On January 8th, a number of dedicated volunteers and supporters came together at the Trenton Free Public Library as I Am Trenton Community Foundation and Isles, Inc. awarded more than $40,000 in grants to eight successful applicants of the Old Trenton Neighborhood grant round for 2020.

The nonprofit I Am Trenton Community Foundation and Isles pose with annual grant awardees, volunteers and readers of its Old Trenton Neighborhood grant round for 2020 in the Reading Room of the Trenton Free Public Library (120 Academy Street) on Wednesday, January 8th. Photo by Nicholas DeLibero of Isles.

“I had the distinct opportunity to be among the readers chosen by I Am Trenton to evaluate the many grant applications,” said Bryan Evans, Vice President at Greater Trenton. “It was great to see the passion and excitement from all the grantees as they embark on their respective projects.”

The grant program, established by Isles, Inc., is funded by the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program. The program builds on priorities of the 2007 Old Trenton Neighborhood plan and the 2016 Creek to Canal Creative District plan (available at www.creektocanalcreative.org) to make Old Trenton a safe, active, and vibrant community, with a particular focus on reclaiming underused buildings and spaces, and supporting the arts as an agent of social change.

Old Trenton Neighborhood

I Am Trenton President Raj Manimaran and past president Jon Carl Lewis, presented the awards to eight recipients of the Old Trenton Neighborhood Grant, which supports economic development in the Old Trenton Neighborhood, a twelve-block downtown area bounded by Perry Street on the north, East State Street on the south, North Broad Street on the West and the Route One Freeway on the east.

The winners:

  • Orchid House Café: Community Kitchen providing resident-owned culinary start-ups risk-free access to the equipment, marketing tools, and professional environment needed to make, sell and scale their products in more formal markets.
  • Aerosol Illusions: Roberto Clemente Park Heritage Murals with one covering the basketball court and the other adorning the pool house wall. Both murals will celebrate Puerto Rican heritage and contributions to the Old Trenton Neighborhood.
  • Lora Productions: Image and Sound supporting professional artist development, with events consisting of art, music, and educational trainings both for artists and community members.
  • Trenton Community A-Team: Staffing and Activation of Studio 51 will present a more welcoming gateway to the Creek 2 Canal revitalization area.
  • Trenton Free Public Library: Trenton Makes Space for Art Makers will form a new adult art club for library patrons and expand the library art gallery.
  • Puerto Rican Parade of Trenton: Puerto Rican Week will tap into historic Puerto Rican roots of the neighborhood by facilitating construction of a float by the community.
  • Bike Arts: Bicycle Par(t)king will create ten fully custom Art Racks installed in the Old Trenton Neighborhood creating a fun way to secure bicycles utilizing leftover parking meter poles and recycled bicycle parts.
  • The Become Factory will pilot a digital arts incubator in Old Trenton, with access to equipment, professional development opportunities, events and marketing to enable artists to reach a broader market.  

Since 2010, I Am Trenton’s grant programs have brought together donors and local recipients in support of meaningful and effective community projects. In just ten years, the all-volunteer IAT has invested more than $260,000 in over 170 City projects, enabling good ideas from Trentonians to help their communities improve and revitalize. Board Member and former President Jon Carl Lewis believes, “Every dollar counts, and every project matters.”