Three Newark-bred star athletes and sports leaders will return for the 350th anniversary on July 27th

On Wednesday, July 27, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the Newark Public Library will host local author, historian, and former Star Ledger reporter Guy Sterling in conversation with notable Newarkers Rick Cerone, Larry Hazard and Li’za Donnell as part of its continuing series Newark Lifetimes: Recollections and Reflections.

Rick Cerone played basketball at Essex Catholic High School and Seton Hall University before becoming a Major League baseball catcher in 1975, playing for eight teams over his career, including the New York Yankees. He retired from playing in 1992 with a .245 batting average, 998 career hits and 59 home runs.

In 1998, Cerone founded the Newark Bears, a minor league team in the independent Atlantic League, which he sold in 2003.

Larry Hazzard was a three-time Golden Glove champion in the 1960s, while attending Central High School. He became a referee, an educator and school administrator, and has served twice as Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board. He is widely regarded as a leader and authority in the boxing industry: under his leadership, New Jersey was regarded as a major world boxing venue, and was recognized for having the most comprehensive rules, regulations and policies for enforcing safe, professional boxing.

Li’za Donnell played basketball at Louise A. Spencer Elementary School and Malcolm X Shabazz High School. She was a standout guard at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leading the team with 50 steals as a freshman. She later played in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics, in the first year of the league.

All three speakers have been inducted into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame: Cerone in 1989, Hazzard in 1991, and Donnell in 2007.

The program will be held in Centennial Hall on the second floor of the Main Library at 5 Washington Street, and is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please call 973-733-7793 or email

Panel discussion will uncover Newark history during the country’s Progressive era

The Newark History Society continues it’s series of discussions about key era’s in the city’s history with a panel discussion about Newark during the Progressive Era. At the turn of the 20th century, the Newark leaders joined those with similar aspirations around the country as they tackled educational reform, began work on significant infrastructure projects, and created new institutions that continue to affect life in the city today.


William Paterson University professor George Robb will moderate the panel, titled “Progressives and Reformers: Newark Takes the Lead.” Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron, former Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Steven Diner, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design Associate Professor Ezra Shales will provide their insight into the era as panel speakers.

“Progressives and Reformers” will take place in NJPAC’s Chase Room on Monday, June 20 at 6pm. The discussion is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, email or call 973.376.8273.

Newark 350: Naughty by Nature performs Day 2 of Founder’s Weekend Festival. ‘Salsa Queen’ India to close it out today. [Photos and schedule]

Newark 350: Faith Evans brought down the house last night. Next up: Naughty by Nature takes Military Park.

Faith Evans’ Newark 350 opening night concert moved to Symphony Hall. Here’s how to get tickets.

newark celebration 350 cardDue to a forecast of rain, the Newark Celebration 350 Founder’s Day Weekend Festival’s opening night concert with headliner Faith Evans on Friday, May 13 will move from the outdoor location of Military Park to inside Newark Symphony Hall (1020 Broad St).

Tickets are free and will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Starting Friday, May 13 at 12 p.m., the public can pick up two tickets per person at the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office at 1030 Broad Street. Doors open on Friday at 5pm.

Darnell “J.D.” Williams (of critically acclaimed HBO television show The Wire) will serve as emcee with WBGO’s DJ Felix Hernandez spinning music throughout the evening. Opening act Brick City Collective will perform at 6 p.m. with Faith Evans performing at 8pm.

The regularly scheduled Festival program will be held on Saturday, May 14 (1 – 10:30pm) and Sunday, May 15 (1 – 8 p.m.) in Military Park 51 Park Place until further notice.

Historic Grace Church celebrates Newark 350th anniversary on May 22nd

newark celebration 350 cardHistoric Grace Church in Newark is participating in the city’s 350th anniversary celebration with a special event, Sunday, May 22 at 4 pm. James Hopkins, recently appointed music director of the church, will perform and conduct works chosen to celebrate restoration of the “Te Deum” stained glass window. The window was installed in 1930 in honor of Newark’s Mayor Thomas L. Raymond, Jr., long-time Grace Church parishioner.

Music Director Hopkins and a professional choir will perform festive music from the Anglican and Catholic traditions, including works by James McGregor, Grace Church director of music emeritus; and John Sebastian Bach Hodges, rector of Grace Church from 1861-1870. The concert will also include selections by Anton Bruckner, J.S. Bach, Herbert Howells and others.

In addition, the May 22 event will feature remarks by the well-known Newark historian/writer Guy Sterling. Sterling will speak about church history, and some of its well-known parishioners, including early 20th century Mayor Thomas Raymond (after whom Newark’s Raymond Blvd. is named); John Jelliff, a leading Victorian James Hopkins, music director and organist of Grace Church photo by Arthur Paxton, 2015 era furniture maker; and Samuel Ward, Grace Church’s 19th century organist, and composer of the hymn “Materna,” later adopted for “America the Beautiful.”


