(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Arts has announced the awardees of its annual ArtStart mini-grant program. Seventeen winning proposals were granted a total of $50,000 for the year 2021-2022. The ArtStart program supports organizations and individuals who create and curate music, dance, theatre, film, visual and/or literary art projects to benefit the residents and neighborhoods of Newark, New Jersey.
This year marks the 20th for ArtStart, which was designed to nurture arts and cultural activities throughout the city of Newark, especially for youth and underserved populations.
“Issuing $50,000 in ArtStart grants this year and nearly $600,000 over the years is a critical part of Newark Arts’ mission,” said Regina Barboza, Interim Executive Director, Newark Arts. “These investments help to provide in-community access to the arts in every ward, from music and dance programs to filmmaking and visual arts.”
A jury made up of informed and experienced members of Newark’s arts community reviewed and scored the applications. This year’s class of winning grantees and their proposals are as follows:
The Institute of Music for Children: The Institute of Music for Children’s mission is to engage children and youth in artistic expression and the creative process. Guided by its vision of HARMONY (Helping Achieve Responsible, Motivated, Optimistic, Neighborhood Youth), the Institute is building a community of high-achieving citizens who are arts makers through professional instruction, mentorship, and family engagement. Community Institute is one of its core programs, providing multi-media and performing Arts Residencies in four to six Newark Public Schools sites.
Newark Emergency Services for Families: “Maybe Something Beautiful” melds literacy, art therapy, and community engagement to create a mural at Newark Emergency Services for Families’ (NESF) Weequahic Family Success Center. Through storytimes, we introduce the character “Mira”, who shows us how imagination becomes inspiration and that even the smallest things can make a big impact. Based on the true story of San Diego’s Urban Art Trail, this project complements the current public arts mural renaissance in Newark.
Lillian Ribeiro: Newark artists, Lillian Ribeiro and Malik Whitaker, and Orange local, Ricardo Pena, will go "Back to the Future", in a virtual intergenerational art program with Newark students at Elliott Street Elementary School and senior adults from all wards of Newark to explore theatre, art and music through oral histories of the Renaissance City. A culmination session invites Ironbound Senior Center participants, students, school administration and participating artists to celebrate works created during the program.
Newark Symphony Hall: Newark Symphony Hall is the new host of the New Jersey Youth Poet Laureate program, in partnership with award-winning youth literary arts organization Urban Word. This initiative encompasses not only the multi-tiered Youth Poet Laureate competition, but also community engagement through educational and artistic programming.
Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc.: During 2021-22, SMAPA will continue its successful in-school dance residency partnership at Newark’s Quitman Street Community School benefiting 160+ 3rd-5th grade students (eight weekly classes, 28 weeks, two student performances). SMAPA’s innovative curriculum led by skilled teaching artists features tap for 3rd grade and West African for 4th and 5th grades. The success of SMAPA’s program has resulted in Quitman’s recent hiring of a dance teacher to teach other grade levels (separate from this grant).
Keys 2 Success: Keys 2 Success brings quality music education to PreK-8 students in the most underserved areas of Newark. Free, daily piano lessons are delivered in a group setting in their own environments, bringing together staff and volunteers to remove barriers and support students as they develop into future leaders. The “New Music Commissions by Black Composers for Keyboard Ensembles” reclaims classical music for students of color by creating and teaching students music by accomplished Black composers.
Forest Hill Community Association: Newark PorchFest returns on 9/25/21 as a celebration of community arts with the following goals: 1. Provide a free, fun event that brings diverse arts programming to residents & visitors, 2. Showcase local musicians & artists (both professional and amateur), 3. Provide positive promotion for Newark, the North Ward & the Forest Hill Historic District, 4. Continue building pride and a sense of community in Forest Hill, 5. Raise funds to support community arts initiatives.
Project for Empty Space: The PES Story Lab partners with creatives and practitioners to develop printed matter, cultivating discourse around important social justice issues. PES Story Lab aims to promote artists whose work is oriented around social impact and create brave spaces for those artists and their audiences alike.
