CATCH THE WAVE — THE WATERFRONT SOUTH ARTS & CULTURE COMMUNITY

CATCH THE WAVE — THE WATERFRONT SOUTH ARTS & CULTURE COMMUNITY

OUR PARTNERSHIP OF ARTS & CULTURE ORGANIZATIONS

A COLLABORATION OF ARTS & CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Waterfront South neighborhood in Camden, NJ hosts a thriving Arts and Culture Community. A network of unique cultural enterprises – including artists, theater, urban farming, dance, writing, and history – call this neighborhood home. Waterfront South has suffered from neglect and environmental injustice, yet the power of human creativity and collaboration nurtures beauty and hope. Visionary individuals and organizations have worked tirelessly to convert abandoned buildings into hives of activity – art shows, dance performances, theatrical productions, and much more.

The Heart of Camden – an urban redevelopment agency that has provided quality housing to countless individuals and families since 1984 – has served as a springboard for many of the activities and organizations that followed it. Heart of Camden has evolved into the hub of a dynamic and energized community of art and culture.

One of the more recent additions has been The Writers’ House, which serves as a community space and provides educational programs to support literacy, creative writing, and self-expression through the writing of haiku and other literary forms. Inspiration for this beautiful space comes from Camden’s own Nick Virgilio, the late renowned haiku poet.

Similarly, the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum explores Camden’s rich maritime history and her contribution to global shipbuilding and seafaring exploration. This proud history is all too often forgotten amidst the challenges of Camden’s post-industrial economy.

Just a block away sits Camden Fireworks, a once abandoned and re-claimed Camden City Fire House, now a beautiful facility offering gallery and studio space to artists of every stripe. Camden Fireworks provides a place for imagination, inspiration, and expression.

The nearby Center for Environmental Transformation employs Camden youth to tend the flourishing urban gardens and farmers market. In the context of our neighborhood’s numerous environmental injustices, CFET engages with neighbors in advocacy efforts and educates visitors of all ages about more environmentally responsible living.

 

Around the corner at the South Camden Theatre Company we see another example of life thriving in our city through the arts. At Father Michael’s encouragement, a small theatre company moved their productions from the church basement to a beautiful 99-seat theatre across the street. This new home was lovingly built by The Heart of Camden and sponsored by countless supporters too numerous to mention. Ten years later, SCTC proves over and over that show-goers will, in fact, come to Camden for top-quality theatre productions and art of all kinds. Considered the anchor of the burgeoning arts community in Waterfront South, SCTC engages the neighborhood in both entertainment and educational efforts.

The newest addition to the Waterfront South Arts and Culture Community is the Camden Sophisticated Sisters.  CSS is a drill team, one of the best in the United States, specializing in various styles of dance including Drill, Step, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Modern and Jazz. But the structure, discipline, and fun of the drill team are just the beginning of CSS. More than a drill team for these kids, it’s a safe haven. It’s a support system. It’s a loving family. It’s a way of life.

This remarkable community of partner organizations shares the mission to bring awareness of and access to arts and culture in Camden, NJ. Many of these organizations trace their beginnings to Sacred Heart Church, which has been nestled near the center of the Waterfront South neighborhood for well over 100 years, and to the visionary leadership of Father Michael Doyle. Father Michael saw the potential for life, for beauty, for art, on every street corner and in every empty lot, and those visions have taken root in many remarkable ways. The legacy of his presence shines in countless ways as one travels around the few blocks surrounding the parish. Father Michael’s physical presence in the neighborhood remains constant even in retirement; he still lives across the street from his beloved Sacred Heart School.

 

OUR ORGANIZATIONS

CAMDEN SHIPYARD AND MARITIME MUSEUM

shipyard_maritimemuseum

Although the ships that were built in Camden were intended for use outside of the safety of their berths here, the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum endeavors to give the memories of those ships, the shipbuilding industry from which they were born, and the maritime legacy of Camden, New Jersey, a permanent home and safe harbor.

