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Build a Village: Free Public Art-Making Workshop Series for Senior Citizens
to Launch in Englewood

originally published: 09/14/2018

Build a Village: Free Public Art-Making Workshop Series for Senior Citizens to Launch in Englewood

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) invites seniors, ages 55 plus, who live, work, shop, volunteer, enjoy, or have a connection to Englewood, New Jersey to register for Build a Village, free public art-making workshops to create public murals in the city.  The workshops take place on Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm on October 3, 10, 24, and 31 and November 7 at the Southeast Senior Center for Independent Living (SESCIL), located a 228 Grand Avenue in Englewood.  No art experience is needed.

Advanced registration is required.  Senior citizens may register by calling 201-568-5608 or contacting artsbergen@nnjcf.org.

Professional teaching artist/muralist Dan Fenelon leads the workshops, bringing together participants to explore creating an ideal community through art.  Senior citizens use their imagination and connect with others via the arts.  Through the series, they also make new friends.  The project is also being implemented simultaneously at a second site in Englewood for Bergen Family Center's clients. 

In the spring, the completed murals will be showcased in shadowbox windows next to the Bergen Performing Arts Center leading to ShopRite in Englewood, New Jersey.  Afterward, they will be displayed in storefronts in the central shopping district.

“Building social connections is important at any age, but can be even more vital for seniors.  Build a Village allows seniors to co-create together to produce murals that will be publicly showcased in Englewood, New Jersey.  This pilot program can be replicated in other municipalities in Bergen County, ” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.



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Support Build a Village -- Individuals and businesses are welcome to support this pilot project and its replication with a tax-deductible donation, as permitted by law.  Donations may be made online under the tab, The Creative Placemaking Fund.  Contributions may also be sent by check made out to 'The Northern N.J. Community Foundation' with 'Build a Village' entered in the memo line. 
Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.  To date, partial funding for the project is provided by Age-Friendly Englewood.

Creative Placemaking During its 20th anniversary year, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation continues to serve the community and asks, What can we do together that we can't do alone?. 

The NNJCF is a leader in creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block in the region.  Build a Village is the NNJCF's ArtsBergen initiative's latest creative placemaking project to be implemented in Bergen County.

NNJCF's ArtsBergen has worked extensively with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), a group of local stakeholders to develop a creative placemaking vision plan for the city.  Projects and installations include the Main Gateway Mural, a 140 foot mural beautifying a burnt down building in the downtown, and "Art on a Stick: Raccoons", a series of anthropomorphic raccoons bringing the ordinary to life, at the Johnson Public Library.  The Foundation also managed a call for artists for the "Utility ARTBox Project", a street art project that presents anti-littering messages via art on utility boxes along Main Street and beyond.

About NNJCF - 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. 


Photo by Messy Nessy Chic

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