The Power of Public Art

July 20th marked the unveiling of NBT’s Esperanza Neighborhood Project’s second mural installation in our city.

The piece was called “La gota rompe la Piedra—A drop breaks the stone—representing stories of grit, perseverance and determination.” It was a proud moment for our organization because the mural is symbolic of our community. After all, that’s what murals tend to do, bring the community together. Located at the corner of Jersey Avenue and Handy Street, this mural brings vibrancy to our French Street Corridor, the business sector of Esperanza.

"After all, that’s what murals tend to do, bring the community together."

We were humbled by the recognition that Mayor Cahill gave our organization, “The Esperanza program through the leadership of NBT, and with the residents and the businesses, we’ve seen this neighborhood get to greater heights than ever before with a brighter future than we could ever have imagined in the past.” This mural makes the corridor more welcoming and makes you want to go there. It has been so well received that other businesses are now calling us to have their own murals too. As beautiful as this mural has turned out, what is strikingly more beautiful is the dialogue it created. The deeper value lies in those conversations, continuing to build a sense of community and fostering those new connections. We hope to continue creating murals that reflect our culture and pride in our city.

This lovely mural is the result of a collaboration between community members of NBT's Esperanza Project, coLAB Arts, and the Newark-based artist Layqa Nuna Yawar (also a Rutgers-NB graduate!). It celebrates this community’s stories of grit, persistence and determination.

August 31, 2018

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