A ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held to celebrate Gant-Gilbert Arts Collective, a new artist housing development in Newark, New Jersey.
The celebration included a short performance and tours of the ground-floor units, cafe, and performance center, as well as an exhibit to showcase local artwork. Invest Newark, the City of Newark’s Economic Development Corporation, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Newark officials, and community members were in attendance.
Located at 505 Clinton Street, the $9 million dollar redevelopment project offers the community of Clinton Hill and the City of Newark a new cultural art, education, residential, and social center. In addition to artistic programming, the mixed-use residence offers 27 affordable homes, a performance space, 10 on-site work studios, and community and public space that will serve as a creative hub for artists and their families.
The collective is named after the late Jerry Gant, a visual artist, poet, performance artist, and educator, who is known for creating most of Newark’s public sculptures, and the late Rodney Gilbert, founder and CEO of Yendor Productions, a Newark-based firm that consults, develops and produces arts education programming and events for under-served artists and communities.
“Newark has a long and rich history as a center for the arts,” Mayor Ras J. Baraka said. “This new facility provides a new generation of artists with housing, facilities in which to work, and a space for the city’s artists to connect, express themselves, and showcase their talents. It is truly befitting that this development honors two outstanding Newark natives and artists, Rodney Gilbert and Jerry Gant. They left indelible marks across the city, state, and world during their lives through their art and the people they touched. Further, the project will bring increased economic strength to the Clinton Hill community, provide an opportunity for residents to experience culture and art, and write a new page in our artistic history.”
“The ribbon-cutting at the Gant-Gilbert Arts Collective marks the opening of an incredible investment in the city of Newark,” said Roy Southerland, Interim President and CEO of Invest Newark. “This unique project is one of many that are helping to revitalize the Clinton Hill District, bringing necessary affordable housing and providing an accessible community space to center creative entrepreneurship, artistic and cultural collaboration, and year-round community engagement through art programming. The Gant-Gilbert Arts Collective will provide space and opportunity for our local artists to thrive within a community of their own.”