I Am Trenton Community Foundation was created in 2007 as a resource by and for Trenton. We provide small grants and seed funding toward projects led by regular Trentonians, to address the challenges and opportunities they see in their own community. We are often the first funder for a good idea or grassroots effort that might not be able to secure funding from other sources, but in which we see growth potential, passion, initiative, and creativity.
We have an annual citywide grant round as well as partnering with other organizations on neighborhood-focused grant rounds. In rare cases, we also organize special grants to support urgent initiatives, and have helped to incubate efforts that can have a lasting impact on the city.
We invest in young people's vision.
We're proud to regularly fund projects designed, led, and executed by youth from Trenton. Besides providing resources for new and interesting ideas, our support helps to affirm young Trentonians' vision and agency to create change in their city and beyond.
Pictured: a still from a documentary film made by Ronnie Patman, then 19 years old, about her neighborhood of West Hanover Street and the challenges and dreams of young people in it.
We build pride of place.
As part of our mission, we support projects that amplify people’s pride in their block, their neighborhood, and Trenton as a whole. We have funded murals, gardens, art installations, and public amenities that community members themselves design, and which can be seen around the city. In 2014 we extended this approach by partnering with Isles to administer grants in three neighborhoods with funds from the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program.
Pictured: One of our earliest grants, in 2010, was for residents to work with an artist to beautify this abandoned house at the corner of Calhoun and Dunham Streets. While small, this installation remains the only outside investment on this block in over a decade.
We grow creativity.
Many grantees declare “I Am Trenton” through the arts. We’re committed to supporting Trenton artists and creators of all ages, and to helping Trenton’s arts community grow.
Besides supporting dozens of arts-related projects, I Am Trenton worked with Artworks to create and grow Artmaking Day as an opportunity for Trenton children and families to create art before the annual Art All Night festival; the event has since grown to span two days and multiple locations. In 2014 we also organized Creative Trenton, an open-format convening that enabled new connections, ideas, and projects to form within the arts community, whose impact is still being felt today.
Pictured: artist and activist Bentrice Jusu has led several projects that combine community-building with video, poetry, photography, and multimedia, like The Potential Project. She is photographed here by Jonathan Gordon, who received an I Am Trenton grant to install swings in vacant lots around the city.