The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s (NNJCF) ArtsBergen initiative continues its work with the City of Hackensack to create a vibrant downtown with the launch of ‘Hackensack on the Rise’ poster project. This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs (BCDHCA) from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey.
Graphic designer and visual artist Poramit Thantapalit, a Hackensack resident, will create a poster design illustrating the city’s resurgence and renaissance. The poster will be heavily papered in a section of the downtown area, saturating Main Street businesses to create a visually colorful and impactful display communicating Hackensack’s rise as a vibrant destination. The installation will beautify the area and shine a visual message of hope and resiliency to the community. During December or in early 2021, the organizers plan to mount the posters.
“NNJCF’s ArtsBergen is grateful to the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs for its support and flexibility this year. They allowed us to shift our project to use the arts to foster encouragement to the Hackensack community in the wake of the pandemic. Specifically, with COVID-19’s detrimental effects on small businesses, we are pleased to have a talented, hometown Hackensack artist bring positive messaging in a colorful poster installation to downtown Main Street,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
The ‘Hackensack on the Rise’ poster project is a collaborative effort of the Main Street Business Alliance, the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the City of Hackensack, and the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative. The Hackensack CAT is a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials collaborating to implement Creative Hackensack, a creative placemaking initiative to make the City of Hackensack an arts destination and a place where the arts thrive.
Creative placemaking integrates arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost the local economy. ‘Hackensack on the Rise’ is one of several projects CAT identified to implement the Creative Vision Statement developed with input from various members and sectors of the community.
Last fall, the NNJCF ArtsBergen installed ‘The Hacktivator’, a temporary live, interactive art installation, at the NJ Transit Bus Station on Atlantic Street in the city. Pedestrians interacted with ‘The Hacktivator’ booth by answering the question, What brings you back to life?. Upon submission of the answer into the booth, the booth and a sleeping performer awoke and the participant received a performance of a dance, rap, skit, or another art form. The information collected was used to develop future art installations reflecting Demarest Place and NJ Transit users’ ideas and to engage the community about Demarest Place.