Hackensack Partners with NNJCF to Create Demarest Place ART Walk

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Mural on the corner of Demarest Place in Hackensack, Artist: Damien Mitchell. Image courtesy of NNJCF.

The city of Hackensack is partnering with the Northern NJ Community Foundation and the Together New Jersey consortium to develop a plan for converting the downtown Demarest Place Pedestrian walkway into an ART walk.  The project will receive up to $20,000 in technical assistance through TNJ’s Local Technical Assistance Program. Funding for the Program is provided by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

The funding provides support from the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University to develop a conceptual plan for Demarest Plan supporting the City’s project, “ART Walk: Activating Demarest Place via the Arts”.

The $20,000 complements the City of Hackensack’s urban renaissance with over $1 billion in redevelopment projects taking place in the downtown area.  Upon completion of the ‘ART Walk’, this area will serve as an arts experience and destination within the City and as an inviting gateway into the downtown area connecting the NJ TRANSIT bus terminal to the City’s Hackensack Performing Arts Center.

Hackensack Street Art. Image courtesy of Jeanine Pedersen.

“As we continue working to revitalize Downtown Hackensack, we have made a strong commitment to supporting the arts, and this innovative ART Walk program will be another great step in that process.  Public art projects help create a strong sense of place and bring energy and vibrancy to our city.  The City Council and I are proud of this effort to embrace the arts in our community.” – Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse.

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“Working with Together North Jersey is a wonderful opportunity to develop a more comprehensive plan of the ‘ART Walk’ at Demarest.  Their help is reinforcing our work to garner feedback from community members frequenting the area, as well as current business owners and developers.  This ensures a strategic walkway connecting the bus terminal and the Hackensack Performing Arts Center becomes an attractive and relevant public space for those who use it,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, NNJCF.

About the Key Players

Together New Jersey (TNJ) is a NPO consortium of more than 100 public, private, and non-profit partners that developed North Jersey’s first comprehensive plan for sustainable development in 2015.  NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  The Foundation’s partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative has become a leader in creative placemaking in the area.  Creative placemaking is the practice of integrating arts and culture into the fabric of the region, town or city block to build more vibrant and stronger communities.   In recent years, NNJCF’s ArtsBergen led Hackensack’s creative placemaking with partnerships with the Main Street Business Alliance, the Hackensack Creative Arts Team, the City of Hackensack and local artists.  ArtsBergen has helped create the ‘Greetings from The Sack’, ‘The Hacktivator’, and Main Street Alliance’s ‘Live Painting on Vintage Doors’ at the Downtown Hackensack Main Music Art Brew & Fare.

The State University of Rutgers is also a key player.  RU-VTC provides technical assistance services to support local initiatives that advance the focus areas and strategies from the TNJ Plan.

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