NJPAC Report to the Community 2018

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new jersey performing arts center



report to the �ommunity

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a message from

john schreiber

President and Chief Executive Officer Dear Friends: I write you this note on the morning of March 11, 2019, the day the latest edition of the Arts Center’s Report to the Community is due to go to press. As an inveterate newspaper reader (you remember, the kind you hold in your hands), just the idea of “going to press” makes my heart beat a little faster. This annual letter is always the last piece of copy to drop into the book; I am never certain until the printing deadline looms exactly what aspect of our glorious experience I want to focus on. While we could not be prouder of the successes we have had as presenters of sold-out concert events both on and off our campus, and are excited about our opportunities as real estate developers charged with curating a new neighborhood on our site, it is our work as arts educators and community engagers that deserves to get the volume turned up in this message. Yesterday, a troupe of about one hundred young dancers from the National Dance Institute (NDI), ages 5 to 15, performed a sold-out concert entitled At the River’s Edge in the Victoria Theater. NDI was founded more than a generation ago by legendary New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise as a way to introduce inner-city youth to the life-transforming art and discipline of modern dance. While I was bowled over by the technical expertise and precision of the choreography, so beautifully performed by the kids, my most enduring memories of the program will be the expressions of joy and confidence on the faces of the young people as they strutted their stuff. By the end of the show my heart was full and my eyes were brimming. Yours would have been, too. At its best, that’s what engagement in the arts at an early age can do for kids. It helps them understand that they are capable of great things, that their voices and talents matter, and that they have something special to offer the world. The NDI show is representative of the hundreds of arts education initiatives NJPAC makes available to children each year. These programs, lovingly taught by more than 175 teaching artists, enhance and transform the lives of children. Your support helps make them possible. Thank you! Happily, our work here is never done. Every day, the creative professionals who make the Arts Center tick are conjuring up new, fun and impactful ways to entertain and educate our constituents. My fiancée Virginia McEnerney and I now live across the street from NJPAC in a cheerful aerie at One Theater Square. We have a bird’s-eye view of the beehive of activity that occurs daily on and off our stages. Our little corner of the world is an exhilarating place to live and work. If you’re reading this book, it means you’re an engaged stakeholder in the work and mission of NJPAC. Thanks for your advocacy, your wisdom, your philanthropy and your active participation in our present and our future. With gratitude and affection,

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a message from

john r. strangfeld

Chair, Board of Directors To NJPAC Friends and Supporters: Pride in our mission and day-to-day work is a quality that abounds and inspires at NJPAC. We derive satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment from driving societal and cultural change, and our confidence and optimism for the future radiates on the faces of the people you will see in this Report to the Community. The leaders who first envisioned the Arts Center embraced a purpose of multiculturalism and education. It’s been stewarded faithfully by John Schreiber and his outstanding team who assure that the pledges made at NJPAC’s inception guide each aspiration. Consider how far we’ve come: NJPAC is lauded as the country’s most inclusive and diverse performing arts center in terms of programming, audience and staff, presenting more than 600 performances and world-class experiences each season. NJPAC continues to serve as an anchor cultural institution in Newark and New Jersey, creating meaningful partnerships with our neighbors and communities. Through their active participation in arts learning programs, educators, children and their families validate NJPAC’s high standards of instruction and professional mentorship. The thoughtful and inclusive development of our campus, evidenced by the construction of One Theater Square, has contributed to a reinvigorated Downtown Newark. The potential, energy and joy that emanates from NJPAC’s activities inspire me. Each year, I am especially impressed when Arts Education students step up and perform with professional musicians at the Spotlight Gala. The confidence and positive self-image they gain from this experience will benefit them throughout their lifetimes, whether they become professional artists or follow another career path. I am grateful for all the amazing people who have believed in and supported NJPAC since the very beginning. We have made tremendous strides, but I truly believe that there is still much to do and that the best is yet to come! Sincerely,

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re: play

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during 2018, njpac presented and produced more than 630 performances & events on and off our campus


Jill Scott in Prudential Hall

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Stay lifted, because kindness feels so good! — Dianne Reeves 2018 TD James Moody Jazz Festival


azz a big hand for

inside the 2018 TD james moody jazz festival

Linda Moody, married to Newark saxophone great James Moody for 22 years before his death in 2010, was remembering an anecdote he once told her. “He was a little boy with his mother, walking down Broad Street. He said to her, ‘Someday I will go to the end of this street.’ I think that metaphorically speaking, he has gone to the end of that street.” Broad Street’s northern end is where the TD James Moody Jazz Festival has resided at NJPAC for seven years now. Linda Moody is among the jazz royals you’ll find mingling with old friends and meeting new; appearing onstage with their music heroes in front of eager audiences; and interacting with jazz’s next generation in the Center for Arts Education. NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber and TD Bank Market President Martin Milleli opened the proceedings on November 8 with the “very exciting news” that TD had renewed its contract to sponsor the TD James Moody Jazz Festival for another three years. “You’re going to get all the lovely jazz you could possibly want!” Milleli said, to cheers from an audience primed to swing the night away. More than two dozen concerts and events comprised this year’s festival. We take a closer look at six very different performances.  »

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dianne reeves and gregory porter One of the first events of the festival was a November 8 concert with Dianne Reeves and Gregory Porter. Reeves opened the show with a 10-minute improvisation about her flight to Newark. “So I called my travel agent and I put her on blast/Said girl, you know where I got to go, got to get there fast …” Reeves crooned. She went on to sing a composition by Newarker Wayne Shorter, and a tune by Roy Hargrove, who passed away the day before he was to headline a Moody festival concert at Bethany Baptist Church. (“I was listening to him on the radio the other day when I realized: I can’t drive and listen to Roy at the same time. I have to hear everything he has to say.”) Another long riff recapped the mid-term elections in song, before Reeves signed off singing a kind of jazz benediction to the audience: “Stay lifted, because kindness feels so good! Pick your battles, and stay in your right mind,” she sang. Reeves was followed by “one of the baddest, meanest, smoothest soul brothers in the world today,” according to the evening’s host, bassist and NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride: Gregory Porter. The singer/songwriter, wearing his signature cap-topped balaclava, emerged from a cloud of smoke and launched into his own tune, “On My Way to Harlem,” which name-checks his musical and lyrical heroes, from Nat King Cole to Marvin Gaye and Langston Hughes. He quieted down into the title song of one of his recent albums, “Take Me to the Alley,” a mournful imagining of the Second Coming— and then picked up into a rollicking take on his “Don’t Lose Your Steam” which, he explained, was a song he wrote for his son, a tune he hoped would encourage him the same way Nat King Cole’s “Pick Yourself Up” had bolstered Porter himself when he was young and fatherless.

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Late in the set, Porter dipped into American Songbook classics, delivering a sweet and mournful take on “Nature Boy,” which might have been written expressly for his deep, rich, velvety baritone.

antonio sánchez: birdman live “My closest friends have always been drummers,” confessed Christian McBride as he introduced Antonio Sánchez from the Victoria Theater stage on November 8. The two musicians had become pals while touring with Pat Metheny and were reunited at the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, where Sánchez was performing his GRAMMYwinning, percussive score to Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as it unreeled on the wide screen. Sánchez opened by enthusing about his work on the 2014 movie—a four-time Oscar winner starring Michael Keaton—which began with a fortuitous encounter with director Alejandro González Iñárritu at a party. As a child growing up in Mexico City, he listened to both the Pat Metheny Group and Iñárritu on WFM radio and registers astonishment that they all one day became collaborators. The audience got an up-close look and listen to Sánchez’s improvisatory style on the drums as he accompanied the dark comedy, then extended the closing credits with a mesmerizing coda that brought everyone, loudly applauding, to their feet.

congas y canto: an evening of latin jazz As if having Christian McBride’s 17-piece big band and assorted guest instrumentalists on the Prudential Hall stage weren’t exhilarating enough on the night of November 9, NJPAC Community Engagement bookended Congas y Canto: An Evening of Latin Jazz with a jazz Prelude in the lobby and a dance party with a DJ following the concert.

Clockwise from top left: Sheila E., Christian McBride, Antonio Sánchez, Gregory Porter »

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Raised to life in 2012, the Festival proves time and again that deep respect for greats of the past inspires jazz artists of the future. The main event reflected “The Age of Palmieri!” exclaimed host Felipe Luciano, introducing jazz statesman Eddie Palmieri at the piano. With a nod to his mentors, no less than Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock, Palmieri dove into his signature compositions like “Palmas” (with McBride on the bass solo) and “Noble Cruise,” dedicated to Monk and informed by Hancock, as well as Tyner’s iconic “Sahara.” Drummer and singer Sheila E. and Puerto Rican vocalist Tito Rojas (“Que Más Tú Quieres De Mí”) added to the heady blend of Latin, African, Afro-Cuban and salsa. Preaching the power of love, the charismatic Sheila E. convinced the entire audience to stand up and hug everyone within their radius before she wrapped up with “The Glamorous Life” and “Oye Como Va.”

cécile mclorin salvant: ogresse One of the more unusual festival offerings was Ogresse—a new work of, for lack of an easier term, fairytale jazz musical theater, written and performed by acclaimed young singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant. Jointly commissioned by NJPAC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, this song cycle tells the story of a dark-skinned ogre woman with a tragic backstory, a lonely heart—and a taste for human flesh. Salvant, fronting a small orchestra that included a banjo, a string quartet and a

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tuba, sang the roles of all the characters in the piece, from the Ogresse herself to a wandering child who gets devoured, and a hunter who (nearly) tames the Ogresse with his kindness. All sorts of issues of race, gender and power are touched on by the lyrics (which the audience got a copy of, in a slim book handed out after the performance). Wearing a long white gown that was equal parts Victorian and ecclesiastic— embroidered with her own drawings and the word “Beware”—Salvant molded her voice to fit each role, from the thin soprano of a little girl, to the harsh nasal tone of the townspeople who seek the Ogresse’s demise. Interwoven with the narrative were interludes of jaunty, up-tempo jazz tunes in French, which Salvant sang as though channeling Edith Piaf. The presentation was so chipper it took a moment to register that the lyrics of these songs were the Ogresse’s recipes for her human victims. The story builds slowly to a boiling point, when the betrayed Ogresse’s rage starts a forest fire. At that point, Salvant turned her back on the audience, and the baker’s dozen musicians behind her stepped into the role of the all-consuming flames, shaking and swaying as they played louder and louder yet, led by Brandon Seabrook, slashing away at the banjo as though it were a heavy metal instrument. It was as weird and glorious and disturbing a moment as was likely ever seen on an NJPAC stage.