The May 22 concert and talk is one of many special events this year celebrating the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding. The program is supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of New Jersey/Newark Celebration 350 Fund. “We are exceedingly grateful for support from Newark 350 Fund for this event,” said Father J. Brent Bates, “and we are equally grateful for the support of many individual donors and parishioners who have made restoration of this historic window possible.”

One of two designated National Historic Landmarks in the City of Newark, Grace Church is famous for its soaring neo-gothic architecture, elaborate altar, woodcarvings, stained glass and lighting. The church has been a meeting and worship place for many significant players in Newark’s history. Today’s Grace Church is a diverse and welcoming congregation that is deeply involved in the spiritual, cultural and social justice life of the city.

Grace Church’s Te Deum window exhibits exquisite artistry by Austrian-born Valentine d’Ogries of New Hope, Pennsylvania. D’Ogries’ stained glass windows, frescoes, murals, and altar pieces can also be seen at Trenton’s Trinity Cathedral; at Columbia University, Corpus Christi Church and Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City; and many other prestigious locations in the U.S.

The Te Deum window depicts the Holy Trinity, and angels and figures from Anglican/Episcopal church history, including Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, and Edward Bouverie Pusey, a leader of the Oxford movement to restore Catholic practices to the Anglican Church in England and abroad. “Te Deum” window at Grace Church in Newark photo by Brian Kutner, 2010

For more information about Grace Church in Newark please visit For more information about Newark 350th anniversary please visit

Celebrate Newark’s birthday with Naughty by Nature, Faith Evans, India and many more this weekend

Newark Celebration 350 Founders Weekend Festival kicks off this Friday, May 13 and runs through Sunday, May 15. The festival will take place in Military Park and commemorate the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding.

The event will be headlined by Faith Evans, Naughty by Nature, “the Princess of Salsa,” India, and the Robert Glasper Experiment, and an array of other acts will perform from one of the two festival stages. The festival schedule is as follows.

Main Stage

May 13th

6:00pm: Brick City Collective
7:00pm: Faith Evans
8:30-10:30pm: WBGO’s DJ Felix Hernandez

May 14th

Emcee: Rah Digga
1:00pm: Parade with Malcolm X Shabazz Marching Band
1:30pm: Angela Johnson
2:45pm: Random Test Reggae Band
4:00pm: The Airmen of Note, with special guest Stefon Harris
5:30pm: Robert Glasper Experiment
7:00pm: Naughty by Nature
8:30pm-10:30pm: Hot 97’s DJ Bobby Trends

May 15th

1:00pm: Sarah Vaughan Tribute
2:30pm: Rob Paparozzi
4:00pm: Jubilation Choir with Cissy Houston
5:30pm: India
7:00pm: Power 105.1’s DJ Reymo

Youth Stage

May 14th

Emcee: Sheila Anderson
1:00pm: Them Cloud Kids: Epiphany & YB the Brand
2:00pm: Newark Boys Chorus
3:00pm: Jazz House Kids
4:00pm: Alexis Morrast Trio
5:00pm: Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens: “The Soul of Newark”

May 15th

Emcee: Sheila Anderson
1:00pm: Grupo Liberdade de Capoeira
1:30pm: Them Cloud Kids: Leah Jenea
2:00pm: Charger Rock Alliance
3:00pm: Them Cloud Kids: Shane Fuller and Leigh Soriano
4:00pm: Brick City Jazz Orchestra: Tribute to Sarah Vaughan

Lots of ways to give back as Newark Celebration 350 joins organizations nationwide for Giving Day

newark celebration 350 cardOn May 3, 2016, Newark Celebration 350 will join nonprofit organizations and community foundations across the country for Give Local America – a 24-hour nationwide crowdfunding event that provides a platform to invest in and support the work of local nonprofit organizations. Newark will take part in order to raise funds for the City’s legacy gifts in honor of Newark’s 350th anniversary of its founding which include:

Planting 350 Trees: The New Jersey Tree Foundation aims to make Newark a greener city with the planting of 350 more trees citywide. According to studies, Newark has a tree canopy of just 15% while healthy cities are estimated to have at least 30%. In addition to the potential positive impact on the city’s environment, this initiative will also build community among neighbors in the beautification of their streets.

Restoring and Re-installing Gutzon Borglum’s 1916 Landing Monument: The Mount Rushmore famed sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s masterpiece currently resides under a tarp in a garage belonging to the City’s Department of Engineering and Traffic Signals. Newark Landmarks and Preservation Committee will spearhead the restoration with plans to place it on the grounds of New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Initiating a Newark College Student Success Fund: In partnership with the Newark City of Learning Collaborative, this program will provide mini grants for Newark residents attending undergraduate programs at colleges and universities in Newark to aid them on the path of college retention and success. These emergency and inspiration grants of up to $500 will be made available to students to support books, transportation, childcare, medical expenses and more.


