(Trenton, NJ) - Coastal communities throughout New Jersey are embarking on a series of art installations to raise awareness about coastal hazard impacts. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Coastal Management Program (CMP) was awarded funds to partner with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (Arts Council) to develop and implement a Community-Based Art Grant Program as part of a larger risk communications campaign. Funds were awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Zone Management Act Enhancement Program Projects of Special Merit. The Grant Program will address the need to involve and inform the public about the coastal hazard impacts they will face and what actions they can take to reduce their risk.
The Community-based organizations (CBOs) were selected through a competitive process to engage with the project, working with the CMP and the Arts Council to develop plans and the call for artists. Artists were selected to work with the CBOs to create and exhibit temporary art projects to engage the community and share information about coastal hazards in New Jersey communities. The Arts Council has been a partner with the CMP since the inception of the program, taking the lead in creating and managing a fair and transparent artist selection process. The purpose of the artwork created by the selected artists is to engage communities in new ways, to increase their awareness and understanding of flooding risks in the coastal zone, and introduce other risk communication tools being produced by the CMP through this project.
“I would like to congratulate the four awarded Community-based organizations and their selected artists,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Addressing climate change is a top priority for my Administration, including combating the increased impacts on New Jersey’s vital coastal communities. I am proud to support the cross agency partnership between the DEP and the Arts Council and know the profound connections that can be made through the arts. I look forward to seeing these installations come together, as these organizations and artists share the work with New Jersey communities throughout the state.”
Atlantic City Arts Foundation is working with artists Nancy Agati and Rebecca Schultz to create a mosaic-like installation made of permeable surfaces, landscaped directly into the ground. As rainwater or tidal surges run through the piece, viewers will contrast the absorption of the permeable materials with nearby concrete, asphalt, or cement paving. For more information on this project, please contact Joyce Hagen (email@example.com).
Bayshore Center at Bivalve is working with artists Gail Scuderi and Kathy Casper to engage their community through workshops held at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve at Port Norris, NJ that will result in handmade mosaic tiles. These tiles will adorn a grouping of tiny ceramic houses that will be suspended and displayed in the landscape on the Bayshore Center’s campus. Workshop attendees will learn about how people and animals can be resilient through the use of educational displays. Tiles will communicate and illustrate in words, images, and symbols, ways that people, animals, and plants need to adapt to thrive in a changing environment. For more information on this project, please contact Chase Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monmouth Arts is working artist Lynn Needle’s company, Art of Motion, to engage the community of Asbury Park with a performance entitled “The Poseidon Project – An Aquatic Myth.” The performance will include 7 choreographed sections, each connecting to aquatic myth, legend, and nature, and will feature music, a local multigenerational Surfer Chorus, and a guest appearance from the Roxey Ballet of Lambertville, NJ. Costume design and construction will feature upcycled fabrics and materials. The performance will start on land and culminate in an ocean swim and surfing of the Asbury Park waves. Community engagement offerings are also planned. For more information on this project, please contact Teresa Staub (email@example.com).
Passaic County Art and Historic Department is working with artist Adriane Colburn to create Units of Measure - a series of sculptures that will be dispersed along the coastline of Dundee Island Park, in Passaic, NJ. These posts will be set in varying altitudes and locations to represent the heights of the potential water line under different scenarios of sea-level rise. Each post will be set in the ground and painted with colors representing specific dates, scientific data, and height projections related to predictive modeling and changes in coastal water levels. For more information on this project, please contact Kelly Ruffel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the New Jersey State Council on the Arts
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit www.artscouncil.nj.gov.
About the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
The DEP was established on April 22, 1970 – America’s first official Earth Day. Today, DEP employees in dozens of programs continue to advance innovative strategies to safeguard and enhance New Jersey’s air, water and land, and the health of its residents. Please visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/.