Express Newark Distributes More Than $200,000 in Third Space Grants

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Visual Means student designers and project leadership (From left to right): Kevin Cristancho, Professor of Law and CLiME Director David Troutt, Graphic Design Professor and Visual Means Co-Director Jennifer Bernstein, Tyren Crowley, and Cristopher Sanchez

Express Newark announced the recipients of its inaugural Third Space Grants at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Express Newark is a conceptual framework and an interdisciplinary learning space where artists and community residents collaborate, experiment, and innovate in partnership with Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) faculty, staff, and students to engage in creative practice, foster democratic dialogue, and promote positive transformation. The Third Space Grants, aggregating more than $200,000, afford Newark artists the opportunity to pursue their work with the RU-N community at Express Newark.

Yucef Mayes, one of the 17 Third Space Grant recipients, showed the trailer of his short film, “Zahra and the Oil Man
Yucef Mayes, one of the 17 Third Space Grant recipients, showed the trailer of his short film, “Zahra and the Oil Man." Photo by Anthony Alvarez

There was no shortage of good proposals that met Express Newark’s criteria of bringing the community and Rutgers University-Newark into alignment, acknowledged Dr. Anne Schaper Englot and Victor Davson, co-directors of Express Newark. “And given our limited resources we opted to support those projects that were furthest along and that could quickly be realize by the modest investment of a Third Space award,” said Davson.
Yucef Mayes, one of the 17 Third Space Grant recipients, attended the press conference. An alumnus of the New School University of New York City and a former writing fellow of the Medgar Evers College National Writers’ Conference, Mayes is a short filmmaker. He is co-founder of Shine Black Art & Film, a film company that produces content and narratives about underrepresented populations and people of color, and his filmography includes Driver and Zahra and the Oil Man. Mayes showed a clip of Zahra at the press conference.
“I am extremely honored to be able to receive such a grant. The support of Express Newark, Anne, Victor, and Crystal has been so confirming to the work we have been doing about Newark and this community,” Mayes shared. “We look forward to creating more films that introduce social issues we face today. Our mission is to create films that will reflect the voices rarely heard in society.”
Mayes is slated to host six community screenings in early 2019 in partnership with RU-N and the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center.
To learn how to get involved with Express Newark and it many projects, contact Assistant Director Crystal Grant at or 973-353-0750.
Follow Express Newark on Instagram (@expressnewark) and Facebook(@expressnewark).

Grant Recipients

Toward Visualizing Equitable Growth in Newark and Beyond
The students in Jennifer Bernstein's Visual Means class will develop a series of visualizations based on CLiME's Displacement Risk Indicators Matrix (DRIM) in order to enhance sensemaking, insight, clarity and communication. This project will allow the "stories" that live in data to be clearly visualized through the tools of graphic design in order to engage audiences and provide Newark's residents with clear understanding of the factors at work in potential displacement and empower more effective self-advocacy and social action. 

Newark Business Hub
Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Lyneir Richardson
Cobblestone Media - Jeffrey Billingsley; Femworks - Kimberlee Williams
"Newark Business Hub Media & Arts Entrepreneurs Program Phase II" 
The HUB is a training curriculum addressing the needs of media professionals and artists, including a three-part speaker series at Express Newark focusing on small business equity and owning commercial property. 

Nick Kline/Photography students 
Kalia Brooks Nelson, Hank Willis Thomas 
"For Freedoms Collective" 
"For Freedoms" at Express Newark is a platform for art and civic engagement. This public art project creates structure for inclusion and collaboration within the democratic process. Possible manifestations will take forms such as lawn signs and wheatpasting exploring freedom for the 21st century. 

Nick Kline, Rutgers-Newark Faculty, Photography students 
Dominique Duroseau, Nyugen Smith, Tarah Douglas, Nikki Greene 
"SHINE Visiting Artist & Curator Residencies" 
Shine's visiting residents are tasked with creating hi-profile, socially engaged, contemporary art projects that serve a social need, align with Shine's mission and engage with different Express Newark (EN) entities and communities. 

Nick Kline, Anthony Alvarez, Chantal Fischzang 
Deborah Willis, Kalia Brooks Nelson, 
"In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Newarks Closets Catalog" 
This image-oriented publication will be focused on Dr. Deborah Willis' community-engaged exhibit, "In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Newarks Closets and Beyond" and showcases her career as photographer/scholar. 

Eva Giloi, Nick Kline Newark Rhythms 
Ian Cofre, Shine/Photography students 
Jerry Gant, Patricia Dahlman, Dominique Duroseau 
"Newark Rhythms" 
Newark Rhythms is a multi-year research and self-reflection project for the university about its role in Newark's Post-War history during the building of the new campus in the 1960s. This grant supports the commissioning of Newark and New York artists to link the experiences of students and community members to tell stories of aspiration, displacement and inclusion through sensory perception of the campus/neighborhood. 

