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It Takes A Village | Artivism In A Pandemic
This documentary film chronicles and highlights an ambitious, year long, public art and community engagement initiative in East Orange, New Jersey, placing it at the center of an historic, cultural and social convergence, as was similarly occurring in cities across the United States. In response to the police-killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 and to support the Black Lives Matter movement, a volunteer group of East Orange-based artists and a local non-profit launched a unique, mural project. The initiative commissioned sixteen area muralists and was fueled by support from an international arts powerhouse and an aggressive GoFundMe campaign. As you will see, creating public art is a unifying experience that strengthens our sense of humanity and connectedness to one another. Directed by 
New Jersey-based filmmaker Kiymora Smith of The Gold Standard Production,




Manufacturers Village Artists in collaboration with Liquitex, the Arts Council of East Orange (ACEO), and Pink Dragon Artist Syndicate is pleased to announce a mural project set to engage and employ artists from the City of East Orange and surrounding areas. The Black Lives Matter Mural Project is a community initiative for change. Our intention is to create a mural combining the work of individual artists.


The community mural will be prominently located at the historic Manufacturers Village in East Orange, New Jersey. Built in the 1880s, this Victorian industrial complex was the original corporate headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, then known as Seabury and Johnson. It has since transformed into a diverse community of creative makers and small businesses and is now a nexus for artists working in a variety of creative practices including filmmaking, photography, painting, sculpture, installation, and public art. 


Manufacturers Village continues to be operated by direct descendants of the Seabury family, the Hubert family, who initiated the Black Lives Matter Mural Project to make a bold, supportive statement and to designate Manufacturers Village and the City of East Orange as a place of creativity, community, and social awareness.



The location for the Black Lives Matter community mural will be the largest parking lot at Manufacturers Village located on Glenwood Place, between Glenwood Avenue and Prospect Street. The mural will be nearly 9,000 square feet and will become the largest public art installation in the City of East Orange.  Mural design and production will take place during Winter/Spring 2021. 


Selected artists will be paid to design and paint individual letters in the Black Lives Matter Mural.  The lead artist on the project, Malcolm Rolling, a lifelong East Orange resident, and muralist, was engaged to design the outline structure for the Black Lives Matter Mural. After extensive research, he chose a typeface created by Tre Seals, an African American Designer & Typographer. The selected typeface is titled Marsha, inspired by Marsha P. Johnson, an African American, a transgender woman from New Jersey, and a prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. See the mural design outline above.


The project team and artists participating in this historic initiative will be filmed during the planning, design, and production processes, as the subject of a documentary being produced by award-winning, New Jersey-based filmmaker Kiymora Smith of The Gold Standard Productions.

BLM Artist Graphic
Liquitex Logo
Pink Dragon Syndicate Logo
ACEO logo
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