Grow It Green park in Morristown to get totem from Morris Arts grant

The community garden on Early Street has a bright future, thanks to grants that will enable Morristown to acquire the land.
The community garden on Early Street has a bright future, thanks to grants that will enable Morristown to acquire the land.
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By Kevin Coughlin

A public park planned for Grow It Green’s Early Street Community Garden will have a totemic centerpiece, thanks to a national grant awarded to Morris Arts.

Expansion of the Early Street Community Garden is scheduled to start in autumn 2015. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
A totemic sculpture will welcome visitors to the Early Street Community Garden in 2016, according to Morris Arts. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Gabriele Hiltl-Cohen, a stone carver and sculptor, will take public input and “feature symbols and poetry reflecting the area’s changing demographic,” from Italian, Irish and African American to predominantly Latino, according to Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts.

It’s meant to “pay homage to the many immigrants who have called this neighborhood home over the centuries,” Siebert said in a statement.

The nonprofit organization received a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the project, titled Our Heritage is Our Future, The Gateway Totem Project.

Morris Arts is among 18 “Local Arts Agencies” nationwide that will share $585,000 from the NEA.

“Morris Arts is thrilled to be in such select company,” Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder said in a statement.

“This grant constitutes national recognition for our public art initiatives to build community through the arts. We are extremely grateful to have NEA support for this project.”

Abby Gallo, executive director of Grow It Green, described the Gateway project as “a wonderful way to incorporate beautiful art into the garden and honor Morristown’s history.”

Siebert said the totem will be installed sometime in 2016.

Through September, Grow It Green had raised about $75,000 for a $200,000 expansion that will double the number of garden plots, while adding a small public park and walking path, a demonstration rain garden, a pavilion, and a composting toilet underwritten by craigslist founder Craig Newmark.

Here’s more…

FROM MORRIS ARTS:

Morris Arts (aka Arts Council of the Morris Area) is thrilled to report that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $20,000 grant for its Our Heritage is Our Future, The Gateway Totem Project.  Stone carver and sculptor Gabriele Hiltl-Cohen will create a new, site-specific public art installation in the historic Speedwell section of Morristown. Morris Arts will collaborate with the Town of Morristown to implement a part of the town’s master plan by commissioning this new public artwork. The installation will serve as the centerpiece of a community park in an area identified by the town as being in need of redevelopment and will include community input and feature symbols and poetry reflecting the area’s changing demographic (Italian, Irish, African American and now a majority of Latino residents) that will pay homage to the many immigrants who have called this neighborhood home over the centuries. Public workshops and the design of a sculpture and gathering space in front of Grow it Green Morristown’s community garden will create a focal point that honors past, present and future residents and helps unite the community while fostering cross-cultural understanding and acceptance..

          Among the many categories of recently announced grants, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded a total of $585,000 to 18 “Local Arts Agencies,” throughout the entire United States. “Morris Arts is thrilled to be in such select company,” commented Executive Director Tom Werder. “This grant constitutes national recognition for our public art initiatives to build community through the arts. We  are extremely grateful to have NEA support for this project.” United States Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen added, “Congratulations on your award!”

          The other 17 Local Arts Agencies that won NEA awards include: Scottsdale Cultural Council (aka Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ); Ink People, Inc. (aka Ink People Center for the Arts, of Eureka, CA); Public Corporation for the Arts of the City of Long Beach (aka Arts Council for Long Beach, Long Beach, CA); Mariposa County Arts Council (Mariposa, CA); San Francisco Arts Commission (San Francisco, CA); Boulder County Arts Alliance (Boulder, CO); Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities (aka Telluride Arts, Telluride, CO); Americans for the Arts, Inc. (Washington, DC); City of Atlanta, Georgia (aka Office of Cultural Affairs, Atlanta, GA); Arts Council of Princeton (aka ACP, Princeton, NJ); Queens Council on the Arts, Inc. (aka QCA, Astoria, NY); CNY Arts, Inc. (Syracuse, NY); Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts (aka ArtsWave, Cincinnati, OH); Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (aka GPAC, Pittsburgh, PA); ArtsMemphis (Memphis, TN); Cultural Development Authority of King County (aka 4Culture, Seattle, WA); and Methow Arts Alliance (aka Methow Arts, Twisp, WA).

          Located in Morristown, NJ and founded in 1973, Morris Arts uses the arts to inspire, connect and engage, serving as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the community and in schools, arts advocacy, and support of the Morris Area community of artists and arts organizations. This wonderful NEA grant will fund one of Morris Arts many initiatives to connect the community with the arts and creativity.

 

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