The New Jersey Arts Incubator as a living and breathing organism made up of the organic matter of, our artist facilitators in administration and disciplines, teaching and presenting artists, members and audiences, is constantly growing and changing, as a living thing is want to do. When faced with a ‘hostile’ environment, as this economy is, the organism is forced to adapt to survive. Thankfully, as the Executive Director, I have a background in the theatre where smoke, mirrors, and a roll of duct tape can make all things possible. With this in mind, I’d like to gratefully announce that the economy must be recovering because our generous hosts at Essex Green, RREEF America Reit Corporation JJ has leased our space to a major retailer, and we must vacate by May 31st. NJAI is appreciative of the year we have spent at our location where we have built our organization and established it well within the artistic community.
Our success has lead to a number of offers to relocate and partner with other arts organizations, and the Board of Trustees are currently in discussion for what may turn out to be two wonderful locations, and an expansion of services. NJAI is focused on embracing one of the tenants of business management that we teach to our members. When unexpected challenges threaten to take you off course, look for an opportunity to not only survive, but to thrive as a result.
In the past year NJAI has produced an intensive 10-week workshop in acting, technical arts, broadcast media, and publicity, complete with a full production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed at the two-day ‘economic stimulus through the arts’ festival we produced at Verona Park last July. Nearly ten thousand people enjoyed the free event, 40 small and arts based businesses benefited from brisk sales, and dozens of actors, artists, and musicians were employed.
Three tremendous, and well received art exhibits have been featured in our Incubator Gallery, Harpantics performed in our performance space, poetry classes have been held with the South Mountain Poets. And the NJAI Outreach Program is working with the Rosa Parks School in Orange and the Montclair Museum on a performance piece for the A Force for Change, African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, exhibit. The Fourth Friday Music Series will still premier on the 23rd of April.
There are two business development/life skills seminars, musical theater acting classes for children, with a focus on how to become a professional young actor, and playwriting classes also scheduled to begin. The Incubator Gallery has a call out for the next exhibit Peripheral Field. These dates have been slightly postponed and are expected to be posted with an early June start date.
Look for an announcement before the end of April with news of an exciting grand re-opening, new partnerships, and revised program schedule. Until then, Power of Nine and Julie Joy Saypoff is on display in the gallery until Sunday, May 9th. A Haiku Workshop will be held on Thursday, April 22nd, and Red Reynes and Mike Rocket and the Stars perform on Friday, April 23rd. See our website calendar for details and tickets.
The New Jersey Arts Incubator will adapt and thrive as we traverse these new challenges, and we welcome all of you to support us, and participate in, this great opportunity.
Yours truly, Amy Simon Executive Director NJAI Inc.