Clockwise from left: Catherine Russell, Stefon Harris, Cécile McLorin Salvant

the count basie orchestra The first snowmageddon of the season on November 15 paralyzed the entire metropolitan area, but the shows still went on in Victoria Theater and Prudential Hall. Nevertheless, those who made it to “The Vic” meandered forward to the front rows to share an intimate celebration of the Count Basie Orchestra’s 83rd anniversary, led by conductor Scotty Barnhart. This “wonderfully swinging unit” was introduced by Wayne Winborne, Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at RutgersNewark, which now houses an outstanding Count Basie collection. The musicians included lead trombonist Clarence Banks, who was hired by

“The Kid from Red Bank” more than three decades ago, and pianist Glen Pearson, who now sits on Basie’s bench. Stefon Harris, NJPAC’s Artistic Advisor for Jazz Education, guested on the vibes. From the get-go, the all-male orchestra opened with a Basie number, “The Wind Machine,” and continued to spin off Basie Orchestra standards like “Back to the Apple,” “9:20 Special,” “Blues in Hoss’ Flat” and “Shiny Stockings.” A favorite with NJPAC audiences, powerhouse vocalist Catherine Russell made her appearance with “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” and was later joined by Kurt Elling, who lent his rich baritone to “Alright, Okay, You Win” and “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”; the latter he recorded for the orchestra’s All About That Basie album.  n

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a star is born The finalists for the 2018 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition were selected from a field of 600 online submissions, sent in from as far away as Russia and Australia.


Laurin Talese

2018 sarah vaughan international jazz vocal competition For the seventh year running, one of the concluding events of the Moody festival was the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition on November 18, which offers young jazz singers a boost in their careers with a cash prize and, this year, a slot at both the Newport Jazz Festival and New York’s Jazz Standard. Five finalists sang their hearts out for a packed house in Victoria Theater. At the very back of the audience sat a judges’ panel—including Stefon Harris, the vibraphonist who is also NJPAC’s Artistic Advisor for Jazz Education; vocalist and six-time GRAMMY nominee Nnenna Freelon; Mary Ann Topper, President of Jazz Tree, Inc. artist management; trumpeter and composer Jon Faddis; and Sheila Anderson, the WBGO radio personality—tasked with the unenviable job of choosing which performer was best: Oleg Akkuratov, Gabrielle Cavassa, Olivia Chindamo, Tasha Comeaux or Laurin Talese. For only the second year, the finalists included a male artist: Akkuratov, a pianist and singer from the Russian Federation, who was born blind—a condition that didn’t stop him from studying and teaching at a slew of Russian music conservatories, and then touring the world. Not only did he accompany himself on the piano, he introduced and sang American jazz standards like “Nature Boy” in flawless, accent-less English. He took second place in the contest. Comeaux, of Hartford, Conn. took third place with her easy, bluesy performance filled with R&B touches, and scatting that effortlessly mimicked a range of horn sounds. But, after a long interlude of deliberation (during which the audience was treated to a short performance by last year’s winner, Quiana Lynell), the big prize went to Cleveland native Talese, who is based in New York City. Already a recorded artist—her album, Gorgeous Chaos, features heavyweights like Christian McBride and his trio—Talese charmed the audience and the judges. In a classically glamorous white satin gown, she gave a sultry rendering of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” among other standards, conjuring a night at a 1950s jazz club with élan.  n

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Music speaks in a common language


New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at home in Prudential Hall

across diverse cultures and traditions. — Xian Zhang NJSO Music Director

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Valery Gergiev


magnificent Some of the world’s greatest orchestras and classical artists made tour stops at NJPAC throughout the year. Starting in January, virtuoso violinist Pinchas Zukerman conducted and performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Programs in March featured Joshua Bell, who brought his baton and his Stradivarius for a performance by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, led by Enrique

Pérez-Mesa and featuring guest pianist Yekwon Sunwoo. A favorite with NJPAC audiences, cellist Yo-Yo Ma made a triumphant return with the Silk Road Ensemble. Another visitor from the U.K. was Sir Simon Rattle and his London Symphony Orchestra, which unpacked Mahler’s mighty Ninth. The year ended on a high note: conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra were back, with pianist Denis Matsuev performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.  n

(l-r) Joshua Bell, Silk Road Ensemble, Sir Simon Rattle

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movies and music ‘score’ with kids The Arts Center made a special overture to family audiences with the debut of the Orchestra + Film Concert Series for the 2018-19 season. The initiative was in response to the growing popularity of NJPAC and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra programs that coupled blockbuster movies with the live orchestral listening experience. Musicians of the NJSO accompanied high-definition showings on Prudential Hall’s 40-foot screen, not only to the delight of children, but also to adults who never thought a “classical” concert would float their youngster’s boat. The electrifying scores to three films are performed note-by-note: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert, which opened the series in October; Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas™ and, upcoming in June 2019, Harry Potter

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and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert. The Harry Potter™ films The Chamber of Secrets™ and The Prisoner of Azkaban™ had been featured previously. In addition to co-presenting the Orchestra + Film Concert Series with NJPAC, the NJSO performed both of John Williams’ scores to screenings of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial™ in June and Star Wars: A New Hope™ in November. Elders are learning that children can be taught concert-going etiquette by watching a favorite picture on the giant screen, accompanied by heart-pounding, live music, and grow to love the symphonic experience. “Some of the people who come to NJPAC as ‘Star Wars’ fans might just leave thinking that a piccolo, a French horn or a timpani is as exciting as a light saber,” wrote The Record of Bergen County.  n

new jersey symphony orchestra opening night celebration The NJSO and Music Director Xian Zhang opened the 2018-19 season at NJPAC on October 5 with a concert and gala celebrating diversity and community. The concert featured Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Kate Whitley’s Speak Out—a setting of Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the United Nations advocating every girl’s right to an education—and George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, performed in memory of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. A longtime Montclair resident and former chairman of the music department at Rutgers University, Walker passed away in August at the age of 96. The NJSO celebrated the voices of its own communities with the debut performance of Newark Voices, a community choir in Newark that joined the Montclair State University Chorale for Beethoven’s masterwork. Broad Street Review cited the timeliness of the NJSO’s opening-weekend concerts: “This is the future of classical music—and it does have a future—bringing us beauty, challenge, hope, and community, even in times of gravest despair, as we face the perils of our time and years to come. It is a face of diversity: color, gender, LGBTQ+, recreating some of humanity’s greatest music and crafting new music for the audiences of tomorrow. The New Jersey

Symphony got it right, and their timing couldn’t be better.” “Mr. Walker was very connected with the NJSO,” Zhang said. “Being the first AfricanAmerican composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, and a longtime Montclair resident, he was an important figure for the arts in the State of New Jersey and far beyond.” The Opening Night Gala Celebration honored Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin and NJSO Community Relations Liaison Florence Johnson. NJSO President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst said: “Our opening gala is a true celebration of community, and we are proud to honor two of New Jersey’s finest influencers in Dr. Nariman Farvardin and the NJSO’s own Florence Johnson. These two individuals are pillars of their respective communities; they have fostered collaboration and inspired new audiences to experience the arts in our great State.”

xian zhang extends contract At its June season finale at NJPAC, the NJSO announced the extension of acclaimed conductor Xian Zhang’s initial four-year tenure as Music Director. The new contract secures her leadership of the NJSO through the 2023-24 season. “Xian Zhang’s extension as NJSO Music Director propels the orchestra into an exciting future,” NJSO President & CEO

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Music Director Xian Zhang in rehearsal

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I cannot wait to see where she takes the NJSO. — Gabriel van Aalst NJSO President and CEO

Gabriel van Aalst said. “Xian has fully embodied the NJSO’s mission to inspire and with New Jersey communities on and off stage, and her bold artistic vision has invigorated this organization. Musicians and audiences love her powerful musicianship and leadership, and as we approach the orchestra’s milestone 100th anniversary in 2022, I cannot wait to see where she takes the NJSO.” The announcement of Zhang’s continuing tenure caps a busy season during which the orchestra ratified a new, five-year contract agreement with its musicians’ union, Northern New Jersey Musicians Guild, Local 16-248 of the American Federation of Musicians. The orchestra also named José Luis Domínguez as Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras through the 2019-20 season. “This is a proud moment for the NJSO,” NJSO Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Linda Bowden and David Huber said in a statement. “Xian’s extraordinary artistic talent and vision for this orchestra have thrilled concertgoers and fostered meaningful connections with the NJSO’s many constituents. Coupled with the new contract extension with our musicians, Xian’s continuing leadership secures a strong path forward for the orchestra.”

