The work of this grant will live on.
As an outgrowth of the work done on the Reverse Archeology grant, ValleyArts became a member of Urban Essex Coalition for Smart Growth, a group of people including residents, city officials, NJTransit officials and developers interested in improving conditions and life along the 280 corridor. Specifically this group gave input concerning transit oriented development and the impact the development had/has on the cities of Orange and East Orange.
As a result of the work of the Smart Growth Coalition, a grant from the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) of $200,000 over 2 years was designated to provide a study and ultimately a plan to help remediate some of the negative impact along Interstate 280 in Orange and East Orange. ValleyArts is a part of the planning team. The body of work produced by the team of people “unearthing the future” that connects current Orange to the rich history of life along Interstate 280 is an important contributor to this effort by the NJTPA. The consultants working on this grant are founded in creative placemaking and working closely with the community to make changes that are positive and healthy for the vital community of Orange.
A mural has been created representing the diversity of this amazing city. It is called “Trees of Inclusion” and represents a grove of beech trees with each leaf the flag of a country from which residents of Orange originated. It is divided at the bottom by an abstract of I280, but the leaves join at the top symbolizing unity in the community.
The Orange Public Library made the I280 exhibit a permanent exhibit. Additionally the Orbiting exhibit, an interactive 3D puzzle created by Mike Malbrough- Lead artist on the project will be on display. They puzzle allows people to move pieces and visualize the Orange of the future.