Newark Arts Council announced new collaborations and opportunities for artists at Prudential Center event

art cardYesterday evening, the Newark Arts Council announced upcoming initiatives and artist opportunities at its 2016 Annual Meeting and Reception, which was held in a ground-level event room at the Prudential Center.

The announcements included recipients of the council’s ArtStart grants. Now in its 15th year, the ArtStart program has made more than 150 grant awards ranging from $500 to $3,000 and totaling more than $400,000. This year’s list of recipients includes Newark Print Shop’s Print Club and the Rafael Hernandez School’s Look Out World Immersion Murals. The grantees will receive funding to continue their programs and projects and ultimately stimulate arts and cultural activity in the city’s neighborhoods and local schools. (See a full list of grantees below.)


Daniel Cherry, III, who is Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer of both the Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils, welcomed the group and emphasized collaboration as a key to continue growing the arts in Newark. Cherry also underscored the Prudential Center’s commitment to the arts in Newark, noting that the organization will continue to be “a patron, resource, and friend” to the city’s arts community.

Newark Arts Council’s newly minted Executive Director Jeremy Johnson then highlighted this year’s upcoming Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival, which will coincide with the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the continuing celebration of Newark’s 350th anniversary. The annual festival, which will occur from October 20th to October 23rd this year, is known to attract thousands of art enthusiasts to Newark for a variety of open gallery events and exhibits.

According to Gallery Aferro Director and Open Doors partner Emma Wilcox, this year’s festival will center on creating a unique user experience for visitors, promoting cultural tourism, and engaging the community. To encourage the latter, the Newark Arts Council has listed an open call for artists, galleries and event proposals on their website. Interested parties can submit proposals for special events during the weekend-long festival, or nominate artists to participate.

“The arts are thriving and we have to make sure they stay a part of Newark,” said Johnson. “We have to work with outside forces and inside forces to fight for the artists. It’s not a given in every city that as cities grow and get better artists stay at the core, and we have to make sure that happens in Newark.”

ArtStart grantees:

Visit the Newark Art Council’s website to nominate artists, galleries, open studios and special projects for the 2016 Open Doors Festival. The Council announced in April that it had received a historic $1 million grant from the Prudential Foundation.