July 8, 2020

REOPENING THIS WEEK: Morven Museum & Garden on Stockton Street will reopen its doors to visitors on Thursday, July 9. Its exhibition “Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey” has been extended to January 24, 2021. (Photo by Richard Speedy)

“It has been a really remarkable spring,” said Jill Barry, executive director of Morven Museum & Garden. “We thank all of our supporters for the successes of our plant sales, outdoor tours, and recent 4th of July Jubilee in a Bag. People were tremendously understanding when we canceled Morven in May and continued their support, enabling us to get to where we are today. We are delighted to announce that, after weeks of preparation, we are ready to safely reopen our doors on Thursday, July 9 and welcome our friends back to Morven Museum & Garden.”

 In addition, Morven’s popular exhibition, “Dreaming of Utopia: Roosevelt, New Jersey,” has been extended to January 24, 2021.  “Our venerable front porch wisteria has even graced us with a second blooming, just in time for our reopening,” Barry added.

Noting that safety is of utmost importance, Morven is following all CDC and local health official guidelines.

Barry went on to note that during the month of July, Morven will welcome its members, known as Friends of Morven, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily, closing from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. for cleaning. From 1 to 4 p.m. Morven will be open to members and the general public.   more

BARRACKS IS BACK: The Trenton landmark Old Barracks Museum, closed since March 14, is now open. Visitors interact with 18th century soldiers and tradespeople.

The gates at The Old Barracks Museum are open once again. Tickets to see the National Historic Landmark must be pre-purchased online at www.barracks.org at least one day prior to visiting. Masks are required to be worn by visitors, staff, and volunteers at all times.

Visitation is limited to one group of no more than 10 people at a time to comply with the state of New Jersey’s mandate on capacity reductions. The museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday. Visitation policy and hours are subject to change.

The historic building dates back to 1758 when it was used as winter quarters during the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, it stood witness to the Battle of Trenton and served as a military hospital to provide smallpox inoculations. Visitors will meet with 18th century tradespeople who showcase the skills required for army life as well as tour the gallery on the history of New Jersey in the French and Indian War, see the bunks where soldiers slept, tour the Officers’ House, see a medical room, and experience the thrill of a musket firing.  more

July 1, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

The last time I road-tested a song was for a column celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ White Album, released in the U.S. on November 22, 1968. Driving from Kingston to Princeton with “Revolution 9” on the stereo, I covered the distance in 8:15, the exact length of the surreal sound collage created by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Twice as long, “Murder Most Foul,” Bob Dylan’s Kennedy assassination tour de force, took me and my 20-year-old-and-counting Honda CRV to Kingston and back and then halfway to Rocky Hill so I could hear it again. The ride was as rich, as dense, and as sweepingly provocative as a novel compared to the churning, driving soundscape of “Revolution 9,” yet both in-motion listening experiences reverberated with the chaotic, fateful aftershocks of the same day in Dallas.                        

Twilight Time in Tulsa

Given the enormity of the audiences their records reached, Dylan and the Beatles had the power to sound and shape the culture of the period, underground as well as mainstream. The Beatles knew what they were doing by releasing the White Album on the fifth anniversary of the assassination, as Dylan knew when he sent Tempest into the world on September 11, 2012 and timed the June 19 release of his new album Rough and Rowdy Ways to coincide with Juneteenth, the date officially marking the end of slavery.  more

MCCARTER LIVE: McCarter Theatre presented an online conversation between outgoing artistic director and resident playwright Emily Mann; and composer Lucy Simon (above). (Photo by Jamie Levine)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter LIVE: In Conversation with Lucy Simon” was presented June 26. Artistic Engagement Manager Paula T. Alekson curated this final installment of McCarter’s series of discussions between Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann, and some of her collaborators on past and current projects.

Singer, songwriter, and Broadway composer Lucy Simon is working with Mann and lyricist Susan Birkenhead on a musical adaptation of Kent Haruf’s 2015 novel Our Souls at Night.

Her sisters are singer and songwriter Carly Simon and opera singer Joanna Simon. “There was always music in our house,” Simon recalls, speaking from her home in Nyack, N.Y. “My father [the co-founder of Simon & Schuster] was a wonderful pianist. My mother was a beautiful singer. We would all sing together. Joanna would bring home three-part glee club songs.”

