Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council
On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, the Monmouth County Arts Council invites the public to take part in a weekend of free family fun — in which the arts intersect with the wonders of our local environment — during the inaugural Zero Waste Arts Fest (ZWAF).
Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, ZWAF represents a partnership between Monmouth Arts and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit. The event also marks the culminating phase of a larger Gateway to the Arts grant project, a $20,000 award that Monmouth Arts received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016, to honor both the 50th anniversary of the NEA and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
All summer long, three artists have been busy creating, installing and partnering with environmental groups headquartered on Sandy Hook to bring environmental public art to the barrier peninsula. These works are on view through October 2016 at Area D, E and Gunnison plazas. ZWAF will unite the environmental public art, project partners, and local communities through our culminating weekend event.
ZWAF kicks off on September 17 with a rock n’ roll performance by Rockit Live, the talented young musicians of the Red Bank-based classic rock instructional program. The three-piece band Black Wine takes the stage next, followed by a special set — organized by the Army Ground Forces Association (AGFA) — during which a trio of jazz musicians and swing dancing couples will teach the public how to swing dance, 1940s style. Then from 7 to 10:30 p.m., AGFA will host an authentic 1940s swing event featuring the music of Swingadelic, sounding out all night under the stars.
On September 18, the stage invites Afro Brazilian Martial Arts and Fitness to perform and instruct the public on the art of Capoeira, followed by Amy Beshara and Max Carmichael playing the fiddle, wooden flute, banjo and Irish bouzouki. Rounding out Sunday afternoon is the Marel Hidalgo Band, a group of professional musicians fronted by an 8-year-old Shore-based sensation on his campaign to Save the Rainforest (you might even find him wearing his red eyed tree frog suit, if it’s not too hot).
Beyond the stage and dance floor, the Parade Grounds of Fort Hancock will play host to over 25 interactive tables and arts activities, spread out across the field for kids, families and adults from all communities to enjoy and learn. Local environmental artist Lisa Bagwell, will be creating a “zero waste” sculpture, LIVE, during the event, from any and all waste produced from the Fest that is not compostable nor recyclable. “Zero Waste Stations” will have cardboard bins for all three categories, and Lisa’s “Trash Team” will bring all waste to her live art location on the grounds. She will disassemble, cut, wire, and glue the waste into public art, on the spot.
Along with Lisa’s paired environmental group (the NJ Sea Grant Consortium), our three other environmental partners — Clean Ocean Action, American Littoral Society, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — will host art and environmental education activities for kids.
Monmouth County arts organizations will represent themselves and their love for our local environment through their unique art specialties. The Monmouth Museum will be making crafts with kids from recycled materials and will have a drawing for a museum basket and membership. The Art Alliance of Monmouth County will be leading people in the creation of recycled sculptures, while the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council will lead kids through paper kite-making-coloring and assembling paper kites to fly in our kite-flying area of the grounds (approved by the National Park Service, in consideration of seasonal breeding birds of Sandy Hook).
The Count Basie Performing Arts Academy will have continuous performances at their table, creating recycled instruments and performing percussion and stomp. The New Jersey State Youth Orchestra will have volunteer students performing solos at their table throughout the day, and the Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast will be out all weekend, painting live in the open air, capturing the essence of the landscape on this particular weekend.
Artist Kate Eggleston will have an interactive loom at her table, inviting the public to participate in a recycled weaving project. The arts advocacy group New Jersey Arts Education Partnership will be promoting the launch of the three-year statewide arts education campaign, Arts Ed Now! Teens and adults will have their photo taken at their booth and tell them why the arts matter to them.
Additional environmental groups will be joining for this festival, including the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, who will have solar toys for kids to enjoy and a large interactive recycled art project spread out across their ground space. Food & Water Watch will lead adults and teens through a Corals and Chemistry activity, while the younger kids can enjoy a “swimmy stamps” exercise. Monmouth Conservation will help kids make their own native seed balls, and color their own rocks.
Brookdale Community College will offer information about their arts and environmental programs, and Combat Paper NJ (CPNJ) will engage the community; uniting veterans and non-veterans through papermaking, creating paper from military uniforms. Naturehood Watch, founded by artists Kate Okeson and Michael-Paul Raspanti, will be creating recycled paper field guides with kids and adults, and leading groups out for a bird walk. They’ll also be giving away 1,000 of their illustrated posters of local bird species, with a fill-in-the-blank section for kids to draw their own local birds back at home.
On top of all that will be coffee sack races with eco-prizes for kids ages 5-12, using coffee sacks provided by Booskerdoo. Visitors can also enjoy free face painting for kids, and a complimentary shuttle bus tour around the Hook.
The first 600 people to stop at the Monmouth Arts table each day will receive a free durable and reusable canvas ZWAF tote bag (be sure to check inside for a complimentary Booskerdoo coffee card, good at their new Pier Village location).