Susan Anderson named Executive/Artistic Director of the New Jersey Arts Incubator

Anderson will lead NJAI in residence at Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange October 15, 2013 – West Orange, New Jersey - The New Jersey Arts Incubator at OSPAC has named Andrea Susan Anderson its new executive director, effective October 8.

Susan AndersonAnderson is owner and president of Black Star Communications, a full-service entertainment agency. A former journalist, Susan has worked for major media organizations including The Star-Ledger, Associated Press, News America Inc. and North Jersey Media Group. She has also worked as a contract publicist for major corporations including Sony Urban Music.

“This is a great opportunity for West Orange, OSPAC and the New Jersey Arts Incubator,” said NJAI Chairwoman Lisa Scalora. “Susan is a long time West Orange resident with both producing and marketing experience, and she has a deep commitment to our township and the arts.”

David PeartDavid Peart will join as producing director. He will work with Anderson to engage the community through a variety of creative and diverse programming linked to the Incubator.

A West Orange resident, retired New York City detective and professional investigator, Peart manages the careers of various artists and has produced concerts across the United States. A former concert producer with a major New York City agency, and with a solid background in the nightclub industry, he has provided management and logistical support for some of the most popular venues in the tri-state area; overseeing not only large-scale concert events, but the day to day operations of select venues.

“I am honored that I have been named the next executive director of the New Jersey Arts Incubator. The arts are a key part of community life here in Essex County and David and I are looking forward to helping it grow with this organization,” said Anderson.

“I am thrilled that Susan and David are joining us at NJAI@OSPAC,” said founder and vice chair Amy Simon. “With their leadership I look forward to seeing the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center achieve the community, and artistic goals the township has always had for it, and for the New Jersey Arts Incubator to enter its second decade with a reenergized vision for artists and for the region.”

Susan Anderson may be reached at sanderson@njai.org.

New Jersey Arts Incubator Arts Play 2013

Governor Brendan Byren, trustee of the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation accepts two pieces of artwork for display at the Foundation offices in recognition of their generous support of the New Jersey Arts Incubator Arts Play 2013 program which included the first annual Arts Play Day held in July at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange. Arts Play Day is a carnival, and information and resource fair, for special needs children, young adults and their families. The Artist Mentoring Group facilitate the creation of the presentations.The two pieces for the Carvel Foundation were a collaborative project done by Dashir Johnson, Scott Mac Gregor and Colleen Creedon. They are acrylic and collage on canvas.

Slight Imperfection close out the 2013 Season

On Friday evening, September 20th, NJAI closed out their 2013 season at OSPAC with a performance by Slight Imperfection. The singer/songwriter duo of Odarka and Redentor, joined by special guest David Alonso, performed a glorious set of rock and folk originals along with 70s cover songs. The crowd ushered in fall to the sound of Odarka’s Celtic-harp while enjoying picnics on the lawn. Songs were carefully arranged, crafted of life experiences and mythic tales, with plenty of poetic license. The melodies can be traced back to grass roots American folk with Celtic flavor, 50s innocence, 60s pop and classic rock and roll.

RESCHEDULED Family Movie Night September 3rd 101 DALMATIANS

101 DALMATIANS 09/03

7PM Gates Open 8PM Movie

Popcorn, snacks and ice cream for purchase.

FREE!

Bring lawn chair or blankets.

Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Joan Walt Disney Pictures; Directed by Stephen Herek Plowright Rated G; 103 minutes; 1996

The happy household of Dalmatians Pongo and Perdy (and their “human pets” played by Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson) is thrown into a state of chaos when their newborn pups are stolen along with a boodle of other Dalmatians from the London area. The fashionable, fur-loving Cruella DeVil (Glenn Close), is the likely suspect in this fur-ocious tale of puppy love and dognapping.

Freespace Dance is back at OSPAC

Upper Montclair, NJ - Freespace Dance, a professional modern dance company that has appeared throughout the state, in New York City, and internationally, is performing at it’s Summer Season home at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center on Friday August 23 at 8pm. This performance is a culminating concert with students from the Freespace Dance Summer Festival which has been taking place at Montclair State Univeritsy from August 5 – 22. The 15 students will be performing 2 repertory pieces taught by Artisitc Director Donna Scro and Dancer/Choreographer Omni Kitts- Ferrara.

The professional company will be performing signature works “Butt Rock”, “Brethren”, “One Constant Change”, and new works premiered earlier this summer “Home” and “Remember US” Tickets are $15.00 for the performance.

OSPAC is a beautiful outdoor theater with lawn seating. We encourage our audience to bring Lawn Chairs, and or Blankets and to picnic under the stars for a beautiful evening of Dance.

