(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Deputy Mayor and Director of Newark Economic Development and Tourism Carmelo Garcia, Mayor's Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism Gwen Moten, Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, and GlassRoots CEO Barbara Heisler will broke ground for the new Newark Arts Commons on Wednesday, April 25 at the old St. Michael's Hospital (111 Central Avenue) in downtown Newark.
The abandoned historic building will be converted into an 18,000-square foot creative hub, which will enable Newark residents of all ages to learn artistic, entrepreneurial, and life skills.
"Culture and the arts are the core of our city's transformation and growth," Mayor Baraka said. "They are central to our luster as a destination, vital to empowering our economy, and critical to inspiring our youth and residents to achieve their dreams of creative success. This new facility will enable all of these goals to become reality, while also restoring a historic downtown building to productive use. I look forward to the success of the Newark Arts Commons."
GlassRoots alone will create six large, dynamic glass art shops, classrooms, gallery spaces, a gift shop, event rental spaces, and a coffee shop. The Standalone Scientific Glass Workshop will bring new industry to Newark and create employment opportunities for program graduates.
The new facility will provide GlassRoots with a new home and space for other arts organizations.
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The Newark Arts Commons will enable:
* Youth opportunities to work alongside professional artists
* Young adults to serve as gallery docents and take art classes
* Adults to be able to create art in "Worker's Space."
* College students to be able to earn glass concentrations in BFA or MFA programs.
* Artists to exhibit in the facility's gallery and have their art sold in the gift shop.
* Programs to enable communities to gather to work and meet in a creative environment.
GlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (STEM+Art), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development.
PHOTO: Mayor Baraka and GlassRoots Break Ground for New Newark Arts Commons at Old St. Michael's Hospital, April 25, 2018