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originally published: 09/24/2022

ArtsBergen presents public art programs at the Hackensack Autumn Celebration

(HACKENSACK, NJ) — A series of public arts programs will be unveiled this fall SACKtoberfest in Hackensack. This fun festival of arts, food, beer and live music returns to Hackensack on October 15 from 1pm to 8pm at Atlantic Street Park. Organized by The Sack Business Alliance and the City of Hackensack, the celebrations are public and free.

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern NJ Community Foundation, presents these three public arts programs centered around storytelling:

1. Community Tile Mural 3:30pm-5:30pm. co-LAB Arts, a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage artists, social advocates and communities to create transformative new work, will collaborate with Hackensack-based muralist Amrisa Niranjan to design a mural that will be cut into tiles. Festival attendees actively participate in the mural’s development by sharing their own “Main Street moments” on the tiles. The mural will be revealed along with the participants’ stories when the tiles are put together. A photo of the completed mural and stories will be included in the “Stories on Main Story Map” on The SACK’s website.

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2. ‘Stories on Main Street’ Docuseries 4:00pm and 5:30pm. Two public performances in the series will be held at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center (HACPAC) at 102 State Street. Watch the inspirational stories of immigrant business owners Domenico and Marco Daniele of Coffee Break, Nelfita Rodas of Colombia Bakery Factory, Yusef and Tugce Ural of El Turco Grill, and Aida Yungasaca of Colombia Fashion LLC. Award-winning filmmaker Dana Glazer filmed and produced the four five-minute documentaries about immigrants who own and run a business on Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The docuseries is a project supported by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

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3. “The Hacktivator” 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Two groups of actors will perform attendee-initiated impromptu comedy and “Mad Lib Stories” for attendees who activate the Hacktivator booth. Confirmed actors scheduled to appear are Howdy Stranger and Claire Porter. SACKtoberfest attendees are invited to activate the “hacktivator” and watch the actors create a personal comedy performance just for them.

Howdy Stranger, winner of the New York City Tournament of Improvisers, presents professional improv comedy shows and classes in New Jersey. Award-winning choreographer, performer and writer Claire Porter of Portables is known for her comedic text movement dances and expert teaching.

This program is made possible in part by a grant administered by the Bergen County Division of Historic & Cultural Affairs with funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Alfred N. Sanzari Family Foundation.

Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on the arts, civic engagement, education, environment, philanthropy and public health. The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, nonprofit organizations and civic groups in northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation’s partners identify and solve regional problems and opportunities by speaking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services and resources.

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The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s ArtsBergen initiative, a regional arts alliance, works with diverse stakeholders. These stakeholders include artists, arts organizations, corporations, and community leaders who use art to shape the social, physical, cultural, and economic identities of communities. Creative placemaking, a community-led, arts-centric approach, is used to increase vibrancy, spur economic development and build residents’ ability to take responsibility for their communities.

ArtBergen is the only initiative in Bergen County, New Jersey that offers a range of creative place design services. The initiative has partnered with several municipalities to nurture creative teams, develop public art and plans for creative places, and lead and manage public art projects to preserve and express community culture.

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