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Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to Celebrate 25th Anniversary With Showing of Environmental Justice Film "American River" at HACPAC

originally published: 04/30/2023

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to Celebrate 25th Anniversary With Showing of Environmental Justice Film "American River" at HACPAC

Photo by Scott Morris Productions

(HACKENSACK, NJ) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a screening of the documentary film American River, an inspiring and entertaining movie about the evolution of the troubled Passaic River, on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC), located at 102 State Street in Hackensack.

The film has been well received.  “A fantastic voyage through America’s past and present, from its breathtaking, unspoiled beginnings to its growth as a global industrial power – all along a frequently overlooked river.” – Bill Westhoven, Reporter, USA Today

The doors open at 5:45pm, and the movie will be screened from 6:00pm to 7:30pm  Tickets are available for $15 each and are available for purchase online.

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to Celebrate 25th Anniversary With Showing of Environmental Justice Film "American River" at HACPAC

 Mary Bruno, author of the book An American River: From Paradise to Superfund, Afloat on New Jersey's Passaic, appears in the film, kayaking along the Passaic River. Photo Credit:  Scott Morris Productions

Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, works primarily in the areas of the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy.  The NNJCF is leading efforts to address stormwater flooding and the impacts of climate change along the Hackensack River and in the City of Hackensack.  With the film's screening, the Foundation seeks to inspire ideas for the city's hometown river and to help launch the Hackensack River Nation initiative.

Passaic River Explored: The film explores the Passaic River through community members' stories.  New Jersey native Mary Bruno spent her childhood along this river, one of the most polluted waterways in America.  Decades later, Bruno returned to kayak with her guide Carl Alderson on a four-day, 80 mile adventure down the Passaic River, from its pristine source in a wildlife refuge to its toxic mouth in Newark Bay.  The river’s amazing history, geology and ecology reveal themselves, as they navigate challenges, travel through urban landscapes and head towards the industrial disaster that poisoned the Passaic for the past 60 years.



 
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Along the way, the filmmakers engage residents, historians and advocates in conversations eliciting insight, urgency and a sense of wonder to the story.  How did the Passaic become one of the most contaminated rivers in America?  Can it be saved?  The Passaic is an archetype for thousands of rivers across America facing similar reckonings.

Talk Back and Reception: After the film presentation, a talk back session will be held with producer Scott Morris and Hackensack Riverkeeper's Captain Bill Sheehan.  The public is invited to attend and discuss how the communities surrounding the Hackensack River can be greener, healthier, and connect residents to their hometown river.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation will provide information about its environmental protection programs and how the public can get involved.  A reception follows in the HACPAC's art gallery.

The proceeds from ticket purchases support the NNJCF and its work to address pressing, challenging social and environmental issues in North Jersey.  Visions Federal Credit Union and Cullari Carrico are sponsors for the program.  To become a sponsor, contact NNJCF's Executive Director, Leonardo Vazquez, at leo@nnjcf.org.

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to Celebrate 25th Anniversary With Showing of Environmental Justice Film "American River" at HACPAC

Kayakers Mary Bruno and guide Carl Alderson go past a building with graffiti situated along the Passaic River.  Photo Credit:  Scott Morris Productions

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.


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