If inclement weather occurs, the concert will be moved to Montclair State University Life Hall Dance Theater. Freespace Dance is a contemporary modern dance company renowned for creating emotionally driven work a bold athletic signature style. Comprised of eight exceptionally strong performers, this vibrant company uses controlled abandonment in pushing the limits of inventive partnering.

Artistic Director, Donna Scro, a former principal dancer with the Nikolais/Louis Dance Company and a founding member of Sean Curran Company, has been described by Robert Johnson of the Star Ledger as “as a dancemaker that seizes an audience’s attention and pulls viewers into her space with works that can be gentle or physically aggressive, but are always profoundly sexy”.

Whether bodies fly through the air in full company works or women move around each other slowly in duet, critics have noted that, ” in all of Donna Scro’s pieces a recognizable human element surface wordlessly and goes straight to the heart.” The company’s annual New York seasons at major venues such as Dancespace/St. Marks Church, Ailey Citigroup Theatre and Dance Theatre Workshop never fail to sell out. Each season brings the premiere of new works, such as Brethren which looks at masculinity and strength performed by an all male cast to live music (2011), From this and Before, where Ms. Scro mines the emotions of various phases of romantic relationships (2010) and her signature piece Butt Rock, where she plays wildly with prolific technique to the sounds of hard rocking music by Dream Theatre (2009). Collaborations with other artists are highlights of Freespace seasons, including the use of live music and guest performers such as Brian Sanders of JUNK and Gaspard Louis of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Freespace company members have been recognized consistently as being among the most talented dancers in the area. Upon making its European debut in the summer of 2010 the Edinburgh Press declared the company’s choreography as “The Pinnacle of Technique in Partnering” and The Edinburgh Spotlight recognized the company’s “prowess in technique and welcome feel of connected emotion and dancing from the heart.” Freespace has appeared at venues throughout the nation and region including The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance Theater Workshop Joyce SoHo, and regular performances at NYC festivals such as Dancenow Festival, Downtown Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to AIDS: The Remember Project, International Dance Festival, DNA’s Raw Material, DUMBO Dance Festival, and Cool New York Festival.National touring includes performances at Jacob’s Pillow, San Diego State University in a joint concert with the PKG Project, SUNY Purchase, Wells College, Southern Utah State University, The American College Dance Festival University of Maine, The Kaplan Theater in Houston, Texas, Dance Saves the Day at the Kasser Theater and annual seasons at Montclair State University. Freespace Dance has also been presented at the Oskar Schindler Center for the Performing Arts for the past 5 years. Freespace Dance has been a guest company for Soulphonic Soundscape by Daniel Bernard Roumain featuring DBR & The Mission, choreographers for Playhouse Disney’s “Choo Choo Soul” video, and featured on Professor Predicts series for mtv U.

Freespace is home to The Dance Program of weekly classes for children of all ages at the Montclair Cooperative School Annex. The company conducts lecture demonstrations and residencies throughout NJ through its own efforts and as members of the rosters of Young Audiences New Jersey, Arts Council for the Morris Area and The Montclair Arts Council. Freespace regularly sets repertory pieces and is commissioned to create original works for high school and college aged dance ensembles. Freespace has been in residence at the Sawtelle School for students with Autism in Montclair since 2009. In addition, the company hosts a popular annual three week Summer Festival for high school and college dancers featuring classes in modern, jazz, pilates, yoga, ballet, and repertory. Freespace Dance 2 is a pre-professional component of the company comprised of some of the most talented high school and college dancers in New Jersey. Freespace Dance 2 made its major venue premiere performing with the company in 2011 at St. Mark’s Church to much acclaim.

Freespace Dance has received grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The New Jersey Cultural Trust and The American Music Center. Artistic Director, Donna Scro is the recipient of a 2008 Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, for excellence in choreography.

Donna Scro, Artistic Director of Freespace Dance has toured professionally as a dance artist for the past twenty years and is renowned for mesmerizing audiences worldwide with her extraordinary stage presence and captivating choreography. Donna’s choreographic style is bold and fearless, and connects to human emotion and experience. Combining her athletic nature and her humanistic connection, the work is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Donna received a 2008 Fellowship from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, for excellence in choreography. She has performed at some of the most internationally prestigious venues, including The Paris Opera House, Theatre de la Ville, the American Dance Festival (Korea and North Carolina), Spoleto Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, The Egg, and in New York City at the Joyce Theater, The New Victory Theater, Central Park Summer Stage, Symphony Space, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. She has been applauded by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Star-Ledger, The Houston Chronicle, Dance Insider, Backstage, and The Boston Globe for her compelling signature style. Prior to establishing Freespace Dance, Donna was a principal dancer with the Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Company and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with the company. She was also a founding member of Sean Curran Company and continued her affiliation with Sean by setting his works on university dance departments. Additionally, Donna has been a member of Peter Pucci Plus Dancers and a guest artist with Heidi Latsky Dance, Neta Pulvermacher, Risa Jarsalow, Michael Mao and many other established New York choreographers. In addition to her performing experience, Donna was on the dance faculty at Montclair State University for over ten years where she graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. In Spring 2011 she was the guest artist at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Donna is committed to bringing dance to local communities and has created choreography to inspire young artists. Regionally her work has been commissioned by Morris County Vocational High School, Montclair State University, Montclair High School, Ridgewood High School, and Steffi Nossen School of Dance in White Plains, NY. She has been a guest teacher several times for the American College Dance Festivals and the Ashland Dance Festival in Oregon, as well as many private and public schools throughout the tri state area. Donna is also an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher and is registered through the yoga alliance as a 500-ERYT. Her fascination of yoga and dance inspires her to create work with real fire and true heart.