2018 njso winter festival The NJSO’s 2018 Winter Festival—“America, Inspiring”—celebrated foreign artists and composers whose experiences connect

them to the nation’s legacy as a source of inspiration and beacon of ideals for people everywhere. Zhang’s own experiences in the United States, first as a conducting student and now as a dual Chinese-American citizen, informed the three-week, January festival. Leveraging the power of art to transcend differences, a series of NJSO Accents and special events explored, through multiple art forms, the experiences of immigrants and foreign artists. NJSO premieres included Chinese-American composer Chen Yi’s Ge Xu, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Martinů’s Thunderbolt P-47. NJSO Accents events included talkbacks with members of the NJSO’s international roster of musicians, a panel discussion about the political climates that led many of the festivalfeatured composers to the United States, wine tastings, and more. Artist Ken Ahlering painted live in response to a post-concert performance by the NJSO Chamber Players.

njso accents Prudential Hall Lobby played host to several NJSO Accents, including Prelude Performances, audience sing-alongs, post-concert audience talkbacks and more. NJSO audience members and musicians joined forces to perform the Main Title from John Williams’ Star Wars at the fourth annual #OrchestraYou on April 20. The NJSO also hosted joyful #ChoraleYou sing-ins with the Montclair State University Chorale, Newark Voices and audience members, led by Heather J. Buchanan.  n


[njpa� is] a beautiful pla�e with even more beautiful people.

— Stephen Colbert

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beloved jerseyans stephen colbert & meryl streep turn a spotlight on montclair film Jerseyans Stephen Colbert and Meryl Streep chatted over dry martinis to the delight of 2,800 admirers as part of Montclair Film’s eighth annual fundraiser in Prudential Hall on December 1. Returning to NJPAC (“a beautiful place with even more beautiful people,” Colbert opined), the humorist and host of CBS’ The Late Show settled in with America’s most Oscarnominated actor to exchange memories, career advice and sharp-witted remarks about the political scene. Streep mused on the highs and lows of acting, beginning with her fifth-grade debut as a robot, completely hidden in a cardboard box, to recent screen portrayals of Katharine Graham and Florence Foster Jenkins. Born into a family that hopscotched from Summit to other towns, including Madison, Basking Ridge and Bernardsville, Streep credited her public high school education for introducing her to musical theater. At Vassar she was drawn to costume design, a pursuit echoed in her role as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. (Streep confessed that she was channeling director Mike Nichols with her line “Why is no one ready?,” now playing in the latest crop of viral GIFs). Laughing exuberantly and obviously pleased that Colbert was in the interviewer’s chair, Streep still candidly addressed her self-image problems as a novice actress and her struggles at Yale School of Drama. A cast mate’s dropped prop turned into good luck when it shattered her stage fright during her first professional outing in Trelawny of the “Wells” at Lincoln Center, she recalled.

Streep described acting as “a silly thing,” but was moved to join the ranks when she saw Geraldine Page and Colleen Dewhurst perform. She referred to players as “natural empaths; it’s part of their job description” in a world depersonalized by social media. “I am a curious person and there’s no better job than the one I have,” she confirmed. Streep borrowed a mantra from her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, in offering advice to an aspiring actor during a Q&A with the audience: “Start by starting.” The evening, a benefit co-produced by NJPAC and Montclair Film—New Jersey’s leading film non-profit—opened with a double welcome from Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall and Gov. Phil Murphy.  n

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It’s so rare that you can say, ‘That person is the best at something.’

– Stephen Colbert

introducing Meryl Streep

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I am a curious person … there’s no better job than the one I have.

— Meryl Streep

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Los Tigres del Norte in Prudential Hall 30 njpac.org

heat turn up the

the power of latin pop and jazz inspires an exciting music lineup

Latin music has always been established as a cornerstone of NJPAC’s diverse programming, but during 2018 there was a whole lot more to love. “Latin music is part of the soul of programming here at NJPAC and growing Latin audiences have been among our most loyal,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. “Since we opened in our first season with artists like Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, Latin music and culture continue to cross boundaries and positively influence jazz, classical, dance, and other genres that maintain a home at the Arts Center.” Consider the TD James Moody Jazz Festival alone: The ongoing greatness of the Afro-Latin jazz genre was celebrated with a spectacular series of concerts focusing on different aspects of the fusion of Pan-American music and North American jazz. One in particular, Congas y Canto: An Evening of Latin Jazz on November 9, presented star percussionist Sheila E., singer and salsa superstar Tito Rojas and legendary pianist Eddie Palmieri, all performing with NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride and his Big Band. That same night, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo teamed with classical guitar master Sharon Isbin and modern jazz virtuoso Stanley Jordan in Guitar Passions.

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Clockwise from top left: Dorado Schmitt; Bobby Sanabria, Edmar Castañeda

Earlier that week, the Django Festival All Stars—named after the Belgian-born, Latin jazz pioneer and guitarist Django Reinhardt—collaborated with Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda. Drummer Bobby Sanabria & ¡Quarteto Aché! gave a free lunchtime performance at Newark’s Gateway II, co-presented by WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, and the art exhibit This Music We Call Jazz: The Latin Connection opened at Congregation Ahavas Sholom. (See story, next page.) Months before the festival, Mexico’s Los Tigres del Norte arrived at NJPAC in March, followed shortly by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, conducted by Enrique Pérez-Mesa. At Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City, Frankie Negrón and Funk Salsa Urban appeared in the August lineup. The Fall brought an outstanding variety of Latin concerts. Three of salsa’s hottest acts—Oscar D’León with special guest Tony Vega and Los Hermanos Moreno— played Prudential Hall, which was the venue for subsequent appearances

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by the Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo; Latin pop sensations Sebastián Yatra and Manuel Turizo; and Mexico’s romantic balladeers, Los Temerarios. Many concerts were generously supported by Goya Foods, NJPAC’s Official Sponsor of Latin Programming and Education. (See related story, page 93.)  n

this music we call jazz a unique partnership celebrates icons of latin jazz in art and music

An art exhibit in tribute to Latino musicians, many featuring works by African Americans, opened in a Jewish synagogue in Newark and was enjoyed by toddlers to teens to seniors. “It was the most diverse gathering of members of Newark communities that I’ve ever seen,” reported Donna Walker-Kuhne, Senior Advisor of Community Engagement at NJPAC. This Music We Call Jazz: The Latin Connection Exhibit, which opened in conjunction with the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, was a collaborative tribute to the musical genius of Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Graciela, Eddie Palmieri and other personalities associated with Latin-American, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian jazz. Multimedia works by 16 artists, curated by Mansa K. Mussa, were displayed through January 2019

in the gallery of the Jewish Museum of New Jersey at Congregation Ahavas Sholom. In addition to NJPAC and Ahavas Sholom, the free event on November 4 was presented in association with the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM. High school musicians of NJPAC’s James Moody Jazz Orchestra, led by saxophonist and NJPAC Director of Jazz Instruction Mark Gross, provided the music for the opening reception. Artist Ben Jones also dropped by, taking time to pose for selfies with admirers. A jazz collage workshop for families, a panel discussion, and a closing public dialogue also were included in the celebration. Generous support was provided by ADP, official Engagement Partner of NJPAC.  n

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Co-productions in Asbury Park, Brooklyn, Manhattan and even as close as down the street— with our neighbor, The Rock—provide innovative sources of revenue and introduce NJPAC to new audiences.


expanding the house

njpac’s diverse programming is found on stages throughout the metro area

Members of the community who have enjoyed concerts at Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church during the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, or whose children have seen a SchoolTime assembly, know they can find NJPAC’s topline programming beyond One Center Street. And the NJPAC brand is increasingly visible across the Hudson. During the past year, NJPAC has expanded its geographic reach in co-producing shows with other high-profile venues. By combining resources with another theater or arena—the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, for example—NJPAC can “increase” its 2,800-seat capacity in Prudential Hall. NJPAC and Kings Theatre, a freshly and meticulously restored movie palace also in Brooklyn, co-produced the Valentine’s Day All-Star Comedy Show, Earthquake’s Father’s Day Comedy Show, JaRule with Ashanti, Tyrese and Tamia, and HOT 97’s Hot for the Holidays, headlined by Trey Songz. The 19,000-seat Barclays Center was the site of the Mother’s Day Good Music Festival with Charlie Wilson and Boyz II Men. Madison Square Garden collaborated with NJPAC for Ne-Yo and special guest Keyshia Cole in its Hulu Theater. Back in Newark, the Prudential Center (aka “The Rock”) teamed with NJPAC for WBLS’ Night of Love with Anthony Hamilton and Keyshia Cole and Circle of Sisters’ R&B Live. A partnership with Asbury Park redeveloper Madison Marquette, announced in 2017, brought NJPAC’s entertainment programming to the Jersey Shore and—just as importantly—arts learning activities to the city’s classrooms, libraries and community centers. The Arts Center’s co-productions at the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall on the Boardwalk represented a big step in introducing the Arts Center to a southern constituency, while creating new revenue streams and opportunities for area families to enjoy free programs in arts and literacy. Fifteen of NJPAC’s co-productions in 2018 were staged in Asbury Park. Among them were The Princess Bride: An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paula Poundstone, John Cleese, Buddy Guy & Jonny Lang, Kathleen Madigan, The Price Is Right Live, and an NJPAC original, The Hip Hop Nutcracker.  n Clockwise from top left: Ne-Yo, Babyface, a packed house at Prudential Center, Tamia, Tyrese, Toni Braxton, Keyshia Cole

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dancing in the streets Take the Newark Downtown District’s talents for making things look beautiful, put it together with NJPAC’s ability to make an event sound fantastic, and you’ve got a free outdoor celebration worth dancing about. To commemorate 20 years of the NDD, the two partners presented a free community concert on October 16 at Chambers Plaza, featuring Motown greats The Commodores; R&B hitmaker Eric Benét; Newark talent Leah Jenea, a vocalist who was a finalist on FOX’s The Four; and WBGO-FM DJ Felix Hernandez and his Rhythm Revue Dance Party. The evening’s hosts were radio personalities Shaila Scott (WBLS) and DJ Wallah (HOT 97). Adding to the Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City vibe—chillier temperatures notwithstanding—were the enthusiastic crowd, locally favorite food trucks, and an open-air tavern.  n

It seemed like Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City was extended into the Fall when vocalist Leah Jenea helped NJPAC celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Newark Downtown District with an outdoor concert. njpac.org 37

director andré de shields describes duke ellington’s sophisticated ladies as “entertainment, enlightenment and ecstasy” 38

evenings of


In February, Broadway’s André De Shields directed and choreographed a rousing revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’ for audiences in the Victoria Theater. By September, he signed on to return in a directing role— this time for a March 2019 run of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. NJPAC’s co-producer in this venture is again Crossroads Theatre Company— whose new stage is nearing completion in New Brunswick—and its Producing Artistic Director, Marshall Jones III. NJPAC Executive Vice President and Executive Producer David Rodriguez expressed delight that he was able to renew his offer to host the company’s five-performance engagement.

