Trenton's City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park continues to prove that there are some wonderful things in Trenton.
Housed in what old timers (not those vilified "johnny-come-latelies") might remember as "the monkey house," the Trenton City Museum houses a wonderful permanent collection of locally produced ceramics plus works by regional visual artists and more. (See http://www.ellarslie.org/)
The non-profit Trenton Museum Society owns the bulk of the collection housed in the Museum. The City owns, operates and maintains the building...a glorious Italianate Mansion built as the summer home of the wealthy McCall family of Philadelphia by famed 19th Century architect John Notman.
Under the guidance of Museum Director Brian Hill (a city employee) and in conjunction with the Trenton Museum Society and groups like Trenton Artists Workshop Association (TAWA), the programming at Ellarslie is as strong and diverse as ever. A full year's calendar of exhibits, concerts, lectures and workshops is on tap for those looking for a local diversion.
This evening, a full house of patrons enjoyed a concert by Trenton-based Joe Zook and Blues Deluxe accompanied by free refreshments. Two sets of "Jersey Blues," a to-die-for chicken/pasta salad, and liquid refreshments were provided, all in an elegant setting showcasing the summer TAWA exhibit of works by local artists. The audience was made up of more than just Trenton residents.
There is life in Trenton after dark and on a summer Friday night!
Ellarslie and the Trenton Museum Society, along with entities like Artworks, Cafe Ole, Classics New and Used Books, Passage Theatre, the Trenton Film Fesitval and the Trenton Downtown Association's Gallery 125 are doing a lot to promote the arts as an economic engine for our city. We've got to support these efforts if we hope to generate the kind of civic life that will attract and retain more forward thinking individuals who can join the campaign to turn Trenton around.
There is still good to be found in town. We need to promote that as heavily as we point out what's wrong here.