Early this year, the South Orange Village Center Alliance announced a new campaign — “Everybody Belongs Here” — to highlight the fact that “South Orange strives to be a community where everybody belongs; we celebrate individuality, and we value inclusion.”
The campaign has already become ubiquitous on street pole banners throughout town, but now it’s also a photography project that is filling the windows of the former Blockbuster video store location on South Orange Avenue.
South Orange Trustee Steve Schnall, SOVCA Director Bob Zuckerman, SOVCA Chair Matt Glass and others were on hand on Saturday, June 17 to unveil the window display which shows off the community’s diversity in a very visual way. The project is a co-production between SouthNext Festival and SOVCA and is sponsored by RWJ Barnabas Health.
The display includes hundred of print outs of photos that were submitted by community members as well as a digital screen that rotates through the portraits. “As viewers pass by, they will watch as one portrait becomes another, and then another. Each unique picture will illustrate our locations, our businesses, our past, and our future,” stated a release from SOVCA calling for submissions. “Taken together, the individuals will become a collective of South Orange identity. This simple display will capture the incredible depth and breadth of the community in which we live.”
“The Blockbuster windows now have hundreds of pictures of folks from South Orange – people who live here, work here and play here,” wrote Zuckerman in the weekly SOVCA newseltter The Village Vibe. “I’ve noticed lots of people walking by and pausing to take a look at this beautiful collage of faces of people from South Orange. It’s really a sight to see so if you haven’t checked it out yet you really should. We partnered with SouthNext for this project, so we want to especially thank Trustee Steve Schnall and volunteers Dylan O’Byrne and Doug Zacker and our chair Matt Glass for helping us put this project together.”
Coming next: “Everybody Belongs Here” profiles South Orange business owners in pictures.