Bryan Hendrickson via Crowdrise
December 08, 2010
BENEFITING: ARTS COUNCIL OF PRINCETON
EVENT DATE: Jun 18, 2011
Since graduating from college in May of 2010, I have been volunteering full time at the Trenton Atelier facilities in the heart of Trenton, New Jersey - networking a grassroots movement of artists, inventors, designers, musicians, and so many interesting and motivated people, toward realizing the potential of our time.
We have students and locals come in daily to use our facilities and tools for free - whether it be fixing a flat tire, seat, or brakes on a bicycle, learning how to cook and prepare healthy foods, or creating works of art from bamboo or metal, we offer a space, along with plenty of knowledge and time, in order for anyone to make something happen.
We also discovered an abandoned warehouse near our facilities, which we garnered community support to clean up and transform into an "Urban Cathedral" - an open air performance arts space where the Trenton Boys and Girls club, as well as local poets and musicians, have been able to gather and host events.
Our focus is creating artwork and functional objects from predominately recycled materials. It has been shown that the Arts can pave the way for revitalization. Trenton is a prime location for revitalization; The Trenton Atelier has the means and vision to help.
We will be hosting academic and hands-on design-build, industrial and creative arts courses for local high school students this spring and summer, and any extra funding is greatly appreciated - right now we've been boot-strapping and volunteering full time to create a unique "pocket of freedom" in a city that has been experiencing urban decay since the 1970's.
Trenton is a place of incredible historic significance to the entire country (yeah, it's that place where George Washington crossed the Delaware to win a pivotal battle during the American Revolution).
Trenton is also the birthplace of wire-rope industry, which largely enabled the expansion of American settlement across the country during the last century via suspension bridges (Trenton wire rope was used to suspend the original Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges, as well as many others)
Since industry began to leave in the 1970's, a combination of corrupt government, heavy gang and drug activity, and "white flight" have sent the city into a downward spiral of decay and blight.
We need your help to provide the youth of this amazing city a positive place to explore their creative potential, and to offer an alternative to the gang and drug activity that may often come into their lives.