Save Newark Print Shop – beloved community art space is losing its home at Hahnes

Newark Print Shop’s Transitions Benefit: NPS Impact Awards & Art Auction held this past Saturday, December 8, 2018, was a huge success, as guests filled their current space in the iconic Hahne & Company Building in support of the non-profit arts organization and the evening’s honorees. Recipients of the NPS Impact Awards represent trailblazing members of the Newark community, including Nancy Cantor, Chancellor (Rutgers-Newark University), Akintola Hanif (Photographer, Filmmaker, and Editor-in-Chief HYCIDE), Lenny Correa (Migrant Artist, Muralist, and Educator), and the late Jerry Gant (Visual Artist, Poet, Performance Artist, and Educator). Support from the event and monetary donations raised are invaluable at this time as the nonprofit organization searches for a new home base.

Newark  Print Shop (NPS) is losing its space at the end of the year, its 3rd space since its founding in 2012. The first location closed abruptly due to a fire back in 2013. They left their second space – a walk-up on University Avenue with a month to month lease – because they were led to believe they were designing and activating a more permanent space at Express Newark in the newly renovated Hahnes building after long-term negotiations with Rutgers-Newark. After two years of high volume programming, engaging with 15,000 artists, entrepreneurs, students, and community members, a decision was made by the leadership of Express Newark to transform the allocated Newark Print Shop space into two separate spaces: a Rutgers department run print shop and non-profit residency space. This course of action was unexpected, leaving the Newark Print Shop, which is independently managed, in the challenging position to relocate at the end of the year.

Of the NPS move, Executive Director Lisa Conrad said, “Newark Print Shop was built from the ground up, and has become a true staple in the arts community as a safe space to come and create for thousands of people. I am committed to ensuring this space remains in the city of Newark for years to come and am excited by the opportunity to expand our programs and reach in a more permanent, long-term home. We are looking for support in order to do so”

Newark, NJ is being positioned by politicians and stakeholders to become the leading arts and culture city in the nation. Newark Print Shop is determined to continue its legacy in this effort and remain an accessible space for artists to thrive.

Coined the Arts Mayor, Honorable Ras J Baraka describes Newark Print Shop as “much more than just an art space. Since its founding, it has remained consistent in its accessibility through its open studio Print Club, where it opens its doors weekly for anyone to come in and engage in the art of screenprinting. Print Club is setting a national model for a new vision for arts education and community engagement, one in which participants share knowledge and resources in an unstructured, free-form model.”  

Newark Print Shop serves both emerging and established artists, through its staple programs including Printers in Residence and Print Club. The organization continues to employ over a dozen teaching artists to work with schools and community groups throughout Newark and the tri-state area. The independent non-profit organization has been operating in an in-kind space and with substantial funding support through its Express Newark partnership, both of which it’s losing at the end of the year.

Akintola Hanif, one of NPS Impact Award honorees shared his sentiments to the crowd on Saturday night’s event, “Let’s be clear about something. Newark Print Shop is losing its space. It does not have anywhere to operate come January. We need to support artists. We need to support Newark Print Shop and ensure they find a space because NPS is a valuable asset to Newark’s art community on a whole and individual artist’s needs.”

While they are uncertain of their new address, it is exceedingly clear that there is a need for NPS to continue to serve the community and its artists whose desire is to create, educate, and showcase their craft. As Newark Print Shop prepares to pack up and move into storage when its contract with Express Newark ends on January 5th, this vital community organization needs your support.