Family Movie Night August 29th With Disney Classic “Swiss Family Robinson”

Swiss posterBring a blanket, buy some cracker jacks, meet at the Good Humor ice cream truck as you go back to the 60s with Disney favorite Swiss Family Robinson. A shipwrecked family of emigrants turns a desert island into a dream paradise complete with a 3-story tree house and a menagerie of tamed wild animals in this lavish Walt Disney version of the Johann Wyss classic. Action, laughter, and suspense abound as the Robinson family, through many misadventures and escapades, finally comes to regard the island as their home. The kids will love it! Gates open at 7pm, movie begins at 8pm.

"Into the Woods" Premieres at Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center

WEST ORANGE, NJ - With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, Into the Woods premiered on Broadway in 1987 and was an instant hit. Tonight, the New Jersey Arts Incubator Adult Community Theater debuts its own interpretation of Into the Woods at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center at 8:00 pm, and it's a journey you're sure to enjoy. The Alternative Press was invited to a special 'dress rehearsal' performance last night. With temperatures approaching triple digits, the cast and crew made some minor modifications in wardrobe and struggled with minor audio glitches, but the production itself was professional and enjoyable, with some standout performances, ensemble musical numbers, and thought provoking plot.

The NJAI musical was produced by Carol Berman and directed by Samara Grossman, and the cast features local New Jersey residents. The plot revolves around a Baker (Angelo DeFazio of East Hanover) and his wife (Melissa Malanga of North Caldwell) who wish to have a child; Cinderella (Sarah Brodsky of Montville) who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack (Henry Gardner of West Orange) who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's (Marsha Schreier of Verona) curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. The characters all interact after going "Into the Woods". Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

A special children’s production will be presented on Sunday, July 21 and 28, highlighting a storybook celebration with Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella and more.

Atomic Mary Explodes Onto Stage at West Orange OSPAC

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Atomic Mary, a tri-state area band comprised of musicians that have worked with the likes of Billy Joel, Ronnie Spector, the Blue Man Group, and the Tom-Toms, presented an energetic evening of music at Oscar Schindler Performing Arts Center that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. The 7 piece band has been working together for two years and features Lisa Coppola on vocals and percussion; Victoria Palagy on vocals, guitar, and percussion; Al Spinelli on Keyboards, guitar and vocals; Gus Fafalios on lead guitar; Larry Heninemann on bass, guitar and vocals; Ray Palagy on drums; and John Bussi on Guitar, Keyboards and percussion. Several of the members work in other bands and also have jobs in either IT or music fields.

After a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner a la Hendrix by Fafalios, the band launched into a unique set of material featuring songs primarily by 80s artists, with a few songs from artists of the 70s and 80s as well.

Some performance highlights were Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper ; Dirty Laundry by Don Henley ; A Girl Like You by NJ group the Smithereens; Only the Lonely by the Motels; Rapture by Blondie; Bye Bye Love by the Cars; Because the Night by Patti Smith; and Rock n Roll by Zeppelin (the Heart version).

Atomic Mary would like to encourage everyone to like their band on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/atomic.mary‎. The band is available for booking. Please contact Al Spinelli at 917-596-2517 for booking information.

The New Jersey Arts Incubator has worked diligently to provide the West Orange community with exceptional local talent and events. Please visit their website at http://www.njai.org to see what else they'll be presenting now through Labor Day.

NEW JERSEY ARTS INCUBATOR KICKS OFF 2013 SUMMER SEASON AT THE OSKAR SCHINDLER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER WITH A SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION JUNE 21ST

West Orange, New Jersey, May 28, 2013 – NJAI’s inaugural event up at the beautiful OSPAC amphitheater in West Orange, NJ will be a Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21st (rain date June 22nd).Click to Enlarge The Summer Solstice Celebration is a gathering of regional performers and artists presenting world music, dance, drumming, arts and crafts for children and more. Food and craft vendors as well as healing practitioners will be on site at the OSPAC amphitheater set on five beautiful acres next to Crystal Lake in West Orange. This event is FREE to the public with a donation of non-perishable, unexpired food goods that will be collected for the Holy Trinity – West Orange Food Pantry.

