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Northern NJ Community Foundation's ArtsBergen Selects Tatyana Fazlalizadeh to Create Black Women's Mural Project


Northern NJ Community Foundation

(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen initiative has selected artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh to create the "Women's Mural Project: Celebrating Black Suffragists and Black Women' in Englewood, New Jersey. The mural will celebrate Black women's voices, raise awareness about Black suffragists, and encourage civil discourse within the community. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) is a not-for-profit organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a Black-Iranian visual artist and Oklahoma City native, is a painter, whose work ranges from the gallery to the streets, using visual art to address the daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people through beautifully drawn and painted portraits. Her street art series, “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” addressing sexual harassment in public spaces, appears on walls across the globe. In 2019, she was the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. The New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, the New Yorker, and Time Magazine profiled her work.

Fazlalizadeh lectured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Brooklyn Museum, New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, and several universities, including Stanford, Brown and Pratt Institute. Her work can be seen on Spike Lee's Netflix series, She's Gotta Have It, for which she is also served as the show's art consultant. 

Community Input Workshops: Englewood residents are invited to participate and share their input with the artist in a virtual community workshop on November 18, 2021 at 7:00pm. This will be the second community input session; the first session was held on October 21 with a panel of local civil rights activists and women’s suffragist historian Lisa Tetrault from Carnegie Mellon University. Fazlalizadeh will give a presentation on her work and lead an interactive conversation discussing what story needs to be told in the mural, how participants artistically visualize it, and the ways they can contribute. Participants need to pre-register online to attend.

 The NNJCF's ArtsBergen initiative in collaboration with its community partners -- The Women’s Rights Information Center, Metro Community Center, and the Woman’s Club of Englewood -- will implement the projectThe mural will be painted on the east-facing wall of The Women's Rights Information Center building on downtown Palisade Avenue in Englewood, New Jersey. Major support for the project is made possible from an AARP Community Challenge Grant, Valley Bank, Visions Federal Credit Union, Sozosei Foundation and PNC Bank. For further information, contact nnjcf@nnjcf.org or call 201-568-5608.                   

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ArtsBergen Initiative: The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative, a regional arts alliance, works with various stakeholders. These stakeholders encompass artists, arts organizations, businesses and municipal leaders, who use the arts to shape the social, physical, cultural, and economic identity of communities. Creative placemaking, a community-led, arts-driven approach, is used to increase vibrancy, spur economic development, and build capacity among residents to take ownership of their communities.

ArtsBergen is the only initiative in Bergen County, New Jersey offering a range of services in creative placemaking. The initiative has partnered with multiple municipalities facilitating creative teams, developing public art and creative placemaking plans, and directing and managing public art projects to preserve and express community culture.           

Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, the environment, philanthropy, and the arts. The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.  

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originally published: 11/09/2021

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