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Lena Corbo, Impact Consulting,, 973-220-0048,  Cheryl McCants, Impact Consulting,, 646-872-2377, Noelle Frieson, Newark Downtown District,, 917-597-8084

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the Newark Downtown District Announce “Gateways to Newark: Portraits” Longest Mural on the East Coast and Second Longest Mural in the Nation

1.39 mile project along Newark’s Route 21 welcomes visitors, residents and commuters

Newark, NJ May 12, 2016 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson City of Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development (EHD), Newark Downtown District (NDD) CEO Anthony McMillan, and Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark Community EDC) Acting President & CEO Scott Blow announced today the transformation of the walls under the Amtrak train tracks along Route 21 in Newark into the country’s second longest mural — approximately the length of 25 football fields. Phase I of the Gateways to Newark project, “Portraits,” is one of several beautification initiatives that will spur economic growth, enhance city views and markedly improve visual aesthetics for travelers entering Newark from both Newark International Airport and Newark Penn Station.

Rebecca Pauline Jampol will serve as curator for this epic, 1.39-mile-long mural. Stretching along  the Route 21  (McCarter Highway) Amtrak retention wall, “Portraits” will be created by 17 highly-acclaimed local, national, and international artists. Their pieces will reflect the City’s rich and diverse culture, foster communal dialogue, and celebrate the arts, while beautifying Route 21 for the 1.1 million monthly-commuters who traverse the highway.

“The Gateways to Newark project—and specifically the Portraits mural—will have a monumental impact on people’s perceptions of the City,” said Newark Downtown District CEO Anthony McMillan. “The NDD has worked for nearly two decades to make downtown Newark cleaner, greener and safer. The results of our hard work are evident throughout the district and now along McCarter Highway. Portraits represents our continued commitment to our partners, residents, Mayor Baraka and the City to develop downtown Newark.”

As the City celebrates its 350th anniversary, the artists have designed pieces that pay homage to Newark’s history while also celebrating its present and future. Coming from as far away as Brazil, and as close to home as Newark, the diverse group of male and female artists reflects the ethnic and cultural tapestry of the region.

Portraits” celebrates the uniqueness and oneness of our City,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “The murals honor our rich history, cultural intersections, and narratives of day-to-day life here in Newark.  The images represent a powerful, yet entertaining and spirited, compilation of visual expressions.”

“These murals not only enhance our city’s entryways, but also serve as strong visual reminders of the creativity, commitment and authenticity of the 330,000 people that work and live in Newark,” said Deputy Mayor Wilson. “While Portraits will be completed in a few short weeks, they are sure to stimulate the City’s economy for decades.”

“We are proud to partner with the City and the downtown district in cultivating Newark’s social and economic capital,” said Newark Community EDC Acting President & CEO Scott A. Blow. “We understand and value the role of the arts in stimulating economic growth and look forward to supporting future Gateways to Newark.


Click here to download a Full Newark Portraits Mural Media Kit

MEDIA NOTE:  High resolution images of the mural renderings and details can be found here:

Newark Downtown District:
The Newark Downtown District (NDD), Newark’s special improvement district of the central business area, is a privately funded 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, dedicated to revitalizing downtown Newark by improving the economic viability of the central business district. The NDD also works hard to enhance the quality of life for those who live, labor, and leisure in Newark, by providing supplemental cleaning and safety services, as well as marketing and physical streetscape improvement programs. Gateways to Newark: Portraits is the first of several gateways throughout the City that will be renewed.

 Newark Economic and Housing Development:

The mission of the City’s Department of Economic and Housing Development is to create economic opportunity for Newark residents and enhance the vibrancy of the City. To this end, the department seeks to position Newark to take advantage of its unique assets, including its strategic location, a diverse and underutilized workforce, a large amount of developable land, a high concentration of corporate and business service firms, several major universities, and a wealth of arts and cultural assets.

Newark Community Economic and Development Corporation:

The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark Community EDC) is the primary economic development catalyst for the State of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark.  It is organized to retain, attract, and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real estate development. Visit for more information.


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