Arts & Entertainment

City Hall Christmas Tree Sparkles Brightly Thanks to Paterson Children

21fb908239650d4c9ebe_2468D2F3-6D25-459F-8B52-02F4851D6322.jpeg
Credits: Steve Lenox
21fb908239650d4c9ebe_2468D2F3-6D25-459F-8B52-02F4851D6322.jpeg

PATERSON, NJ- The Christmas tree outside of City Hall has an extra sparkle this year thanks to the work of local artist Mohamed Khalil and the over 200 kids from all across the city who provided hand-made decorations for the tree.

Khalil, an assistant art curator at the Paterson Museum, came up with the idea to offer local children the chance to decorate their own Christmas tree balls and decided to reach out to over a dozen schools and nonprofits in Paterson, whose students jumped at the chance to show off their creative side.

Khalil estimates that of the 400 balls he hung by hand on the tree, about 275 were designed by Paterson kids. 

Sign Up for E-News

The tree was lit on December 2nd in front of a large crowd gathered outside of City Hall. “The lighting night was beautiful, and I was very humbled to do something for this beautiful city.”

Khalil was especially excited that the city and Mayor Jane Williams-Warren had allowed him to showcase Paterson’s diversity and inclusiveness. “For a Muslim to be able to decorate the Christmas tree, it was really cool to show that we’re all the same.” 

Originally from Alexandria, Egypt, Khalil moved to Paterson 14 years ago after attending art school in Europe. He says he fell in love with the city because of its history and art. He is now attending Columbia Teacher’s College in order to get his second Master’s Degree in Art Education. 

He says he first came up with the idea for the tree project in 2008 when he was invited to the White House, after designing an ornament for then First Lady Laura Bush. A few years ago, he provided a similar installation in Paterson, but hadn’t re-attempted it until he met the Williams-Warren and asked if he could once again decorate the tree.  

Khalil hopes that the city will allow him to continue this project in future years, so that hundreds of more children can have the same opportunity.  

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

TAPinto Paterson Reader Shares Concerns About Absentee Ballots

April 21, 2018

Dear editor:

I am writing this letter to express a grave concern I have regarding the influx of absentee ballots. To my understanding, absentee ballots were designed to be used by those who are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day. Such as people in the armed services or those who are away on vacation. 

This year’s municipal election will be one for the history books.

Assembly's Longest Serving Member Dead at 79

April 19, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Paterson's Assembly members, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, are mourning the loss of their colleague, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield) who died on Thursday.

Green, 79, was the longest serving member of the Assembly, and considered to be a champion of affordable housing. Green stepped down as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Organization on January 24 to ...

Paterson Mayor Candidate Andre Sayegh Names Vaughn L. McKoy, a Paterson Native, as Campaign Counsel

April 20, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Andre Sayegh, the sixth ward councilman who is seeking to be Paterson’s next mayor in the city’s elections next month, has named Paterson native Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA as his campaign counsel.

McKoy, a former state and federal prosecutor as well as a lawyer in private practice, will volunteer and serve as a key adviser to the campaign. Sayegh said he felt extremely ...