(TRENTON, NJ) -- Art All Night will return for its 13th year on Saturday, June 15th at Roebling Wire Works in Trenton. The future of the 24 hour celebration of art was in doubt after last year's event ended with gun shots leaving 22 injured and one person dead. This year's return comes with more security and increased training for the volunteers who work the event.
The 2019 Art All Night will run from Saturday, June 15 at 3:00pm through 3:00pm on Sunday, June 16. According to an email from the festival, "the biggest change this year will be that the whole perimeter of the event, including all outdoor music, food truck and other activity areas, will be fenced off. Attendees must go through a security check at two entrances (off Dye Street and S. Clinton Avenue) including being wanded and having their bags checked. All drinks and liquids, illegal drugs, weapons or other dangerous items will not be allowed in."
The festival said they are hiring a private security firm to handle security checks at the entrances. There will also be Trenton police stationed at each entrance. Everyone from the artists, musicians, vendors, volunteers, and Art All Night staff will need to go through the security checks to enter.
In addition, the festival says they have been working with the City of Trenton to develop a security plan and a large law enforcement presence for the full 24 hours of operation. "This plan has been vetted and signed off on by independent risk management and security consultants, as well as by the city and Artworks. For peak hours on Saturday and overnight, there will be upwards of 40 law enforcement officers (uniformed and plainclothes) from the City of Trenton Police, State Police, County Prosecutor's Office, and other jurisdictions. There will also be a sizable Trenton Fire Department and Emergency Services (EMT) contingent at the event. Law enforcement will be closing Dye Street and S. Clinton Avenue adjacent to the Art All Night site, and patrolling the area outside the fenced perimeter of the event as well as the inside of the event," stated the email.
Volunteers will be trained on the new measures, emergency preparedness, and how to communicate with the law enforcement on site.
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The festival is seeking volunteers for before, during, and after the event (cleanup after 3:00pm on Sunday). Those interested in volunteering may sign up online.
“As it has always been, Art All Night will continue to be free and open to all, a welcoming festival for all of Trenton’s and the region’s citizens, a place where we all come together and use art as an agent for positive change in our community,” said Joseph Kuzemka, Art All Night Director. “We encourage everyone to continue to be a part of the event and attend June 15th and 16th while we bring a full 24 hours of art to Trenton. Our submission forms are open and every participant who hangs art, offers to perform or volunteers, adds purpose and strength to the words Art, Community and Nonviolence,” said Mr. Kuzemka.
“Art. Community. Nonviolence. These three words are now inseparable to us,” Mr. Kuzemka added, “and are integral to our mission serving the Greater Trenton region. Community, and communal art, is at the core of what we started in Trenton 13 years ago at the first Art All Night and it has been incredible to see the collective power of art to grow and cement our community ties. Now, more than ever, we want to ensure art will continue to be a support for and give a voice to those with limited hope or opportunity. In rebuilding Art All Night, we are rededicated to making art a healing force for the ills and violence in our community. The words of support that people from all communities and walks of life offered us after last year’s tragedy, from New Jersey’s Governor, Trenton’s Mayor, community leaders, to countless individuals, holds true: we need Art All Night now more than ever.”
“Joseph and myself have been meeting for months with Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, his staff, senior members of the City of Trenton Police Department, other law enforcement agencies, and outside security consultants, and have developed a plan which will ensure a safe and fun Art All Night,” Mr. Otis said. “The most visible change to Art All Night will be how we all access the event and what we can bring into the event,” he said. “There will be controlled access to both the Roebling Wire Works building and all outdoor activities, with the full outdoor perimeter of the event fenced off and Dye Street and parts of South Clinton Avenue closed to traffic. Entry can be gained at two controlled entrances, and all attendees and their personal effects will be wanded and subject to search. Additionally, no outside alcohol or other liquids of any kind, drugs or other dangerous or illegal items, will be allowed into the event. We will post a complete list of items that will not be allowed soon. Please check it carefully.”
“These changes will mean waits, maybe long ones at peak hours, to get into Art All Night,” Mr. Otis said. “This may be frustrating but ultimately is for the security and safety of all. Art All Night needs to come back, but it needs to come back to Trenton in a way we can all be proud of, and all feel secure in being a part of.” He urged artists and attendees to check the Art All Night website and social media pages regularly to keep abreast of new exhibit and attendance protocols.