As the sun reaches its highest peak of midsummer and then sets in glorious splendor from the ridge of the first Watchung Mountain guests will join in a series of sun salutations and be treated to performances by special guests including the Montclair based 13 HANDS aka DALIEN, a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, world musician, shamanic and kirtankar (one who leads Kirtan, a call and response chanting practice based in India). Other performers include Mark Woods, a regionally renowned teaching circle drummer and world music musician, Celtic harpist Odarka, The Center for Spiritual Living of North Jersey’s One Voice choir, spoken word artists and much more.

InnerRealm ad_pdf 2Bring blankets and lawn chairs and a drum, rattle or shaker for the powerful and inspiring show finale! Instruments for children will be available for purchase.

The Summer Solstice Celebration is produced by NJAI and co-sponsored by the town of West Orange, Center for Spiritual Living North Jersey and Inner Realm Magazine.

Visit www.njai.org for a complete listing of NJAI@OSPAC 2013 summer events including movie nights, theater productions, music, and more. All events will take place at the NJAI@OSPAC amphitheater, 4 Boland Drive, West Orange, New Jersey. For more information, and for West Orange residents who would like to participate in programming at NJAI@OSPAC, contact Carol at 973/669-0602 or info@njai.org.

NJAI @ OSPAC PRESENTS INTO THE WOODS

NJAI @ OSPAC PRESENTS INTO THE WOODS music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine

COMMUNITY THEATER ON THE MOUNTAIN - NJAI @ OSPAC NJAI @ OSPAC Community Theater

Performance dates: 7/20/2013 8:00pm 7/21/2013 7:00pm 7/26/2013 8:00pm 7/27/2013 8:00pm 7/28/2013 7:00pm

NJAI at OSPAC Children’s Theater - Into The Woods

Performance dates: 7/21/2013 11:00am 7/28/2013 11:00am

NJAI @ OSPAC - New Chairwoman Elected - Summer Season 2013 at OSPAC Outlined

West Orange, New Jersey, December 19, 2012 – During the final board of trustees meeting of the year for the New Jersey Arts Incubator at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, the 2013 season was planned and a new executive board was elected for the 2013-2014 calendar years. Ms. Lisa Scalora was installed as Chairwoman of the board of trustees, Ms. Amy Simon as Vice-Chairwoman, Ms. Christine Wolff Strassman as Secretary and Mr. Matthew Schwartz, Treasurer. Ms. Scalora was the first Chairwoman of NJAI at its inception in 2006 when Amy Simon founded the organization and served as its first executive director.

In late May of 2012 the New Jersey Arts Incubator was approved by the Township Council of West Orange as the new producing and performing agency at the five acres township property located at 4 Boland Drive in West Orange.

"It all happened so fast. We needed to leave Essex Green as our space had been leased to a new tenant. We are really grateful to 'the Green' for hosting us for nearly four years," said Executive Director Carol Berman. "We were approached by the Township to put together a proposal to run OSPAC and a few months later we were moving in to the amphitheater. We used the summer to assess the facility and inventory what was there while we were able to continue our Café Zed program, present a movie night and honor the Township's commitment to host the Jazz Festival. Now we are ready to welcome the community back to OSPAC with a full summer season of entertainment in 2013."

The complete season of NJAI at OSPAC will be announced soon and will include presentations and productions from community performing and fine arts organizations and performers. Plans are underway for a Earth Day Festival in April, a summer solstice event with world music in June, an NJAI music and performance fundraiser titled 'Alter Egos' presenting the talent of West Orange residents in July, a summer dance camp, along with theater presentations, movie festivals, art shows and more.

"We are bringing the community and the talent in our community back to OSPAC," said Chairwoman Lisa Scalora. "This venue, this gorgeous property, belongs to the residents and our goal at NJAI is to facilitate its continued use for the benefit of our town."

West Orange residents who would like to participate in programming at NJAI at OSPAC should contact Carol at info@njai.org. Visit www.njai.org for more information, to become a member, or volunteer.

NJAI congratulates West Orange’s own Erica Scott on her Broadway debut

West Orange Actress to Debut in Off Broadway Play

Originally post on West Orange Patch, June 26, 2012

Actress Erica Scott will make her off Broadway debut on Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the hilarious romantic play Platanos Y Collard Greens that is playing at the Baruch Performing Arts Center at Baruch College located at 55 Lexington Avenue in New York City.