A setting of Eugene Field’s 1889 poem “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” was Simon’s first composition. “I was in sixth or seventh grade,” she says. “We had to recite a poem to our class. I had difficulty remembering words; I didn’t have difficulty if I set them to music. Carly and I recorded it years later, and it became a big hit.” When Lucy was 16 she and Carly formed a duo, the Simon Sisters. “They were just a little bit older, and I wanted very much to be them!” Mann remembers. more

“IN CONVERSATION”: The Arts Council of Princeton will present artist Mario Moore, center, in the virtual program “In Conversation with Mario Moore and James Steward” on Tuesday, July 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The free program is part of the ACP’s apART together initiative.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) takes pride in its diverse community of artists, authors, and creatives of all disciplines. “In Conversation” is a curated series of discussions designed to celebrate and connect those who make art and those who love art. Breaking down the barriers between artist and art-appreciator, “In Conversation” delves into inspiration, studio practice, and artistic aspirations.

The ACP presents “In Conversation with Mario Moore and James Steward” on Tuesday, July 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Moore (b. 1987) is a Detroit native currently residing in New York City. He received a BFA in Illustration from the College for Creative Studies (2009) and an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art (2013). He has participated as an artist-in-residence at Knox College, Fountainhead residency, and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.  more

This oil painting by Christina Poruczynski is featured in “For the Love of Art,” the Arts and Cultural Council of Bucks County’s online exhibition and sale, which has been extended to August 31 and expanded with 20 additional artists. It is now on view at bucksarts.org.

KEEPING THEATER ALIVE: Passage Theatre Company of Trenton has just concluded a fundraising campaign to help ensure its future at Mill Hill Playhouse. Former Artistic Director June Ballinger is shown here in a production of “Blood: A Comedy” by David Lee White.

Passage Theatre Company, the Trenton-based organization committed to producing socially relevant new plays and arts programming, has just concluded a $15,000 fundraising campaign to help ensure its future in the wake of COVID-19.

Now heading into its 35th season, Passage is focused on professional productions, educational programs, and community engagement, endeavoring to present diverse perspectives and new voices that inspire audiences and invigorate the art of live theater.

Proceeds of the fund will go towards producing Passage’s 2020-21 season programming, along with artist and staff salaries. more

June 24, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Finally a dream worth remembering. If only I can remember it. For far too long, with rare exceptions, my dreams have been about trivial tasks and futile deliberations, like asking directions to places you don’t even want to go, and looming in the background always the same monumental obstacle that can’t be moved or toppled or made to vanish. Last night I woke up worn out but smiling, aware that I’d been toiling, climbing, slipping and almost falling, but not afraid, never for a minute. All I knew was the dream had something to do with statues.

And why not, with statues being toppled here, there, and everywhere, all over the world. At the moment I’m  remembering the opening scene of Chaplin’s City Lights, where a crowd of dignitaries is gathered for the unveiling of a monument to “Peace and Prosperity” composed of three figures, a seated female flanked by two male warriors, one wielding a sword. The unveiling of the Olympian tableau reveals the tramp, “the Little Fellow,” curled up asleep in the female figure’s lap. The dignitaries are not amused and shout at him, he tries to scramble to his feet but his baggy trousers get caught on the sword, which seems to hoist him, wriggling, tipping his derby, as the band plays the National Anthem.

“The Statue Song”

I’d been up past three the previous night when I saw an online New York Times front page photograph showing two NYPD cars in front of the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the Museum of Natural History. My first thought was of a New York night in the mid-sixties with an old friend that began with us throwing snowballs at the statue after sharing a pint of Old Crow. We had nothing against TR, no agenda, we were just “doing what comes naturally” because he was so monumentally there, not because he was “a symbol of colonialism and racism flanked by a Native American man and an African man.”  more

“LIVE MUSICAL THEATER REVUE”: The Princeton Festival organized an online concert of soloists performing songs from classic and recent musicals. Top row, from left: Erin Brittain, Michael Caizzi, Ronald Samm, Rachel Weishoff, and Billy Huyler. Middle row: Matt Flocco, Mekelia Miller, Paloma Friedhoff Bello, Jami Leonard, and James Conrad Smith. Bottom row: Amy Weintraub, Michael Motkowski, Natalie Rose Havens, Jordan Bunshaft, and Shannon Rakow. (Photo montage courtesy of the Princeton Festival)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Princeton Festival presented a Live Musical Theater Revue on June 20. The free concert was part of the Festival’s ongoing series of online events, “Virtually Yours.” Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk hosted the livestream, which featured 14 soloists performing selections from Broadway or off-Broadway shows.

