SHELTER Public Art Celebration
A Public outdoor event to celebrate art and community, with free food and live performance.
The event will be hosted in the outdoor courtyard, accessible from Seminary Place and the NBTS parking lot on Bishop Place. Free event parking in the NBTS lot on Bishop Place.
In an age of pandemic, what does it mean to shelter in place when you have no shelter?
All are welcome to a public event on Saturday, September 18, 2021 celebrating the opening of the SHELTER Project’s public art installation, featuring community-based arts around the theme of Shelter. This public art installation will transform the courtyard-facing glass windows of New Brunswick Theological Seminary into displays of public art. Mixed media submissions explore elements of housing and home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and build upon the experiences of participants of the Shelter project, a collaborative direct service project of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Rutgers University, coLAB Arts, and the Affordable Housing Corporation of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, made possible by generous funding of the Henry Luce Foundation.
Creative projects included in this exhibition were commissioned by SHELTER in response to the experiences of vulnerable community members impacted by the pandemic. The exhibition also includes original work created by community members housed or assisted by the project.
Live Performances on September 18 will include:
The event will also highlight resources for involvement and advocacy through the direct services organizations involved in the Shelter project. The launch is a public outdoor event, and in concern for public health, attendees are asked to maintain social distancing and wear facemasks.
Free food will be catered by Mercado Esperanza @mercadoesperanzanb.
The installation on the courtyard side of the seminary building will run through the end of the fall 2021 semester.
More information about the SHELTER Project can be found below, and at ShelterNJ.org which is the project website where you may find art submissions, annotated oral histories, and a forthcoming Shelter Podcast, the first episode of which launches on September 18.
We will also be accepting packaged, shelf stable goods on behalf of REPLENISH, Nourishing Neighbors.
More about the SHELTER Project:
The SHELTER Project deployed more than $112,000 from the Luce Foundation to provide direct services through RCHP-AHC and its community non-profit organizations. RCHP-AHC coordinated internally with its own social work staff to assist affordable housing clients, with Still Waters to house trafficking victims, with Interfaith-RISE to assist refugee clients, with CIC’s NeighborCorps program to house re-entering individuals, with Middlesex County to house street homeless and families staying in hotels and shelters, with CIC’s DIRE Support Services to assist undocumented families. In total, 128 people received direct services, and 32 households were housed/assisted with housing through the SHELTER project. The households receiving housing through the grant included 31 children. More than 50 additional individuals beyond those who received housing assistance were provided with emergency funds for basic needs—medical expenses, utility payments, interview/work clothing or shoes, mattresses, food, baby items, and personal protective equipment.
The Rutgers Department of History’s Public History program oversaw the preservation of participants’ experiences and reflections through student oral history interviews, and transcribed by the Rutgers Oral History Archive.
Using the remainder of the original Luce grant and a second follow-up grant from Luce, the SHELTER project also supported a variety of artists and artistic projects reflecting on the experiences of the past two years. These were developed through coLAB Arts New Brunswick, a social-advocacy-and-art focused nonprofit, to curate and interpret stories from those most impacted by COVID-19. These public arts components, including a large mural in nearby Highland Park, an online repository of annotated transcriptions of oral histories, original poems and plays, visual and dance arts, and even a board game for educational use feature informative artifacts of the pandemic year, designed to inspire and empower the broader community through the addition of visual and other interpretive elements.
The project is co-directed by Nathan Jérémie-Brink, Feakes Assistant Professor of the History of Global Christianity at NBTS; Colin Jager, Director of the Center for Cultural Analysis and Professor of English at Rutgers; Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan, Coordinator & Instructor of Public History at Rutgers, and Producing Director Dan Swern of coLAB Arts.
Explore at ShelterNJ.org.
About the Henry Luce Foundation
The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. The Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.
Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Foundation’s earliest work honored his parents, missionary educators in China. The Foundation’s programs today reflect the value Mr. Luce placed on learning, leadership, and long-term commitment in philanthropy.