Newark 350

Newark Celebration 350 Report to the Community: The Anniversary Comes to a Close

Newark Celebration 350 (NC350) chairman Junius Williams and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka reflected on last year’s hundreds of educational and cultural events, programs, and accomplishments celebrating the City’s 350th anniversary, during a news conference held at Newark City Hall. Several elected officials, dignitaries, sponsors, NC350 program presenters, and the public congratulated NC350 and the City on a job well done. Attendees included City Council president and NC350 board member Mildred Crump, Council member Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins, NJPAC president and CEO John Schreiber, Victoria Foundation executive officer Irene Cooper-Basch, several Newarkers and others.

This grand finale featured the release of the NC350 Year-End Report, a colorful and informative detail of the partnerships, projects, and quantitative data behind the yearlong celebration, including an analysis of its impact on Newarkers, which can be found online at NC350 also unveiled the Newark Celebration 350 Commemorative Quilt, a modified medallion-style quilt comprised of fabric contributions from Newarkers, including the Mayor’s mother, halide Baraka, commemorating and celebrating the City’s 350-year history. Under the direction of esteemed artist and educator Toni Thomas, five quilters crafted the exceptional project and visually captured Newark’s history and culture, both past and present.

“This has been a momentous year for those who appreciate all that Newark and Newarkers have and will continue to offer our society,” said Junius Williams, Esq., NC530 chairman and Rutgers’ University Abbot Leadership Institute director. “We celebrated our City all year long. Newark’s prominence is reflected in its past, present and future. The future of our youth is intrinsically tied to our understanding of the road we have travelled; yesterday’s stories are foretold tales of Newark’s modern-day achievements. Newark is on the rise.”

Attendees also enjoyed a screening of an inspirational 350th anniversary celebration recap video, the announcement of a new digital and physical Newark history archive housed at the Rutgers University Dana Center and the Newark Public Library, respectively, and the presentation of the final NC350 Legacy Gift– the NC350 Educational Concert and Workshop Series for Newark Public School Students. This collaborative initiative will expose students to the arts at different venues around the City.

“With a full year of imaginative and diverse programs and initiatives, the Newark Celebration 350 team has done an outstanding job of shining a light on all the amazing cultural, educational, and historic gems the City of Newark has to offer,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We are indebted to them for their success in bringing our collective greatness to the forefront, and for not only building upon that legacy, but preserving it for generations to come.”

The city’s celebration has also been captured in a commemorative print created by renowned artist Faith Ringgold. NC350 established the Faith Ringgold Commemorative Print Partnership with five arts organizations to sell the prints and share the proceeds amongst themselves and the NC350 Educational Concert and Workshop Series. The art partners are Aljira: A Center for Contemporary Art, Gallery Aferro, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark Arts and the Newark Museum. Each organization will market and sell the prints.  Fifty-percent of the $1,000 sale will go to the selling organization and the remaining $500 will support the NC350 series.

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