Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Art through Social Consciousness: 
Visions of Community Justice

Last Friday Newark Community Solutions and the Newark Municipal Court collaborated on one of the coolest events I have been a part of since I started working with the program.  But first a little background - several months ago with the blessing of Chief Judge Pratt and the Mayor Baraka, NCS applied to have the Newark Municipal Courthouse be a part of the Newark Art’s Council’s Open Doors City Arts Festival.  Once the application was accepted, a joint NCS – Municipal Court Arts committee was formed to undertake the task of turning a portion of the courthouse into a gallery that would be open to the public over a three day “Arts Crawl.” The committee came up with the theme of Art through Social Consciousness: Visions of Community Justice and put out an open call to local artists. In addition to art submitted by the community and local professional artists, some in-house talent got a chance to shine.  As someone with zero ability in this area I was blown away!

Then finally on the evening of Friday 10/21 the Newark Municipal Court gallery opened its doors!  Guests were greeted with event information (and sparkling cider) by Newark Youth Court members and then made their way down the first floor corridor now covered with paintings, collages, drawing and photography.  A highlight of the evening for me was meeting Vincent A. Johnson Jr.  Vincent is 14 years old and submitted beautiful pictures he took in Newark's Branch Brook Park.  It was inspiring to hear him talk about how he got started and I’m so glad this event gave him the opportunity to share his art with the public.  Pictures (including Vincent’s work) are below but they don't do the art justice (pun intended) so please come down to the Newark Municipal Court to see for yourself!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Community Service in Action

 At the Down Bottom Farm, located at 371-395 Ferry Street in Newark’s east ward, Newark Community Solutions participants assisted the Farmer's Market Coordinator, Alexis Trujillo, and her staff with a number of tasks to prepare the farm for an upcoming Halloween event.

Supervised by NCS Community Service Site Supervisor Trevor Powell, participants cleaned the farm free of all trash then picked green and red peppers, habanero peppers, squash, and eggplants.  Any veggies past their prime were tossed into the compost bins to eventually become fertilizer for the raised flower beds. 

In addition to prep work and picking vegetables, NCS participants placed pumpkins all throughout the large flower bed at the rear of the farm, made wooden scarecrows, and hung corn stalks on the raised flower bed posts inside the garden and along the perimeter. By the end of the day the farm looked great and was ready for the event.  Take a look at some prep pics as well as pictures from the event.                  

Monday, October 10, 2016

GI Go Fund 2016 Northern New Jersey Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

Newark Community Solutions was proud to once again participant in this annual event providing support and services to local veterans including flu shots, HIV testing, benefits assistance, employment programs, legal services, clothing donations and evens haircuts on site!  As always NCS spoke with veterans in attendance about clearing up open municipal matters in Newark as well as other court based social services.

Below is a link with more details about the event and some photos from the day.