Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy has begun hosting Jersey City’s Annual Neighborhood Block Parties and will host them all through May.
This year, the focus of the block parties is to “Bring Government to the People.”
Held in each of the city’s six wards, the Block Parties, which are sponsored by the Office of the Mayor and the Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Cultural Affairs, will feature music, games and artwork for children and city services for adults.
“This year our focus is bringing City Hall to the people in their neighborhoods,” Mayor Healy said. “Not everyone can get to City Hall during the daytime, and this is an opportunity for our residents to meet representatives from city agencies and obtain services and information from them.”Several city agencies will participate, including the office of emergency management, the library (offering library cards), the parking authority (to field concerns and distribute literature), the Mayor’s Action Bureau, the police and fire departments, and others.
Cultural Affairs, a division of Health & Human Services, is providing games, rides and art for children.
In an effort to expose all kids in all neighborhoods to art in open space, Cultural Affairs recruited local artist Duda Penteado to conduct the ‘Tapestry of Nations’ Art Workshop. The workshops will be held for children between the ages of 7 and 13, although younger children will be allowed to participate with parental supervision.
During the workshop, Penteado will instruct the children on the diverse nature of Jersey City, highlighting Jersey City’s diversity theme, ‘A Tapestry of Nations’ – where people of all walks of life are woven together to form the great fabric that is Jersey City.
Art supplies will be on hand for the youth, who will then have the freedom to express themselves and their culture on paper.
The children’s artwork, which is diverse and representative of all corners of the city, will then be molded into one tapestry that will be displayed in City Hall during the month of July.
“The Division of Cultural Affairs has made it a top priority to invest in the future of the arts in Jersey City,” said Maryanne Kelleher-Arango, Director of Cultural Affairs. “One of the best ways to do that is to provide an arena for children to work hand-in-hand with a professional artist in their own community. By breaking down barriers, we are making art accessible to all.”
The schedule of this year’s Block Parties, which are held from 5:30 to 8 p.m., is the following:
May 3, Ward A, Columbia Park
May 10, Ward B, Lincoln Park
May 15, Ward C, PATH Plaza
May 17, Ward D, Pershing Field
May 22, Ward E Hamilton Park
May 31, Ward F, Arlington Park
For more information on the Block Parties, contact the Division of Cultural Affairs at 201-547-6921.