Audible today announced a community collaboration to produce a range of programming in Washington Park throughout the summer that will feature food truck festivals, music and dance performances, fitness classes, children’s storytimes and other community events.
Audible recently unveiled the Washington Park Sensory Lab to engage the senses and encourage greater use of the park. Over 100 Audible employees and staff from the Greater Newark Conservancy helped assemble the park installation, which features new seating areas (153 seats), planters (136), tables (44) and solar lighting (155 solar lights mounted on cement bases).
“We are very excited to work with the City and the Newark community to reactivate Washington Park with diverse programming that encourages everyone to enjoy this outdoor community asset that anchors our burgeoning innovation and cultural district,” said Colin Newman, Vice President of Public Policy & Community Affairs at Audible. “We hope this pop-up installation and 2019 community programming initiative will reinvigorate Washington Park and offer relaxation and entertainment for the entire community.”
Event programming contributors include the Newark Museum, Newark Public Library, Rutgers-Newark, NJPAC, La Casa de Don Pedro, the Newark Downtown District (NDD), L+M Development and Connect | Engage | Entertain | Network (CEEN).
Visit Washingtonparknewark.com to view event programming.
“The City is encouraging everyone to come out and be a part of the remarkable programming taking place in Washington Park,” said Patrick Council, City of Newark Director of Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Senior Services.
"I am super excited about the rebirth of Washington Park!” said Central Ward Council Member LaMonica R. McIver. “It is extremely important that we activate all green spaces in our City to promote and improve the quality of life for our residents in the City of Newark. Active, effective, and beautiful parks are great for all Newarkers!"
“This is the exact type of investment, engagement and activation that we want our corporate and institutional partners to be leading and I commend Audible for thinking outside of their walls,” said Aisha Glover, President and CEO of the Newark Alliance. “I look forward to using Washington Park as a backdrop to celebrate all the talent, entertainment, recreation and culture our city has to offer.”
“Washington Park will never be the same … This is the summer’s go-to lunch spot, with an enjoyable vibe of great music, food and a sneak peak of Newark’s fun cultural attraction,” said Talia Young, Co-Founder, CEEN (Connect | Engage | Entertain | Network).
"The NDD is proud to be a community partner with Audible and the City of Newark as summer 2019 kicks off!” said Anthony McMillan, CEO, Newark Downtown District (NDD). “Washington Park is a beautiful historic park and it is great for the community that it is being utilized in such a fun-filled way."
“Washington Park is an essential amenity, not just for future residents and workers at Walker House, but for all of Downtown Newark,” said Jonathan Cortell, Managing Director, Northeast Markets, L + M Development Partners. “We’re thrilled to partner again with Audible to enhance park programming; already, we are working with City officials to strengthen the park’s connection to Walker House by investing in a new Broad Street crosswalk between the building and the park. We’re excited to join Audible and all of our local partners in Washington Park this summer and beyond.”
“We are thrilled to see Washington Park once again become a gathering space for all to enjoy,” said Carrie Puglisi, Director of Program & Fund Development, La Casa de Don Pedro. “Green, open spaces are vital resources that enhance the quality of life for all Newarkers and we applaud Audible for coordinating the re-activation of the park. We look forward to offering recreational and creative programming for the community this summer.”
“We’re excited to launch our Clement’s @Washington Park series, which will be another addition to the burgeoning cultural life of downtown,” said Wayne Winborne, Executive Director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University – Newark. “Thanks to L&M, Audible, and the City Parks department for their support in making this happen. It’s going to be a fun summer!”
“The Sensory Lab already has created a striking presence in Washington Park, inviting engagement from residents, as well as the thousands of employees of organizations in the area and passersby,” said Rutgers University – Newark Senior Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff Peter Englot. “With the launch of collaborative programming from partners across the neighborhood, the Sensory Lab will begin to truly realize its potential to catalyze creative placemaking.”
"We think of Washington Park as an extension of the Newark Museum's front plaza so we naturally jumped at the opportunity to be part of its creative activation,” said Linda Harrison, Director and CEO of the Newark Museum. “Thank you Audible for leading the charge. With our neighbors, we invite Newark employees, visitors and residents to come out and play in the park!"
Since moving its headquarters to Newark in 2007, Audible has become the city’s fastest-growing private employer. In May, Audible opened its Innovation Cathedral, a rehabilitated 80,000-square-foot historic church that is now home to 400 technologists, designers and other employees.
In 2015, Audible founder and CEO Don Katz founded Newark Venture Partners, a $45 million venture capital fund and accelerator that has invested in over 60 early-stage companies to plant roots in Newark. Hundreds of Audible employees are on call to mentor these startups, also located in Audible’s One Washington Park headquarters.