Downtown Somerville Alliance Awarded $34K for Paul Robeson Sculpture
Somerville, NJ – The Downtown Somerville Alliance has been awarded a $34,000 Local Arts Programming Grant from the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission. The grant will be used to erect a statue of Paul Robeson in the Downtown Somerville Special Improvement District.
“The Downtown Somerville Alliance is thrilled to receive this grant from the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission, and we look forward to working with the community to bring this project to fruition,” said Natalie Pineiro, Downtown Managing Consultant for the Downtown Somerville Alliance.
Paul Robeson, a graduate of Somerville High School, has a strong connection to Somerville. He spent many years in the town, where he developed a love for music and theater. Robeson’s father, William Drew Robeson, was pastor of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in Princeton, and he often preached at the nearby Wallace Chapel AME Zion Church in Somerville.
Robeson went on to become one of the most influential figures in American arts, politics, and social justice. He was a talented actor, singer, and athlete, and he used his platform to speak out against racism and injustice. Robeson was also a champion of workers’ rights and a vocal supporter of the labor movement.
The Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission offers the Local Arts Programming Grant to support the development of arts programming in the county. The grant is open to non-profit organizations, schools, and municipalities in Somerset County, and it provides funding for a range of projects, including exhibitions, performances, and public art installations.
The statue of Paul Robeson will be a fitting tribute to Robeson and his legacy. It will be a reminder of his connection to Somerville and his tireless work for social justice.