For the past week, a team from Red Bank’s Project Write Now, a nonprofit dedicated to helping community members tap into their creativity through writing, has been handing out forms around town, inviting recipients to share a few words about what they love, and then pass the form to someone else: a friend, a family member or even a complete stranger.
From press materials furnished by DNB Events and Project Write Now
If you’ve wondered about those “I remember…” collection boxes that you may have noticed at select businesses throughout Red Bank, they’ve got a story to tell — or rather, they’ve been placed there to collect the stories that you and your neighbors have to tell.
Red Bank regulars know her from many different settings, and wearing many figurative hats — from faculty member at Red Bank Regional and coordinator of special community outreach initiatives for Two River Theater, to local talk show host, and onetime proprietor of Frank Talk Art Bistro, a much-missed Shrewsbury Avenue storefront that was as delightfully difficult to summarize as the woman who put her stamp on it.
Writer, activist and producer Gilda Rogers remains very visible around Red Bank in the coming days, beginning with an appearance at the Red Bank Public Library on Wednesday, July 13. Scheduled for 7 p.m., it’s the latest event in the library’s monthly Author Talk series; a session that finds the author of “Arrested Development: The State of Black Achievement and Education in Hip Hop America” discussing her debut as a dramatist, with a work entitled “Supernatural: The Play.”
While it wasn’t the sort of Grand Opening extravaganza that’s usually accompanied by rented spotlights, a DJ booth and an air-powered dancing “Tube Dude,” the recent relocation of Project Write Now to a larger studio space in Red Bank back in December made a decidedly civilized splash of its own.
All over town, a collection of local people — including Mayor Pasquale Menna, who artfully ambushed a lunchtime crowd at Robinson’s Ale House with a reading from Rudyard Kipling — took part in a promotion that found them sharing favorite poems and inspirational words with their community neighbors.
It’s a unique little event that unfolds over the course of a late-autumn weekday in Red Bank, taking place at various locations around town (train station, library, hospital, classroom), and involving the participation of people ranging from Mayor Pasquale Menna and volunteer emergency responders to staffers from Lunch Break and students from the borough’s schools.
It’s Giving Poetry Tuesday, a “celebration of Red Bank’s voices” that finds people from all walks of local life taking part in a collaborative community poetry reading between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. Organized by Project Write Now, the initiative is an engagingly interactive lead-in to the borough-based nonprofit’s main event: an evening open house unveiling of its new, expanded studio space at 25 Bridge Avenue.
Red Bank Middle School students proudly display the notebooks that have helped them grow academically and personally, as part of Project Write Now’s Literacy Outreach Program. The nonprofit has announced a fundraising campaign to help finance the program’s move to a new self-contained classroom/studio space on Bridge Avenue.
What if we shared our true feelings about everyone/ Would that be weird?
What if we all looked the same/ Would you know who you really are?
What if we all got along and put issues aside/ What if we all matured and started taking action
What if we all had no social media/ Would you be who you truly are today?
What if we all fought every day/ Would you call it a riot?
What if we all loved each other and cared about each other/ Would you consider that as family?
What if we all had one/ What would you wish for?
What if we all made billions/ What would you do with that money?
What if we all started to be honest/ Would that scare you?
The wise words were composed by a 7th grader from here in Red Bank — a student poet who participates in a modestly scaled (but expansively ambitious) program conducted by Project Write Now.
As Jennifer Chauhan, co-founder of the borough-based nonprofit enterprise writes, “Since January, we’ve had the privilege of working with 7th and 8th grade students at Red Bank Middle School through our Literacy Outreach Program. We’ve encouraged them to write freely, and they’ve opened up, exploring their thoughts and beliefs.”
The executive director of Project Write Now goes on to explain that she and fellow co-founder Allison Tevald have received “more than one hundred thank-you letters, telling us how much they’ve grown academically and personally. One student told us she never would have finished her school assignments without our encouragement. Another boy is perceived as a troublemaker, yet with us he writes poetry (including the above example) that inspires his peers.”
An impressive set of results for the program’s inaugural year — but as Chauhan sees it, the successes of the current class have set the stage for the expansion of the program; a plan that centers around a campaign aimed at funding Write Now’s move to an enhanced studio space at its Bridge Avenue address.
The 1962 film version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ screens for free at the Count Basie Theatre Tuesday as River Road Books celebrates the July 14 publication of Harper Lee’s long-awaited followup, ‘Go Set a Watchman.’
It’s panning out to be the most eagerly anticipated event in the digitally driven, radically reconfigured 21st century publishing industry, one centering around a story that was pecked out on a manual typewriter nearly 60 years ago. The first book published by the reclusive novelist Harper Lee in more than half a century, Go Set a Watchman stands as a sequel to the author’s To Kill a Mockingbird, even though it was written – and subsequently filed away– prior to that 1960 classic of modern American lit.
On Tuesday, July 14, Fair Haven’s River Road Books marks the official publication date of Watchman with a special event at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre: a free screening of the 1962 film version of Mockingbird.