Voices from the Field Blog

Silver Linings

Back in February, when things were “normal,” Gracie, 12 years old, and Tim, 18 years old, set off to begin their 10th (or is it 11th?) season of Young Performer’s Workshop. They’ve participated in so many seasons and it is such a part of our daily lives, I’ve lost count. YPW, as the regulars call it, is a pre-professional theatre training program for budding thespians ages 8-18 run by the...

Staying in Action

Dance has saved me, again, and again and again. From my early youth and continuing through my current adulthood, dance has allowed me to go to the depths of my soul offering out to the community the aesthetic that mirrors my humanity. Dance first saved me as a young child, growing up in Brooklyn with multiracial parents in a complex, racially mixed community. My initial experience with ballet, a...

A New View—Camden

The City of Camden , New Jersey has received a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to clean up blighted areas around its transit corridors and to turn those spaces into showcases for public art. Camden was one of only ­five cities across the United States to receive a Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant for 2019-2020. The other cities are Anchorage, Alaska; Coral Springs...

Unexpected and Welcome Connections

10 Hairy Legs , the New Jersey-based dance company for whom I am the founding Executive Director, is headed to The Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts (KYGSA) in July 2019 as a guest artist for Musical Theatre and Dance and to perform for their student body. “How did that happen?” you might ask. Unexpected and welcome connections! In March 2017, I headed down to Washington, D.C. as a N.J....

The HeART of Downtown Renaissance

What happens when you get five business leaders in a room filled with hungry learners who want to know the secrets to making their downtowns come alive? This was the scene at the recent New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference where ArtPride and the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey collaborated to showcase success stories in progress in Hackensack, Atlantic City, Trenton...

Creative Art as a Tool for Community Revitalization

What does your mind conjure when asked to visualize Trenton’s art scene? Public sculpture concentrated near the State House? Street-style art on abandoned buildings? While both examples can be found across the spectrum of art in Trenton, the reality is much more vibrant and diverse. Creative and performing arts have always played an important role in Trenton over the course of its history, but...

Make Your Voice Heard: Support the Arts – VOTE!

Elections are determined by those who make their voices heard, and with 13 seats up for election in New Jersey’s midterms, there’s a lot to be said. Moreover, there’s a lot at stake in the November 6 election. For example, influential arts supporter and chair of the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ11), is retiring. Rep. Frelinghuysen’s moderate conservative voice...

Never Stop Asking Questions

Five years ago, I put a personal and institutional moratorium on making theatre. coLAB Arts had a massive question that had been hanging in the air for the five years since the organization first started: Why do we exist? Why does there need to be another loosely held together group of emerging interdisciplinary artists in New Jersey making work for themselves? And why New Brunswick? We had...

What is the Future of the Arts?

Nearly 300 arts professionals from across New Jersey gathered at Princeton University’s Lewis Arts complex and McCarter Theatre Center on June 7 for the Thrive Arts Conference to explore that very question. Thrive is presented every other year through a partnership among ArtPride New Jersey, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts , and the Lewis Center or the Arts at Princeton . The fourth...

Celebrate All 48 Blocks of Atlantic City

What is “48 Blocks Atlantic City? Atlantic City is fairly small as cities go. It stretches only 48 blocks from the inlet to neighboring Ventnor City. Tucked within those 48 blocks, in the shadows of towering casino-hotels, is a community of wonderfully diverse and creative residents. “48 Blocks Atlantic City” is a weekend-long celebration of Atlantic City’s arts, history, culture, and community...