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A pile of trash in a vacant lot in Camden, New Jersey. Photo: Phaedra Trethan for the Courier Post.

Camden, New Jersey, to Receive $1 Million to Transform Illegal Dumping Sites into Art Spaces

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization of former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, has awarded Camden, New Jersey, a $1 million grant for “A New View,” a public art project that aims to transform sites plagued by illegal dumping into dynamic art spaces. It will also encourage residents to combat the illegal dumping of household and industrial waste through education efforts and public-private partnerships.

Led by the urban redevelopment nonprofit Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, the collaboration will engage independent curators, the Camden Collaborative Initiative environmental consortium, the Camden City Cultural and Heritage Commission, local businesses, and residents. 

Sites will include illegal dumping locations along the state’s major transit corridors, including the Port Authority Transit Corporation high-speed line, the RiverLine light rail, and the Camden GreenWay trail network. Art installations and events along these routes will help repurpose the sites as active spaces for the city.

Mayor Francisco Moran said: “Illegal dumping is unsightly, unlawful, and costs the city over $4 million annually. This winning project provides a unique way to bring together residents and artists to address this issue with creativity and create a brighter future for Camden.”

Camden is the fifth and final city to receive a $1 million grant as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge. In February, mayors of US cities with thirty thousand residents or more were invited to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues. More than two hundred cities applied for the program. The other winning cities were Anchorage, Alaska; Coral Springs, Florida; Jackson, Mississippi; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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