Already an aspiring actress, Erica just so happened to treat her father to a performance of Platanos Y Collard Greens for his birthday when she was discovered by the play’s director. It’s no surprise that Erica’s model-like style would catch anyone’s eye. She gladly accepted his invitation to audition for the role of Malady, an edgy, vocal character that speaks for every black woman worldwide. Undoubtedly, she wowed them and garnered the role. “I was thrilled to be given this wonderful opportunity and to play such a strong character is exciting,” said Erica.

Overall, the play explores the relationship of two college students who fall in love, much to the chagrin of Malady. Her role is important because she seeks an explanation of why black men date outside of the race. Her line “What’s wrong with the chocolate?” will leave theater goers on the edge of their seats waiting for an explanation.

Performing before a live audience is a lifelong dream of Erica’s. She studied acting at Bloomfield College and also Lee Strasberg’s method acting. Always known as a creative child, she channeled her energy into acting while a student at West Orange High School and continued by appearing in a Midsummer Night’s Dream with the NJ Incubators in their Play in the Park series.

Next month, Erica will perform a one woman show at the Cotton Club in New York City and debut as the lead in R&B singer Greg Banks’ new video.

NJAI to present year-round programming at OSPAC

Posted by West Orange Chronicle on June 6, 2012 at 9:52amBy David Jablonski, Managing Editor

The New Jersey Arts Incubator has entered into an agreement with the township of West Orange to begin presenting year-round programming at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center.

“We’re very excited,” said Carol Berman, executive and artistic director of the New Jersey Arts Incubator. “We’re very grateful for the Town Council for giving us this opportunity to work with West Orange. In the future, we might have a summer expo, multiple musical events and two-dimensional and three-dimensional art and wonderful art like that. We did just get the lease, so I’m hoping we can have a community opening by the end of June,” she added.

WO67OSPACcrowdCAn agreement like this doesn’t just happen; it takes time, planning and hard work. It takes the dedication that Berman and Amy Simon, the chairwoman and founder of the New Jersey Arts Incubator, have displayed time and again. Indeed, one of the main reasons the New Jersey Arts Incubator was created was to serve as a link to all of the artistic endeavors which exist in the township of West Orange.

“The New Jersey Arts Incubator was created in West Orange to be an arts-based economic development tool for the community from the onset, while providing New Jersey artists a place and the tools where they could develop their arts based businesses, create and present the world class art that is indicative of our state,” explained Simon in a press release.

“Now, the New Jersey Arts Incubator is poised to fully embrace our core mission with this partnership with the township of West Orange at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center.”

The two organizations agreed to work together for the benefit of our residents, who will hopefully benefit from a full and varied schedule of programming at the facility, explained West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi in an email responding to questions sent to him by our newspaper.

“It’s a very exciting prospect to be able to give to a community like West Orange what they are looking for in the world of art,” said Berman.

With the direction of Berman, the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center will add additional artistic disciplines to the programming and work towards creating an all-weather, year round facility. “I am really excited to build upon the foundation created at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center to bring new and diverse programming to the facility.” “Our plans include creating a facility that supports our mission, serves the New Jersey artist community and is a gathering place and events location for the residents of West Orange,” said Berman. “We will both present and produce theater, music, dance, gallery exhibits, classes, summer camp programs and more.”

But much of this can’t happen without community involvement and, for that, Berman is expecting the kind of positive feedback and interaction that have always been a selling point of West Orange.

“We’re looking for community members to join us in a community board so we can give the community what they want at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center,” said Berman. “We want to work with the school, the PTAs. We would love to work with our community to give out what it’s looking for in terms of art.”

Any undertaking such as this might seem prone to additional expense for residents, but Parisi explained, in his email response, that wasn’t so in this instance. “Neither receive direct funding from the township,” he said. “The township absorbs the maintenance cost of the facility, but the NJAI provides for all the operational costs, including their own insurance. When available, the township may partner with the NJAI in pursuing grant opportunities.”

“There are some amazing funding opportunities in the world,” added Berman. “We are always looking for community members to give us a direction. We would love to start a capital campaign, a fundraiser to expand our space.”

“We are all aware of the value of investing in the arts in our communities, not only as a way to engage our residents but also as a way to bolster the economic realities of our small businesses,” said Parisi in a press release. “Creating this partnership at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center with the New Jersey Arts Incubator, one of our established West Orange Arts organizations, is a great opportunity for our community.”

Although art is clearly the focus of this partnership, there will be other advantages for the community. Simon was quick to point out that the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center is a wonderful place for the people to spend time and get back to nature.

“In addition to the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center amphitheater building and grounds, there are five additional acres of open space that abut the property which we hope to help the township utilize for art and environmental use, creating an 8+ acre art park for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Simon in a press release.

“We will also be opening up the space for youths,” said Berman. “It’s such a wonderful location. We have a beautiful lake called Crystal Lake. There are five acres in the back that, with funding and community support, we could create an art park or a sculpture garden or just make it a full year-round place to be.”

