MILLBURN, NJ - Sunday afternoon, the Millburn community was treated to a day of cultural engagement and art at the kickoff for Millwheels Rolling Into Millburn.
The event, which was run by Millburn Township's Cultural Engagement Diversity and Arts Committee (CDAC) was an opportunity for residents to learn more about the community art project that will run through September of this year.
Speaking with TAPinto before the event, CEDA chair and Millburn Deputy Mayor Jackie Lieberberg said that it was a joy to put the event on.
"I am thrilled that we are here," Lieberberg said. "I am thrilled that we are well represented, that our diverse groups are participating musically, artistically, culturally, socially and this is the goal...my hope would be that Millwheels Rolling Into Millburn will be an annual event."
Millburn Board of Education (BOE) member Louie Shen was also present at the kickoff event. For Shen, the efforts of CEDA dovetail nicely with diversity initiatives the BOE is taking on. Besides that, he also said events, where community members interact, are always a good idea.
"We need events that can actually bring people together because socializing in normal daily life...is one thing," Shen said. "But to have occasion to actually celebrate everybody is a different thing. And it means a lot for the town and for me personally as well."
During the course of the event, Artist Dan Fenelon was painting a millwheel to demonstrate the process to onlookers, as well as civic groups interested in participating in the project.
Aside from the millwheel project, several performing troupes also sang including the Papermill Playhouse Show Choir and Soulfege Acapella from Millburn High School. In addition, a troupe from the School of Bharatanatyam in Short Hills performed a series of ceremonial dances including the Pushpanjali, the Kamala Lochana and the Amma Kavithuvam.
Millburn resident Fred Mendoza and his family were among the attendees at the event. He and his family had been biking by when the saw the festivities and decided to stop. For Mendoza, knowing that his community is proactive on matters of diversity makes him very happy.
"[It's] very exciting," Mendoza said. "It makes me want to live here in Millburn."