The music of composer and bandleader Duke Ellington is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, which features glorious numbers like “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Mood Indigo.” Set during the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club, Sophisticated Ladies calls for a glamorous cast of singers and dancers who perform with an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer Ellington. De Shields, known to Broadway fans as the original Wizard in The Wiz, is an Emmy-winning actor and two-time Tony Award nominee. His direction of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at NJPAC was a homecoming of sorts: He was an original cast member

Left: André De Shields. Above: Duke Ellington

of the 1978 Broadway production and was director-choreographer of the show when it was revived at Crossroads in 2011. Ain’t Misbehavin’ transported NJPAC audiences back to a smoky jazz club dating to the Harlem Renaissance. A cast of five performed blues, soul and honky-tonk numbers by stride pianist “Fats” Waller and other composers of the era, such as “Black and Blue,” “Honeysuckle Rose” and “The Joint Is Jumpin’.”  n

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re: create

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Savion Glover, NJPAC’s Dance Advisor and a Board member

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stage summers on

savion glover gathers student performers into a-plus ensembles All had “their exits and their entrances,” Shakespeare might have observed, of the young artists who created a commotion of motion on stage in Savion Glover’s The Operatainer with Junior Church. Opera-tainer was the third original production envisioned and mounted for the Department of Arts Education by tap dancer and choreographer Savion Glover, NJPAC’s Dance Advisor and a Board member. In this constantly evolving dreamscape of sound and movement, cast members drifted in and out of the wings to perform, watch, comment, provoke and encourage. Presented on September 14 in Victoria Theater, the performance brought each teen’s talents to the forefront. Glover shepherded the action onstage as his students contributed to each scenario, including routines outside the range of their arts specialties. The Tony winner’s tapping set the percussive beat, which was echoed and expanded by his accompanying “Rhythm Section” of tap dancers Jayda Truss and Tatiana Corbett. One by one, ballerinas, modern dancers, singers, instrumentalists and actors appeared to add another layer to the tapestry.

This democratic turn-taking in the spotlight produced a series of vignettes, just a few of which included: A satirical jab at Betty Boop, a character swindled from the Cotton Club routines of jazz singer “Baby Esther” Jones. A trio of young women harmonizing on “Sweetest Taboo” by Sade. Renditions and adaptations of songs by Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, The Sugarhill Gang, and J.S. Bach. Flutist De’Janeé Jones playing Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” And that’s just a few. With 20 talented, diverse performers at hand, what was your inspiration, asked one parent of Glover at the post-curtain Q&A. “My inspiration was all of their talent,” he replied. The director added that when his troupe arrived for auditions, he was intrigued by each “moment” they created in the room. “They have given me an opportunity to live my best life in the last six weeks,” Glover said. Discussions are under way at NJPAC to reunite Glover with the 1983 Broadway show that propelled his career: The Tap Dance Kid. He would guide the production as director and choreographer.  n

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the crowd



‘lion king’ rules at disney musicals in schools The Lion King paid a royal visit to his young subjects at NJPAC, which was transformed into the Pride Lands—emphasis on the word “pride”—as part of Disney Musicals in Schools’ Student Share Celebration. Jelani Remy, a New Jerseyan in the title role of Simba in Broadway’s The Lion King, hosted the annual celebration—after admitting to the children that even though he still gets nervous on stage, the trepidation “means you care.” His entrance was greeted by whoops of surprise from the more than 250 thirdthrough fifth-graders, adults and teachers, who were capping 17 weeks of rehearsals in their city schools by performing scenes from abbreviated, 30-minute Disney KIDS versions in Prudential Hall. The February 12 Student Share Celebration included the participation of young thespians from Abington Avenue School and Discovery Charter School, both in Newark; Fred W. Martin Center for the Arts in Jersey City; Burch Charter School of Excellence in Irvington, and Paterson Public School No. 2. Three of the schools chose The Lion King KIDS (performing “The Circle of Life,” “One By One” and “He Lives in You”), and each of the others a selection from Cinderella KIDS and Winnie the Pooh KIDS. With guidance and start-up financial support from the Walt Disney Company and Disney Theatrical Group, in-school residencies were established by teaming NJPAC’s Teaching Artists with classroom teachers. The creative process of crafting costumes, props, voices, movement and diction into a show is a springboard for the schools to stage their first musical and initiate their own theater programs. Alison Scott-Williams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts Education, announced from the stage that all five schools were offered the rights by Disney Theatrical Group to present another Disney KIDS Musical in the 2018-19 academic year as second-year partners. NJPAC, which has been active in the program since 2015, is the only New Jersey venue for Disney Musicals in Schools. The event was sponsored by NJM Insurance Group, with additional support from the Women’s Association of NJPAC.  n

Jelani Remy, Broadway’s “Simba,” is surrounded by young admirers who presented The Lion King KIDS, a production of Disney Musicals in Schools. NJPAC, a partner since 2015, is the only New Jersey producer partner for the program.

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no shortage of


the 2018 geraldine r. dodge poetry festival It may be difficult to get the news from poems, as New Jersey poet William Carlos Williams once wrote—but get a few hundred poets together in one place, and you’ll find they have the news very much on their minds. As the biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival filled NJPAC and venues across Newark with verses and song from October 18-21, more than 80 acclaimed and award-winning poets who took part in readings, panel discussions, conversations and Q&As were almost as likely to address the day’s headlines as they were the muse. The first big “Sampler” reading on the Prudential Hall stage, which would welcome dozens of poets over the course of the festival, featured poems about Trayvon Martin and protest marches in Charlottesville, VA., and things only got more topical from there. “Jamal Khashoggi, he’s us, he’s one of us,” said poet Eileen Myles at a panel on poetry and identity during the festival’s first day. “It’s not insignificant that the first thing they did to him was they cut off his fingers, that’s what he wrote with.”

“There is no water, there is no light!” cried Ntozake Shange, the famous poet and playwright, while reading a dramatic poem about the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. Sadly, this marked one of the last public appearances by Shange, who died on October 27. “We want equality, and we have it in law, but we don’t have the expansive empathy that would really let it in. Maybe that’s where poetry comes in. So if you can’t go to a protest, maybe you should read a poem,” said Khaled Mattawa at a forum on poetry and democracy hosted by the Academy of American Poets. “And vote!” immediately added his fellow panelist, Elizabeth Alexander. “Honestly, I think the history of American poetry is a history of political poetry,” said the Atlanta-based poet Jericho Brown, who was one of several poets interviewed publicly by NPR’s Krista Tippett, host of On Being, for a later broadcast. This passionate discussion of both poetry and current events was met with warm, vocal responses from audiences who trekked from the NJPAC campus to the

Clockwise from top left: Juan Felipe Herrera, ‘Student Day’ attendees, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Eileen Myles

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the festival’s ‘student day’ put poetry in the hands and words in the ears of thousands of students from across the metro area Newark Museum, Express Newark in the Hahne’s building, Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral in Military Park and the First Baptist Peddie Memorial Church on Broad Street through stiff autumn breezes to hear their favorites speak and read. Millennials and teenagers—including the 4,000 high school students from more than 200 schools and 10 states who turned NJPAC into a school of sorts all day Friday when they attended the festival for free— snapped their fingers in the air at phrases they savored. Older listeners kept up a rippling murmur of approval. A bookstore popped up in NJPAC’s Chase Room, where fans waited on long, snaking lines to buy books by poets they admired. Meanwhile, on the Prudential stage, frequent Dodge visitors The Parkington Sisters, who sing and play guitar and violin, worked with poet Gregory Orr to create The Beloved, a song-cycle based on Orr’s verses about love, loss and redemption. The poet would read a verse or two, and then the musicians sang the lines back to him, amplifying their emotion. Although deeply sorrowful for much of the work, the performance ended with The Parkington Sisters joyfully caroling one of Orr’s lines about finally finding happiness—“If we’re not supposed to dance, why all this music?”—over and over, until it echoed throughout Prudential Hall. The performance was greeted with whoops and thundering applause.

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Perhaps the most telling tribute to the power of poetry, however, came late on Saturday, when an underground transformer fire first shut down Center Street in front of NJPAC—and then caused a power outage that plunged a wide swath of Newark’s downtown into darkness, forcing the cancellation of some that night’s events. Poetry fans scrambled down walls at Military Park, and drove in circles around Newark’s downtown to reach NJPAC despite multiple street closings. PSE&G and NJPAC staff worked through the night to get power restored, and all the events slated for Sunday were relocated from stillblacked-out downtown venues and into NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education. “The fact that the largest power utility on the East Coast thinks turning the lights back on at a poetry festival is worth staying up all night for—that’s important!” said a jubilant Martin Farawell on Sunday, introducing a mainstage reading in Prudential Hall that only hours before he had feared would have to be canceled. “The words that echoed in our ears were: The show must go on!” said John Schreiber, NJPAC’s President and CEO. “Everyone at NJPAC did their utmost to keep the festival running. I’m enormously proud of our staff and volunteers, whose dedication kept the festival on track despite decidedly unexpected obstacles.”  n

Clockwise from top left: Ntozake Shange, Krista Tippett, Gregory Orr with an admirer, Jericho Brown

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voi�e to the unspeakable

njpac shines a light on the issues of sexual assault and bullying In Katie Cappiello’s riveting theater piece, SLUT: The Play, staged at NJPAC in late April, the epithet serves two purposes; it’s used as a degrading cudgel and as a symbol of strength and empowerment by the girls of a high school dance squad who are the drama’s protagonists. The play uses the word as an entry point to examine the often contradictory messages women and girls receive about sexuality in modern American culture—a culture that rewards women for looking or acting “sexy” on the one hand, but on the other punishes them by normalizing rape, assault, slut-shaming and victim blaming. Cappiello wrote the play after being inspired by talking to teen girls in her theater group, The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company. Since its premiere at the New York Fringe Festival in 2013, SLUT: The Play has been staged many times, at venues ranging from North Dakota State University to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. NJPAC’s production was funded by the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. By presenting SLUT, the Foundation and NJPAC intended to educate and empower Newarkers, both high school students and adults, around the issues of slut-shaming, rape culture, double standards, and sexual assault and harassment.

