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Can Camden Turn Lemons Into Lemonade?
originally published: 07/24/2018
On July 18, the City of Camden was named as one of the 14 finalists for the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge. The Challenge encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues. The program supports temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies.
Camden’s bid is truly the Jersey equivalent of turning lemons into lemonade.
The City of Camden proposes transforming lots currently used for illegal dumping along major transportation highways into spaces with arts programming. Spaces located along the city’s downtown transit hub will be converted into multi-purpose community forums to host art installations and provide a visual narrative to the more than 65,000 people who travel through Camden daily.
The title of the proposal is: “Transforming Illegal Dumping Lots into Arts Space: ‘A New View.’
Bloomberg Philanthropies received over 200 applications for the 2018 Public Art Challenge and will select at least three winners from among the 14 finalists to execute their projects in the fall. The other finalists include: Anchorage, AK; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Coral Springs, FL; El Paso, TX; Holyoke, MA; Honolulu, HI; Jackson, MS; Miami-Dade County, FL; Santa Rosa, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; and Tulsa, OK.
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Up to $1 million will be awarded for selected projects. The grant may not be used to fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed group of supporters for each project. Grant funds will be available for development and execution of the project over a maximum of 24 months following the announcement of final awards.
The Public Art Challenge is open to U.S. cities with at least 30,000 residents. Lead Applicant Applications must be submitted by the mayor or chief executive of the host city on behalf of a collaboration between the city and an artist and/or arts organization.
The Challenge looks for innovative public art projects with potential for a positive impact on the host city. Projects must show evidence of technical feasibility of the project idea and its implementation. Budgets, capacity to leverage other sources of support, and marketing plans are taken into account as well. Plus they need to see proof of clear, specific partnership between local government and artists and/or arts organizations and a commitment to evaluating outcomes.
The Public Art Challenge is a part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Program works to showcase the potential of artists to act as civic leaders, drawing attention to and encouraging dialogue around pressing problems. The Public Art Challenge, founded to further this work, supports temporary public art projects that engage communities and enrich the quality of life in cities.
The program, launched in 2014 and announced the first round of winning teams in 2015 - Los Angeles, California; Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York (a collaborative project). Their projects, which all opened in 2016, spurred civic leaders and residents, as well as local nonprofits and businesses, to work together to advance solutions to critical urban challenges such as abandoned properties, environmental sustainability, community-police relations, and creative sector economic development.
“The Public Art Challenge brings people together to look at issues from new perspectives and uncover new solutions. The winning projects from the first competition all made a real and lasting impact in their cities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City.
Artist's View of the Jewish Autonomous Region of the Soviet Union is MCCC Lecture Topic (WEST WINDSOR, NJ) -- A fall 2017 sabbatical for Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Visual Arts Professor Yevgeniy Fiks was far from a vacation, as it entailed a series of art shows covering three continents, with participation ranging from curator to featured artist.Nikolina Kovalenko’s Artwork on Display in Watchung (SUMMIT, NJ) -- Artist Nikolina Kovalenko is interested in humanity’s vanishing connection with nature and the consequences our everyday actions have on the environment. That fascination provides the inspiration for her new exhibition, Reclamation, which will be on display at the Watchung Reservation’s Trailside Nature and Science Center, in Mountainside, NJ. Presented in partnership with the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, this show will be on view from October 12, 2018–February 12, 2019.Artist As Entrepreneur: Business Skills For Artists (HAMMONTON, NJ) -- Creative Capital and South Jersey Cultural Alliance in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts presents The Artist as Entrepreneur Series from October 2018 through April 2019. The series includes 8 sessions to provide the business skills, tools and networking opportunities to artist so they may build financially healthy and sustainable careers. It is sponsored by the Thrive South Initiative of New Jersey Community Capital.Artist Talk: Kevin Blythe Sampson in Conversation with Renee Stout (NEWARK, NJ) -- Artists Kevin Blythe Sampson and Renée Stout will have a conversation about their artwork, the themes represented therein, and their processes, on Thursday, October 25 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Rutgers University’s Box Gallery in Newark. Express Newark Awarded More Than $200,000 in Third Space Grants (NEWARK, NJ) -- Express Newark announced the recipients of its inaugural Third Space Grants at a press conference on Wednesday, September 26. Express Newark is a conceptual framework and an interdisciplinary learning space where artists and community residents collaborate, experiment, and innovate in partnership with Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) faculty, staff, and students to engage in creative practice, foster democratic dialogue, and promote positive transformation. The Third Space Grants, aggregating more than $200,000, afford Newark artists the opportunity to pursue their work with the RU-N community at Express Newark.
Kevin Sampson: Solo Exhibitions In New Jersey and Beyond “I’m a Civil Rights baby. I grew up laying across picket lines and blocking traffic.”
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Event calendar Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018
MUSIC OF CREAM @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm