Jersey City Branding 2.0

It’s very clear to me now. Mayor Steven Fulop doesn’t seem to understand what the department of Cultural Affairs does, nor grasp the true concept of “branding.”

In a recent interview on the website River View Observer, “Jersey City’s New Mayor Steven M. Fulop Envisions the City’s Cultural Future” he negates the responsibilities of his own Cultural Affairs Dept. and shows a disregard for the years and effort of many.

Now it makes sense why he moved the Dept. of Cultural Affairs to under the new “Resident Response Center.” (<< Read about this transition.) Jersey City Downtown view

If Mayor Fulop wants to move Jersey City forward and show a powerful cultural front, how about talking to his own employees about what they’ve done and what they visualize for the future. When you belittle them and file them away, it doesn’t look like you are asking them to look toward the future. (Also, the Jersey City Government website could do a better job at showcasing what makes Jersey City great.)

Now, I understand, rebranding a city like Jersey City is a huge undertaking. It’s one of the most diverse cities in the country and it’s not easy to spin that when representing so many. But it’s bad brand visibility to talk about Cultural Affairs dismissively. A great place to start is by embracing the department that spent years providing… “numerous art fairs, ethnic festivals and flag raisings, as well as local theatre, film and performing arts. They are a proud partner in the October Jersey City Artists Studio tour, which draws thousands from across the tri-state area.

In addition, the Division of Cultural Affairs promotes Jersey City’s unique history, from our 19th Century “Everything For Industry” past to our current position as New Jersey’s Gold Coast. They support patriotic events, including Memorial and Veterans Day activities and do their best to help foster civic pride in our gorgeous and historic neighborhoods.

They are also the host of the Summerfest Concert Series at Liberty State Park, MLK Hub Concerts and Jazz for Lunch at Exchange Place. They curate and have monthly art shows in the Rotunda within City Hall as well as care about our local preservation and environment and have an employee focused on the Historical Project.”

There used to be even more events but some had to be cut due to the lack of funding.

Why is it that when someone new comes into power they start to look for expertise elsewhere instead of under their own roof? Mayor Fulop talks about new murals and galleries that are going to display the work of famous artists from around the world instead of building up the world class artists who live and work right here.

How about making Jersey City great for its citizens first, then the tourists will come.

Loew's Theatre Jersey CityAs a citizen of Jersey City for the past 7 years (previously I was a Hobokenite), I see a city with such potential, yet still divided. The Heights needs so much help, which it’s not getting, as resources are pushed toward downtown Jersey City and soon Journal Square. This at least is a good thing with some funds going to the Landmark Loew’s Theatre renovation.

So, Jersey City Rebranding 2.0.

What do you, the public visualize for our city in the coming decades that will excite us all, bind us together as a community and welcome the masses?

2 thoughts on “Jersey City Branding 2.0

  1. Bill Benzon

    Alas, I’m afraid you’re right. The City doesn’t seem to have a clue about branding. Branding is about culture and culture is about more than tickets to the opera and Reader’s Digest Condensed Books (do they still exist?). It’s the vital soul that makes a group of people into a community.

    A couple months ago I did a little calculation. I figured out that if everyone in Jersey City were to sign their name on a 3 by 5 card (with someone else signing for those unable to) we could put all those cards in a cube one meter on a side. I think Jersey City should do that and put that cube in Journal Square as a symbol of a new and revitalized Jersey City.

    If Jersey City – the city administration, the neighborhood groups, the civic organizations, the churches, the schools, etc. – could get THAT task done, we’d be a long way toward revitalizing the city and moving forward into this new millennium. In the process of getting THAT job done I think the rebranding would all but take care of itself.

    This blog post discusses the cube-of-names project in a little more detail.

  2. Susan Post author

    Hi Bill, What am interesting idea of a cube that includes a piece of us all, it’s citizens! Love it… Susan

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