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JCTC Presents Stories of Greenville: Inclusive Arts Project Plays Vital Role in Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

originally published: 06/12/2019

JCTC Presents Stories of Greenville: Inclusive Arts Project Plays Vital Role in Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Neighbors, residents, families, artists and art lovers are invited to a community meeting introducing Stories of Greenville to be held June 24th at 7:00pm at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center, 140 Martin Luther King Drive, Jersey City. Stories of Greenville – a two-year arts program produced and presented by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) – is the first arts project to be part of the I Love Greenville Community Plan, a neighborhood improvement initiative created by the Greenville Community Partnership (GCP) and funded by the statewide Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Program.

Through Stories of Greenville, JCTC spearheads a multidisciplinary arts project designed to bring exposure to Greenville artists – including visual artists, filmmakers, writers, poets, musicians, dancers and performers – by creating a series of workshops, events, educational programs and performances in one of Jersey City’s oldest but most vibrant neighborhoods. Some of the themes Stories of Greenville will explore include: gentrification, mentorship, oppression, multiculturalism, LGBTQ issues, arts education and the business of making art.

“JCTC is proud to be the first arts organization included in the important work of the I Love Greenville Community Plan initiative,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “Stories of Greenville is about building bridges both in Greenville and between communities. At this Community Meeting, JCTC will be listening and learning. We’re looking forward to working with community artists to tell the stories of the people of Greenville.”

JCTC has already held preliminary meetings with Greenville artists and arts supporters as a means to begin create programming that showcases the wide array of Greenville artists. The Stories of Greenville Community Meeting will present upcoming events in the community, but more importantly, project participants will survey community members about what kind of arts programming they are most interested in and explore ways everyone can be involved in – and benefit from – Stories of Greenville.

Interviewing community members while also organizing Greenville artists to create the array of programming the Stories of Greenville project encompasses – was part of the grant proposal submitted by JCTC. For the third year in a row, GCP has received NRTC funding which support activities intending to make the I Love Greenville Community Plan area a safe place to ‘Live, Work, Play and Create.’ 2019 was the first time the GCP invited arts organizations to submit proposals; other organizations included in the current I Love Greenville Community Plan included: Garden State Episcopal, Jersey City Medical Center Foundation, Kismet of Kings, and Rising Tide Capital.

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“The arts are a formative part of any community,” said Tiffany McQueary, President - I Love Greenville Community Partnership “We are happy to work with Jersey City Theatre Center to ensure that the residents of Greenville have adequate representation in the art culture of Jersey City.”

The Greenville Community Partnership (GCP) has received funding from Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC.) The project supports continued execution of neighborhood improvement initiatives outlined in the I Love Greenville Community Plan and is made possible by generous program investments by the following values-driven corporations: Horizon Healthcare Services, Investors Bank, M&T Bank, Provident Bank & Valley National Bank. The NRTC program, administered by the NJ Department of Community Affairs, offers business entities an 80 percent tax credit for their investment in revitalization activities executed in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) presents programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall. JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that celebrates diversity, bringing communities closer together and enhancing the quality of life.

PHOTO: Two Greenville artists participating in the Stories of Greenville project by Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) are Lorenzo Pickett (left) and Ibn sharif Shakoor. The painting – “Kalief” – is by Pickett. (Photo by Bang Chau/Courtesy of Jersey City Theater Center.)

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