Springfield Avenue Celebrates Black History Month

February brings full roster of events, including iPad2 Giveaway


The Springfield Avenue Partnership invites community residents and visitors to celebrate Black History Month on the Avenue by participating in fun and educational activities and events being presented by local business owners for children, families and adults. The Partnership provided a grant of $100 as a supporting sponsor to any district business or community institution in the special improvement district that scheduled an event as part of the Black History Month celebration. 

The Partnership is also encouraging people to enter a Black History Month promotion for a chance to win an IPad2 donated by Every L'il Thing Florist (1573 Springfield Avenue) and Inc Pics (1608 Springfield Avenue). The contest is free to enter by visiting the Partnership’s website, www.SpringfieldAvenue.com, and filling out an online entry form. The winner will be drawn from all entrants received by February 28, 2013. 

“For the past several years, the businesses of the Springfield Avenue District have recognized the contributions of the black community around the world, and right here in Maplewood,” said Sheila Turner-Cartlidge, owner of Astah’s Fine Art Gallery on Springfield Avenue and a member of the Partnership’s Board of Trustees. “The creative events and activities that are the heart of this celebration underscore what is special about our community and we invite other local business owners to be a part of the program.” 

Upcoming events currently scheduled during the Black History Month celebration include: 

February 2nd, 16th, 23rd African American Artists Series

Express Yourself Studios, 1877 Springfield Avenue; 973.763.5256

Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Ages 5 -12 

Saturdays during the month of February enjoy a special Black History Month lesson in art exploring a different African-American Master Artist (Aaron Douglass, William H. Johnson and Faith Ringgold). This program is offered as part of Express Yourself’s Studio Saturday offering. The Workshop Fee for this event is $15.

February 4th – 9th   Celebrate Black History Month at Dancers Pointe

Dancers Pointe, 1874 Springfield Avenue; 908-241-9595

Times: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Monday, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Tuesday, 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm Thursday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Saturday, Ages 2 and up 

We are offering free trial classes during the week with curriculum consisting of all genres of dance, including Hip Hop to represent black history month as well as a coloring page and songs.  Please contact the studio at 908-241-9595 and press 4 for the Maplewood location or visit our website at www.dancerspointe.com.

February 9th   Express Your Emotions with children’s book author Tanji Dewberry

Express Yourself, 1877 Springfield Avenue; 973.763.5256

Time:  11:00 am – 3:00 pm 

Emotions are something we all have but are seldom talked about, especially with children.  New author, Tanji Dewberry, seeks to change this dynamic with her debut children's book, Oh Fiddlesticks!  Inspired by the coping skills she learned to help her son, Oh Fiddlesticks! strives to begin a healthy dialogue between adults and children about how to combat negative emotions. Express Yourself Studios and Ms. Dewberry will host a day of “Express Your Emotions” children will use art and Oh Fiddlesticks!  as a guide to share their emotions.

Children will be given a complimentary, blank cover of Oh Fiddlesticks! to exercise their artistic skills.  In addition, during this free event children will meet and hear from the author during a book reading to be held each hour.  To learn more about Tanji Dewberry and Oh Fiddlesticks!, visit www.ohfiddlesticks.com.  For additional information or to RSVP for any event please contact Express Yourself Studios 973-763-5256 online, www.expressyourselfstudios.com or via email info@expressyourselfstudios.com.

February 17th - Newark Black Artists Oral History Project

1978 Maplewood Arts Center, 1978 Springfield Avenue; 973.275.1330

Time:  2:00 pm – 5:00 pm 

A presentation by Bianca Monet of the newly formed project dedicated to collecting and preserving first-hand narratives of black visual arts from and/or currently located in Newark.

Like our featured artist Emma Amos, artists who now reside in cities outside of Newark, NJ have ties to Newark that have shaped and continue to impact their artistic endeavors. Bianca Monet will share interviews and videos and/ or photographs from these artists who now live in Maplewood, West Orange and surrounding communities.  The art of Emma Amos is on exhibit from February 2nd through March 24th featuring works which have been seen as a connecting link to European tapestries and the African diaspora.

February 20th Ghana’s History and Turban Head Wrap Demonstration 

Akuaba Fashions, 1966 Springfield Avenue (new location)

Time:  4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Discussion of Ghana’s history and culture along with a demonstration of traditional African turban head wrapping.

February 19th – Collage, Jazz and You

Hilton Branch Library, 1688 Springfield Avenue; 973.762.1688

Time:  4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Ages 6 – 12 years 

Romare Bearden is famous for his collages depicting Black life in America.  Come to the library to make a collage of your own and listen to jazz, an art form influenced by African Americans.


February 22nd – Princess Playdate with Tiana

Parteaz, 1860 Springfield Avenue; 973.762.1688

Time:  4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Ages 2, 3 w/caregiver (drop off optional) 

Dress up, games, crafts and lots of make believe.  Make a healthy dessert and have a tea party with a Princess.


February 23rd – Black History Month Mentorship Luncheon       

Top Hat & Tails, 1856 Springfield Avenue; 973.275.0080

Time:  2:00 pm 

This program is designed for young people to see men and women of color in professions that might appeal to them.  Light refreshments will be served.  For information call Horace at 973-275-0080.


February 24th – Sunday Afternoon Jazz, Bradford Hayes

Astah’s Fine Art Gallery, 1897 Springfield Avenue; 973.761.5012

Time: 3:00 pm 

Saxophonist Bradford Hayes has performed at some of New York City’s most famed jazz clubs and musical venues including Birdland, the Beacon Theater and Tavern on the Green. The Virginia native has performed or recorded with Yusef Lateef, Ted Curson, Michael Cochrane, Joe Lee Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Al Grey, Cecil Payne, Rufus Reid, Ray Bryant, Ben Riley, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Cecil Brooks III, Jerry Butler and The Dells.  A career highlight was his performance with Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums of Passion Band at Yankee Stadium during Nelson Mandela’s historic first trip to the United States after his release from a South African prison.

A complete calendar of Black History Month events will be posted online at SpringfieldAvenue.com and updated as new events are added to the month-long celebration. The events will also be featured on the Partnership’s Facebook page. To enter the IPad2 promotion, for more information about the Black History Month celebration or other programs and services provided by Springfield Avenue Partnership, visit SpringfieldAvenue.com or follow the Partnership on Facebook.




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