World Cinefest part of Trenton’s emerging art scene

Hot town, summer in the city, but there’s still plenty to elevate the spirits in New Jersey’s capital city this month.


The world comes to Trenton for the Trenton World Cinefest, formerly known as the Trenton International Film Festival. The three-day event, June 9–11 at the Mill Hill Playhouse, will feature seven documentary and narrative films.The festival opens June 9 with The Apostate (Spain/France/Uruguay), a Kafka-esque comedy about a confused 30-something who decides to formally withdraw his name from the Catholic Church. Friday, June 10, will feature Neither Heaven Nor Earth (France/Belgium), voted Best French Debut Feature in 2015 by the French Union of Critics. In this dark contemporary ghost story, a group of French NATO mission soldiers in Afghanistan encounter a string of mysterious disappearances.On June 11, Aligarh (India) tells the story of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who died mysteriously after being suspended for his homosexuality—still a taboo subject in India. Other documentaries tackle issues of African immigration to Europe and toxic mining in China. The festival’s closing night celebration includes a double feature with a reception and Q&A with festival curator Jed Rapfogel and filmmaker Ted Fendt. Documentary feature La Belle At The Movies (UK/Belgium/Congo) examines the demise of cinema in Kinshasa, Congo. Following a reception, Short Stay (USA, by Ted Fendt) tells the story of Mike, a pizza delivery guy who lives with his mom in Haddonfield, and whose life is upended by a stint in Philadelphia. Tickets are $8 screening, $15 for the closing night double feature, and $25 for an all-access festival pass. All screenings are at the Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton, with parking available at Artworks, 19 Everett Alley.


A week later, also at the Mill Hill Playhouse, playwright David White’s If I Could, In My Hood, I Would… will be reprised June 16 and 17. In 2005, the State Street Project presented this play about gang activity in Trenton that was based on interviews and writings by Trenton residents. The play went on to be produced in schools all over the state and ran for five years in Greenville, South Carolina. Now, in 2016, If I Could returns with the help of the Aesthetics Drama Troupe of Trenton Central High. It’s 10 years later… has anything changed? Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton. Tickets cost $5-$10.

Art festivalArtworks Trenton will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Art All Night, Artworks’ 24-hour art extravaganza, June 18-19. Art All Night is expected to bring more than 25,000 people to the Roebling Wire Works building for 24 hours of live music, art demos and talks, a film festival and more. More than 1,200 artists of all ages and skill levels will exhibit work at the event, shining a spotlight on the region’s creative talent and energy. “For 10 years, Art All Night has given thousands of artists and visitors an exciting, fun, creative and safe experience in Trenton, and is largely responsible for changing outside perceptions of the city for the better,” said Artworks Executive Director Lauren Otis. “In one decade, this event has invigorated the region and reconnected the city with its surrounding communities, something no one could figure out how to do previously. Art All Night has heralded the rediscovery of Trenton in all its authentic grittiness, full of cool spaces, artists, collectives and events such as the Punk Rock Flea Market, Capital City Book Fair, Pork Roll Festival and more. Ten years ago, people felt there was no reason to visit Trenton. Art All Night proved to be a game changer.” Free. To submit art or participate complete this form.

Farmers Market

The Greenwood Avenue Farmers Market will become a community gathering place for residents to gain access to healthy, affordable food options, health screenings and summer fun. Located at 427 Greenwood Avenue, the market will kick off its second season June 13 from 2-6 p.m. Featuring Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, tropical fruits, meat, eggs and bakery items, matching dollars will be provided for residents using SNAP, WIC and SFMNP vouchers for fruit and vegetables. Health screenings, nutrition education, cooking demonstrations and live music will also be included in the weekly activities. At the opening day there will be giveaways, health screenings, games, healthy tasting demonstrations, music by DJ Ms. Sue and more.

MuralArtist Illia Barger has unveiled her second historical mural in Trenton on a wall at 111 East Hanover Street by the First Presbyterian Church. After the Crossing includes scenes from the First Battle of Trenton arranged around a central image of the final result—the surrender of the English several months later.“The medium of murals is a great way to teach the history of a location,” said Barger, “especially using local people as the models. It all becomes more real to them and they’re able to imagine what took place right here on the streets of Trenton 240 years ago.”Barger painted the mural in December 2015 during Patriots Week, the annual celebration of Trenton’s revolutionary history, in a six-day marathon that attracted more than 500 people. Regular Trentonians joined historical re-enactors from the Old Barracks Museum to pose for her as the historical figures. Like many works in the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, “After the Crossing” was painted onto parachute cloth and later affixed to the wall, rather than being painted directly on the wall like her previous work.

DIYInspired by all the artistic output of the capital city, and want to do some of your own? On June 11, 10 a.m., the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion will offer a panel discussion, Tips for the Emerging Artist. Panelists will offer tips on framing, hanging, photographing and pricing artwork, writing resumes and artist statements.$15, Members $10. 


The Artful Blogger is written by Ilene Dube and offers a look inside the art world of the greater Princeton area. Ilene Dube is an award-winning arts writer and editor, as well as an artist, curator and activist for the arts.

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