Capital Connection

Everything you need to know happening in and around the Capital City

Animating the stories of those lost to violence

Trenton-based artist Bentrice Jusu will debut The Potential Project: 21 Stories of Trenton at Artworks Trenton on June 18. The multimedia exhibit features four-dimensional portraits of Trentonians lost to violence, using augmented reality technology and multimedia pieces created by Jusu and a creative team of five Trenton-based artists. The two-year project was funded by the Kresge Foundation and hosted at Artworks, with administrative and programmatic support from Trenton Health Team. Contributing artists include hip hop artist Big Ooh, poet and soundscape designer Hana Sabree, documentary filmmaker Diego Dorrant Gordon, poet Terra Applegate, and dancer and choreographer Jennet Jusu.

The exhibit features portraits of 21 people, which viewers can scan with the free Artivive app. This triggers an augmented reality experience, with animation and multimedia illustrating the person’s life, their impact on those who knew them, and reflections on their loss. The multimedia pieces were created by Jusu and the creative team based on interviews with people who have lost loved ones and the artists’ reflections and experiences. Additional phases of the project will include installations around the city where specific stories can be viewed, and community conversations around healing, mental health services, and community-based trauma response efforts. More information can be found at www.potentialproject.art. The exhibition will be on view at Artworks Trenton from June 14th – July 16th, with an opening reception on June 18th, from 6-8pm. For hours and more information, please go to www.artworkstrenton.org.

I scream, you scream!

Fill your bowl with ice cream, brownies, pound cake, chocolate sauce, fresh strawberries, sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts and more on Sunday, June 12 at 2 p.m. on the veranda of the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in historic Cadwalader Park. While at Ellarslie, step inside and view Mastering Alchemy: Works on Copper and meet the artist, Stephen Bruce! Tickets available in advance or at the door

  • $20 for a sundae in a ceramic bowl of your choice to take home
    • $10 for a sundae in a disposable bowl
    • $6 for children 6 and under accompanied by an adult

Park Commission opens Hopewell Valley Golf Course

The Mercer County Park Commission and the County of Mercer held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Hopewell Valley Golf Course, a newly acquired property of the Park Commission.

This 186-acre, 18-hole course includes a clubhouse, ballroom, three Har-Tru tennis courts, three platform tennis courts and a pool. The facility is now fully operational and open to the public and provides new amenities for residents of the County and beyond.

“Most of our active recreational facilities are located in our main park in West Windsor, and I am pleased that residents in this part of our beautiful County now have a top-notch park where they can swim, play golf and tennis, and dine, all while taking in spectacular views,’’ said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

Hopewell Valley Golf Club is located on Pennington-Hopewell Road in Hopewell Township. The tennis courts and pool are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and the golf course and club house are open year-round, course conditions weather permitting. To book a tee time for Hopewell Valley Golf Course, visit www.golfmercercounty.com. For tennis reservations, call (609) 448-8007. Mercer County Tennis ID holders can book a court using www.courtreserve.com. Pool sessions must be booked online through Community Pass. Users can create an account and register for an early or afternoon session by clicking here.

Isles is excited to share a new series of initiatives launching this year that expands their reach and impact by bringing transformative change to the communities they serve:

  • Isles “Re-Engagement” Center: located in the Old Trenton Neighborhood, this Center aims to connect recent high school dropouts to alternative schooling opportunities, job training, and social service support.
  • Climate Corps: a team of young folks who will build resilient green infrastructure in Trenton to counter climate change while learning job and life skills.
  • NJ’s first Electric Vehicle Ride Share/Shuttle Service: connecting Trenton residents with jobs and other community needs using a fleet of green vehicles and building EV charging infrastructure throughout the City.
  • Coordinating Trenton’s first “Street Teams” Project: a collaborative with fellow local organizations aiming to de-escalate and reduce violence through best-practice, community-based approaches.
  • The Johnson Center for Learning and Impact: Named in honor of Marty and Liz Johnson's leadership and vision that built Isles, this is a new center to grow policy capacity, expand technical assistance, and partner with research entities to better study the impact of our work.

These new projects are the natural growth of an organization that continues to learn from, evolve, and support its core work. Public support makes this evolution possible – it allows for Isles Youth Services to engage into the anti-violence work while continuing core education, job, and life skills services. It enables Isles to try a new way of training young people in future-focused green career paths while continuing to support 70+ school and community gardens. You can learn more about Isles' work during their second annual Virtual Forum on June 6-10, where they will explore in a series of panel discussions how they strive for a sustainable and equitable future. All sessions are free, and registration is open at isles.org/forum.

Fresh food vouchers

The way inflation prices are impacting our wallets at the supermarket and everywhere else has a lot of Americans wanting some relief. Thankfully, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that starting June 1, the Mercer County Office on Aging/Aging & Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) will begin accepting applications for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers for the purchase of fresh, nutritious, unprepared foods such as fruits, vegetables and herbs to low-income older adults.

"With foods provided from authorized farmers, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program not only helps increase the nutritional health of our communities, but also increases the demand for locally grown produce and boosts the income of farmers who produce and sell locally grown products," Mr. Hughes said. Last year, the Office on Aging/ADRC distributed vouchers to 1,430 Mercer County older adults, he added.

Eligible older adults will receive vouchers for use at participating farm stands. To qualify for this program, you must be able to verify that:

  • You are 60 years of age or older
  • You live in Mercer County
  • Your income does not exceed $23,828 per year ($1,986 monthly) if applying as a single person or $32,227 per year ($2,686 monthly) if applying as a couple*

If you, a family member or friend could benefit from this program or if you have any questions regarding it, please call the Office on Aging/ADRC at 609-989-6661 or email ADRC@mercercounty.org. Income guidelines vary for household sizes of three or more and also will change July 1 for all household sizes. Please contact the Office on Aging/Aging & Disability Resource Connection for further details. Those eligible will receive five $6 vouchers for a total of $30 to spend. Vouchers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. When you receive your vouchers, you also will get a listing of participating markets and vendors.

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