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.


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...

Quarantine, Social Protest, Poetic Imagination, or How I Learned What I Learned

I am a multidisciplinary, multi-hyphenated artist who straddles the worlds of teaching artist and arts administrator; theater maker, poet, and musician. Most folx would say I have a bold imagination and vision; I’m a proactive problem solver who strives to cultivate welcoming learning communities that celebrate the everyday and everyone’s authentic voices. So when given the task to create pilot...

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...

Your Three-Step, Uncomplicated Formula For a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Workplace

(Or, How I Rapidly Implemented DEI at a Predominately White Institution In My Role as Its First Leader of Color) TRUTH BOMB: making your company DEI-friendly is NOT as hard as everyone is making it out to be. You see, most organizations think they need to pull out all the stops for DEI. But the truth is, it's so much simpler than that. Sure, hiring outside help can benefit, but the REAL work...

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...

The Artists, the Teachers, the Dreamers: A Pandemic Journey

The pandemic: an ever-growing entity in our world that we continue to learn about. In many ways, it's unpredictable and something we read about day in and day out on social media posts, blogs or articles. (Funny enough, welcome to this little blog, I hope you will stick around to hear my story!) Before COVID-19, the world and its people were in a flow -- a pace that felt to be normal in everyone’s...

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...