A Show of HANDS
Join us on a free walking tour showcasing the Valley neighborhood’s transformation into a vibrant arts district.
Community Leadership Awards: Innovation Celebration
Honoring Artists, Entrepreneurs and Leaders of Orange's Upward Momentum
On November 15th, HANDS hosted the 13th Annual Community Leadership Awards: Innovation Celebration honoring remarkable community builders, artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and local heroes who use their skills, creativity and passion in an effort to make our community vibrant through innovative initiatives.
Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Public Health at Columbia University and HANDS Board Member, awarded Mike Malbrough, Director of ORNG Ink youth arts program, community organizers Al and Mary Gold of West Orange, founders of natural bath and beauty product line Pooka Pure & Simple, senior citizen dance troupe High Class Theater Group, and Alma D. Clay organizer of the Bethel Safe Haven tutorial support program for youth. Lasting Light Award honorees included Kelli Copeland artist, volunteer and longtime staff member of HANDS, Inc. in addition to Orange native and civil rights activist Maggie Thompson. Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren praised honorees for their extraordinary efforts that make Orange an exciting, culturally rich place for residents and visitors.
The evening showcased distinguished talent, original art with live jazz, led by saxophonist Julian Lee, creative interludes by award-winning actress, singer and producer Suzzanne Douglas, a reading by Newark activist and published poet Richard Cammarieri, artwork by Dan Fenelon and Jennifer Levine on exhibit at the Firehouse Gallery, in addition to a transformational live painting by ORNG Ink artists Vladimir Jean and Khari Johnson Ricks.
A Taste of Orange buffet featured dishes donated by My Sugar & Spice Bakery, Zen Bakeries, Supreme Bakery, Golden Krust, Appian Way, Hat City Kitchen , Lagniappe Foods, Magic Hat Brewery, Planet Wings, Serrani’s Bakery, Southern Comfort Cafe, and Trader Joes.
This year’s event was held in HANDS’ newly renovated 1905 Firehouse on Forest Street converted into artist live/work lofts and a gallery. The historic building was open for tours during the event before the residents move in in early December.
The Innovation Celebration, which raised over $15,000, kicks off HANDS’ year-end fundraising campaign to assure that families of modest means, mission-oriented business owners and tenants can afford the rehabilitated housing and commercial spaces in a culturally and income-diverse community. Maintaining long-term affordability of these properties allows HANDS to continue to attract artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers that keep our neighborhoods vital. It is part of a larger plan to attract additional investment by private developers and business owners who see opportunity in our community.
Event sponsors included JP Morgan Chase, Prudential, PNC Bank, Investors Bank and Wells Fargo.