(NEW MILFORD, NJ) -- What can a community do with an underused building? Find out at the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) ArtsBergen's Connect the Dots event, Repurposing Buildings for Arts and Culture, on Thursday, May 17. The informative networking event takes place at Art Center of Northern New Jersey, 250 Center Street in New Milford, New Jersey from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. Good-will donations are welcome.
Connect with artists, municipal and community leaders, historians and business owners living or working in Bergen County and meet others with similar interests. An interactive question and answer will follow a panel discussion to identify ways to make the county a more vibrant destination through adaptive reuse for arts- and cultural-based community development.
A seasoned panel will share insights about completed projects in the region and potential sites and opportunities in Bergen County. The featured speakers on the panel are: Cynthia Forster, director, Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs; Bill Kraus, Principal, C.W. Kraus Preservation & Development; and Michael Shannon, President, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation. They will discuss the steps involved in repurposing a building from concept development to financing; cultivating buy-in from the community, artists, politicians and commercial stakeholders; and defining the role and involvement of artists.
Art Center of Northern New Jersey, an example of repurposing a building for the arts, is a fine arts school and gallery offering arts classes to the general public. Founded in 1956, the organization found its current in home in 1984 by repurposing the Lutheran Church-St. Matthews.
“Underutilized, vacant, or historic properties are often diamonds in the rough that can be a community’s unseen assets. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen promotes creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a region, city or neighborhood. Part of the work of creative placemaking is envisioning the potential these buildings have to strengthen and enrich community life, when activated with arts- and culture-based purposes," said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
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Registration: Space is limited. Pre-registration is required and may be done online or via email
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, and the arts. 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, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.
ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative's mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.
PHOTOS: (TOP) New Milford Plant of the Hackensack Water Company in Oradell, NJ; (BOTTOM) Russell C. Major Liberty School in Englewood, NJ.