The mission of the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum is to educate, inspire, and engage citizens about Camden’s rich maritime heritage and significant contributions to global shipbuilding and seafaring exploration.  The museum will be an anchor institution for cultural enrichment and community development for Camden’s Waterfront South neighborhood.

The Shipyard Museum is also home to the Urban BoatWorks program which teaches middle and high school youth how to build wooden paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks. Since the program’s first year in 2009, 47 boats have been handcrafted and launched on the water.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

South Camden Theatre Company, Inc.

waterfrontsouththeatre600x600

The roots of the South Camden Theatre Company are deep, far deeper than the years during which we’ve been producing plays at the Waterfront South Theatre. An amazing convergence of vision, generosity, talent, and hard work helped to form the theatre company we’ve become. The vision was that of Father Michael Doyle, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, who knew a playwright, Joe Paprzycki. Father Michael encouraged Paprzycki to bring his work to Camden, to a stage built by volunteers in the basement of the Sacred Heart Church.

Camden’s first professional theatre strives to enhance the community by creating quality artistic productions while anchoring The Waterfront South Arts District. SCTC produces four shows per season including dramas, comedies, video events, and more. SCTC works to promote the Waterfront South neighborhood’s rebirth as a destination by providing a positive experience for its residents and those from the surrounding region. SCTC’s goal is to entertain, engage, and educate.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

CAMDEN FIREWORKS

600x600fireworks1

Camden FireWorks brings artists and neighbors together for mutual inspiration and to empower our community with opportunities to encounter, learn about and create art. We offer six exhibitions each year, including a group show featuring local Camden artists. Partnering with other arts and culture organizations in Camden, we offer a wide range of free programming. Our popular Open Studio community art workshops give anyone a chance to walk in, make art and take it home with the help of teaching artists. Our nine artist studios are home to a talented crew who are not only developing their own art, but also making an impact in our community with dynamic public art and opportunities to learn. Our spacious and beautiful gallery space is also available for event rentals.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

HEART OF CAMDEN

hocimage

Since its inception in 1984, the Heart of Camden has built and rehabilitated over 300 homes for families of Waterfront South, developed a flourishing arts & cultural district, built the Michael J. Doyle Fieldhouse Gym: and collaborated with partners on cleaning and greening the neighborhood by building new play spaces and providing access to the beautiful Delaware River waterfront. The Heart of Camden’s unique model engages residents, community leaders, and volunteers to add resources, create and implement neighborhood programs, offer valuable insights, and support children and families.

Home—it’s where the Heart is!

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSFORMATION

cfetpartnerimage

The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) engages, educates, and inspires people to practice a more environmentally responsible way of living on the planet. We partner with the people of Waterfront South, as well as organizations throughout the city to advocate for healthy, unpolluted air, and access to fresh, healthy food.  We offer Camden teenagers the opportunity to develop leadership skills, self-awareness, and receive environmental justice training through our youth urban farming program.  They are also responsible for running our weekly neighborhood farm stand. Our neighbors enjoy access to garden plots in our community garden and gardeners throughout the city benefit from our seedling and seed distributions. CFET also hosts experiential learning retreats for those who seek to gain a greater understanding of the principles of environmental justice and sustainability, thereby preparing young adults to be change advocates in their neighborhoods, schools, places of work, and home faith communities.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

CAMDEN SOPHISTICATED SISTERS

csspartnerimages

The Camden Sophisticated Sisters is a life-saving nonprofit organization disguised as a drill team. Kids and their families come to us thirsting for the discipline, purpose and positive accomplishments that step dancing and drum corp provides. CSS teaches not only the art of dance, but also the power of education and the importance of service.

Through the years, CSS has seen more than 4,000 children successfully come through the program. The organization boasts a 100% graduation rate with 90% of its team members attending institutions of higher learning. CSS partners with the parents, teachers, schools and community organizations to ensure every member has the advocacy and resources they need to thrive.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

THE NICK VIRGILIO WRITER'S HOUSE

nickvirgiliowritershouse

The Nick Virgilio Haiku Association is proud to welcome you to our home – a center for writers of all ages, honoring Camden’s own Nick Virgilio, world-renowned haiku poet. The Writers House serves as a community space and provides educational programs to support literacy, creative writing, and self-expression through the writing of haiku and other verse forms. At the Writers House, NVHA and our partners Mighty Writers are providing services, food, diapers, and virtual workshops – that serve local and global audiences – during the pandemic.

