The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative continues with the City of Hackensack to create a vibrant downtown through the arts 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.
Graphic designer and visual artist Poramit Thantapalit, a Hackensack resident, will create a poster design illustrating the city’s resurgence and renaissance. The poster heavily papers a section of the downtown area. The posters saturate Main Street businesses to create a visually colorful and impactful display communicating Hackensack’s rise as a vibrant destination. Furhermore, the installation beautifies 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 BCDHCA 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.
Hackensack Arts Destination
Several organizations collaborate on the ‘Hackensack on the Rise’ poster project. These include the City of Hackensack and the Main Street Business Alliance. Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), City of Hackensack, and the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative also contribute. The Hackensack CAT is a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials. They also collaborate to implement Creative Hackensack, a creative placemaking initiative. This initiative makes 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. This also builds community and livability and boost the local economy. CAT identified ‘Hackensack on the Rise’, as one of several projects to implement the Creative Vision Statement. Various members and sectors of the community provided input.
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 also 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. The participant received a performance of a dance, rap, skit, or another art form. The information collected also provides ideas to develop future art installations. These reflect Demarest Place and NJ Transit users’ ideas and to engage the community about Demarest Place.