The soloists chose the songs they performed. The resulting selection was an eclectic but remarkably well-balanced mixture of numbers from mid-20th century “Golden Age” classics, and more recent material.

Online concerts present unique technical challenges. One soloist, Mekelia Miller, was unheard due to a lost connection. At times a few of the other performers’ voices were less audible than their instrumental tracks. On the whole, however, the evening proceeded smoothly, with little lag time between performances. Every soloist briefly chatted affably with their predecessor before starting their own song.

The opening soloist was mezzo-soprano Shannon Rakow. who confidently began the concert with a cheerful, sincere rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” singing to an orchestral track. Composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill wrote the exuberant, uptempo number for Funny Girl. Isobel Lennart wrote the book of that 1964 musical, whose semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of entertainer Fanny Brice (1891-1951). more

By Nancy Plum

Three months after the Princeton performing arts arena essentially shut down, it is clear the 2020-2021 season will require major adjustments from performers, administrators, audience members and donors alike.  Princeton Festival, whose month-long June season usually fills area halls with opera, recitals, chamber music, and lectures, quickly adjusted this year to create a “season” of virtual vocal showcases, podcasts, lectures, and archival performances.  The Festival’s third week of “Virtually Yours on Demand”  included a live online panel discussion last Tuesday afternoon with leaders from Princeton area music organizations discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted performing ensembles and how organizations will fine-tune a summer traditionally jammed-packed with planning, but with no idea how and when live performances will be able to happen.

Hosted by Princeton Festival Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk, the online conversation included Princeton Pro Musica Executive Director Mary Trigg; Trenton Children’s Chorus Executive Director Kate Mulligan; Princeton Singers Executive Director John Cloys; David Osenberg, development director of WWFM; Jerry Kalstein, chair of Boheme Opera NJ’s Board of Trustees; and Hilary Butler, executive director of Westrick Academy, the home of the Princeton Girlchoir and Boychoir. The discussion focused on the future of the performing arts in the Princeton area, including how ensembles are navigating the times ahead and what next season might look like.

All of these organizations have adjusted to a “non-live” performance format which has gone on much longer than anyone imagined. Performances (including a Princeton Girlchoir tour to Spain and Portugal) were canceled or postponed to early fall, only to be postponed again when it was unclear if venues would be open.  All participants in the discussion have developed some sort of digital presence, ranging from music theory classes to online voice lessons, but it has become clear to choruses in particular that current technology allows neither ensemble accuracy in real time nor a sense of unity in performing. However, as Mulligan was quick to point out, the ability of Trenton Children’s Chorus members to connect to one another was in many cases more important to the young choristers than trying to sing simultaneously. Several ensembles have created “virtual choirs” by having individual singers record themselves with “click-tracks,” but all recognize the massive amount of work involved in editing numerous audio pieces and synching with video to create an acceptable finished product.   more

Miguel Gutierrez (Photo by Marley Trigg-Stuart)

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance at Princeton University has announced award-winning choreographer and interdisciplinary artist Miguel Gutierrez as principal Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence for the 2020-21 academic year. Gutierrez’s residency will include teaching, creating a new commissioned work, and advising on student-created choreography.

The purpose of the Hearst program is to bring prominent choreographers and dancers in conversation with Princeton students through a variety of engagement activities while supporting the development of these choreographers’ work. Gutierrez’ residency, along with several other shorter residencies being planned for the coming year, is aimed at maximizing that potential engagement.

Launched in 2017, the Caroline Hearst Choreographers-in-Residence Program fosters the Program in Dance’s connections with the dance field. It provides selected professional choreographers with resources and a rich environment to develop their work and offers opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with diverse creative practices.

Gutierrez is a choreographer, composer, performer, singer, writer, educator, and advocate who has lived in New York City for over 20 years. His work has been presented in more than 60 cities around the world, in venues such as the Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, Centre National de la Danse, Centre Pompidou, ImPulsTanz, Fringe Arts, TBA/PICA, MCA Chicago, American Realness, Chocolate Factory, and the 2014 Whitney Biennial.  more

VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR: D&R Greenway will host “Wine, Art, and Stories of Preservation,” on Thursday, June 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. via Zoom. The free event celebrates limited edition labels for new local wines blended by Old York Cellars, which feature three of the land trust’s preserves.

