Artwork displayed students’ vision of peacemaking through the arts, diversity and social justice
|Students across sixteen NPS schools marched in the 2017 Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade in downtown Newark to celebrate the city’s art, youth, diversity, and peace.|
[Newark, NJ — May 17, 2017] — Hundreds of Newark Public Schools (NPS) students and staff members from ten elementary schools and six high schools marched in the 10th Annual Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade in downtown Newark on Thursday, May 11. The parade, which is hosted annually by the Barat Foundation, offers a space where Newark community members are able to march throughout their city to celebrate art, peace, love, and community. The theme of this year’s Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade was “Newark: 50 Years Forward,” marking 50 years since the Newark Uprising of 1967 and celebrating Newark’s renaissance.
“Our NPS community appreciates the opportunity to participate in the Barat Foundation’s Creation Nation Art and Peace Parade, a special event that has become a fundamental part of our city’s artistic landscape, enabling our community to come together to celebrate our city’s rich culture and promote peace through creative expression,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools. “Thanks to the Barat Foundation’s ongoing investment in Newark’s youth, our scholars are able to continue exploring a wide-range of educational opportunities in the arts, an important part of every child’s educational journey.”
In preparation for this year’s parade, students were asked to submit a poster, banner, flag, or cultural costume in April, which were then reviewed and selected to be showcased at the parade. The artwork each student displayed at the parade was representative of each individual students’ vision of peacemaking through the arts, diversity, or social justice. Additionally, the Barringer/Science High School and Malcolm X Shabazz marching bands participated in this year’s festivities, performing musical selections as they marched alongside their community members throughout downtown Newark.
Other high school students that participated in the event came from American History High School, New Jersey Regional Day School, Science Park High School and University High School. Elementary school students from Ann Street School, BRICK Avon Academy, Early Childhood School North, First Avenue School, Hawkins Street, Ivy Hill, Lincoln, Mount Vernon, Oliver Street and Wilson Avenue also participated.
Founded in 1997 by Gary and Chandri Barat, the Barat Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization based in Newark that focuses on expanding creative opportunities through immersion programs in order to foster creative expression in Newark’s youth.