For more than a decade, the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association worked to create a permanent space to continuously offer educational programs, host events, and nurture poets of all ages and backgrounds. After nearly eight years of development, the Nick Virgilio Writers House is open to the public in the spring of 2018.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO LEARN MORE!

SHOP OUR PRODUCTS — SUPPORT THE ARTS IN CAMDEN

dollimage

Matthew Henson Doll

African American, Arctic Explorer

This unique soft sculpture doll features African-American Arctic explorer Matthew Henson who was an indispensable member of Robert Peary’s Arctic expeditions. In 1909, Henson, Peary, and four Inuit were the first men to reach the North Pole. Initially, Henson was not recognized for his achievement. In the 1950s he received the accolades and medals he deserved.

Matthew Henson is dressed for the Arctic in a warm “fur” parka and boots. He is 10″ tall x 9″ wide x 2″ thick.

The doll is suitable for ages 2 years and up.

Take your Henson doll traveling and send pictures of him to the Museum staff for posting on the website!

Price: $20.00

Plus $5.00 shipping

sctctshirt

Crew T-Shirt from South Camden Theatre

Support the arts in Camden!

This short-sleeved, cotton and polyester, Gildan t-shirt is a rich, deep black shirt with a white logo and text printed across the front of the shirt that reads, “Camden’s Off-Broadway Theatre”.

Price: $15.00

Plus $5.00 shipping

Choose a Size
fireworkstote

Camden FireWorks Canvas Tote Bag

A handy tote to use instead of plastic

Show your Camden arts pride with this stylish and handy, heavy-weight cotton tote, printed in two colors locally at Camden Printworks in Waterfront South.

Size: 12″x14″

Price: $20.00 each

Plus $5.00 shipping

kapowhotsauce

Kapow! Hot Sauce

Medium Heat, Louisiana-style, Fresh Flavor

Kapow! hot sauce is a medium heat, Louisiana style hot sauce with lots of fresh flavor.  We make it from only three ingredients: peppers grown in our own garden, vinegar, and salt.  Not included: ingredients you cannot pronounce.

We carefully test and select our pepper varieties for balanced flavor, even heat, and a subtle sweetness.  Made by participants of our youth program, every dollar spent goes toward supporting their program.

Price: $7.00

Plus $5.00 shipping

product_images_hoodie

Full-Zip Hoodie from South Camden Theatre Company

Support the arts in Camden while you stay warm

Deep black, full-zip and lined hoodie.  There is a logo printed in white on the front left breast of the hoodie.

Price: $30.00

Plus $5.00 shipping

virgiliobook

Nick Virgilio Writers House Poetry

Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka

Welcome to the first volume of poetry from the Nick Virgilio Writers House. In this edition we have chosen to include the Japanese poetic forms: haiku, senryu, and tanka. As Nick once put it, “A haiku is a record of emotion which somehow links human nature to all nature through keenly perceived experience.” The authors we included either wrote their poems at our opening or they responded to a request for submissions. The list of contributors includes correspondents with Nick and/or friends of the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association.

Price: $15.00

Plus $5.00 shipping

CONTACT US TODAY!

    camdenpostcard

    FIND US USING GOOGLE MAPS

    NEWS

    Why long overdue Glassboro-Camden Rail Line would be a big boost for economic development in South Jersey

    Christina Renna is CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. – File photo The Delaware River Port Authority recently held public hearings on the…

    Read More

    Beyond Haiku – Writers House Expands its Mission

    CAMDEN — The normally neat Nick Virgilio Writers House was in a state of disarray. Boxes sat on the hardwood floors. Books were piled high on shelves,…

    Read More

    Police Walk The Beat

    ‘We are out of the car’: South Camden residents take notice of new police walkthrough strategy n early spring, Camden police officers began walking around…

    Read More