Friday, June 24, 2016

Creative Hackensack team seeking artists and musicians

From ArtsBergen

Call for artists and musicians for 2nd Hackensack Creative Arts Team Art Walk
The Creative Arts Team of the Hackensack Main Street Alliance is seeking musicians/music groups, 18+ years old to play at an outdoor arts exhibition in Hackensack, NJ.
The CAT Walk Art Exhibition on Saturday, August 6, 2016, is the second in a series of outdoor art  art, art demos, and live music. The exhibition is produced by the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the Hackensack Art Club, the Main Street Business Alliance, and ArtsBergen.
Hackensack CAT Arts Walk, June 4, 2016
exhibitions celebrating local and regional artists. Demarest Place, the "Art Walk", in Hackensack, NJ will come to life with displays of

For musicians
Each musician/music groups will be given 55 minutes: a 45 minute set, with an additional 5 minutes to set-up and 5 minutes to break down. All genres encouraged to apply. PA provided; musicians bring backline (amps) and drums. Lyrics and content should not be explicit.
Applicants should electronically submit two songs/samples in mp3 format, bio, and link to website if applicable, to
by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. Please indicate genre. 5 musicians/music groups will be selected.

For artists
Each artist will be given a 6x6 foot space along Demarest Place, off of Main Street, in Hackensack, NJ. Work shown must be wall mountable. No space fees apply.
Artists will be selected based on creativity and artistic merit by a panel of artists on the Creative Arts Team. Applicants should electronically submit 5-10 portfolio items indicating artist name, medium, and size, by email to by WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2016. All work must be original. Content should be family appropriate. 24 artists will be selected.
Any questions, please contact Stephanie O'Connor at
ArtsBergen is partnering with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team, a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials that developed a creative placemaking plan integrating arts and culture into the City of Hackensack's redevelopment. The C.A.T Walk Art Exhibition is one project that helps to realize this plan by providing an opportunity for local artists to show their work to the community and bring Main Street to life through the arts. Click here for more information about Creative Hackensack.
The Creative Arts Team was developed through a Community Coaching initiative led by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.  Community Coaching was made possible by the Upper Main Street Business Alliance, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation and the City of Hackensack, NJ.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Arts help connect plans to people

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

Creative placemaking can help bring more arts to communities. Arts can return the favor.

Consider this: The New Jersey cities of Perth Amboy and Hackensack have new creative placemaking plans.  In May and June 2016, the stewards of these plans brought them to arts festivals to raise awareness, get feedback, and generate interest.
US Congressman Frank Pallone (standing) reviews the Creative Perth Amboy plan
at the second annual Perth Amboy Waterfront Arts Festival, May 2016. The plan
 and the festival were produced by leaders of the Creative Perth Amboy team, who are
now part of the Perth Amboy Arts Council (another product of the planning effort)

Volunteers in Hackensack getting feedback on the Creative Hackensack vision plan
  during the CAT Walk art exhibition, June 2016.  Not only did this effort get
positive feedback on and ideas for the plan, at least 10 people signed up to get
more involved with the Hackensack Creative Arts Team and the plan 
The Perth Amboy plan was even treated like a work of art. The City held a one-day exhibit and reception for Creative Perth Amboy at the City's art gallery.  Large-scale maps from the plan and the vision were displayed on walls and easels.

An exhibit and presentation of Creative Perth Amboy at the
 Perth Amboy Gallery Center for the Arts, May 2016. There, Mayor Wilda Diaz
pledged to have the City implement and support the plan. 

It's not unusual for dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people to get involved in generating ideas for plans. But how many people actually read the final documents? Some planners do presentations of their final plans. But these tend to be quiet affairs, usually attended mostly by the people who had already been involved.  By making the plans part of arts events -- or making the plan presentation into an art event -- plan stewards can reach more people. And the planners, like the artists around them, can see if their work touches the hearts and minds of the public.

Note:  Both the Hackensack and the award-winning Creative Perth Amboy plans were developed through Community Coaching, a program of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking. To learn more about this program, please contact NCCP Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thinking of pursuing an NEA Our Town grant? We can help.

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

A National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant is one of the most prestigious -- and difficult -- to get in the field of creative placemaking.  NCCP's work has been funded by three Our Town grants since 2012.  Proposals are due September 12, 2016.

The Our Town program has helped support our Community Coaching work in Long Beach Island and Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and is funding efforts to build a community of creative placemakers in New Jersey. Executive Director Leonardo Vazquez has also been a reviewer in the program.

If you agree to include NCCP as a paid partner or consultant in your proposal, we will help you strategize your program and your proposal.  There would be no charge for up to three hours of advice or proposal edits. Beyond that, we would ask for a small fee to cover our time.

US Representative Frank Pallone (standing) reviews the Creative Perth Amboy (NJ) plan at the 2016 Waterfront Festival.  The plan was funded in part by an NEA Our Town Grant and was developed through NCCP's Community Coaching.  The Festival, Perth Amboy Arts Council and a law allowing outdoor murals were some of the successes of the Coaching process. This plan won the  2016 Outstanding Plan-Municipal Award from the American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter.  Kneeling in the foreground is Arts Council Chair Greg Bender.  Image courtesy: Caroline Pozycki Torres.

To learn more about Community Coaching, please join the next information session. In addition to Community Coaching, we can help you with a wide range of services, including:

  • Public engagement
  • Leadership development and team building
  • Land use analysis and planning
  • Creative asset inventory
  • Training 

Of course, we can not guarantee any outcome.  Also, we will NOT lobby NEA staff either directly or indirectly, nor attempt to influence Our Town reviewers while they are examining grant proposals.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Leonardo Vazquez by email or at 973-763-6352