D&R Greenway invites the public to enjoy “Wine, Art, and Stories of Preservation,” a Virtual Happy Hour celebrating limited edition labels for new local wines blended by Old York Cellars for three of the land trust’s preserves.

This near-Summer-Solstice festivity will take place Thursday, June 25via Zoomfrom 5 to 6 p.m. Literally a Happy Hour (own beverages also appropriate), this free event features untold stories of preservation. D&R Greenway has seen a 200 percent increase in use of its preserves during the pandemic, as outdoor spaces provide beauty, solace, and healing in challenging times.

For Zoom party directions, RSVP to Deb Kilmer by June 25 at noon via email at dkilmer@drgreenway.org or call (609) 203-7364.  more

The BSB Gallery has brought together the works of 18 regional and international multidisciplinary artists to present “Free Enterprise,” a virtual art exhibition that examines capitalism and the growing controversy of the American Dream. This show, which opens on July 2, is presented on bsbgallery.com, via a professional exhibition hosting platform.

“’Free Enterprise’ houses a broad collection of perspectives coming from different social and economic backgrounds, continents, and artistic disciplines,” says Aine Mickey, who curated the show. “The concept of the ‘American Dream,’ as seen and interpreted through the creative lens of those with different perspectives, opens up a discussion on the role of money and finance in our lives. I think it’s very important that we search for understanding, especially within systems that dictate the majority of our lives. It’s a relevant topic to explore today, although we planned this exhibition months ago.” more

This oil painting by Deb Hoeffner is featured in “For the Love of Art,” the Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County’s online exhibition and sale. The exhibit, now on view at bucksarts.org, celebrates 70 artists and 140 works of art including paintings, drawings, ceramics, fiber art, sculptures, mixed media, wood turning, collages, and more.

June 17, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Think of it as a double feature. Or better yet, one film, A Tale of Two Poets, with a week-long intermission.

Here are two driven, difficult artists who wrote difficult, celebrated verse. Each chose to “take his own life” or “end it all” on the grand scale. In last week’s column it was John Berryman leaping off a bridge over the Mississippi; this week it’s Hart Crane leaping off a ship into the Gulf of Mexico, his body never recovered, the headlines reading Poet Lost at Sea.

Fathers and Sons

Berryman’s father fatally shot himself outside his 11-year-old son’s ground-floor window at the Kipling Arms apartments, Mandalay Drive, Clearwater Beach, Florida. The shot echoed through four decades, the son reliving it in “Dream Song 145,” the last act of the father “so strong & so undone,” who “only, very early in the morning, / rose with his gun and went outdoors by my window / and did what was needed.”    

Crane’s father, a Cleveland, Ohio candy manufacturer “wholly loyal to the gods of Commerce” was “outraged by the jest of fortune which had given him a poet for a son.” Making it his mission to drive out the “poetry nonsense,” he put the boy to work selling candy and told the other employees to keep an eye on him in case he read “poetry books” during work hours.  more

“IN CONVERSATION”: McCarter Theatre presented an online conversation between outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann and playwright and librettist Nilo Cruz. (Emily Mann photo by Matt Pilsner; Nilo Cruz photo by Marc Richard Tousignant)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

McCarter LIVE: In Conversation with Nilo Cruz” was presented June 12. Artistic Engagement Manager Paula T. Alekson curated the discussion between playwright and librettist Cruz; and outgoing Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann. McCarter’s productions of Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics and Bathing in Moonlight were directed by Mann.

The conversation begins on a somber note. “Given the events of the past two and a half weeks, I felt the need to not simply dive into the past, but to be in the present at the top of our time together,” Alekson says, adding that she felt a responsibility not to create a “structured absence of the outrage, pain, unrest, and division. I thought, as a memorial, we might mark the present moment first.”

Cruz recites “The Weight of a Knee,” a poem he has written in memory of George Floyd. The harrowing elegy is unsparing: “The knee in uniform, made of law, crushed the tendrils of an already buried throat, as it strangled the breath of history once again,” Cruz reads. “The knee, known to be used for the sacred ceremony of prayer, now profaned.”

Reflecting on the ensuing national dialogue about racial justice, Mann offers, “We are at a turning point in history. It’s a seismic shift that has great possibility — and of course great danger in it as well, as all great possibilities do.” She observes “people around the world feeling the need to walk together, and show … their need to see justice and change for their fellow human beings. This is something that artists know: the whole thing is to go deep inside yourselves and dream big, and see where you want to go, so that then you can go there together.” more

Lileana Blain-Cruz

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced the award of additional support to artists for the 2020-21 academic year through the Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fund. These grants recognize the particular challenges the COVID-19 pandemic have had on artists.

