Artists come to New Brunswick event to build community; community invited to help build Arts New Brunswick
New Brunswick has three regional theaters, a renowned museum, and a nationally-ranked art school. But until May 30, as far as we know, it never had an event that brought together more than 100 artists, creative professionals and their supporters. On July 11, there will be another arts-related event in New Brunswick, and this time, it is open to the public.
First, about the May 30 event. Artists and professionals who work in the arts were all at Crossroads Theater as part of a prequel to the launching of Arts New Brunswick. The initiative, which officially kicks off in July, is designed to build a community-led set of strategies for creative placemaking throughout the city. Arts New Brunswick is produced through a partnership between the New Brunswick Cultural Center and Rutgers University’s Arts Build Communities. Arts Build Communities is a Rutgers University-wide initiative under the auspices of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic and Public Partnerships in the Arts and Humanities. Arts New Brunswick is done as an extended and expanded version of ABC’s community coaching program. The arts reception is the first of what organizers hope will be an annual event.
Before engaging the general public, NBCC and ABC wanted to begin building a community of artists and creative sector professionals in the city. Artists who live or work in New Brunswick, and those who work for arts organizations in the city, were invited to an informal reception.
The New Brunswick Jazz Project brought in The Lee Hogan Quartet to provide music, and Elijah’s Promise provided catering. New Brunswick Cultural Center Board Chair William Hagaman welcomed the audience, then Cultural Center Executive Director Norma Kaplan and ABC Director Leonardo Vazquez explained the initiative.
Then it was back to eating, drinking, networking, and listening to jazz for the guests. Organizers hope it is the start of a long and fruitful relationship among New Brunswick arts organizations and creative sector professionals.
Now, about July 11. This is the official kickoff to Arts New Brunswick. The special guest speaker will be Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Other speakers will talk about the initiative, and there will be time at the end of the event for you to share your thoughts.
The kickoff event is at 6:30 pm, July 11 at the Crossroads Theater, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. (get directions) Please RSVP by July 6 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Allison Brown, AV Brown Photography