BEYOND THE WALL: DEVELOPING DIGITAL CONTENT ILLUMINATING THE BLACK WOMEN'S MURAL To Launch During Women's History Month In Englewood

“Beyond the Wall” expands upon the installation of “The Black Women's Mural” with the development of a website and interactive digital content.

By: Feb. 24, 2024
BEYOND THE WALL: DEVELOPING DIGITAL CONTENT ILLUMINATING THE BLACK WOMEN'S MURAL To Launch During Women's History Month In Englewood
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The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) will open Women's History Month in March by launching “Beyond the Wall: Developing Digital Content Illuminating The Black Women's Mural”.  The NNJCF's ArtsBergen initiative plans to develop an educational, inspirational website expounding on the meaning, significance and process of the creation of “The Black Women's Mural: Celebrating Black Suffragists and Black Women in Englewood”, a public artwork created on the Women's Rights Information Center's (WRIC) building in the City of Englewood, New Jersey. 

In 2022, Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh painted the 520 square foot mural on the WRIC's exterior wall, located at 108 West Palisade Avenue in the city's bustling downtown.  The mural, produced with design input from Black women in the city and the larger community, celebrated Black women's voices, raised awareness about Black suffragists, and encouraged civil discourse within the community.  This public artwork, honoring the Black community's contributions, was revealed on November 14, 2022 in an outdoor ceremony.   

Website and Digital Content to be Created

“Beyond the Wall” expands upon the installation of “The Black Women's Mural” with the development of a website and interactive digital content.  The site will expound on the meaning, significance, and process of the artwork, as well as details about the histories, stories, and biographies of each of the six historic and living Black women represented in the mural.  The website will serve as an educational archive and resource for viewers of the mural.

Several members of the community will serve as ambassadors for the project in the City of Englewood.  These Community Ambassadors include Councilman-at-Large Charles Cobb; Samuel Lee, founder of Encounters in Black Tradition; and Kia Thornton Miller, founder of Mommy Power and a substitute teacher with the Englewood Public School District, who is also shown in the mural.  These Community Ambassadors will promote the website and help to spread the potential for new programming and learning in the city's schools and library.

Website Team Selected

This talented team has been selected to create the website.

Jasmine Daria Cannon, a scholar, curator, and writer, will develop and create the content for the project, writing verbal stories through biographical sketches and poetry, tapping into history and incorporating curated material from varied sources and disciplines.  Her interests include late nineteenth and early twentieth century African American history, black feminist labor histories, and black women found in the midst of riots, political, and social discord.  She received a M.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and an M.A. in American Studies with a concentration in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, where she was also recognized at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' Distinguished Master's Scholar.  In addition, Cannon operates two online businesses -- Kindred Bookshop, a bookshop dedicated to amplifying authors and stories of diverse experiences, and the platform, Brown Girls Love STEM, a resource to encourage girls and women of color to pursue STEM degrees.

Lilith Haig, a designer of both websites and motion graphics, will work behind the scenes building an interactive and engaging online experience.  Her diverse clientele ranges from musicians to nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies, and higher education institutions.  Notable projects include spearheading the brand makeover for Creative Placemaking Communities, orchestrating webpage motion tests for Verizon's myPlan launch, and co-creating the thought-provoking exhibition, "The Weight of This," at the Mandeville Gallery in Schenectady, New York.

Raphael Sebastian, the project's sound engineer, will record interviews and mix interesting sound bites to bring the stories to life.  Their musical efforts operate under the moniker Swagatron111.  These efforts range from discography exploring their own inner workings to mixing and mastering projects like Schoolwide Assembly's ‘For sisters to decipher' and Kelsey Lue's ‘Flowers Now'.  Swagatron111 also recorded and edited the first season of the Lurker's podcast.

For further information about the launch of this innovative website, visit https://www.nnjcf.org/beyond-the-wall/.

Donations Appreciated for “Beyond the Wall”

Donations may be made online at http://tinyurl.com/Support1BeyondtheWall.  Contributions may also be sent by check made out to 'The Northern N.J. Community Foundation' and enter “Beyond the Wall” in the memo line.  Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.  For further information about the NNJCF, “Beyond the Wall”, or the mural, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail to nnjcf@nnjcf.org.

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation

Founded in 1998, The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023.  The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.  Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved.  Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.  The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement, and philanthropy.  For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an email to nnjcf@nnjcf.org, or call 201-568-5608.

ArtsBergen

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's ArtsBergen initiative, a regional arts alliance, works with various stakeholders.  These stakeholders encompass artists, arts organizations, businesses and municipal leaders, who use the arts to shape the social, physical, cultural, and economic identity of communities.  Creative placemaking, a community-led, arts-driven approach, is used to increase vibrancy, spur economic development, and build capacity among residents to take ownership of their communities.

ArtsBergen is the only initiative in Bergen County, New Jersey offering a range of services in creative placemaking.  The initiative has partnered with multiple municipalities facilitating creative teams, developing public art and creative placemaking plans, and directing and managing public art projects to preserve and express community culture.  For more information about the ArtsBergen initiative, visit www.nnjcf.org/artsbergen/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jasmine Daria Cannon



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