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By presenting SLUT: The Play, the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and NJPAC intended to educate and empower Newarkers, both high school students and adults, around the issues of slut-shaming, rape culture, double standards, and sexual assault and harassment. NJPAC held open auditions in Newark to find the 14 cast members. Once cast, these young women not only took on the production of the play, but served as a focus group. Their input helped Cappiello rewrite the play to reflect their own experiences, interests, and concerns as young women of color. SLUT never before had a cast composed exclusively of African-American and Latina actresses, and in her revisions, Cappiello strove to include their authentic voices. At the center of play is the story of high school student Joey Marks, who is sexually assaulted at the hands of three lifelong male friends in the backseat of a New York City cab. Throughout the play, Joey’s recollections of that fateful night intertwine with scenes in which Joey trades her bawdy locker room barbs with other dance team members, and the events leading up to her violation and its painful aftermath. After reporting the incident to the police, Joey is shunned and insulted by her teammates and friends. Social media is rife with rumors about what happened that night and insinuations that Joey had provoked the assault. Parents, particularly those of the accused, try to blame her for the incident. Betsy True, NJPAC’s Senior Director of Artistic Faculty and Curriculum Development and a Broadway alum, award-winning director, teacher and writer, directed the play.

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“This is truly activist theater work,” she said. “This play is an education about the power of social media, the power of consent, the power of being engaged when you see something that is not right. We deal with all that through this play.” During rehearsals and performances, the Mental Health Association of Morris and Essex Counties offered emotional support and preparation to deal with the painful subjects that the play confronts. During the performances, counselors were on hand to assist audience members who might be “triggered” by the more explicit scenes. Newark Public Schools, another partner in the production, brought 1,500 high school students to the performances, in hopes of sparking conversation among the students, their parents and the counselors about the persistence of slut-shaming and the pervasiveness of sexual assault. As a companion to the play, The Lobby Project, a visual art and devised theater experience, was launched with the generous support of the Women’s Association of NJPAC. Newark high school students exhibited artwork inspired by the play and presented an immersive performance piece as audience members entered the theater. Audiences also had an opportunity to converse with the cast, The Lobby Project artists, social workers, and the play’s creative team after each performance.  n

This is truly activist theater work. This play is an education about the power of social media, the power of consent, the power of being engaged when you see something that is not right.

— Betsy True NJPAC Senior Director of Artistic Faculty & Curriculum Development


broadcast news

John Leguizamo in Latin History for Morons

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NJPAC’s location, state-of-the-art broadcast equipment and other accommodations make it a cost-effective and welcoming venue for directors and producers of topline entertainment. NJPAC’s photogenic good looks—not to mention its state-of-the-art broadcast capabilities—made it an accessible and cost-effective venue for feature films, documentaries, awards shows and television specials in 2018. Two Netflix comedy specials were filmed and released within the year. Scenes from Adam Sandler’s tour with frequent co-star Rob Schneider in late April made it into his 100% Fresh by October. The audience in Prudential Hall enjoyed new material and songs from the actor-writer, who returned to his stand-up origins for two evenings of fun and musings. Also for Netflix, Broadway monologist and film star John Leguizamo brought Latin History for Morons direct from Studio 54 to the Victoria Theater for three performances in June. The solo show—an irreverent crash course in 3,000 years of culture—was a best-play Tony nominee that season; Leguizamo took home a Special Tony Award instead. BET’s annual Black Girls Rock! Awards returned to Prudential Hall for a fifth broadcast taping and brought an especially heartfelt moment to the Arts Center: NJPAC Board Director Emerita Judith Jamison, the Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, was the recipient of the Living Legend Award. Other honorees included Naomi Campbell, Janet Jackson, Lena Waithe, Mary J. Blige and Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too

movement. Performances were given by a number of artists who are NJPAC favorites: Fantasia, Ledisi, Cynthia Erivo and the Ailey company’s Jacqueline Green. American Ballet Theatre principal dancer and ballet sensation Misty Copeland, who filmed a television commercial at NJPAC in the past, appeared in Prudential Hall during the Fall in a documentary that remains under wraps. Our touring production of The Hip Hop Nutcracker, which returned to NJPAC in celebration of the holidays on December 14, was back shortly after the first of the year for the taping of two performances slated for a future public television national broadcast. The taping marked the first time that a property conceived and produced at NJPAC was captured for a PBS pledge special, which will air across dozens of affiliates nationwide and support next season’s tour. Like Father, a summer release starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer, turned the Prudential Hall stage into a set for a game show. The movie was directed and co-written by Lauren Miller Rogen (Superbad). And a mid-year replacement on NBC, Ken Woodruff’s The Enemy Within, also shot scenes at the Arts Center. Jennifer Carpenter and Morris Chestnut star in the thriller as unlikely partners in a manhunt. (“To catch a spy … they’re going to have to think like one,” reads the ad.)  n

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a taping of njpa�’s original the hip hop nutcracker is slated for broadcast on public television stations across the country in fall 2019

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re: learn

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best foot

forward gallantry reigns at the colors of the rainbow ballroom dance competition

There was a Cinderella moment at this year’s Colors of the Rainbow Team Match, the ballroom dance competition for fifth-graders who excelled in the Dancing Classrooms program brought into their schools by NJPAC. During the opening promenade, one young lady accidentally slipped out of a dance shoe and had to continue the procession without it. In a princely gesture, a male classmate three couples behind her, without missing a beat, swooped down stealthily to retrieve it. By pertly holding out their tea-length skirts in a curtsy position, the girls shielded their teammate from the audience’s view as she buckled up. What appeared to be a fleeting and insignificant blip actually spoke volumes about the values that Dancing Classrooms impart to students and how genuinely they develop social graces, without a hint of self-consciousness. In 20 sessions, trained NJPAC faculty teach students to slow-walk a tango or shimmy the merengue with both discipline and abandon; in the process, they also learn respect, collaboration and elegance. On to the team match, which was held for the seventh consecutive year on June 7: The schools on stage, which rose to the top in earlier semifinals of 11 contenders, were All Saints Catholic Academy in Bayonne (the orange team); Notre Dame Academy in Palisades Park (red); St. Cassian School in Montclair NJPAC’s Department of Arts Education is the regional provider of Dancing Classrooms Global, which is poised to enter its 25th year and is active in 25 cities, including U.S. Virgin Islands; Amman, Jordan; Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland; and Toronto, Canada.

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In 20 sessions, trained faculty teach students to slow‑walk a tango or shimmy the merengue with both discipline and abandon; in the process, they also learn respect, collaboration and elegance. (blue), and Colin Powell Elementary School (yellow), Thomas A. Edison School (purple) and Veterans Elementary School (green), all in Union City. Under the direction of emcee Rodney Lopez, Executive Director of Dancing Classrooms, and under the watchful eyes of three judges, the partners snapped into a proper dance frame and listened attentively for their musical cues before executing a merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango or swing. The grand trophy and gold medals were awarded to the team from Veterans Elementary School, which high-fived congratulations to all the other medal winners before mugging for the cameras in a group hug around the loving cup. NJPAC’s Department of Arts Education is the regional provider of Dancing Classrooms Global, which is poised to enter its 25th year and is active in 25 cities, including U.S. Virgin Islands; Amman, Jordan; Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland; and Toronto, Canada. The organization, which drew worldwide attention via the 2005 documentary

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Mad Hot Ballroom, is committed to building social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through social dance. The idea to host Dancing Classrooms at NJPAC was first floated by its supporters, Marian and David Rocker, who celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary at the team match. Support is also provided in part by Jennifer A. Chalsty. The evening’s sponsor, Goya Foods, created a welcoming presence in Prudential Lobby, where tables were set up to celebrate the cuisines of the various dances’ countries of origin. Before and after the performance, visitors sampled dishes such as a red bean and rice salad (representing Cuba’s rumba), sipped fruited coconut water and mango sparkling water, and obtained nutritional information and recipes provided by Goya’s MyPlate (MiPlato) healthy eating initiative.  n



songs of


thanks to the johnny mercer foundation, students bring their world to the stage

“Can’t we just do The Wiz?” Kern Dowdy, a teacher at Avon Academy in Newark, remembers thinking, when he was told his class was going to participate in NJPAC’s Mercer Musical Theater workshop—and that they would be working on a musical about gun violence. But 10 weeks later, by the time that his students—middle-schoolers all—made it to the stage in NJPAC’s Chase Room in early June to perform, Dowdy was a convert. Maybe I Should, Maybe I Shouldn’t, the musical students from Avon Academy and four other area schools performed that day, not only looked at the effect of gun violence in schools and the toll bullying takes—on both students who are bullied, and those who do the bullying—but it also dealt with drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide. Those themes are adult, but they were chosen by the students themselves. The students wrote the musical, too—“every lyric, every line, every tune!” NJPAC teaching artist Janeece Freeman Clark announced from the stage at the musical’s debut, in front of a crowd of cheering teachers and fellow students.