A trail around the lake already exists and is maintained as part of our recreational facilities, confirmed Parisi in his email. “The township maintains the property and will continue to.”

“We clearly want to ... make this performing arts center a wonderful year-round facility,” Berman added. “It’s so beautiful back there. I want the community to be able to walk around the lake and be in nature.”

Such events will attract visitors to the township but, although the township often promotes the many important organizations by proving programs to our residents, we do not directly advertise for any of them, explained the mayor.

“The arts world is one that works best when we work in terms of working together with others,” said Berman. “That is why I’m so excited to work with other communities and agencies. We absolutely would love to speak with South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Verona and other neighboring towns.”

And while other towns and residents from neighboring communities might get involved with the New Jersey Arts Incubator, in the end, conformed the mayor, they will be the ones running the events. “The NJAI will develop programming, organize and run the event within the parameters of the agreement,” said Parisi.

Berman is looking forward to some wonderful presentations and performances outdoors and appreciates the support local businesses, the town government and residents have already given.

“The Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Arts Incubator and the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center have always had a view for outdoor music,” she explained. “We have lots of agencies and community support for outdoor festivals and plays and musicals.”

Even now, planning is under way for some exciting upcoming events, insists Berman. “On June 16, we’ll be having our first outdoor Cafe Zed, with an open mic, so everyone can come and bring chairs and join us.”

New Jersey Arts Incubator Presents Cafe Zed Open Mic Night at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center

West Orange, NJ, June 8, 2012 - For the past two years NJAI has played host to the monthly open mic night Café Zed. The third Saturday of every month aspiring performers from all over the state have been joining together for a night of musical performances, comedy, poetry, dance and more. It’s only fitting that the first event NJAI will present at OSPAC is Café Zed on Saturday, June 16th. Admission $8. Anyone wishing to perform music, comedy, poetry, dance or any other performing art is encouraged to participate by signing up at 7pm on the night of the show. Every effort will be made to give all a chance to perform. The open mic will be followed with a concert performance by Mara Levine & Caroline Cutroneo. Mara Levine & Caroline Cutroneo have been singing original, traditional and contemporary folk and blues songs together for over 10 years. They will be joined by Carl Croce, Lou Russo and Al Sklar on stage. Folk vocalist and jewelry designer Mara Levine is known for her crystal clear voice, subtle vibrato and skillful way with a melody line. Caroline is an award winning singer/songwriter-guitarist from Staten Island. She has opened for Pete Seeger, shared the stage with Bill Staines and delights her audience with original songs and rare finds from obscure sources.

What to bring: Bring a lawn chair/blanket and picnic for the hill.

**** If weather does not cooperate Café Zed will be held indoors on the stage, chairs provide** For more information on Café Zed, or for featured musician submissions please contact MC, Tom Picard at 848.219.1868.

New Jersey Arts Incubator Relocates to the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center

Arts Incubator to Produce and Present Year Round Programming at OSPAC
West Orange, New Jersey, May 29, 2012 – The New Jersey Arts Incubator (NJAI) has entered into an agreement with the Township of West Orange to begin presenting year round programming at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC). Founded in 2006, NJAI has served the West Orange community by providing arts programs and events including the successful monthly open mic series Café Zed, art gallery exhibits, children’s theater workshops, poetry readings, educational workshops and more.

Under the direction of Executive and Artistic Director of the New Jersey Arts Incubator, Carol Berman, OSPAC will add additional artistic disciplines to the programming and work towards creating an all-weather, year round facility. “I am really excited to build upon the foundation created at OSPAC to bring new and diverse programming to the facility. Our plans include creating a facility that supports our mission, serves the New Jersey artist community and is a gathering place and events location for the residents of West Orange,” said Carol Berman. “We will both present and produce theater, music, dance, gallery exhibits, classes, summer camp programs and more.”

“The New Jersey Arts Incubator was created in West Orange to be an arts based economic development tool for the community from the onset, while providing New Jersey artists a place and the tools where they could develop their arts based businesses, create and present the world class art that is indicative of our state. Now, NJAI is poised to fully embrace our core mission with this partnership with the Township of West Orange, at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center,” said NJAI founder and Chairwoman Amy Simon. “In addition to the OSPAC amphitheater building and grounds, there are five additional acres of open space that abut the property which we hope to help the township utilize for art and environmental use, creating an 8+ acre art park for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“We are all aware of the value of investing in the arts in our communities, not only as a way to engage our residents but also as a way to bolster the economic realities of our small businesses,” said West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi. “Creating this partnership at OSPAC with the New Jersey Arts Incubator, one of our established West Orange Arts organizations, is a great opportunity for our community.”

About the New Jersey Arts Incubator The New Jersey Arts Incubator is an organization dedicated to the economic and creative growth of performing and visual artists, musicians and writers in New Jersey. As the product of that goal, NJAI provides education, programming and revenue raising opportunities, and is both a producing and presenting organization.

