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Can Camden Turn Lemons Into Lemonade?

originally published: 07/24/2018

Can Camden Turn Lemons Into Lemonade?

On July 18, the City of Camden was named as one of the 14 finalists for the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge. The Challenge encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues. The program supports temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies.

Camden’s bid is truly the Jersey equivalent of turning lemons into lemonade.  

The City of Camden proposes transforming lots currently used for illegal dumping along major transportation highways into spaces with arts programming. Spaces located along the city’s downtown transit hub will be converted into multi-purpose community forums to host art installations and provide a visual narrative to the more than 65,000 people who travel through Camden daily.

The title of the proposal is: “Transforming Illegal Dumping Lots into Arts Space: ‘A New View.’

Bloomberg Philanthropies received over 200 applications for the 2018 Public Art Challenge and will select at least three winners from among the 14 finalists to execute their projects in the fall.  The other finalists include: Anchorage, AK; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Coral Springs, FL; El Paso, TX; Holyoke, MA; Honolulu, HI; Jackson, MS; Miami-Dade County, FL; Santa Rosa, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; and Tulsa, OK.



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Up to $1 million will be awarded for selected projects. The grant may not be used to fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed group of supporters for each project.  Grant funds will be available for development and execution of the project over a maximum of 24 months following the announcement of final awards.

The Public Art Challenge is open to U.S. cities with at least 30,000 residents. Lead Applicant Applications must be submitted by the mayor or chief executive of the host city on behalf of a collaboration between the city and an artist and/or arts organization.

The Challenge looks for innovative public art projects with potential for a positive impact on the host city.  Projects must show evidence of technical feasibility of the project idea and its implementation.  Budgets, capacity to leverage other sources of support, and marketing plans are taken into account as well.  Plus they need to see proof of clear, specific partnership between local government and artists and/or arts organizations and a commitment to evaluating outcomes.

The Public Art Challenge is a part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Program works to showcase the potential of artists to act as civic leaders, drawing attention to and encouraging dialogue around pressing problems. The Public Art Challenge, founded to further this work, supports temporary public art projects that engage communities and enrich the quality of life in cities. 

The program, launched in 2014 and announced the first round of winning teams in 2015 - Los Angeles, California; Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York (a collaborative project). Their projects, which all opened in 2016, spurred civic leaders and residents, as well as local nonprofits and businesses, to work together to advance solutions to critical urban challenges such as abandoned properties, environmental sustainability, community-police relations, and creative sector economic development.

“The Public Art Challenge brings people together to look at issues from new perspectives and uncover new solutions. The winning projects from the first competition all made a real and lasting impact in their cities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City.






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(NEWARK, NJ) -- The Gem Project, a Newark-based not-for-profit organization, is hosting its inaugural youth-led Art Activism exhibit, “Reincarnation of Jim Crow” at Kelcher Hubb in Newark on Friday, December 14 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The culminating event arrives after two cohorts of Newark High School participants earned up to 64 hours of service-learning hours across 11 weeks
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(RINGOES, NJ) -- The East Amwell Historical Society and the Sourland Conservancy will present An Exhibition of Photographs of Plants and Animals Native to the Sourlands by Jim Amon at the East Amwell Museum in Ringoes.  The opening reception will be held on January 11th at 7:00pm. Admission to the East Amwell Museum and exhibit will be free and open to the public on weekends from 1:00pm - 4:00pm.  The exhibit will be on display from January 5 through February 15, 2019.
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(NEW YORK, NY) -- Gladys Barker Grauer, a pillar of the Newark, New Jersey, arts community, will be one of four recipients of a 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA) during an awards celebration on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). Fellow recipients include Olga de Amaral, Mary Beth Edelson, and Mira Schor. The recipients for the 2019 President's Art & Activism Award are L.J. Roberts and Aruna D'Souza.
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(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Studio Montclair (SMI) is holding a Holiday Sale and Exhibit from November 27 through December 21 at the Studio Montclair Gallery, 127 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ. An opening reception with light refreshments and artists’ demonstrations will be held on Saturday, December 1st from noon to 4:00pm.


Jerry Gant 1961-2018
Jerry, There is no bio that will seem complete for you. Where would it be listed, amongst your numerous and diverse accomplishments, that you talked to people, always seemed to find time for the younger artists, to talk to them and look at their sketchbooks? Your use of language as a material, testing limits, associations, and possibilities.
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Event calendar
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018


MUSIC

ALAN SCARDAPANE @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm


THEATRE

Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

The Night Before Christmas Carol @ The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCCArts), Branchburg - 1:00pm and 7:00pm

A Christmas Carol @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm


KIDS

The Shoemaker & the Christmas Elves @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 10:30am


MISC

Sam Darnold Meet & Greet @ iPlay America, Freehold - 5:00pm






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