“Norman Rockwell Place” Unveiled During Special Ceremony in New York City on June 9
UPDATED: Stockbridge, MA, June 14, 2016—Artist Norman Rockwell’s New York City roots were celebrated during a special ceremony held in the city on Thursday, June 9. The festivities started off with a parade at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, followed by the unveiling of a street sign titled “Norman Rockwell Place” at West 103rd Street and Broadway, the corner near the iconic artist’s birthplace. City officials, Museum representatives, Rockwell family members, and the Upper West Side students who initiated the effort will be in attendance.
Known for his idyllic scenes of rural America, Rockwell was, in fact, born in New York and lived his first two years in a brownstone at 206 West 103rd Street. This past February, New York’s City Council voted to officially rename the corner of West 103 Street and Amsterdam Avenue “Norman Rockwell Place,” and a special signing ceremony, officiated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, was then held at New York’s City Hall on February 25—both events were attended by New York high school students who campaigned for over a year to initiate the change.
The idea originated from a class project led by students from Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, an alternative school located around the corner from where Rockwell was born. After researching the life of the artist and visiting the Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the students began creating materials as part of a committee they formed to rename the corner. On Election Day, November 4, 2014, they canvassed voters at their school, a polling location, and picked up 300 signatures in support of the idea.
In the spring of 2015, several of the students, led by teacher René Mills, returned to Stockbridge to learn more about the artist and his social justice works, and continue their collaboration with Norman Rockwell Museum. Tom Daly, the Museum’s Curator of Education, has been lending his support to the teens’ effort, which has become a useful lesson in civics, involving them directly in the political process.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Daly marveled about the fact that Rockwell’s newest, young ambassadors “could have done anything with their motivation, but they chose to do something for their community.”
In recognition of the students’ efforts, the Museum in partnership with edBridge Partners, an education consultancy, presented each student with a family membership to Norman Rockwell Museum, which also offers admission to over 650 museums throughout North America—and 17 museums in New York City.
About edBridge Partners LLC
edBridge Partners is a New York City-based consultancy that works nationwide to help education institutions, membership organizations and philanthropies accomplish more through organizational effectiveness, innovative program development, and expert project implementation. With a deep knowledge of policy issues, edBridge principals bring an entrepreneurial approach and fresh ideas to clear the path to progress for organizations and the students they serve. www.edbridgepartners.com
“Manhattan Street Is Renamed After Norman Rockwell,” New York Times, June 8, 2016
“Students’ hard work renames New York intersection Norman Rockwell Place,” Berkshire Eagle, June 9, 2016
“West 103rd Street at Broadway dubbed Norman Rockwell Place after high school students’ fight for the change,” New York Daily News, June 9, 2016