#Connect the Dots @NNJCF

Northern NJ Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen to Spotlight Community Enhancement Through Tactical Urbanism

Laundry Detergent to be Collected for Homeless Families in Bergen County

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation‘s (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative will spotlight tactical urbanism at the fourth Connect the Dots networking event on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.  The program will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University‘s Giovatto Library, located at 1000 River Road in Teaneck, New Jersey, from 6:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.

Connect the Dots is free and open to artists, musicians, actors, writers, dancers, performers, arts administrators, educators, municipal and community leaders, business owners, nonprofit representatives, and arts supporters living or working in Bergen County.  Refreshments will be served.

mike-lydonSpeaker Mike Lydon will present Tactical Urbanism: Low Cost, High Impact via Creativity.  An internationally known planner, writer, speaker, and advocate for livable cities, Lydon developed tactical urbanism, an approach to urban change that makes low-cost, temporary changes to the environment with the goal of improving neighborhoods and city gathering places.  Featured guest performers Bogdan Tabaka and Juliana Henriques from Anchor Dance Studio in Oradell, New Jersey will present Latin dances and provide an interactive dance program.  The Foundation’s quarterly community engagement project will focus on helping homeless families in Bergen County.

During 2016, the Connect the Dots series is exploring creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of a region, town, or city block.  A goal of the series is to create an environment stimulating conversation about creative placemaking and encouraging partnerships that can initiate projects across Bergen County.  

Tactical Urbanism

Speaker Mike Lydon, a Principal with the Street Plans office in New York City, is the creator and primary author of The Open Streets Project and the book, Tactical Urbanism.  With projects varying in scope and budget, examples of tactical urbanism include parklets, open streets, guerilla gardening, and pop-up cafes, retail stores, and parks.

“One of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen goals is to encourage towns in Bergen County to engage in creative placemaking, strategies using the arts to increase quality of life.  Mike Lydon will share concepts and examples of simple, inexpensive projects attendees can initiate themselves to beautify and take pride in their communities,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director of the Northern New Jersey Community.

Laundry Detergent to be Collected for Homeless Families in Bergen County

The NNJCF identifies ways to address needs in the community by partnering with other non-profits to rally residents in the area to get involved and support their work.  People attending the Connect the Dots event are asked to bring laundry products that will be distributed to homeless families and children serviced by the nonprofit agency Family Promise of Bergen County.  “With homelessness on the rise in Bergen County, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation recognizes the urgency to assist Family Promise in its work to provide homeless families with resources.  We applaud them on their anniversary of 30 years of service in our communities,” explained De Laurentis.

“Family Promise of Bergen County greatly appreciates the support of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.  Family Promise is the only organization in Bergen County that provides shelter and support to homeless working families.  We are grateful for the NNJCF’s donation of laundry detergent and products, as these items, although necessary, are not covered by food stamps,” said Kate Duggan, Executive Director of Family Promise of Bergen County.


Latin Dance Performance

With more than 15 years dance experience in a range of styles from ballet to Latin ballroom dancing, Tabaka holds several dance titles such as Fred Astaire National Winner and All-American National Latin Ballroom Champion.  Henriques specializes in cha-cha-cha, samba, and rumba and competes in the Standard Division in tango, fox trot and waltz.

Space is limited.  Pre-registration is required and may be done online at http://www.nnjcf.org/connect.  For further information, call 201-568-5608.

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  Foundation partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit http://www.nnjcf.org, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy.  The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts.  For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to artsbergen@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

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