The awards are intended to support the ten selected artists in continuing to advance their work in this environment. The selected artists are theater director Lileana Blain-Cruz, visual artist Oneydika Chuke, interdisciplinary director Mark DeChiazza, choreographer Marjani Forte, actor and performing artist Jennifer Kidwell, composer and musician Aurora Nealand, poet and journalist Maya Phillips, writer and translator Aaron Robertson, choreographer Katy Pyle, and visual artist Paula Wilson.

Oneydika Chuke

The Hodder Fund was established in the 1940s to provide artists and humanists in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to undertake significant new work. Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have, as the program outlines, “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts.” In the regular cycle of Fellowship grants, artists from anywhere may apply in the early fall each year for the following academic year. more

“IN THE CENTER OF SUNRISE MEADOW”: This photograph by Patron Award Winner Phyllis Meredith is one of 143 images featured in the 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, on view online at phillipsmillphoto.com/pmpe2020-exhibition.

The 27th Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, a prestigious, well-regarded photo show traditionally showcased in the Phillips Mill Gallery in New Hope, Pa., is in an online gallery form this year due to the pandemic. 

For the exhibit, juror, Emmet Gowin, formerly professor of art at Princeton University, selected 143 images out of 1,000 images submitted from professional and amateur photographers from 13 states and three countries.  Gowin is one of the greats in the history of photography and is an internationally acclaimed photographer.

“MINAS BASIN, WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA”: This photograph by Third Place Award Winner Liam Nelson is featured in the 27th  Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, on view online at phillipsmillphoto.com/pmpe2020-exhibition.

Michael Ast won Best in Show.  The second place award winner is Rory Mahon, with the photo “Mud Dauber.”  Third place award winner Liam Nelson traveled far and near for his photos, from Big Sur, California, to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, where he was surprised that there were no boats tied up on the docks in the water-filled harbor. Hours later when the tide receded almost completely emptying the harbor it became abundantly clear why there were no boats. Close to home he captured winter scenes along the Delaware River from his front yard in Titusville. more

The 48-star Whipple Peace Flag, circa 1931, is featured in Morven Museum & Garden’s newest online exhibition, “The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit,” on view at morven.org. The exhibition features more than 100 flags from the Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags.

June 10, 2020

By Stuart Mitchner

Nobody is ever missing.

—John Berryman, “Dream Song 29”

There’s a video online of John Berryman reading his poem “The Song of a Tortured Girl” in early October 1970, a year and three months before he jumped to his death from the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis.

It’s a short poem about a heroine of the French Resistance captured by the Gestapo and, as Berryman puts it, “tortured in various ways to death without giving up any names.” Watching the faded, grainy YouTube clip, I saw convulsive foreshadowings of Berryman’s last act. Although the video resembles a ghostly livestream preview of Zoom, there’s nothing merely “virtual” about the bearded, bespectacled poet’s spasmodic flailings; he’s not reciting the girl’s ordeal, he’s enduring it in an agony of compassion. You find yourself close to ducking, flinching, not sure whether he’s at the drunken mercy of — or in sly performative command of — his own lines. Everything’s at the last point-of-death remove, every pause feels like a fall into the abyss, and you’re there with the girl and the poet in “the strange room where the brightest light DOES NOT shine on the strange men: shines on me.” Nothing short of the capital letters I’ve added can suggest the way those two ordinary words wrench, attack, all but strangle him. It’s not emphasis for effect, it’s an emotional eruption.

No matter how much you read of Berryman’s work or John Haffenden’s 1983 biography or the Paris Review interview conducted at St. Mary’s Hospital later the same month, October 27 and 29, 1970, nothing really prepares you for the dimensions of Berryman’s presence alive and unwell, and rarely sober, in various online videos. Then you begin to understand his take-no-prisoners attitude to syntax; the poignant understatement of his third wife Kate’s reference to the “lovely confusion” of living with him (“you were part of the project”); and above all his lengthy closing response when the interviewer, his former student Peter Stitt, asks him, “Where do you go from here?”  more

The Trenton Music Makers have dedicated their Thursday, June 11 concert on Facebook to the Trenton community. “The beauty and resilience of the people of this city live in all of its children, and our mission is to empower them by uplifting their voices as musicians and members of their community,” the group has stated. “We offer this concert to celebrate and affirm that Black Lives Matter.” The concert, featuring students and teaching artists and special guests, is streamed at 6 p.m. on facebook.com/trentonmusicmakers. (Photo by Nick Donnoli Productions)

The Princeton Festival has added events to the second week of its free “Virtually Yours” online performing arts series. A performance of Georg Philipp Telemann’s Fantasia #8 in E major by Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra violinist Maria Romero will stream on Thursday, June 11. Romero was earlier interviewed in a podcast about her career, which is now available on the Festival website.

