‘Camden Fireworks’ receives major funding for plans to turn city into South Jersey’s arts destination

2 mins read
Camden Fireworks logo (courtesy Asiyah Kurtz)

A major contribution from the Hummingbird Foundation has set Camden FireWorks’ ambitious project in motion: a strategic planning endeavor for a new public art program called ‘Art in the Commons.’ In collaboration with Forecast Public Art, FireWorks aims to weave an equitable, sustainable, and green public art tapestry in Camden. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has labeled South Jersey’s most populated city “environmentally overburdened.”

Envisioning a brighter future, Asiyah Kurtz, Camden FireWorks’ Executive Director, shared, “Our blue-sky vision is that Camden will be an arts destination in the South Jersey region. We are grateful for the Hummingbird Foundation’s investment in the future of the arts in our city.”

Fireworks will partner with Forecast, a nonprofit that offers opportunities for artists. 

“At Forecast Public Art, we believe that cultivating an equitable future hinges on our ability to embrace boundless imagination”, said Forecast Project Manager Yarlyn Rosario. “We are thrilled to partner with Camden FireWorks to build an equitable and actionable public art plan for the City. It is an opportunity to construct a visionary blueprint that not only inspires but also sets a precedent for cities in similar circumstances. Cities like Camden are a glimpse of the future. No matter their size, their growing arts and culture scenes are reshaping their communities for the better.”

Forecast Public Art, established in 1978 and anchored in Saint Paul, MN, is a crucial collaborator in arts and cultural strategies. 

The strategic plan will be a year-long process of discovery to answer the question: “What is the story of Camden, NJ and how do we use art to tell it?” Kurtz said. “With Art in the Commons, our desire is to expand the community’s spatial imaginary and vocabulary of art in the city. In keeping with our organizational mission, we plan to use public art to accomplish this work.”

Camden FireWorks, a torchbearer for Black-integrated, community-centric arts, diligently cultivates and supports Camden’s artists. Their ultimate goal? Channeling art to drive societal transformation. Discover more on their website or get updates on Instagram and LinkedIn.