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Barrels O' Art on Display in the City of Hackensack

originally published: 10/06/2023

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The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s Executive Director, Leonardo Vazquez (left), joins some of the artists posed with the rain barrels they painted that are on display in Carver Park in Hackensack.  Photo Credit: NNJCF

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation- ArtsBergen (NNJCF) celebrates National Arts and Humanities Month throughout October.  During the month, the NNJCF invites the public to see the “Barrels O’Art” exhibit, a free display of colorful, beautifully painted rain barrels in Carver Park in the City of Hackensack.  The temporary art installation of rain barrels will be on display at Carver Park, 302 2nd Street in Hackensack, through November 7, 2023.  The rain barrels beautify the flood-prone neighborhood and educate the public about flooding.

Barrels O’ Art Project Installed: The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen initiative formed a selection committee comprised of Hackensack artists, community leaders, and residents to review the artists’ applications.  They selected these 11 artists from Hackensack and other municipalities in New Jersey to paint murals on the rain barrels in the "Barrels O' Art" project: Fiona Clark (Bloomfield); Anthony Coplan (Wood-Ridge); Emily Gilman Beezley (Manasquan); Toney Jackson (Hackensack); Lissanne Lake (North Bergen); Guillermo Lopez (Ridgefield Park); Dianna Mammone (Rochelle Park); John Newcomb (Leonia); Amrisa Niranjan (Hackensack); Copie Rodriguez (Garfield);  and Sasha Zinevych (Hackensack).

Each rain barrel provided a canvas for a painted mural.  The selected artists painted themes on the barrels compiled from a survey distributed earlier to residents of Hackensack.  Examples of those themes included animals, fantasy, architecture, cultural diversity, environmental protection, education, sports/athletics and the City of Hackensack in the future. The barrels raise awareness through the arts about ways to prevent future flooding, issues around environmental justice, and green infrastructure solutions. 

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Win a Free Rain Barrel: All of the rain barrels in the display will be given away to Hackensack residents and organizations through a random drawing.  People interested in receiving a free painted rain barrel may sign up here.  Similarly, Hackensack residents and organizations may sign up to win a free, unpainted rain barrel.  Only one barrel is available per resident or organization on a first-come, first-served basis.

Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation Project: With a 2023 AARP Community Challenge Flagship Grant, the public art and education project, Barrels O' Art, launched.  This activity comprises a part of the Partners for Places Green Infrastructure and Environmental Justice for Flood Mitigation project undertaken in partnership with the City of Hackensack and Greater Bergen Community Action.  Supporters of the project include The Funders Network, AARP, Valley Bank, and The Rotary Club of Hackensack.   For more information about the project, click here.

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National Arts and Humanities Month: During October, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF)-ArtsBergen joins arts organizations and communities nationwide to celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month.  The NNJCF-ArtsBergen initiative encourages members of the community to see public artwork in their area.  National Arts and Humanities Month, coordinated by Americans for the Arts, is a month-long celebration that grew out of National Arts Week and was started in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.  Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved.  Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services and resources.  The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.

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.



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