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IAT and Isles Award $29,000 in Community Grants

The Garvey School's cultural workshops, held outside in the Serenity Garden.

Trenton NJ – I Am Trenton Community Foundation and Isles, Inc. today awarded $29,000 in grants to 11 local organizations and activists for community projects benefiting residents of the Trenton Historic Development Collaborative neighborhood, bordered by West State Street, Willow Street, Bellevue and Rutherford Avenues, and Hermitage Avenue.

The projects include a variety of community improvement efforts, from beautification on Hermitage Avenue to job readiness, youth arts collaborations, and rebuilding after the COVID-19 health emergency.

The grants are funded by the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC). Funds from the NRTC support priorities established by the Trenton Historic Development Collaborative, a collective of organizations and residents of the neighborhood who have been working together toward its improvement since 2011. Isles administers NRTC funding in the THDC neighborhood, and partners with I Am Trenton Community Foundation (IAT) to run the THDC community grants program.

The following projects were selected for funding:

  • Beni Jusu LLC’s Corner Boys Song Competition will engage young rappers and poets to speak about their experience in a public event, and create a public art installation on Passaic St.

  • Dress for Success Central New Jersey will host a pop-up Designing Your Future boutique with Mercer Street Friends, to provide free business wear and training to 50 residents.

  • Special Parent Advocacy Group: The Inner-City Educational Advocacy Program will help parents of special needs children ages 3-21 navigate the Special Education system so their children receive needed services.

  • Eastern Service Workers Association, based on West End Avenue, will expand its self-help membership organizing drive and benefit programs in the neighborhood to meet needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, such as utility debt and emergency food needs.

  • Rachel Cogsville and the Cadwalader Place Civic Association will beautify Hermitage Avenue by engaging neighbors to create planters along the street and plant flowers, herbs, and evergreens.

  • Timbuk2 Academy’s Sew So Dope project will teach youth interested in fashion and sewing how to turn recycled treasures into wearable masterpieces.

  • The NAACP Trenton Branch ACT-SO Program encourages high academic and cultural achievement among minority middle and high school students while preparing them for a state and national academic competition.

  • Sheltered Yoga’s Post Coronavirus Wellness for Seniors will engage senior residents of French Towers to .

  • The Block Theater Co. LLC: Teach Tha Block will provide performance arts workshops for residents of all ages by professional artists.

  • African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County will host the En Blanc in the Capital City event with the Ivy League Educational Foundation, raising funds to support free events and educational scholarships in Trenton.

  • The Garvey School will carry out the Garvey Community Education Program, a series of workshops including West African dance and drum classes in the THDC neighborhood.

This brings the total funds that I Am Trenton and Isles have given out for community projects in the THDC neighborhood to approximately $95,000 since establishing the THDC Community Grants Program in 2014. IAT has been raising funds and supporting grassroots efforts across the city since 2007.

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