“It was some really tough subject matter to negotiate,” said Alex Ratner, another of the program’s teaching artists, who helped write the songs with each group of students, and also played keyboards for the performance. “But these really are the topics that kids are talking about these days, and they are trying to find an outlet for that. This gave them the ability to discuss it through an artistic lens.” This program—a collaboration between NJPAC and The Johnny Mercer Foundation, established by the late songwriter who gave the world “Moon River” and “Blues in the Night”—has for six years now put the power to create a musical of their own into the hands of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students from Newark and surrounding towns. The program is free to the schools and the students who are chosen to participate. In previous years, the musicals students wrote dealt with gender roles, the pressure of high school sports, and even the life of pop star Michael Jackson. This year, as the students gathered to vote on the topics their musical would address in February, the shooting in Parkland, Fla. was freshly in the news. The children voted

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From Maybe I Should, Maybe I Shouldn’t

overwhelmingly to make gun violence the central theme of their piece. Giving students an opportunity to voice their concerns is as much the point of the program as teaching them story structure and music theory, said Jonathan Brielle, Mercer Foundation Vice President, as he addressed the students before they took the stage. “If you don’t speak up, we can’t hear you— and the world needs to hear from you!” he said. In only five songs, Maybe I Should … told the story of Mike, a transplant from a rural area to a city high school, who is tormented by bullies; ignored by his mother, a relapsed drug addict; and, on top of that, cut from the basketball team he longs to play on. Then his uncle, a cop, leaves his gun unattended on a shelf, and to Mike, it seems like the weapon could be the answer to all his problems.

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Each participating school was given a portion of plot to write. In addition to Avon Academy, the Rafael Hernandez School, First Avenue School, LINK Community Charter School, all of Newark, and the Cleveland Street School of Orange, each tackled either the exposition of the plot, the rising action, the climax or the resolution. For the first time, one song and several scenes were presented bilingually, as students from the Rafael Hernandez School sang and acted their portion of the show—the exposition, which covers Mike’s arrival in a big city from his rural home— in both English and Spanish. Tierney Fitzmartin, the school’s drama teacher, told the audience the show was, for many of her students, the end of “a journey that began when they left their homes in Puerto Rico, Honduras, El Salvador and Ecuador.”  n

Giving students an opportunity to voice their concerns is as much the point of the program as teaching them story structure and music theory.

— Jonathan Brielle

Vice President, Mercer Foundation



Anything you think is a mistake? You use it to re-create.



Purple Haze

a day in the life of

purple haze by Jenifer D. Braun photos by Matt Rainey

meet sheikia norris, artist & faculty lead for njpac’s hip hop programs

Saturday mornings can be a lazy, quiet time—but not at NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education (CAE). Saturday morning is when the halls fill with exuberant teenage dancers, actors and musicians headed to arts training classes. Snatches of song spill out of every doorway at 10am, as the kids scatter to their spots. No corner of the school is louder than the one Sheikia Norris heads to, bundled into a yellow-and-orange hoodie against a sudden cold snap: Room 317, where the tweens and teens of NJPAC’s Hip Hop Intensive wait for her on the last day of the class’ Fall semester. Sheikia—better known to her students, and much of Newark, by her stage name, Purple Haze—is the faculty lead for NJPAC’s hip hop programs, and one of several teaching artists who run the intensive, where kids learn elements of hip hop including MCing, beatboxing, deejaying, music production, dance and spoken-word poetry. An emcee herself, who’s performed at NJPAC’s Sounds of the City and venues across New Jersey and the globe, Purple is one of the teaching artists who built NJPAC’s hip hop curriculum, which now extends from Saturday arts training sessions like this one, to a summer program and in-school residencies. The long, narrow Room 317 is open at one end, and crowded with tables at the back, where boys and girls carefully stack speakers and laptops, and wire them to DJ controllers covered in pushbuttons and knobs. A pounding beat pulses through the room as one student after another bounds in, shucks off a coat and joins the crowd around the DJ tables. Purple greets every student with a clasp of the hand and an arm around the shoulder, and more often than not an exhortation to go get breakfast before class starts. “Self-care! It’s important! Go eat!” she says. (A stash of healthy snacks is kept on hand at the CAE for the students.)

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kids express themselves by learning about hip hop culture: beatboxing, DJing, dance, spoken word & more Samples blast and get cut off again as the DJs in training test their equipment. Someone’s beatboxing in the corner. One student comes in shaky and glum; performance-day jitters. Purple huddles with him, talking softly. “It’s organized confusion, always,” Purple says later, in the tiny office she shares with jazz faculty lead Mark Gross. “We have to roll with what they bring in that day. Kids are always coming in saying: ‘Oh, man, I grew a third leg, Purple!’ And we always say, ‘It’s alright! We’re gonna use this awesome third leg somehow!’ Whatever they come in with, whatever they do, we can use it.” Once the whole class has arrived—roughly a dozen 10- to 16-year-olds—the class starts in earnest. “Let’s cypher up, cypher up please!” Purple calls, and the kids join her in a rough circle at the far end of the room. In hip hop, a cypher is a circle of rappers and beatboxers gathered to build skills and trade rhymes; in this classroom, it’s equal parts meditation and community meeting. “Thank you for being here. Thank you for being prepared. You are enough; you are complete,” Purple tells her students. She lays out the plan for the day: They’ll practice beat-making with DJ Gonzalo Silva, and then they’ll rehearse the show being prepared for their parents and friends, slated for that afternoon. Saje—the hip hop name for student Amiri Charles Williams—is creating patches for the group to wear, using fabric-dyeing techniques

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the class learned from Newark arts legend Jerry Gant at the semester’s beginning. (Gant passed away in November 2018.) Nervous thoughts about the performance for their families are clearly weighing on several kids. Purple tries to head off stage fright. “Anything you think is a mistake? You use it to re-create. There are no mistakes in hip-hop,” she says. “This is a community sharing—we’re sharing what we’ve done, what we’ve learned this semester. It doesn’t have to be a perfect performance. And we will rehearse today—rehearsal is where you find your confidence.” The kids break up into groups; most work with DJ Gonzalo on perfecting a round robin—passing the beat from one DJ to the next, without dropping out of rhythm. Meanwhile, some kids pair up to practice dancing as their partners beatbox, limbs moving in time with the evolving rhythm. And the small group that will be freestyling during the afternoon’s show practices working with microphones. “Hold it like this—put your finger to your lips like you’re saying ‘shhh … ’” Purple tells student Elliott Mitchell (aka Freewind, rhymes with “rewind”), holding his mic at the correct angle. Then they practice the centerpiece of their performance: a riff on the Fugees’ hit “Fu-Gee-La.” A trio of DJs manipulate a sample electronically. One boy beatboxes over the rhythm, another sings the chorus made famous by Lauryn Hill. Another student freestyles over the building wave of sound, riffing on Wyclef Jean’s opening

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verse: “We used to be 10, now we’re permanent one.” “Do you know these guys?” Purple asks the class—but the Fugees’ seminal The Score came out in 1996, years before these students were born. They like the sample, but it’s not music they know. “They’re from not 10 miles from here!” Purple explains. “They won GRAMMYs for this. And this song is a crowd favorite, you’re going to see—the audience will be into it, and then they’ll be like: ‘Ooh, they shifted it!’” “You put your own flavor on it,” D. Cross— Derick Cross, the teaching artist who focused on teaching beatboxing this semester—adds approvingly.

I listen to them tell their stories, and they teach me how to tell mine.

— Purple Haze

Lunchtime is giddy; several games of catch run simultaneously, hats and gloves and a toy microphone fly through the air as the kids eat. The nerves all seem to have dissipated. But the energy in the group changes as they troop downstairs after lunch, into dress rehearsal in the Horizon Black Box Theater. Although tiny compared to the Arts Center’s Prudential Hall, it’s still big enough to be intimidating, especially with stage lights on and ranks of empty seats waiting for an audience. The boys admire the giant banner they made with Gant’s help, now hanging proudly over a DJ table. The run-through starts with a bit in which Freewind serves as hype man and host for the crew, introducing every member of the class, with each boy or girl demonstrating a dance move or a bar or two of beatboxing center stage. The students are hesitant, awkward under the bright stage lights, their voices soft.