Janelle Ings, Cindy Nicholson, and Susan Pope: Brick City Dance: A Renaissance Endeavor is a documentary that will highlight 20 years of dance education in the Newark Public School system. It will serve as a resource for all educators. The documentary will include a historical timeline of dance education programs within the Newark Board of Education (NBOE). NBOE's dance education programs have expanded to 29 schools since 2001. Dance education is a vital component within NBOE. Dance strengthens literacy, cultural awareness, and foster’s creativity.
STEAM 4 URBN Youth Inc. AKA STEAM Urban: STEAM Urban proudly presents: Keep Art Alive the summer project. Taking an innovative approach to ART through environmental justice, art activism, and hands-on experience, STEAM Urban is a movement dedicated to redesigning the way education looks and feels for Black & Brown students. Providing thought-provoking programming to dismantle misrepresentation, Keep Art Alive provides families access to FREE, consistent and quality programming.
GlassRoots: It will be hot enough to melt glass at Newark Porchfest 2021 on 9/25/21, as GlassRoots' portable hotshop offers the art of glassblowing up close, and, safely, outside. The hotshop's furnace fires up to 2,100°; hot enough to turn solid glass into a malleable liquid that can be fashioned into glass art. Attendees will view glassblowing demonstrations, experiencing the full potential of glass as a material for design and gaining an understanding of the craft.
Hellane Freeman: The InJustice@BrickCity concept examines the Environmental/Social Injustice disadvantages within an underserved and marginalized society, via the use of new media art, photography, graffiti, and spoken word. The project deals explicitly with the unequal/failed distribution of environmental/social benefits and the burdens people experience, at home, at work, or just being in their skin.
Newark Print Shop: Newark Print Shop’s YES PROGRAM will introduce middle school and high school-aged students to screenprinting as a contemporary and entrepreneurship art practice. Through this educational silkscreen program, Newark Print Shop will stimulate creative engagement and empower local teenage youth through the fine art of silkscreen printing. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the design and screenprinting process by engaging in skills-based learning of the medium culminating in a personal brand and apparel line.
I Have A Dream Foundation - NJ: I Have A Dream Foundation is painting a collaborative mural in the courtyard of Thirteenth Avenue School. This preK-8 school in the West Ward has a STEAM theme, and the courtyard is the site of the school’s new garden and “outdoor education center.” The mural will integrate the themes of the garden and STEAM education while reflecting the voices of the youth, as students across the school will participate in its design and painting.
Ivy Hill Vailsburg Center for Arts Culture and Community Activism: ACCA provides year-round arts and cultural health classes to people of all ages. Studio arts and cultural health classes include visual art/scene design, vocal music, instrumental music-recorder and piano, theater arts/scene design, dance, community activism, two creative writing salons: poetry/short story/graphic novel, Tai Chi, Gentle Stretch. ACCA will also offer two maker workshops beginning this summer.
Elliott Street School: Elliott Street School’s project embraces the arts as a strategy to immerse its 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students in West African culture, including dance and drum performance, history, storytelling, mask-making, crafts and field trips. “Telling Our Stories in African Dance, Drum and Art” includes a six-week residency by The Center for Modern Dance Education with three culminating performances in Elliott Street School’s Multi-Purpose Room and outdoor schoolyard and two days of ceramic mask-making workshops with Day-in-Clay.
Arts ETC: The Arts ETC project will have an online interactive workshop for high school students who want to have a career in the arts. The project is designed for students in Newark's public and charter high schools who have a strong interest in the arts and want to pursue a career in such. The program would have presenters that would discuss topics such as writing an artist statement, building a resume, and starting a business.
Funding for ArtStart has been provided by Prudential Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Bank of America, the Turrell Fund and other supporters.
For more information, please visit NewarkArts.org/ArtStart.
The mission of Newark Arts is to power the arts to transform lives. Established in 1981 as the Newark Arts Council, the organization’s vision is to become a nationally recognized catalyst for the collaborative power of the arts in the City of Newark and urban America. Newark Arts is the producer of Newark Creates, a community-led citywide cultural plan, created in partnership with the City of Newark. Newark Arts’ key initiatives include Arts Education Newark (AEN), the ArtStart community grantmaking program, and the Newark Arts Festival. Newark Arts is generously supported by Prudential Financial, the City of Newark, M&T Bank, PSEG, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Turrell Fund, Bank of America, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, United Airlines, Hanini Group and individuals, businesses and institutions.