More than a year ago, I wrote something bemoaning the condition of our capital city of Trenton. Well, I got beat up pretty bad (in the nicest possible way) by some Trenton friends and friends-of-friends. They were right, and I was at least partly wrong. More.
My spotlight fell on the number of people living in poverty and that so many of us truck in, do our biz on West State Street or in Chris Christie’s soon-to-be buffed up State House, and don’t think about the fact that the whole city should be a priority, not just where NJ’s infrastructure does its thing. Their spotlight fell on the number of free (or affordable) cool and very Trenton things there are to do there, and not just for visitors from the burbs. Their advocacy was more than hometown boosterism. They are so, so right about the Trenton cool. And about Art All Night, 24-hours of vibrant creativity, free to attend, free to submit art, all in an historic factory building, the Roebling Wire Works (now of course suspended).
So is Kim Pearson, Associate Professor of Journalism at TCNJ. Her website opens with this: “I search for storytelling tools and techniques that help us live in community.” Yes, we need that now, to shift the narrative to include what’s good.
Yesterday, Prof. Pearson started a thread on Twitter, built off her hope that national media covering the mass shooting at Art All Night will stick around for the story of the role that the arts and community leaders are playing in building community, and reviving Trenton’s fortunes. Her messages are packed with links, and info – she makes it easy for any journalist to write that story. But this is our Trenton, so in the spirit of solidarity with our capital city’s people, hurting right now, I hope you’ll read Professor Kim Pearson’s encouraging words. It will make you feel strong. And ready to get Trenton’s back.