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“What’s happening here? You’re the hosts today! You’re up on stage, but you don’t look like you remembered you’re on a stage,” Purple calls from a seat in the front row. “D, can we do this?” she calls across the room to D. Cross. “Oh yeah,” he says. The two teaching artists bound onto the stage, bouncing on their toes, D. Cross beatboxing at top volume like a one-man rhythm section, and Purple hyping the Hip Hop Intensive crew with a booming voice and joyful confidence. The kids go nuts, hooting and clapping. Purple still performs regularly—not only with her own material, but in several NJPAC arts education productions, including Newark historian Junius Williams’ Music and the Liberation of the People—and she commands the stage easily, a veteran performer. “THERE they are, THAT’s my class!” Purple says, listening to the kids’ reaction and handing the mic back to Freewind. Rehearsal gets under way again, this time with voices raised and a great deal more energy. At 4pm, the CAE’s little black box theater is full to bursting with students’ families. The class is “backstage” in a dance studio down the hallway, huddled into a last-minute cypher, listening to the sounds of the crowd in the black box. “Thank you for coming, and thank you for trusting us with your children!” Purple says as the lights go up, and moms, dads and grandparents clap and raise phones to record their children’s performance. Freewind takes the mic, heaves a quick breath and runs out to center stage to start the show. From a tiny alcove on the side of the stage, Purple watches, grinning, as the “sharing” takes off. The “Fu-Gee-La” performance coheres beautifully, and

the parents sway happily to the sound. The beatboxers concoct a symphony of rhythm, conducted by D. Cross, and the dancers twitch and slink to the beat. Freestylers conjure rhymes from thin air. And then, the big finale: The 24/7 crew cyphers up on stage, and Purple invites parents and grandparents to join them on stage and freestyle with their sons and daughters. The audience laughs nervously. Really? Us? “C’mon, didn’t any of you write rhymes back in the day? I know I wasn’t the only one doing that in the back of my composition book!” she says. Parents who nervously walk up to the stage are greeted with glee by their kids. Dressed in a suit jacket, the dad of H2O (Ahadu Chase) taps at the DJ controller. “I haven’t done something like this for 25 years,” he says. A few parents take the mic for a moment, others just dance as their kids freestyle. The students are ecstatic:

relief at the show’s successful end, and delight at their parents’ participation, shines on every face. The performance has morphed into a celebration. Purple says farewells for a long time, before she makes her way back to her office. She and DJ Gonzalo are still talking over the kids’ performance—how each student had at least one moment of glory on stage—as the sun goes down outside and they put away the laptops and speakers. Between the Hip Hop Intensive and her performances in NJPAC’s SchoolTime productions—which travel to schools throughout Greater Newark—Purple has less time these days to pursue her solo performance career. But she’s still using off-hours to write an autobiographical hip hop musical, she says, and teaching at the Arts Center feeds her work as an artist. “Because I work with children, I feel like I’m in training all the time,” Purple says. “I listen to them tell their stories, and they teach me how to tell mine.”  n

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Young R.A.M.P. musicians in Prudential Hall

newark children turn out and tune up for r.a.m.p., njpa�’s annual recorder extravaganza In NJPAC’s pre-curtain announcements, the audience is advised against the use of sound or video recorders. On one afternoon every year, however, recorders are in order. Recorder Arts for Musical Pathways (R.A.M.P.), NJPAC’s music program in partnership with Newark Public Schools (NPS), held a boisterous, year-end finale concert on June 13, which also marked R.A.M.P.’s fifth anniversary. How many third- and fourth-graders can say they’ve accompanied jazz artists of the stature of Camille Thurman or Oscar Perez in performance … or a string trio from the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra … in a concert hall setting? About 1,700, just this time around. Approximately 4,000 youngsters altogether participated in the in-school music program for either the first or second year. Alison Scott-Williams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts Education, crunched the numbers for students, teachers and adults in the Prudential Hall audience. Fifty-two buses transported the Newark children and 30 educators to NJPAC from 25 city schools, an uptick from 2016-17. She credited title sponsor M&T Bank, as well as the Women’s Association of NJPAC, for the support needed to give the youngsters their moment to shine. Margaret El, Special Assistant for the Arts for NPS, has attended the concerts for the last three years and was elated that about 3,500 new recorders were put in little hands—in many cases, leading kids to advance their music studies. “I’m seeing a lot more consistency and interest across the district, where administrators and not just teachers are more engaged with this program,” she said. R.A.M.P. teaching artist Patricia Billings, who also conducted, and jazz drummer Jerome Jennings, the afternoon’s emcee, kept the young instrumentalists in top form, whether they were performing as the R.A.M.P. all-stars seated on stage or from their place in the audience. Professional musicians included a jazz ensemble (Jennings on drums, Perez on piano, Thurman on sax, flute and vocals, Elias Bailey on bass and Bruce Harris on trumpet), the NJSO string trio (Minji Kwan on violin, Elzbieta Weyman on viola and Hyewon Kim on cello), and recorder artist and clarinetist Moran Katz, accompanied by pianist Robert Stephens. Because the children had mastered favorites like the West African welcome song “Funga Alafia,” “Hot Cross Buns,” “Oye Como Va,” “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” they hit their cues—loud and clear. “I can’t wait to hear how you sound next year!” Jennings exclaimed.  n Approximately 4,000 youngsters participated in this in-school music program for either the first or second year

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ustice for all

students learn about thurgood marshall as his son screens biopic

In the 2017 film Marshall, Chadwick Boseman—the actor best known as the Black Panther—plays lawyer, judge and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall as he was way back in 1940. In those days, he was a crusading young attorney with the NAACP, crisscrossing the country by train to defend those falsely accused of crimes because they were African-American. And he does so with generous helpings of swagger, staring down racist judges, sneering prosecutors and even the occasional shotgun-toting mob with a raised eyebrow and just the hint of a smile. “And I do imagine him being just that way as a younger man—because he was always confident, carried himself confidently, and could be imposing,” says John Marshall, the real Thurgood’s younger son, born years after his father’s days of barnstorming courthouses around the nation, combating racism

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with a library of law books packed into two suitcases. For the younger Marshall, the film was a way to get to “see” his father in the earliest days of his career—and, much more importantly, a way to tell younger generations about the struggles for justice that happened in the days of their grandparents. “I do worry that kids these days, and as the years go by, are not aware of Thurgood Marshall. Or if they are, all they know is that he was the first AfricanAmerican Supreme Court justice,” Marshall says of his father, who died in 1993. “I mean, I learned a lot myself (from the film). I had heard just a little bit about this case, but I was not familiar with the details. I got to learn about my father, and I got to learn about attorney Sam Friedman.” A white Jewish attorney, Friedman became Marshall’s co-counsel in a case for

… with hard work and faith in our laws, justice can prevail … (and) that’s a strong message for these students to hear. — John Marshall

which Marshall traveled to a well-to-do Connecticut suburb to defend an AfricanAmerican man accused of raping his white employer’s wife. Complicating their task: A biased judge refused to allow Marshall to speak in court, on the grounds that he was a lawyer from out of state, not a member of the Connecticut bar. Marshall had to guide Friedman, who was not a criminal attorney, through the case. “Thurgood Marshall wouldn’t be the jurist he became without the Sam Friedmans of the world,” he says. Which is why Marshall went out of his way to attend a screening of Marshall at NJPAC on September 20, where he presented the Oscar-nominated film to 1,400 high school and middle school students from Newark, Paterson, Passaic, Jersey City and Plainfield. The screening was part of NJPAC’s ongoing SchoolTime performance series, designed to introduce students to the performing arts. The teenagers were joined in the audience by a cadre of future lawyers from Seton

Hall Law School, and by staff and students from the Juvenile Justice Commission. After the film screened in the Arts Center’s Prudential Hall, Marshall took the stage along with Lauren Friedman, the daughter of attorney Sam Friedman, and the film’s producer, Paula Wagner, to talk about the making of the film, and the case it portrays. “And those were the kind of cases that founded a critical part of the civil rights movement,” says Marshall. “If you think about the odds against them, a black man accused of a crime against a white woman, being represented by a Jewish and a black attorney, at that time in our culture? And yet, they overcame the odds and prevailed. “It really showed that with hard work and faith in our laws, justice can prevail. And I thought that was a strong message for these students to hear.”  n

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creating worlds of


newark educators learn how curiosity and grit build character in students

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Life isn’t about finding the answers. It’s about asking the questions. Several hundred educators from Newark Public Schools gathered in Victoria Theater to hear speakers including psychologist and author Angela Duckworth—a self-labeled “expert in grit”—during an afternoon of professional development focused on nurturing a child’s natural curiosity. Titled Cultivating Curiosity in the NPS Classroom, the April 25 session explored how grit—the kind that comes from strength of character, not the granular kind—is a byproduct of inquiring minds. Duckworth, who is the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, is the founder and CEO of the non-profit Character Lab in Philadelphia, which advocates for positive character development in students. Workshops began with Veronica Grazer, a former marketing professional from Bridgewater who is married to Hollywood mega-producer Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code). Appearing in support of the book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, co-authored by Brian Grazer with Charles Fishman, Grazer described her husband’s motivation to meet every two weeks with an expert in a field outside his own, in part to inspire his own creativity. What are called curiosity conversations, she noted, often open with the statement “I’ve always been curious about your work” and are shaped by how-and-why questions. Duckworth said that one way students can break from their engagement with

—Brian Grazer

mobile devices is by being encouraged to interview adults to establish “human to human conversations with real emotion.” When a child is captivated by a subject, she noted, they will ask questions and take the initiative to learn more outside the classroom. This sense of wonder can forge social connections and develop into a character strength. “It’s a precursor of passion, which is half of grit,” Duckworth added. Scientific and scholarly studies were held up as evidence that the inducement of a state of curiosity lights up the reward center of the brain by stimulating the release of dopamine. Inquisitiveness fosters self-esteem and is linked to academic accomplishment and higher IQ scores, the experts reported. Economist Sule Alan spoke about her research in reducing socioeconomic achievement gaps by utilizing tools like curiosity and creativity. Laura Overdeck, founder and President of Bedtime Math, explained how pop culture juggernauts Hamilton: An American Musical and Pokémon contain the “magical ingredients” that lead students to greater discoveries by refashioning history and biology. Both acknowledged that while the traditional classroom structure offers little leeway to follow bursts of curiosity, a willingness to briefly “off-road” lesson plans and curriculum is needed to spur new thinking. As Brian Grazer puts it, “Life isn’t about finding the answers. It’s about asking the questions.”  n

Clockwise from top: Laura Overdeck, Angela Duckworth, Veronica Grazer

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conversations at njpa�

(l-r) Dr. Dan Ben-David, David N. Myers, Dr. Eric Goldman, Daniel C. Kurtzer, Robin Wright

global thinkers explore culture, politics and history NJPAC’s series of guest speakers last season on Israel and the Middle East, hosted by Daniel C. Kurtzer, U.S. ambassador (ret.) to Israel and Egypt, helped set the course for expanded programming in 2018, which centered on topics of interest to the Jewish community. Four free events at NJPAC were spread over October and November, thanks to the generous support of donors. Up first: Fighting Fear Through Film: Newark’s Dore Schary, which explored the career and political activism of this Fifties Hollywood mogul, told through an illustrated lecture by Yeshiva University adjunct cinema professor Dr. Eric Goldman.

