Voices from the Field

ArtPride regularly invites guest writers to share new perspectives on issues related to the arts community and the many ways the creative industries impact New Jersey.


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...

New Jersey Arts Enduring the COVID Crisis

Until around March 13 – as close to the Ides of March as one can get – the nonprofit arts sector in New Jersey had major bragging rights. And it still does. I know you miss arts experiences as we knew them before the quarantine shutdown. The music that lit up the night and made you dance. The anticipation you sensed when you entered a theatre, excited about what you were about to experience on...

Worth the Wait

As I walked into my classroom at Columbia High School the morning of January 28 th of this year, I noticed a call notification on my phone: NJSCA. I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer it until after my morning classes, but I had an oddly positive feeling. I tried to tamp down expectations, and got absorbed in my teaching. In that way, I got to enjoy the tremble of excitement a second time when I...

The Force Is with New Jersey

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” - George Lucas We all need a little bit of the “force” right now. Here are 5 advocacy areas that ArtPride New Jersey is focusing on in the reality of the coronavirus situation. ArtPride will continue to voice concern about the welfare of the field to the New Jersey legislature throughout the spring as NJ State budget deliberations continue....

New Jersey Arts Administrators of Color (NJAAC) Network Launches

In cities across the nation – including Washington, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh – self-identified arts administrators of color have begun creating formal networks to uplift and support one another in the arts and cultural sectors. This effort is also happening right here in New Jersey. In October of 2019, New Jersey Theatre Alliance developed New Jersey Arts Administrators of Color...

Restoring Mandated Funding…A 10-year Arts Advocacy Crusade

Are we ready for 2020? You bet! In 2019, ArtPride pushed hard to correct a problem that has throttled funding for the arts, history, and tourism for 10 years. In December, through aggressive and strategic advocacy, Assembly Bill A3101 passed unanimously in the NJ State Legislature. This bill amends the 2003 law that created the NJ Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee, which specifies funding levels for state...

Unintended Consequences of Legislation – S4204 and Independent Contractors

S4204 /A5936, introduced on November 7, will codify how the government determines whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. This bill is an attempt to increase the focus on misclassification of workers, to not only protect them, but to increase state income tax revenues, and bolster unemployment insurance and workers compensation. A similar law in California, AB5, will go into...

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...

I Support the Arts, and I Vote!

When I enter the voting booth, my mind’s eye is flooded with images that feel like a movie trailer. Election lawn signs, TV commercials, and post cards from local candidates float by, along with snippets from recent opinion editorials on issues ranging from local zoning ordinances to gun control, women’s reproductive rights, water quality, and good governance. While these images stream by, it is...