Camden awarded $1 million Bloomberg grant to transform illegal dumps into art spaces

By NJBIZ STAFF, January 24, 2019

The City of Camden, Camden County, urban redevelopment nonprofit Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts have received a $1 million grant awarded to transform illegal dumping sites into public art spaces.

The city was one of four chosen from a pool of more than 200 for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge.

“Anyone taking a PATCO train through the city can see the destruction and decay caused by criminal dumping in Camden,” Freeholder Jeff Nash, liaison to the Camden County Department of Public Works, said in a statement. “We are going to work to not only create art installations, but craft and construct places where our community can thrive and what we hope to be the very definition of a third place for residents to congregate outside their home and workplace.”

The city will receive $1 million for “A New View,” a public art project that will transform sites plagued by littering along major transit corridors into art spaces, with the purpose of inspiring residents and attracting visitors. It will include art installations and creative programming at several sites along Camden’s rail, road, and bike routes.

“A New View” will encourage residents to combat illegal dumping of household and or industrial waste through education efforts and public-private partnerships.  The city aims to strengthen the local artistic community and improve the quality of life for Camden residents.

Led by Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, the collaboration will engage independent curators, the environmental organization Camden Collaborative Initiative, the Camden City Cultural and Heritage Commission, local businesses and residents.

Camden Mayor Frank Moran added that the project represents a turning point on one of his administration’s primary issues.

“Illegal dumping is unsightly, unlawful, and costs the city over $4 million annually,” Moran said. “This winning project provides a unique way to bring together residents and artists to address this issue with creativity and create a brighter future for Camden.”