The mission of NJAI is to act as a community development and revitalization tool for the Township of West Orange, by utilizing and supporting the region’s arts and organizational communities, providing educational opportunities to all socio-economic and cultural groups, establishing local business partnerships, and by creating a destination in, and economic driver for, the Township.

About the Oscar Schindler Performing Arts Center Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, nestled on a mountain ridge next to Crystal Lake in West Orange, New Jersey, was built in 2000 by developer Larry Pantirer to honor the famous rescuer of over a thousand Jews during the holocaust, including his father. Mr. Pantirer bequeathed, in perpetuity, the facility and five bucolic acres to the township as an arts and entertainment venue. Under the leadership of the Friends of the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center and executive director Ms. Kate Baker; OSPAC has grown to be a first class facility known for its world music and jazz festival performances.

New Jersey Arts Incubator Presents “MUDLUSCIOUS”

West Orange, New Jersey, April 26, 2012- Mudluscious, the newest exhibit to grace the walls of the New Jersey Arts Incubator Gallery, will debut on Friday, May 4th with a reception from 6pm – 8pm. Artists showing in the exhibit include David French, Michelle Acuff, Shaun C. Whiteside, Martha Ferguson, and Joe Lugara. Mudluscious was curated by visual artists, and New Jersey residents, Nancy Gail Ring, Inger Starling and Jean Dominique. Mudluscious, taken from the poem “In Just" by American poet E. E. Cummings, proposes a poetic investigation of fertile ground both earthly and as embodied by the artist's imagination. What does the suffering of a planet exploited in the service of commerce exact on its collective imagination? Artists are asked to address primal ooze as metaphor, material, scientific investigation, poetic mythology and psychological terrain. Particular emphasis is placed on works that honor the authentic qualities inherent in the materials they are made from — luscious paint, bone, wood, fur, and paper, among others. In a time when the collective imagination is besieged by commercially driven images, it has become instructive and necessary to question ideas of potency, impotency, fertility, barrenness, sustainability, depletion, growth, and systemic processes of failure and rebirth. How do we respond imaginatively when fertile ground itself is in a fragile state of flux and endangerment?

Mudluscious will be on display starting Friday, May 4th and will run through May 25th at the New Jersey Arts Incubator Gallery located at 495 Prospect Avenue, Essex Green on the Courtyard. Just ‘follow the art’ down the walkway to the AMC Cinema entrance and turn right at the beautiful mural. Opening reception will take place on Friday, May 4th from 6pm – 8pm. The Incubator Gallery is open by appointment only Please contact Nancy 973/464-5043 or Inger 862/224-6178 to schedule a viewing.

The Incubator Gallery presents a year-round schedule of changing exhibitions devoted to contemporary arts. The mission of the Incubator Gallery is to curate and present the work of emerging and established New Jersey artists with a commitment to providing exhibition programming with depth and relevance to multiple disciplinary perspectives and a diverse community audience. In particular, the gallery strives to provide an environment dedicated to inspiration and culture enrichment.

The mission of the New Jersey Arts Incubator is the economic development of artists and arts organizations in New Jersey through technical assistance, employment, marketing, programming, performance, and education in an effort to support, sustain, and promote viable arts agencies to act as economic drivers in communities across the State of New Jersey.

New Jersey Arts Incubator Presents “HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER”

OPENING RECEPTION JANUARY 12TH FROM 7-10PM

West Orange, New Jersey, January 2, 2012 - New Jersey Arts Incubator, in association with New Jersey Haitian Artists and LANBI, is proud to host the exhibit “HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER.” Curated by West Orange, New Jersey artist Jean Claude Dominique “HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER” features works from local artists who were all born in Haiti and were deeply affected by the earthquake that devastated their home land two years ago on January 12, 2010.

“HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER” honors a country that was taken by surprise when an earthquake hit and reminds the world of the horrific disaster. The actual footage and pictures from the aftermath will never escape our minds. “HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER” is to be used to record and engrave this horror as part of the Haitian history and as a reminder to all of what happened and what needs to be done to prevent such a disaster from occurring at such a magnitude in the future. Hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters lost their lives not only because of the earthquake but due to a lack of Haiti’s preparedness, a solid infrastructure, and vision.

“HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER” will be on display starting Thursday, January 12th and will run through March 23rd at the New Jersey Arts Incubator Gallery located at 495 Prospect Avenue, Essex Green on the Courtyard. Just ‘follow the art’ down the walkway to the AMC Cinema entrance and turn right at the beautiful mural. Opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 12th from 7 – 10pm. The Incubator Gallery is open Saturdays from 2pm – 7pm and by appointment. For appointments call Jean Claude Dominique at 862/250-4393.