The roster for the online season also includes entertainment by a Latin dance band, including dance lessons; an opera workshop; a podcast on costuming; a Baroque concert; and Mozart’s popular opera Le Nozze di Figaro.

“We’re happy these wonderful artists are joining our virtual season,” said Richard Tang Yuk, executive and artistic director. “We’re planning to announce more added attractions for the final two weeks as well.”

Most events will be available from 9 a.m. the day they debut through June 28. The week two schedule includes a podcast interview on “Costuming Operas and Musicals” with Marie Miller on Wednesday, June 10; “Signature Artists Showcase” with Baroque violinist Maria Montero playing Telemann’s Fantasia #8 in E major, and Session 1 of 4-part Digital Opera Workshop with Kyle Masson, on Thursday, June 11. more

In response to the tragedy of racism and the conversations and protests around social justice taking place in the United States, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) has postponed the world premiere of José Luis Domínguez’s Gratias Tibi to June 22.

NJSO President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst said, “Now is a time to listen to the voices of the black community. Issues of systemic racism and social justice should be the focus of our national conversation. We still believe in the importance of sending gratitude to the frontline medical and service workers who have been at the forefront of the ongoing pandemic response, and we look forward to sharing Gratias Tibi later this month.”

Gratias Tibi is an NJSO commission offering a message of thanks to the frontline medical and service workers responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Montclair State University Singers, longtime NJSO partners, will join the Orchestra for Domínguez’s work for physically-distanced orchestra and choir.

The world premiere will now take place on June 22 at 7:30 pm at njsymphony.org/gratiastibi and on the NJSO’s social media channels. For more information, visit njsymphony.org/gratiastibi.

“SPRING FLOWERS”: This photo by John Marshall can be found in the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) online gallery at lhtrail.org. All are invited to participate in the LHT Art on the Trail program, which will run through next spring.

Whether area residents are inspired by the critters, trees, blossoms, and grasses or lakes and streams along the 20-plus miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), all are invited to take part in the LHT Art on the Trail program. The goal is to create and share art inspired by the walking and biking trail that runs through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships.

The assignment: Take a walk along the trail with your cameras or art supplies, choose your subject matter by visiting the LHT photo gallery or tap into your own imagination and create drawings, paintings, videos, and photos of scenes along the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. Submit them at lhtrail.org/upload-trail-artwork, and the LHT will share the best of them on the lhtrail.org website, through social media, and in future LHT publications. more

PUBLIC ART MURAL: Princeton artist Marlon Davila begins painting the D&R Greenway Land Trust mural at Bordentown Beach, which will celebrate the Delaware River. It is projected to be completed by July 4.

D&R Greenway Land Trust of Princeton has announced that first brush strokes of paint are being applied to its public art mural celebrating their upcoming Kayak Education Program on the banks of the Delaware River at Bordentown Beach. This program is designed to increase water access and awareness of watershed protection for all people who live along the Delaware, recently named River of the Year 2020 by American Rivers.

The mural is to be completed by July 4. Meanwhile, the public is welcome to enjoy watching its progress at Bordentown Beach, maintaining social distance.

This announcement comes as June is celebrated as American Rivers Month across the country.  More than 15 million people get their drinking water from the Delaware River watershed.  To create a public statement about the importance of water and the river, and the diverse communities that benefit from it, D&R Greenway partnered with the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s youth program, FUTURO, and with the city of Bordentown.

The mural-in-progress is under the artistic leadership of Princeton resident Marlon Davila. Like many of the students he worked with on this project, he is first generation, his parents having immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala. To design the mural, Davila and Nadeem Demian of D&R Greenway, also first generation with parents from Egypt, worked with high school youth from Trenton and Princeton. The students were provided presentations about the important historic and natural resources of the Delaware River, and were invited to create art to express their cultural and individual views of environmental impacts on the Delaware.   more