Arts, Culture Fuel Green Economy in Community - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Page: 1 2


Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District seeks to transform a low-income community in Newark, New Jersey into an urban eco-village using arts and culture as the economic engine. (Source: LPCCD)


In an effort to revitalize the Lincoln Park community in Newark, New Jersey, Baye Adofo Wilson, executive director of the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District (LPCCD), realized that rekindling the fire of Lincoln Park’s arts and culture community was the key to building a sustainable eco-urban village.

“Learning about the vision for the neighborhood was so exciting,” says Kimberlee Williams, co-owner at Femworks L.L.C., a marketing agency and photography studio in the Lincoln Park community. “Especially [since I know] that this is something of a brainchild from an African American person and in an African American neighborhood.”

Although creating a self-contained community — one that would reduce carbon emissions by developing jobs and affordable housing near public transportation –was pertinent, at the center of Wilson’s plans stood Lincoln Park’s Symphony Hall, a historic symbol of the community’s once prominent past (see Part I: New Jersey Community Builds on Arts, Environment).

Before tackling renovations of Symphony Hall, four years ago the LPCCD started sponsoring the Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival, a free, outdoor event in the park that features more than forty performances in four genres of African American music: jazz, gospel, house, and hip hop. Jazz legend James Moody, award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Broadway star Elisabeth Withers, and hip-hop icon KRS-One some of the performers. The LPCCD welcomed more than 40,000 people to the third annual festival in 2008, an increase from 15,000 attendees in 2007.

Next, he began recruiting arts and culture businesses such as Femworks and City Without Walls arts gallery. Also, in the works are plans to create the Museum of African American Music, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, honoring music legends with concerts and exhibits. LPCCD also found it necessary to educate newcomers about how to run an environmentally friendly business.

While a third of greenhouse emissions are generated by transporting people and goods, automobiles are not the only way that emissions are generated. Heating and cooling of buildings also generates one-third of greenhouse gases, according to a joint venture of the Congress for the New Urbanism, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“I have to say that quite a bit of my consciousness about energy efficiency has evolved during my residency in this neighborhood,” says Williams, who heard in 2005 about the project to renovate Symphony Hall and create a haven for arts and culture businesses. Also located in or near Lincoln Park are the Newark School of Arts, Newark Boys Chorus School, and School of the Garden State Ballet. Williams decided that the area would soon be jumping with activity and opted to move her in-home business to a Lincoln Park office in 2007.

“After being informally educated by the LPCCD we took it upon ourselves to

Page: 1 2

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.