Artists whose work is featured in “HAITI: 01-12-2010 WE REMEMBER” include Jerry M.C. Georges, Jean P. Blaise, Mona Coichy Haigler, Gracie Xavier, Jean Richard Coachy, Francisco Gervais, Joseph Thony Moise, Auguste Isaac “Zaak”, Jean Claude Dominique and Marino Jean-Louis.

The Incubator Gallery presents a year-round schedule of changing exhibitions devoted to contemporary arts. The mission of the Incubator Gallery is to curate and present the work of emerging and established New Jersey artists with a commitment to providing exhibition programming with depth and relevance to multiple disciplinary perspectives and a diverse community audience. In particular, the gallery strives to provide an environment dedicated to inspiration and culture enrichment.

The New Jersey Arts Incubator’s mission is the economic development of artists and arts organizations in New Jersey through technical assistance, employment, marketing, programming, performance, and education in an effort to support, sustain, and promote viable arts agencies to act as economic drivers in communities across the State of New Jersey.

"Area Artists Remember Haiti Quake" as featured in the West Orange Patch

"Haiti: 01-12-2010 We Remember," a group exhibit curated by West Orange-based artist Jean Claude Dominique opens with a reception this Thursday evening at the New Jersey Arts Incubator at Essex Green Plaza in West Orange. The show will run through March 23. On January 12, 2010, Haiti was hit by a catastrophic earthquake that killed and injured hundreds of thousands. Many times that number both in Haiti and in the New Jersey metropolitan area were permanently affected by the devastation.

Dominique remembers, "My family and I were glued to the television around the clock; the images were horrific. We could not believe what we were seeing — it was surreal … I don’t think they'll ever know how many people died."

Dominique, who was born in Port-Au-Prince and came to the United States as a 13 year old, forces himself to watch tapes of the horrific events, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning. "It's a hard subject, but art helps make sense of the tragedy," he said. "I believe as artists we have to make strong statements."

The West Orange-based artist belongs to a group of Haitian-born artists called the "Ayitistik," Creole for Haiti and artistic. The group grew out of a call for artists put out by Marcial Bonhomme of the LAMBI Fund for Haiti, an eight-year-old nonprofit based both in the United States and Haiti. LAMBI is dedicated to the sustainable rebuilding of Haiti and is a co-presenter of this exhibit at the Incubator.

Dominique was among the Haitian-born artists who answered Bonhomme's call. "Ten of us had 110 paintings in a major show at the Summit Medical Center," Dominique said. After the success of the show, the artists created Ayitistik, and Dominique presented this challenge: paint works specifically about the earthquake.

Last year, Dominique went to Carol Berman of Livingston, the executive director of the Incubator, with the idea for an exhibit there, "She welcomed us with open arms."

Dominique and his fellow artists are driven by the need for remembrance. "The problems continue, but Haiti is not in the forefront anymore," Dominique said. "We want to make certain people remember every year."

There is another force driving Ayitistik — proceeds from the sale of the canvases will partially underwrite members going to Haiti and connect them with groups that work to heal children through art.

Dominique's own vibrantly colored canvases will be among the approximately 40 works that will be on view at the Incubator. His works both capture the terrible loss and give hope for rebirth.

"I watched footage of a truck dumping bodies into a mass grave," Dominique said. In one of his works titled, "In Memory of Those Who Perished," the artist represents the dead going to that mass grave. But there is also sense of the earth opening to receive them. The bodies are set against a brilliant field of blue — as if heaven is receiving them, too.

In "Destruction, Death and Rebirth," two stylized figures of pregnant women cast their eyes downward in grief. Rooted in the earth, their bodies form a heart of hope and the future.

Dominique and all of the artists look to the future and rebuilding a stronger Haiti, "This is part of our history; it will not go away .. I don’t know how long it will take, but we must make a difference. Hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters lost their lives not only because of the earthquake but due to a lack of Haiti’s preparedness, a solid infrastructure, and vision."

The presenting artists are Jerry M.C. Georges, Jean P. Blaise, Mona Coichy Haigler, Gracie Xavier, Jean Richard Coachy, Francisco Gervais, Joseph Thony Moise, Auguste Isaac "Zaak", Jean Claude Dominique and Marino Jean-Louis.

There is an opening reception for "Haiti: 01-12-2010 We Remember" on Thursday, Jan. 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. The Incubator gallery will be open every Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. for the run of the show and by appointment: call (862) 250-4393. The gallery is at 495 Prospect Avenue, Essex Green at the shopping center’s top level. Walk along the courtyard between Petco and Panera’s and turn right at the AMC Cinema mural. See New Jersey Arts Incubator for more information and directions.

"Area Artists Remember Haiti Quake" as featured in the West Orange Patch