The New Jersey Center for the Book and The Newark Public Library presented a program in celebration of New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at the Newark Public Library. The family morning session programs and activities offered a variety of activities for children. “The Mythmakers,” Richard Stillmand and Gerald Fierst, performed a fun-filled journey of stories and songs that captured the highlights of New Jersey’s history.
New Jersey’s awarding winning children’s author of The Legend of the Jersey Devil and The People of Twelve Thousand Winters, Trinka Hakes Noble was present and available to autograph her books.
Re-enactor Bill Agress in the persona of George Washington entertained participants with tales of the crossing of the Delaware and the important role that New Jersey played in the Revolutionary War. Other presentations included a program by representatives from the Navesink Maritime Historical Association who discussed maritime programs that teach wooden boat building and boat handling skills and showcased the importance of books, writers and libraries for historical research. The New Jersey Center for the Book featured displays of its many programs including information on its exhibit at the National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States display celebrating New Jersey’s 350th Birthday and which featured Trinka Hakes Noble’s book The Scarlet Stocking Spy.
In the afternoon a gallery tour of the This is New Jersey: 350 Years of Garden State History exhibition was offered in the third floor gallery.
The afternoon program also featured presentations from the twelve public libraries who selected as New Jersey’s 350th Anniversary Grant Recipients. The grant program offered public libraries the opportunity to provide free programs to the public celebrating 350 years of the state of New Jersey.
The presentations of the Anniversary Grants were given by Dr. Betty Turock, Professor Emerita Rutgers School of Communication to the following libraries: Woodbury Public Library, Gloucester County; West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library, Mercer County; Bergenfield Public Library, Bergen County; Maplewood Memorial Library, Essex County; Wayne Public Library, Passaic County; Jersey City Free Public Library, Hudson County; Monroe Township Library, Middlesex County; Atlantic County Library System, Atlantic County; Parsippany Troy-Hills Public Library, Morris County; Union Public Library, Union County; Bridgeton Free Public Library, Cumberland County and Warren County Library, Warren County.
Literature, Libraries and the Arts: A Vibrant Legacy of New Jersey’s 350 Years at the Grounds for Sculpture
Two of New Jersey’s most important gifts to our nation, its literary and artistic heritage, were prominent features on October 18, 2014, when the New Jersey Center for the Book celebrated New Jersey’s landmark 350th anniversary amid a collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.
World renowned New Jersey icons, Seward Johnson and Joyce Carol Oates, accepted honors from the New Jersey Center for the Book. Seward Johnson, the founder of the Grounds for Sculpture who has made landscapes and cityscapes his palette and canvas, received special recognition from the Library of Congress for the newly published book exploring his life in public art. Johnson was also awarded the first Friend of Libraries USA Award from the 60,000 member American Library Association commemorating his support and dedication to the world of libraries. Joyce Carol Oates, a towering figure in American literature, received the Center’s Literary Lion Award, a perfect alignment of award with the influential and celebrated woman who received it.
More than 80 authors and exhibitors filled the auditorium spaces of the Grounds and presented programs, craft demonstrations, book art displays, educational workshops, and showcased special events developed by the twelve public libraries receiving grant awards to celebrate New Jersey’s history. The event also included a presentation by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities at which award-winning 2014 authors were honored.