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Windows Of Soul 2015 Recap

WOS (Windows of Soul) 2015 took place on the infamous city block of Walnut Ave. Walnut Ave, located in the Wilbur Section of East Trenton, is quite possibly, the most infamous block in the east ward. It’s one well known for illegal activities and unfortunately, its murder rate. This block is in pain…and it has been for a very long time.

We wanted to originally focus on walnut in 2013, during the seconded installment of WOS, but was unable to make it happen at that point, partly due to politics and contracts which bonded us to downtown Trenton. It was always a goal to do this block. The sheer number of abandoned properties and the strong community was enough to keep attention on the struggling block.

SAGE partnered with the Arts council of Princeton ( http://artscouncilofprinceton.org/ )to fund WOS. With a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and matching funds from individual donors, we had enough funding to put this project together. During the summer, the WOS team was composed. One Trenton Project which consists of Caitlin Fair and Kimby Heil handled community outreach. Both Hands Artlet, spearheaded by artist/teacher, Bentrice Jusu, covered photography and event documentation. TCNJ Bonner Center provided volunteers for community cleanup and Artworks Trenton hosted the opening artshow that kicked off the weekends festivities.

Saturday, Oct 17th, bright and early that morning, we begin the install of art on the abandoned buildings. TCNJ Bonners and kids form the community produced art on canvas and paper donated by HomFront Artspace, while Graham Apgar of Sage Guerrilla gardening unit broke ground on a new community garden entitled,”Graffiti Garden”.

Leon Rainbow, with assistance from TCNJ students produced a mural book-ending the garden titled “Section Love”. The mural was a homage to the wilbur section and the strong sense of community which connects so many individuals within the neighborhood.

Wils Kinsey, Lori Johansson and their team of volunteers oversaw the install of artwork on the abandoned properties. With a boom truck and tons of art being turned out from the kids in the community, there was no shortage of art and Wils and company kept up a steady pace, installing throughout the weekend.

Ahmad Shakur, SAGE resident DJ an his team musicians held down the music. Classic Hip Hop, House, R&B and Funk was the soundtrack for the weekend…keeping this running smooth and chill.

Sunday, Oct. 18th, the final day of event and the one with heavy attention on the music performances. Local and a few regional acts performed to a steady crown of onlookers and spectators. Ahmad kept the grooves going while Wils and company continued with the install. One trenton project hosted the community BBQ and books and breakfast programs, which passed out children books to the neighborhood kids.

“Reach the world but touch the hood first”… a quote from Brooklyn emcee/actor, Mos Def, define SAGE Coalition’s mission; to never forget were one comes from while striving for something better than what is given. Many born under depressed conditions find it is difficult to raise above what most would consider a dead end socially, spiritually and economically. Windows of Soul is the visual representation of the aforementioned quote. With its 4th installment now complete, SAGE and company looked to go above and beyond our previous community beatification endeavors. This one felt more like the first and more organic than the previous two. I believe its because this one, like the first, had nothing to prove…other than to provide art to those with limited access to it. The kids, parents and all that participated enjoyed themselves and the feeling of connectivity was apparent.

“Windows of Soul” exceeded all of our expectations.We were all riding high from the weekend. Thanks to all who came together to make this happen. Addison Vincent and Jesse Vincent from the Artworks Trenton family, you guys are the “Wonder Twins”. Graham Apgar for keepin’ it real with the “Graffiti Garden”. To my native brother, Leon Rainbow, I think you will forever understand that “Wilbur Section” and “East Trenton” are truly different, but its all love. Wills Kins aka..”THE FOREMAN” for always coming through in the clutch and keeping things in order with the install. Kimby Heiland Caitlin Fair of “One Trenton” for the continued outreach leading up to this project and making Sunday super chill with “Books and Breakfast”.Ahmad Shakir for always setting the mood(Respect the DJ). To my brother Earlie Harrell for keeping the flame going. You are the realist my G. To Bentrice Jusu of “Both Hands” and Aine Mickey for documentation and helping build up this event with your unselfishness in adding light to the hood. To my SAGE Coalition brother Jonathan Conner, the “Larry Bird” of Street-art…salute. To Lori Johansson, Nikki Nailbomb, Drew Glenn and the entire Championship Sports Bar & Grill family for supporting and always being there when needed. Christopher Michael Jones, Mike Murphy, Andrew Wilkinson, Lauren Otis, Kate Graves, Kelvin L. Smith, Chelsea Perron,Elizabeth Amaral, and Marge Caldwell-Wilson for helping, supporting and always representing. To the Bonner Scholars for coming out and being apart with your community service and art output…and all the artist that submitted work and came out to celebrated community with us…thank you. To the community of Walnut Ave and Wilbur section and anyone I may have forgot to add…Salute, Thank You and One Love. Trenton still making it. It Don’t Stop!


Some of the photos in the gallery are courtesy of Scott Ketterer -The Trentonian
To check out the full gallery go to:

http://media.trentonian.com/2015/10/17/photos-from-sage-coalitions-windows-of-soul-4-in-trenton/

Buy a Brother / Sister a Suit Day

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Join us in an initiative to provide young men and women with the style and know-how to compete in today’s local and global marketplace. In collaboration with the Living Hope Empowerment Center, SAGE is raising money to buy suits and provide business education for people in Trenton’s underprivileged neighborhoods. On the weekend of May 20th-22nd, 2016, we will be driving several limos around the city, picking up interested participants and taking them to receive custom-tailored suits. Fostering a positive self image is just the beginning, though. We will be conducting tours of local businesses and facilitating apprenticeships to help aspiring professionals get the education and resources they need to succeed. Check out the brochure to learn more, or click here to make a donation.

