TV documentary explores arts’ role in Trenton redevelopment


A promotional image for “Driving Jersey: I See a Canvas,” which premieres tonight.

“You want to change things, you have to support the arts,” says Will Kasso in tonight’s installment of the PBS series, “Driving Jersey.” “You have to infuse that. You have to give people a basis of culture. Without that, you have nothing.”

Kasso is the creative director of Trenton’s Sage Coalition, devoted to inner-city beautification projects, and he’s interviewed under a mural of Mahatma Gandhi that he painted himself. In “Driving Jersey,” now in its fourth season, director Steve Rogers drives around the state, exploring various topics, and in this episode, subtitled “I See A Blank Canvas,” he looks the redevelopment efforts in Old Trenton neighborhood of state capital, and spends a fair amount of time focusing on the way arts are being used to make the city better.

“The idea of redemption and the power of good stories are the driving forces behind our show and this is a subject that satisfies both of those things,” said Rogers in a press release.

In particular, he looks at the SAGE Coalition’s Windows of Soul initiative, which installs artwork on abandoned buildings, and its Gandhi Garden, a community garden that also hosts cultural events. Members of Trenton’s Isles Inc., which supports the inner city community in a variety of ways, and Trenton councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson provide information and context about what is currently going on in Trenton.

“Driving Jersey” airs on NJTV at 8:30 tonight, and on other PBS stations as well. For a guide to finding NJTV on your cable system, click here.

For more information about “Driving Jersey,” and to watch its past episodes, visit

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