Explore Newark Over Winter Break

Ballantine House
courtesy Newark Museum

Classes are over, finals are coming to an end and the start of another semester is weeks away. Wondering what to do with your free time over winter break? Rutgers Today asked faculty and staff across the university, including American Studies Phd Candidate Kristyn Scorsone, for some recommendations. See the full story on Rutgers Today. 

Scorsone is a PhD candidate in the American Studies program where they study LGBTQ+ history, African American women’s history, urban history, and public history. They conduct interviews and are the volunteer manager for the Queer Newark Oral History Project, a community-directed initiative to capture the life stories of LGBTQ+ people in and of Newark, NJ. 

Scorsone is also a part-time lecturer and graduate fellow at Rutgers University-Newark where they have taught the following courses: History of Newark, African American History I, and Oral History: Storytelling as Resistance. Below are their suggestions for exploring the city. 

Explore Newark

After a two-year, $12 million restoration, the Newark Museum’s Ballantine House re-opened in time for a winter outing. Built in 1885, the Ballantine House is the former home of the owners of Ballantine Breweries, one of the oldest and largest breweries in the country.

With this re-opening, the Ballantine House enhanced its offerings of fine objects and artworks with new installations, revamped historical rooms, and multi-sensory activities.

“Stay: The Black Women of 19th-Century Newark,” by American Studies alumna, local artist and historian Noelle Lorraine Williams (GSN '20), is on view within the bedroom of beer heir, Percy Ballantine. The installation demonstrates the legacy of Newark's Black women's activism explored in her Zócalo article, The Incredible Legacy of Newark's Black Women Activists, and through her other project, Black Power! 19th Century.

Harriet Tubman Monument, Newark
Cesar Melgar

Williams also served as research consultant on the new Harriet Tubman Monument in Harriet Tubman Square. Adjacent to the museum, the monument is a larger-than-life rendition of Tubman. An immersive experience, it features a timeline of local abolitionist history, tiles created by residents, and audio of stories narrated by diverse voices, including Queen Latifah.

Afterwards, treat yourself to a wine tasting at the Divino Tasting Room, owned by Burley Tuggle, a welcoming and entertaining host!