Voices from the Field Blog

When We All Vote

The election campaign is heated, and for the very first time, voting started early in New Jersey. Due to pandemic-prompted mail-in votes, New Jersey joins the nation in getting a jump on the November 3 election. Tired of people asking you to vote? Not me! I am energized by the amount of civic engagement around this election where there is so much at stake. I am delighted to see every single friend...

Sharing the Stories of Healthcare Workers through Paper Made from Scrubs

Frontline Arts connects and builds communities through the socially-engaging arts practices of papermaking and printmaking, namely through Frontline Paper, where veterans make handmade paper from military uniforms. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were called to an additional cause: helping socially-distanced healthcare workers tell their stories from the frontlines. After our Studio...

Zimmerli Responds to Community Needs with "Arts at Home/Artes en Casa"

The end of the school year brought to a close to a time unlike any other. Like all of our peers, when the shutdown came, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers had to unexpectedly pivot major programs, like our partnership with New Brunswick Public Schools that would have brought every 2nd grader in the district to the museum (nearly 800 students in all), followed by teaching artist visits to their...

Art and Love, Our Infinite Power

Anyone who knows me, knows that I breathe art. Not just through the paintings and drawings I love to make. It is in the frequencies I listen to; the words I write in 100 journals; random dancing in the kitchen with my siblings; the movies I get lost in with friends; the books that transport me to other worlds; the pictures that capture a fleeting moment or the light inside of a person. It is the...

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...