The James R. Halsey Foundation of the Arts (JRH), a 501(c)3 non-profit agency dedicated to providing quality arts education and mentoring to youth in the City of Trenton and greater Mercer County area, announced “Pretty…Ugly,” a celebration of film and student exhibition to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 24th 2022 at the Historic Mill Hill Playhouse located at 205 East Front Street in Trenton. The student exhibition will be preceded by a private showing and World Premiere of episode one of “Common Ground,” a docuseries focusing on adjudicated youth and officers from the Trenton Police Department. In attendance will be city, county, and state officials.

Pretty….Ugly” will provide students with the opportunity to showcase their work and give the public insight into the work of the Foundation as they view projects completed by JRH students from the Trenton area as part of the Let’s Film class. The exhibition is open to the public and appropriate for families and children of all ages. “I am so proud of this unique group of students who stepped up to complete their films after taking all of their classes online during Covid. They were motivated to rise above the challenges and were finally able to meet for filming and the completion of their projects,” said Founder and CEO Joseph Halsey. “As an organization we couldn’t be more excited to share their work with the public.”

The Let’s Film program offers comprehensive film classes where youth take a hands-on approach to learning how to create short films from pre to postproduction. Topics discussed include crime in urban communities, black on black violence, and mental health issues among others.

The Generation Change program at JRH is focused on interviewing adjudicated at-risk inner-city youth on how they would solve challenging problems in their community. These interviews are filmed, and short documentaries are created and shown within the local community to create a starting point for conversation and change.

Admission to the event is free, registration is required at the following link:

For more information on the World Premiere of episode 1 of Common Ground and the James R. Halsey Foundation of the Arts student film exhibition, please call 609-938-3673 or email You may also schedule a tour of JRH’s newly renovated facility at 535 E. Franklin Street in Trenton by contacting the Foundation.

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