, and honored by the Congressman. Their apps will be featured on a display in the Capitol building.

The CAC was created because Congress recognized that STEM skills are essential for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. has been falling behind on these fronts. To maintain American competitiveness, it is crucial that the United States invests in our youth now, and helps them acquire these necessary STEM-based skills. The CAC highlights and encourages students to pursue those skills.

For more information, students should visit the official Congressional App Challenge website at or contact Isabel Cruz at (973)-645-3213 You can also visit Also see full judging criteria and application instructions below.

Judging Criteria

Quality of the Idea

How creative is the app? How original is it? Does the app address a problem? If so, how creative is the solution?

Implementation of the Idea

Did the student consider the user experience? Did the student give thought to the app design?

Demonstrated Excellence of Coding and Programming Skills

Did the student display understanding of the tools they were using? Did the student demonstrate they had learned about how to code?

How to Enter

Summary of How to Enter:

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Register on
  3. Make sure you’re on the right challenge page
  4. Fill out this form with your contact information
  6. Submit your app and a demonstration video explaining what it does
  7. Fill out the exit questionnaire.


Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must reside or attend school in a district with a participating Representative.
  • You must be 13 years of age by or on November 9, 2015.
  • You must be eligible to attend high school in the district in which you’re competing. (If you attend school in a different district than the one in which you reside, you may compete in either district, but you may only submit an app in one district.)
  • If you are competing in a team: at least two of the students in your team must reside or attend high school in the district in which you are competing.


Step 2: Register on is the platform that hosts our app submissions. Though you can see all the challenges that are posted on without registering, you must actually register in order to submit your own app. The registration process should only take 2 or 3 minutes.


Step 3: Make sure you’re on the right District’s Challenge page

Every Member of Congress has their own unique Challenge page, and you need to make sure to find the correct one. You can double-check what district you live in, here.

Once you’ve registered on, you can search for your District’s Challenge in the search bar on the top right of the website window. Make sure you’re on the correct page!


Step 4: Submit Contact Information

Please fill out this form with your name and contact information. The Internet Education Foundation will use this information to make sure that you are eligible and that you are competing in the correct District. It should take no more than 2 minutes.


Step 5: CREATE!

Once you’re all signed up, you can move ahead with creating your app!

You must also create a 1-4 minute Demonstration Video, outlining:

  • What your app does;
  • What tools you used to create your app; and
  • How your app works;

Please note that your entry may be judged in its entirety based on this video. It is important to demonstrate the scope and quality of your application in this video. The video should be no more than four minutes in length.


Step 6: Submit Your App and Demonstration Video

Once your app is done, you can submit it on your district’s page on You can submit your app any time from November 9th, 2015 until midnight EST, January 15, 2016.


Step 7: Fill out the exit form on CongressionalAppChallenge.US

After you’ve submitted your app on, we will email you a final questionnaire. You must fill out this questionnaire for your app to be evaluated; it’s the final step required for your submission to be complete.

Newark art gallery aims to keep popular arts program going with new fundraising campaign

givenewarkCity Without Walls (cWOW) has launched a sponsorship campaign using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to maintain support for its award-winning educational ArtReach program. ArtReach pairs promising high school art students with working-artist mentors and offers other students valuable experience through gallery internships.

After expansive cuts were made to the organization’s funding for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, cWOW is seeking contributions to continue to provide outstanding mentorships to Newark’s youth.

The program incorporates exhibitions and arts education as a strategy to inform and benefit its core constituencies and the public while simultaneously focusing on teaching students new skills, increasing their engagement in learning and helping to keep them enrolled in school through strong out-of-school-time opportunities designed to engage teenagers.

ArtReach was created by cWOW in 1992 through an extensive planning process involving its board and staff, as well as consultations with high schools, teachers, artists and students. The program provides high school students who may choose careers in the arts, with direct exposure to the working lives of artists, their studios and networks.  Through after-school educational opportunities, students obtain assistance with portfolio preparation for academic and professional consideration.

ArtReach Campaign:
Launch date: 12/8/15
Length:  30 days