At least one group is trying to tackle the beast: The Atlantic City Arts Foundation.
With only five volunteer staff members and $50,000 from private donations, the nonprofit has painted dozens of once-empty walls throughout Atlantic City since starting its mural program in 2017, called 48 Blocks [sic].
ATLANTIC CITY — They’ve heard about art saving Atlantic City once before: the mostly failed multimillion-dollar, casino-tax funded Art Park conceived — but indifferently received and later returned to its roots as a vacant lot — by Lance Fung, a world-renowned curator.
This time, an Atlantic City art scene is being birthed by less renowned people: longtime community activists, returned locals, old high school friends, and artist/entrepreneurs like Loryn Lyn Simonsen, 34, fresh from Astoria, Queens, who has moved back to the Atlantic City area with a new art evangelism, a mission scaled way down from the Art Park fiasco.
From Little Water Distillery: Along with our friends and supporters at the Atlantic City Arts Foundation, Shore Local, #thisisAC, and CRDA we are thrilled to launch the AC Cocktail Challenge this summer and a chance for you to create Atlantic City’s signature drink with 48 Blocks Vodka!
ATLANTIC CITY — The citywide arts initiative that spans 48 blocks and all six wards is returning this summer.
The 48 Blocks team has been working since September — a few months after the conclusion of last year's inaugural event — to bring the celebration back to the city this summer to promote art, civic pride and togetherness.
Need some help creating a project for 48 Blocks AC this year? The possibilities are endless - your only limitation is your imagination! The Atlantic City Arts Foundation will provide funding to at least 48 projects, and we will work with artists to find direct sponsors as needed. We will also assist with securing locations, permission, and permits. To participate, you simply need to propose your project idea. The deadline is March 1st so don't hesitate! Apply now.
For 48 hours in June, more than 48 artists and performers will create, entertain, engage people across the 48 blocks that make up Atlantic City, NJ.
The 48 Blocks AC festival is a celebration of all that Atlantic City has to offer: a rich history, vibrant communities, and diverse cultures. For the weekend of June 22-24, 2018, Atlantic City will present over 48 creative projects that are intended to demonstrate the wealth of talent found in the City and to use this creative flow to help bring a greater sense of community to the neighborhoods of the city. Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam stated “We want people to recognize our unique neighborhoods as they do SoHo in New York or Old City in Philadelphia.”
ATLANTIC CITY — Tucked behind a building on Pacific Avenue now is one of the largest murals the city has seen, featuring the Monopoly board, the historic board game based on city streets.
Not so long ago, the site near Texas Avenue was a bare building and an empty lot.
The woman behind the display — Shari Tobias, 49, of Philadelphia — began working on the 20-by-30-foot mural on the same day of the art celebration known as 48 Blocks in the city on June 24. She finished her last touches Friday.
The world’s playground was always tops in entertainment but never very big on art. Maybe that’s why Atlantic City’s modern history with public-funded art has been rather ugly.
In the late 1990s, the city and its state gaming agencies still had boatloads of revenue. When they decided to spend $88 million redeveloping the Atlantic City Expressway entrance into the city, a block-sized installation with high-tech fountains, lighthouse and laser effects was included.
When poet Belinda Manning heard about Atlantic City’s 48 Blocks — a citywide celebration of mural arts to martial arts, yarn bombing to jazz riffing — she organized Poets On A Jitney, a rolling ensemble of bards on the minibus that has been the Shore town’s iconic transportation for 100 years.
Sprawled over the city’s 48 blocks, Saturday’s daylong festival, a joint project by the Atlantic City Arts Foundation and Stockton University, was a joyful revelation of the town’s unpublicized but vital cultural DNA, Manning said.
Galloway, NJ – Stockton University is partnering with the Atlantic City Arts Foundation to sponsor “48 Blocks,” a celebration of arts and creativity, displaying 8 projects in each of the city’s six wards on Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to bring historic documents to be digitized and archived at locations listed below. A closing party will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Noyes Arts Garage and will feature local Atlantic City band, Locksmith, and food from local restaurants. All events are free and open to the public.
Stockton University and the Atlantic City Arts Foundation have teamed up to create an art initiative called “48 Blocks.” Throughout the last weekend in June, they will produce eight projects in each of the six wards of the city, totaling 48 events. Each ward will participate in two specific projects: a collection of oral histories and the creation of a unique Adirondack chair. The other six events will be up to residents, to encourage creativity within the community. Anything goes with “48 Blocks” — varied art forms and productions are encouraged.