Arts Council of Princeton Announces New Public Art Project

Parklet installed in front of jaZams with “Energy Playground” theme


Princeton, NJ - May 30, 2017 - The Arts Council of Princeton announces Princeton’s next parklet, a public installation built to transform curbside parking spaces into beautiful, lively spaces for the community to enjoy. Installed in front of jaZams along Palmer Square East, the new parklet will be an interactive structure with an “energy playground” theme.

Visitors to the family-friendly parklet are invited to explore and participate in active energy creation and visualization, utilizing a variety of energy generation technologies to inform the community about the importance of renewable energy in a fun, play-driven environment. The structure will be divided into 5 ‘rooms’: a Bike Room with repurposed bicycles connected to generators to power jaZam’s storefront display; a Reading Room with a community library stocked with books donated by the Princeton Public Library; a Game Room with various games and toys provided by jaZams; an Engine Room with multiple power-generating opportunities to power parklet lights and fans; and a Sun Room to gather and relax.

“Our 2017 parklet will really demonstrate how the sponsor for the parklet can design it to make it complement their business. The first parklet on Witherspoon in front of small world coffee was all about relaxing, having coffee and a conversation, while this year’s Energy Playground reflects the energy and sense of play that happens at jaZams,” offered Maria Evans, Arts Council of Princeton Artistic Director. “This parklet will be all about alternative energy and discovering how to generate your own power.”

jaZams owners Joanne Farrugia and Dean Smith have enjoyed the community partnership aspect to this project. “When we found out that we could bring the Parklet to the street in front of our store we jumped at the opportunity. To be able to bring the fun, play, and sense of wonder that embodies jaZams out onto the street is something we could not pass up,” said Joanne Farrugia, co-owner of jaZams. Dean Smith, Joanne's business partner, added, “Working with our parklet partners has reaffirmed our hope that in creating this public space we would also deepen our community relationships. We welcome everyone to come enjoy this little park, find a little inspiration, have some fun, and make a new community connection.”

NRG Energy is a key sponsor of this project. “It’s our honor to help bring jaZams’s parklet to life this year!” said Jennifer Brunelle, Director, positiveNRG, NRG Energy’s philanthropy program. “We were thrilled when jaZams approached us with the idea of using energy as the heart of their parklet and we couldn’t wait to lend a hand to make their concept a reality. Energy is ubiquitous, it’s everywhere and powers life, but often, it is taken for granted. This parklet helps make energy tangible by educating young people about not only how energy works, but the variety of ways it can be generated and stored.”

The public is invited to the Opening Celebration on Saturday, June 10 from 3-5pm at 25 Palmer Square East in Princeton in front of jaZams.

This parklet was made possible by the dedication and support of lead sponsors: jaZams, Joseph Hobart Weiss Architect, NRG Energy, Hamilton Building Supply, and Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. The project was also made possible by Davidge Design Studio, Kopps Cycles, MacLean Agency, Nassau Inn, Princeton Public Library, Thames & Kosmos, the Town of Princeton, Smith’s Ace Hardware, Sustainable Princeton and Terra Momo Restaurant Group.

This parklet follows the success of the Arts Council of Princeton’s first parklet installed in front of small world coffee on Witherspoon Street from May-October 2015. Mayor Liz Lempert and the Town of Princeton approached the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) to assemble a team to facilitate the creation of a parklet in Princeton, similar to those found in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Ms. Evans and the students from Stuart Country Day School she was teaching at the time collaborated with a team comprised of Princeton Government's Lee Solow, the Princeton Public Works crew, George Akers of Material Design Build, architect Kirsten Thoft, Mike Hathaway of Revival Construction Co, landscape artist Peter Soderman, and small world coffee owner Jessica Durrie, to make Mayor Lempert’s vision a reality and build a beautiful parklet for the town to enjoy.


The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.

For more information, please contact the Arts Council of Princeton at 609.924.8777 or visit