Express Newark/SHINE, Newest Americans, Paul Robeson Galleries (PRG)
Ashley Davison, Tara Douglas
Newark Print Shop 
"Summer Fridays" 
This exciting event series aims to attract Newark's younger demographic and introduce them to contemporary influencers and artists while highlighting Newark's local talent through musical performers, DJs, artists, vendors, and in-panel discussions along with activities throughout Express Newark's participating studios. 

Humanities Action Lab (HAL) /Newest Americans, PRG
HAL - Marjorie Weinstein
Kevin Blythe Sampson 
"Humanities Action Lab: The Arts in Environmental Justice and Social Action Date: NOVEMBER 1 - 3"
Two days of engaged learning and art-making in EN around issues of climate and environmental justice to generate "interpretive storylines" that seek to overcome partisan communication barriers and "trigger new ways of thinking about the personal relevance of climate change." Prominent Newark artist Kevin Blythe Sampson will lead arts workshops in conjunction with his installation in PRG's Box Gallery to allow participants to think creatively about environmental justice and artmaking as a tool for social action. 

Public Arts and Social Justice Initiative/Price Institute
Salamishah Tillet, Jack Tchen, Mark Krasovic
Paul Farber 
"Monument Lab Newark: Facing History" 
"Facing History" will be the first large-scale public arts event that combines the Price Institute's focus on the interplay between public art, history and monumentality, examining two of Newark's most celebrated or renowned public arts projects: Gutzon Borglum's 1926 Wars of America and its site, Military Park. This project will ask and seeks to answer the questions: What is the relationship between public arts and social justice in Newark and beyond? What stories are missing from Newark's monumental landscape? and more. 

Public Arts and Social Justice Initiative/Community Media Center (CMC)/ Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center (TRHT)
Salamishah Tillet 
LeRon Lee, Yvonne Michelle Shirley, Nefertite Nguvu 
"Unconscious Inheritance" 
The Unconscious Inheritance Anthology is a collaborative film exploring the intergenerational inheritance of a city. Inspiration comes from the Kruger-Scott African American Oral History Project and uses cinematic storytelling to reframe and deconstruct gazes that too often problematize and pathologize the lives of African Americans. Interviews of Newark families will form the basis of three short films. 

Paul Robeson Galleries 
Lisette Morel, Dominique Duroseau, Ayana Evans, Mary Valverde 
"Females Occupying Space" 
"Females Occupying Space" is a multi-part artist performance and talk in Express Newark by artists Morel, Duroseau, Evans, and Valverde exploring themes of cultural identity, the politics of culture and tradition, the experience of women and the space/environments in which they move - to be performed with RU-N classes, student groups and local organizations in March (during Women's History Month). 

Community Media Center (CMC)/ Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center (TRHT) 
Kareem Willis (SPAA, TRHT, Yendor) 
Yucef Mayes, Malcom Rolling 
"Zahra and the Oil Man" 
In collaboration with NJ Literacy and RU-N's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, this grant will support organization and screening of "Zahra and the Oil Man" to engage RU-N students and Newark youth in positive youth development, raise awareness around issues of literacy, and present positive narrative about Muslim Americans and black girl leadership and empowerment to strengthen and support youth development and build bridges between communities and break down silos that separate. 

Community Media Center
Jennifer Wager (Essex County College) 
Raymond Spencer, Matthew Williams 
"The Fight for Ed" 
"The Fight for Ed" is a film exploring the challenges and struggles faced by "traditional" and "non-traditional" students to obtain a college education. Following three students ages 20, 30 and 40 years old through the path toward college and ultimately graduation, this film will inspire young people and older people alike. 

Express Newark/Community Media Center
Michael Stachiw, Crystal M Grant, Social Media Team 
Justin Aquino 
"Public Speaking Programming" 
Provides professional development through one-on-one training and mentoring to EN community members to support individual needs in public speaking, negotiating skills, conference speaking, and presentations. 

Community Media Center
Julie Winokur, Kenneth Gifford 
CMC artists-in-residence 
"CMC Programming"
Monthly social mixers; Internship pipeline; quarterly seminars; community classes and outdoor screenings. 

Newest Americans
Tim Raphael, 
Ron Chalusian, Newark Trust for Education, Erin Sweeney, Schools that Can 
"EN Curriculum Development" 
Pliot project to put Newark public, charter and independent high school teachers and students in dialogue with curricular and media professionals to produce replicable curricular resources that will inspire sustained mutual understanding through a series of workshops using Newest Americans media content. 

Newest Americans
Julie Winokur, Tim Raphael, Newest Americans 
Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Ayana Baraka, Michael Grimes, Ed Kashi, +composer, +visual artists 
"The Sacrifice Zone" 
The Sacrifice Zone is a film documenting the Ironbound Community Corporation's fight for environmental justice. The proejct documents the effect of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and follows ICC and Maria Lopez-Nuñez as they work to work to organize residents to regain control of their neighborhood and hold industrial polluters accountable.