By the staff and board of The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking
So many of us were stunned to hear about the tragedy Sunday at Art All Night in Trenton, NJ. It is more than an annual arts festival; it is a wonderful and inspiring event that for more than a decade has shown that the arts can bring – even for a day – joy, freedom and safety in a challenged area of Trenton.
We learned yesterday that no matter how hard you try to make completely safe enclaves, the tensions and pressures of the outside world can sometimes barrel in. And we may fall back on our fears and question our confidence.
But if we give in to our fears or negative thoughts, we lose something of ourselves. And the people who want us to be afraid feel more empowered. What we learn after events like this is that if we can be both confident and careful, we can keep building better and safer communities.
While we are upset about violence for any reason, we offer our condolences to the family of the person killed and to the all the victims.
We hope that the organizers of Art All Night will continue their path, which not only helps Trenton but all challenged communities. And of course we hope that everyone will go support the event next time. And we also hope that everyone will help address the social and economic issues that lead to violence and tragedy.