NewPark Mall Embraces A Multicultural, Multilingual Community

Earlier this year, NewPark Mall opened a brand new in-house cultural center, the NewPark Mall Cultural Corner. In a multicultural community, the center allows NewPark Mall to reach out and find common ground amongst all it shoppers.

“If there is a universal language, that language is spoken through the arts,” said Kelly Gardner, general manager at NewPark Mall. “The addition of our brand-new cultural arts center inside the mall is the perfect way to bring our community together, bridging the gap between cultures, customs and languages.”

The Cultural Corner provides exhibit space for the work of local artisans, including painters, sculptors, photographers and digital artists. It’s currently holding a Polynesian Art Exhibit, Polynesian Dreams, spotlighting art from the Polynesia South Pacific Islands of Tahiti and the Northern Islands of Hawaii.

To help bridge the gaps of language even further, the center canvassed its retailers for multi-lingual employees that would be willing to converse with shoppers with whom they share a language. As it turns out, NewPark Mall employees share 18 different languages including Cantonese, Chinese, English, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Sign Language, Spanish, Samoan, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Talian, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

“The diversity we find in art is the same kind of diversity we find in people,” Gardner explained. “The addition of our new Cultural Corner arts center at NewPark Mall and the fact that we have 21 retailers who are multi-lingual will serve to welcome shoppers from all walks of life, helping them remain proud of their heritage and hold onto their customs and traditions even as they assimilate into the community we all share as our common home.”

Written by Nissa on July 27, 2011 – 5:58 pm -
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Oakland Mall Sees Through The Eyes of a Child

During the month of July, Oakland Mall will host Through the Eyes of a Child, a traveling photographic exhibition. It benefits Coalition On Temporary Shelter (COTS), a non-profit that provides important resources for Detroit’s homeless population. To put the exhibition together, Monte Nagler, renowned fine art photographer, conducted a photography class for youth in COTS programs and encouraged them to capture their world as they see it. The children also wrote about their inspirations. Thirty pieces of art resulting from the program have been gathered into the exhibition, which will be presented in the center’s in the Giggle Gang Clubhouse.

Rather than just present the exhibition, the center is giving its Giggle Gang children’s club a chance to participate. The Giggle Gang will be donating proceeds from one of its events to the project. It will also hold a photography contest for its members. Oakland Mall is asking Giggle Gang members to take their own photographs of their world and submit them for a chance to win an overnight stay at the Sterling Inn water park. The contest will cost $1 to enter and the proceeds will all go to benefit the children at COTS. Once the Through the Eyes of a Child exhibit has moved on, the Giggle Gang’s photos will be displayed in the clubhouse.

“Oakland Mall takes community involvement seriously. We are extremely proud of our philanthropies and our popular kids club. So when we have the opportunity to bring them together everyone benefits,” said David Neuman, General Manager of Oakland Mall.

Written by Nissa on June 29, 2011 – 4:55 pm -
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Simi Town Center’s Art of Propaganda

In the lead up to Memorial Day, Simi Valley Town Center is taking a look at the art and marketing that goes into building a successful war effort.

The center has brought together a collection of rare original military posters, art and propaganda from World War I through the present day. The exhibit, “Hooray for the U.S.A.!” is launching next Friday with a ceremony that includes presentations by the commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, representatives of each military branch and the Simi Valley Civil Air Patrol.

The center worked with a local collector to put together much of the exhibit, including about 30 World War I and at least 20 World War II historic posters. Shoppers will see the work that went into convincing people to join the war effort, purchase war bonds and grow food at home – and younger visitors will have a vivid reminder of the world of advertising before the Internet. Military poster exhibitions are relative rare on the West Coast of the U.S., so these images will be a first for many visitors.

The center is taking donations for local veterans organizations through the course of the exhibit.

Written by Nissa on February 23, 2011 – 5:50 pm -
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Southside Wandsworth Shoppers Catch A Hen Thief

Usually when we see shopping centers taking part in arts and theater festivals, its from a promotional standpoint. But this is the second time in recent weeks we’ve heard about a shopping center becoming part of a theatrical event.

This time it’s Southside Wandsworth Shopping Centre. For most of May, it’s taking part in the Wandsworth Art Festival. Market Steps is one act that will transform much of the shopping center for the duration. It’s a great mystery that takes place in the shopping center, which has been reimagined as a classic outdoor market with livestock and fresh flowers. A hen has been stolen, and the theft has interrupted the joyful market day. Shoppers can follow vinyl footsteps and handprints that lead them through the shopping center and through the mystery. As they follow the steps, they are given instructions on acting out the story, which will lead them to solving the crime. Kids participating can also pick up I-Spy sheets that will turn the performance into a scavenger hunt. The play is for all ages, but the hope is that kids will take part and have a fun time while their parents shop.

The shopping center will also host an evolving art space over the three weeks of the festival, which will invite shoppers in to collaborate with the artists in creating an interactive, site-specific exhibit. And for a less interactive (but still engaging) experience, shoppers with young children will take in an act that combines tightwire performance with puppetry.

Written by Nissa on May 5, 2010 – 5:50 pm -
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Style and Speed

0903fashion.gifMt. Pleasant Shopping Centre knows that fashion is about more than just buying the latest and greatest designer item. It’s about making creative choices that both look good and inspire. So Mt. Pleasant is looking for shoppers that know the meaning of fashion and the meaning of a dollar.

This weekend, ten shoppers will be chosen to compete in Ready Set Style. Given a mannequin, a selection of clothes to choose from, and only 5 minutes, these savvy shoppers will create fantastic outfits to a secret theme and a budget of $250. The most stylish and recession-friendly outfit, as chosen by a panel of judges, will net its creator a $250 gift card and the outfit itself.

This event is one of several planned for this month, with the goal of reminding shoppers to think of Mt. Pleasant Shopping Centre when they think of fashion. The shopping center is also holding a wearable art exhibit, a student fashion show, and a Lady’s VIP night of fashion.

Written by Nissa on September 2, 2009 – 4:38 pm -
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