Commission a Newark 350 Music Composition: In honor of Newark’s 350th Anniversary, Jazz artist Stefon Harris and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will create a musical work that will be performed at a Newark Celebration 350 event in fall 2016. The composition is intended to reach multi-generational audiences and may include the accompaniment of a guest hip hop/rap artist.

“Happy 350th Birthday Newark:” Donors may choose to donate any amount they wish to go towards supporting a project or service that addresses a compelling community need as determined by the Newark Celebration 350 Committee, which may include support for the NC 350 Legacy Gifts.

The legacy gifts were conceived by a community-based committee lead by Mary Sue Sweeney Price, the legacy gift committee chair. She is Director Emerita of the Newark Museum and the widow to Newark Celebration 350’s visionary and nationally revered historian and civic advocate, the late Dr. Clement A. Price, whose life and legacy was dedicated to public service and charting a bright future for Newark.

“Newark Celebration 350 aims to inspire and unite all citizens, corporations and civic leaders by inspiring them to come together on Giving Day and join in the collective conscience that will improve the long-term outlook and promise of our community, through the funding of these legacy gifts,” said Mrs. Price. “It is our hope that the City’s first giving day will also create a sustainable culture of crowdfunded philanthropy that will last beyond this celebratory year of Newark’s 350th anniversary as one of America’s great cities. Newark deserves our wholehearted support this year and in the future.”

“Newark Celebration 350 is proud to be part of Giving Day which supports our mission by building bridges and making Newark an even stronger and more vibrant community for the next generations to come,” said NC 350 Chair Junius Williams. “We hope everyone will join hands with us on May 3 and celebrate Newark’s spirit of generosity and support of our citizens and the local non-profit organizations doing the good work in our community.”

Starting this week, pledges can be made in advance and for 24 hours on national Giving Day May 3rd, donations will be accepted on Minimum donation is $10 with the goal of reaching $350,000 in honor of Newark’s 350th anniversary of its founding.

Visit and #newarkgives for more information and how to pledge.

A citywide garden tour will come to Newark this summer

newark celebration 350 card“Newark’s Harvest” is coming to town as part of the city’s Newark Celebration 350 schedule of events. The series of events will take place from August 15th through the 20th of this year, and is a collaboration between Newark Science and Sustainability, Inc. and more than a dozen gardens and urban farms across the city.

The events will consist of a historical garden tour and a present-day harvest, and is meant to provide residents and visitors an opportunity to become informed about the city’s various agricultural spaces. It will also push themes of healthy eating, healthy living practices, and environmental education, according to organizers.

“Through a series of workshops, presentations, and by reaping the benefits from the harvests of each of the participating spaces, residents will walk away with healthy, locally-grown produce and a broader awareness of environmental stewardship,” read a statement announcing the event.


Participating gardens and urban farms:

The Green Community Garden
114 South 8th Street, Newark, NJ 07107

Garden of Hope
7 Fairmount Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

The People’s Garden
86 Garside St, Newark, NJ 07104

Pedal Farm
490 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102

SWAG Project Farms
343 Meeker Ave, Newark, NJ 07112
438 Peshine Ave, Newark, NJ 07112

Cortland Community Garden
29 Cortland St, NJ 07105

Elm St Community Garden
317 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

Ferry St Community Garden
Corner of Ferry and St Charles Streets, Newark, NJ 07105

Court Street Farm
138 Court St, Newark, NJ 07103

Hawthorne Ave Farm (Hawthorne Hawks Healthy Harvest Farm)
448 Hawthorne Ave, Newark, NJ 07112

Ramon Rivera Community Garden
68 Mt Prospect Ave (Corner of Mt Prospect and 6th Ave [Victoria Ave]), Newark, NJ 07104

Zulu Nation Community Garden
35 Stone St, Newark, NJ 07104

Garden of Worker Bees-Jardin de Abejas Trabajadores
179-181 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104

AL’Maidah Organic Community Garden
45-47 Lyons Ave, Newark,NJ 07112

Plot It Fresh gardens managed by the Greater Newark Conservancy:
298 Sussex Ave, Newark, NJ 07107
316 14th Ave, Newark, NJ 07103
391 7th Ave, Newark, NJ 07107
616 Bergen St, Newark, NJ 07108
40 ½ Elizabeth Ave, Newark, NJ 07108
150 Smith St, Newark, NJ 07106
446 Hawthorne Ave, Newark, NJ 07112