Hackensack: Want More Arts and Culture? Visit ‘The Hacktivator’!

Hackensack: Want More Arts and Culture? Visit ‘The Hacktivator’!

Do you want to see more art and culture in Hackensack? Participate in ‘The Hacktivator’ project, a unique live and interactive art installation. This opens and launches at the NJ Transit Bus Station on Atlantic Street in Hackensack on Monday, November 4. The public can also contribute to and activate ‘The Hacktivator’ booth on November 5, 7, and 8. The temporary art installation will be open at these peak commuting times: November 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., November 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., November 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and last, November 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The project’s purpose is to collect community input to create the ‘Art Walk’ at Demarest Place using arts and culture, lighting, landscaping, seating, events, and activities.   Furthermore, the ‘Art Walk’ is a permanent, interactive public space and walkway spanning from the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC) to the Atlantic Street Bus Terminal. The ‘Art Walk’ will also enrich and develop Hackensack’s Transit Village and connect the HACPAC, Main Street, and the bus terminal with an arts destination site and experience to attract visitors, interest passersby and residents and reflect the community’s character. The walkway space will also serve as an area to provide programming and activities.

The ‘Hacktivator Press’ Returns

The ‘Hacktivator Press’, also seen at the Main Street Alliance’s Music Art Brew and Fare in October, returns. A set of three actors, made up of award winning choreographer/performer Claire Porter, Annemarie Hagenaars, and Bill Atwood, will survey and gather information from passersby about Demarest Place to inform plans for the walkway. Pedestrians can interact with ‘The Hacktivator’ booth by answering the question, What brings you back to life?. Once the participant submits the answer into the booth and presses an active button, the booth and a sleeping performer awaken.  Then, the participant receives a performance of dance, rap, skit, or another art form. The information collected will be used to develop future art installations.  These will reflect Demarest Place and NJ Transit users’ ideas and engage the community about Demarest Place.

The 'Hacktivator Press' will survey and gather information from passersby about Demarest Place. Their ideas inform plans for the walkway in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The ‘Hacktivator Press’ will survey and gather information from passersby about Demarest Place. Their ideas will also inform plans for the walkway in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Collaboration in Hackensack

‘The Hacktivator’ is a collaborative effort of the Main Street Business Alliance, the Hackensack Creative Arts Team (CAT), the City of Hackensack, and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen (NNJCF) initiative. The Hackensack CAT is a group of artists, merchants, organizational leaders and public officials.  Through collaboration, they implement Creative Hackensack.  Similarly, this creative placemaking initiative makes Hackensack an arts destination and a place where the arts thrive.

Creative placemaking integrates arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region.  This action also builds community and livability and boosts the local economy. ‘The Hacktivator’ is among several projects CAT identified to implement the Creative Vision Statement.  Various members and sectors of the community provided input for the vision.

            “The work of ‘The Hactivator’ project is to engage the community using the arts.  This provides a creative platform for members to express their voices in imagining their city. Our collaboration views the arts as a tool to make Hackensack more vibrant and also to encourage pride and investment by reflecting the character of the community in what is happening with the city’s redevelopment,” said Danielle De Laurentis, Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Learn more about the Main Street Business Alliance on the organization’s website. Follow Creative Hackensack and the Hackensack Creative Arts Team on the organization’s website.  Learn more about the NNJCF’s ArtsBergen initiative.


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