We are also looking for artists in Trenton who are operating small businesses to get involved in the project. If you’d be interested in teaching your artistic skills or business know-how, contact us.

Gandhi Prints for TASK

2015-10-28 10.43.29_resizedYou know, too many non-profits become soulless, self-preserving entities these days. It’s time to begin the SAGE holiday tradition of fundraising for other non-profits. Our friend Howard Michaels has created these matted and framed prints of SAGE artist Will Kasso painting Gandhi at the Gandhi Garden. He’s selling them for $75 each, with $20 going towards the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.. Which is perfect, cause that’s where I’ve been eating lately! You can buy one by filling out our contact form.

Call for art: submissions for Windows of Soul 2015

Calling all artists…

Call for art

S.A.G.E. Coalition currently seeks art submissions for the fourth annual Windows of Soul in Trenton, New Jersey. Windows of Soul is a 3 day art extravaganza geared at community renewal!

Kicking off Friday,October 16th with a gallery showcase, featuring notable submissions from 6pm-9pm at TrentonWorks Gallery. Saturday, October 17th and Sunday, October 18th we  install artwork on the panels and doorways of neglected properties, then commence with a Block Party!  The weekends festivities will take place on the 100 block of Walnut Ave in East Trenton. Help transform the city! S.A.G.E. members and volunteers will display arts submissions in our signature urban outdoor art gallery  — a bold community plan mounting artwork in the windows and doorways of Trenton’s abandoned buildings.

At Windows of Soul, urban infrastructure becomes the community’s public canvas.  Art and urban development collide.  Dazzling, colorful aesthetics breath life into Trenton, invigorating culture and social progress.

This year, S.A.G.E. aims to paint every inch of the block. We need art.

Grace Trenton’s skyline with your artistic vision.  Please, submit paintings, stencils, pastels, stickers and other visual media to:

One Trenton Project
2 Highland Dr.
Yardly, Pa. 19067

Drop off location and time:

Trenton Works Gallery
5 South Broad St.
Trenton, NJ
Oct. 12 – Oct. 15, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

For more information, contact S.A.G.E. Founder, Will “Kasso” Condry:

(609) 222-9334

Email questions to:

sagecoalitionnj@gmail.com

Check out previous Windows of Soul events:

http://sagecoalitionnj.com/windows-of-soul/

Case statement on attaining an art studio in Trenton

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Case statement

SAGE white paper

S.A.G.E. Coalition’s case statement details building-acquisition implications within Trenton, N.J. The problems negatively impact our ability to contribute to the Trenton community.

Pork Roll Wars This Saturday!

11061688_10100612948014309_7533594459906796373_nThis weekend our very own Gandhi Garden will be hosting the Trenton Vegan Pork Roll Festival! There are actually a bunch of Pork Roll Festivals going on in Trenton on May 23rd, so check them all out. But as far as ours, it will be all about vegan food, potluck style, and everything DIY. “I don’t know what to expect,” says organizer Graham Apgar. “This event is more of a grassroots effort. I want people to bring vegan food, drinks, or things for us to grill and cook and share. One goal I have is to perfect our Vegan Pork Roll recipe. We’ll also have a jam session if people want to bring instruments, and we’ll be making our own T-shirts, so bring your own shirts to print on!” There you have it, folks, all we know for sure is it’s going to be delicious. The official time is 12-5pm, but come earlier if you want to join the Guerrilla Gardening Unit for some harvesting and garden prep (starting at 8am as always)  Hope to see you there!

Guerrilla Gardening Begins..

GG_Unit_webWe’ll be doing Guerrilla Gardening sessions all through the Spring and Summer, starting this Saturday, April 4th, from 8-11am, and continuing every Saturday until Nov. 7th. Whether you’re into art, gardening, or civic engagement, come check out the Gandhi Garden, and it’s offspring.. Shaolin, the Merchant St. Lounge, and The Oasis. Over the last few years, we’ve been creating these gardens and parks downtown as a public service and a form of street art. This year will be a little different, as the art studio 219 is no longer a presence on the block. Still, there are many reasons to come back out here (like planting some sh*t!) We welcome anyone who wants to contribute.

The plan for this Saturday is to take an observational tour of the gardens, identify key areas we want to work on, and think about how to make the gardens more self-sustaining, so we can spread out and make even more gardens! After the tour, we can do a little bush-wacking (bring some pruners or clippers if you have em) and other clean up work.. Maybe even have a little bonfire on the block. We’ll see..

Check the flyer for more info.. Learn more about the S.A.G.E Guerrilla Gardening Unit Here »

 

Permie Alert

permaculture_film_screening_march_2015_flyer_web Graham and Dirk are doing a permaculture film screening and discussion at The Hive on Monday, March 9th. Permaculture is a design process where we work with nature and our community to create efficient systems for living.

Check out the flyer or read more about it over here »

Wutang Wenzday

wu_wed_feb_webWU-WEDNESDAY Comes to Champs Bar starting this January and every First Wednesday of the Month!!! Featuring DJ ITSJUSTAHMAD on the 1s and 2s. Spinning Classic Hip Hop, Funk and Soul, and all things WU! $ 5 cover! Champs is at 931 Chambers Street, Trenton.
On facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/319397044928556/

Time to Evolve

evolution_flyer_web We have a very special art show coming up. It’s a 12-hour interactive exhibition of recent work by SAGE and other artists. Many of us have been reaching into new territory with our work, and we want to bring it all together to celebrate. This art show will not be one to miss.. it goes down January 31st, 8pm – February 1st, 8am at The Hive. read more about it here »