NUTLEY, NJ - Residents gathered in Nutley parks Friday, June 12 to install a 'Nutley Pride' chalk walk as a part of Pride Month celebrations. The Nutley Board of Commissioners proclaimed June 2020 LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
The temporary art installation, all done in chalk by members and supporters of Nutley Pride, was seen in Booth Park, Nichols Park, and Memorial Park. Residents of all ages came out, chalk in hand, to leave messages of love, support, acceptance and pride.
Chalk art has become one of Nutley's newer traditions.
In 2019, Relay for Life hosted their first chalk festival in Memorial Park in the area near the mudhole. In May, residents took to Memorial Park to leave messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Other chalk art has appeared in front of the Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad offering thanks to those first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. A makeshift chalk memorial appeared at the front door of the Nutley Public Library in honor of head librarian Maria Labadia.
Friday's chalk art installation was not without incident as officers of the Nutley Police Department arrived on the scene to stop the artwork from proceeding. It is not known if the police responded to a 911 call or a call made to the non-emergent number at Public Safety Headquarters. A bill is currently moving through Trenton "that would make it a crime to call 9-1-1, file a police report or incriminate someone under false pretenses in order to intimidate them on the basis of race or any other protected class." According to the code of the Township of Nutley, non-permanent, (water-soluble) art is not illegal.
The Nutley Police Department did not respond to TAPinto Nutley's request for information regarding the matter.
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