NUTLEY, NJ — Nutley residents gathered in Yanticaw Park on Sept. 21 to commemorate the International Day of Peace and to celebrate the second anniversary of Nutley becoming the 223rd International City of Peace. Residents folded 1,000 paper cranes at the event, and T-shirts were sold to raise money for a public art installation that will be placed in the park in May 2021.
“Peace is so important to the world, especially today,” Nutley Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said at the event. “This is a good way to get to know your neighbors and friends. This has touched me so much, seeing the love in everyone’s heart.”
The inspiration for a public art piece, which is being commissioned by the community organization Nutley Partners for Peace, came from a similar project that Nutley High School students worked on in 2015 when international students from Honduras made a street mural; a year later they returned to make another mural at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
“We’re going to invite the community to put their name on a stone or decorate it,” Jill Fenske, a member of the organization, said in an interview with the Nutley Journal at the event. “It’s literally public art.”
NHS students designed the shirts and helped to design the sculpture as well. They’ve worked frequently with the Nutley Partners for Peace.
“I have a lot of faith in the next generation,” Fenske said.
Photos by Amanda Valentovic