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Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Newark Celebration 350, Yendor Productions, Newark Arts Council, and city officials announced Music Speaks: Rock The Block and the first-ever Lincoln Park Washington Street Mural as part of the upcoming Lincoln Park Music Festival season. Taking place today from 12pm-5pm, this Lincoln Park Sustainable Community Day includes a community clean up and a free outdoor Sustainable Art Block Party. Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins said, “The idea of incorporating the public art as a vehicle to improve the quality of life of Newark residents is paramount as it gives each resident a voice to participate and envision what community means through there eyes. As a native Newarker, born and raised in the Central Ward – known as the old 5th ward – I remember how beautiful it was growing up. Celebrating and supporting a community like the historical Lincoln Park area is essential to the city’s and central wards overarching goal of revitalization”.
The day-long event will include a community clean up from 9:00am – 12:00pm in Lincoln Park, and various abandoned lots in the neighborhood. The clean up will also include The Façade, a historic landmark, formerly known as the Old South Park Presbyterian Church, which is undergoing a three-phase restoration process by owners LPCCD. Executive director Anthony Smith states, “Lincoln Park’s location on the South end of Broad Street serves as a ‘gateway into Newark’ and The Façade is a cornerstone of that presence. The Façade preserves an important feature of the neighborhood’s history. It fosters greater sustainability. Its future community garden will alleviate some of the nutrition issues associated with being in a food desert, and it will light up the area up with music and culture.” The event’s partners include United Way of Essex and West Hudson, City Without Walls Gallery, Integrity House, and Prudential Center. Smith continues, “The community partnership with Prudential Center includes not only the Rock The Block community clean up, but the entire festival season.” The Prudential Center supported LPCCD’s Autism Walk on May 22, and is supporting the upcoming Rock The Shot photography program, the Lincoln Park Music Festival Kids Zone Village and more.
The Music Speaks: Rock The Block day continues with a free outdoor dance and art party from 12:00pm – 5:00pm, featuring the unveiling of Lincoln Park’s Washington Street Mural on Washington Street between West Kinney and Crawford Streets. The mural is being produced by Lincoln Park based Yendor Productions, founded by Rodney Gilbert, with Newark, NJ born and raised street artist Turf Warz. Gilbert states “I’m ecstatic with my continued partnership with LPCCD. This is the neighborhood where I grew up and live. Its development is in sync with my personal and professional growth. Onward!” The theme of the mural is “Culture Bubbles Up From The Bottom” which speaks to the history and heritage of Lincoln Park. The nickname “Coast” was given to the Lincoln Park area in the 1920s and 30s because of the strip of black businesses, jazz clubs and booming nightlife. At this time, Lincoln Park was the center of African American life in Newark, NJ. LPCCD are keepers of the flame, the history, and the legacy. Further, as its annual 60,000 attendee music festival demonstrates, LPCCD has succeeded over the last 14 years in building its arts and culture programming with community engagement, input and participation. States executive director Smith, “It’s a bottom-up approach. The role and contribution of the arts is invaluable in this bottom-up approach, as it represents the opportunity for the disenfranchised members of our community to participate and contribute. Also, it is important that the mural reflect both past and future.”
“Newark Celebration 350 is a proud partner of Lincoln Park Music Speaks series, a year long program led by Anthony Smith and his passionate team,” said Newark Celebration 350 Chair Junius Williams. “Lincoln Park Music Speaks aligns with NC 350’s focus to raise the voices of our communities through programs highlighting the arts, music, history, culture and the triumphs of our City throughout this celebratory milestone year.” The Rock The Block Sustainable Art Block Party will feature live DJ and performances produced by Susu Stewart of Susu Productions and YOPAT, live art demonstrations and community painting by City Without Walls Gallery, clean water awareness by United Way of Essex and West Hudson, and a “bring your old kicks” (sneaker donation) drop off for Newark’s homeless population. Resident and visitors alike are encouraged to come out, bring a chair, checkers or chess and dance in the streets with Lincoln Park!
Remaining Music Speaks events include:
July & October 2016 – “Music Speaks: Rock The Shot” Photography programming. Free photography lessons by renowned professional photographers (North and South Wards); shoot LPMF (Central Ward) and Photography Exhibition (Central Ward). Workshops: July 2016. Photography Field Work: July 29-31, 2016 Exhibit: October 2016. FREE. Workshops require sign up in advance.
July 27, 2016 – “Music Speaks: Hip Hop Rocks” Hip hop programming, featuring “A Conversation With” an icon or legend who has made an impact on the culture by AllHipHop.com preceded by screening “Can’t Forget New Jersey” film by 211 Media Group (Central Ward). FREE. RSVP required.
July 31, 2016 – “Music Speaks: Rock The Spirit” Gospel programming, featuring a rooftop Gospel Brunch celebrating Newark’s own The Drinkards in song with voices of LPMF’s Gospel Day and local church praise teams, produced by Susu Productions/YOPAT with Hotel Indigo Newark (Central Ward). Brunch reservation with venue required. Fundraiser for LPCCD.
August 19, 2016 – “Music Speaks: Rock The Riverfront” House music programming with house beats by a renown house music DJ followed by a screening of “Hands To The Sky” film by Domingo Canate, in partnership with Newark Riverfront Revival (East Ward). FREE.