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Jewish civilization in Jewish History: A Very Short Introduction. And Kurtzer’s series, which is titled What’s Next in the Middle East?, took the fourth slot with Middle East Flashpoints: From Iran and Syria to ISIS and Saudi Arabia. Kurtzer invited Robin Wright, a reporter for The New Yorker and Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, to share her insights on political, economic, social and religious conflicts throughout the region.

Israel at a Crossroads: Shaping the Future of a Nation examined two co-existing worlds in today’s Israel: an international center of learning and technology and a nation challenged by economic and social disadvantages. Guest speaker was Dr. Dan Ben-David, founder of the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research and professor at Tel Aviv University.

Kurtzer, who is the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East policy studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, held a pair of conversations earlier in the year. On March 15, Israel and Palestine: A Look Back and What’s Ahead, brought together Dov Weissglas, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s chief of staff, and Khaled Elgindy, a key member of the PLO who helped develop Palestinian policy in the peace talks with Israel. U.S. Policy and the Challenges in the Middle East, on May 24, featured former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, a past ambassador to Russia and Jordan and one of the most senior diplomats of his generation.

In less than an hour, David N. Myers, Professor and Chair in Jewish History at University of California-Los Angeles, whisked his audience through centuries of

The programming was supported by Alice Gerson Goldfarb, Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, David and Renee Golush, Eli Kleinman Fund for Jewish Education,

(l-r) Gov. Phil Murphy, Tracey Massey with John Schreiber, John Strangfeld with Schreiber

Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Lee and Murray Kushner and family, The Marion and Norman Tanzman Charitable Foundation, Martin Gross, Paula Gottesman, Thelma and Richard Florin, Warren and Andrea Grover, and the Wilf Family Foundation.  n

the business partners roundtable series NJPAC’s Business Partners barely finish their first cup of morning coffee when Arianna Huffington walks into the room. Or Gov. Phil Murphy. Or Merck CEO Ken Frazier. Since 2006, the Business Partners (corporate donors of $5,000 or more) have gathered in the Rehearsal Banquet Room, bright and early, for Roundtable breakfasts. There, they can chew over the latest stock market fluctuations or network with CEOs of multinational corporations and entrepreneurial trendsetters. All share at least one common factor: their support of NJPAC’s work. The Roundtables Series, which is sponsored by PNC Bank, is held about six times a year and often moderated by NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. The main attraction is a single guest speaker or a panel of experts. In the past, businesspeople listened to discussions about New Jersey’s health and life sciences industries; major-league

sports and entertainment; diversity in the workplace; and restaurants and hospitality. This year also brought appearances by Tracey Massey, Regional President, Americas for Mars Wrigley Confectionery, who spoke enthusiastically about her company’s return to Newark, and Gov. Murphy, who described his administration’s master plan. And New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman—who are friends and past colleagues—shared a dialogue about the State’s emerging law enforcement policies, the opioid epidemic, and immigration, among other issues in the headlines. Other topics covered included “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A Discussion on Infrastructure in Our Region” as well as a timely conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace. A familiar face greeted Business Partners from the dais on June 22: NJPAC Board Chair John Strangfeld, wearing his hat as Chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. Interviewed by his friend and ally John Schreiber, he recounted his years at Prudential, a career trajectory driven by the mantra “no drama, low ego, high impact.”  n

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An Evening With … , a new public program series presented by the GRAMMY Museum Experience™ Prudential Center, in association with NJPAC, made it possible for music fans to enjoy conversations between iconic musicians and special guest moderators. The exclusive, one-night-only events took place in the intimate surroundings of the Victoria Theater during the Fall. The program, created by the Los Angeles GRAMMY Museum, made its East Coast debut by featuring Lenny Kravitz on September 18 and Newarker Wyclef Jean on October 16. Interviewed by five-time GRAMMY winner Questlove, Kravitz discussed his most recent work as a multi-GRAMMY-winning rock musician, writer, producer and instrumentalist, and his roles in such films as The Hunger Games franchise. GRAMMY Museum Founding Executive Director Bob Santelli interviewed Jean, founder of The Fugees, who reminisced about his longtime, GRAMMY-winning career and performed selections from his musical journey.  n

Lenny Kravitz with Questlove in NJPAC’s Victoria Theater

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behind the scenes with grammy greats

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re: invest

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With everything for life, “ work and play just steps

away, One Theater Square embodies a bold, new vision of downtown Newark. —Carl Dranoff



front & center “In residence” has a new meaning at NJPAC. The first phase of a decade-long plan to build luxury apartments under the imprimatur of the Arts Center concluded on October 3 with a snipping of a ribbon, cheering, and sighs of satisfaction. Attending the outdoor ceremony opposite One Theater Square were NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber and his senior leaders; Carl Dranoff of Dranoff Properties, Inc., the site’s developer; former Gov. Tom Kean, whose vision for an all-inclusive cultural center led to this day; Mayor Ras J. Baraka; and other community stakeholders. Even the Newark Boys Chorus lent their voices to the proceedings. The occasion marked the completion of the city’s first residential high-rise in more than a half-century, thanks to the unique public-private consortium of NJPAC, Dranoff Properties, the City of Newark, Prudential Financial, Fifth Third Bank, and the State of New Jersey. Leasing of the 245 units began in June, and by the time of the “grand opening” about half had been rented. Twenty-four apartments were reserved for candidates earning less than $38,000 a year and chosen by lottery, with preference given to applicants already living in Newark.

“With everything for life, work and play just steps away, One Theater Square embodies a bold, new vision of downtown Newark,” said Dranoff. The top of the line studios and apartments in one-, two- and threebedroom models, most with balconies, appeal to a variety of tastes and budgets and rival living options in Jersey City, Hoboken, Manhattan and Brooklyn. Apartments range from 504 square feet to 1,604 square feet. The units boast gourmet kitchens, plank floors, high ceilings, ample storage, and views of Military Park, Downtown Newark and the Manhattan skyline. Amenities include a lobby with a 24-hour concierge, a spacious club room with a demonstration kitchen, a billiards room with private terrace, a fitness center and yoga room, and an outdoor entertainment space with soft seating, TVs and outdoor fire pits. There is an attended 285-car garage, a neighborhood police substation, and 12,000 square feet of shops and restaurants planned for the ground level. The mayor told Real Estate NJ, “Not only for the building to go up, but for people to be inside of it so fast, is a testament to what is going on in this city, to the great leaders that we have here, to the folks that are working around the clock collaboratively to make Newark a destination city.”  n

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the next

big thing

plans are in the works for the transformation of njpa�’s extra acreage NJPAC’s property along McCarter Highway, fronting the Passaic River, is known to visitors as the site of surface parking lots A and C, offering them convenient, quick sprints from the outdoors to the front doors. The Arts Center’s original founders, thinking forward, imaged the tract as a kind of time capsule – a placeholder for a day when vision and opportunity would align for its redevelopment. Now we can expect something amazing to grow from the pavement. Fertile with potential, the 6.1 acres are being conceptualized as the cornerstone of an arts and education district. The parcel’s

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metamorphosis into an always-somethinggoing-on city square will put even more momentum behind Downtown Newark’s ongoing transformation into a live/play/ work destination. “The construction and successful debut of the One Theater Square residential tower gave us a premonition of what the future could bring, sooner rather than later,” said NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. Acquiring real estate adjacent to the campus for eventual development was part of the plan held in mind years ago by Gov. Tom Kean and NJPAC’s founders. Written into the mission statement was NJPAC’s promise to be a catalyst in the

‘ groundbreaking’ talent

This new curated community will help drive the next generation of NJPAC’s mission as an anchor cultural institution.

— John Schreiber reshaping of the downtown into a vibrant, 24/7 urban environment. The new district will feature a mix of residential, retail and cultural uses, plus enhanced infrastructure and parking. Like One Theater Square, the intent is to create another lifestyle oasis in the revitalized downtown, while providing an alternative stream of revenue to support the Arts Center and its work. This year’s announcement of the hiring of Tim Lizura as Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Capital Projects was championed as a vital first step in bringing the dream closer to the drawing table. “This new new curated community will help drive the next generation of NJPAC’s mission as an anchor cultural institution,” said Schreiber, “and we consider ourselves fortunate that Tim is on board as the work begins to prepare for phase one.”  n

Meet Tim Lizura, NJPAC’s new Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Capital Projects Thoughtful real estate development will play a critical role in the Arts Center’s near future, so the institution turned to one of the State’s most respected professionals to shape strategy going into the next decade. Tim Lizura, former President and COO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, was named Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Capital Projects in October. He oversees the development of NJPAC property, a responsibility that also directly connects to the continuing improvements in Newark’s downtown. Lizura, who worked for the EDA for 22 years, is a Rutgers alum whose long career included involvement with many Newark projects: the new Prudential building on Broad Street, Teachers Village, Hotel Indigo, Boraie Development’s Rector Street high-rise, and the Arts Center’s own One Theater Square, among others. He also served as Director of the World Trade Center Redevelopment Department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “Tim’s extensive experience guiding real estate development through public-private partnerships is just what is needed to enhance NJPAC’s role in the ongoing revitalization of the city, as well as ready us to explore opportunities to expand the Arts Center’s impact throughout the region,” said President and CEO John Schreiber. “Tim’s hiring raises the curtain on NJPAC’s next act.”  n

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men of letters When our contractors shout “Give me an ‘N’!” ya gotta hand it to them. The Arts Center’s famed acronym, prominently displayed at the top of the lobby façade for a little more than two decades, was gingerly replaced in summer, letter by letter, to make way for a brushed silver-colored NJPAC outlined in blazing orange— also built to last. In addition, beginning on July 15, Victoria Theater, Prudential Hall, nico kitchen + bar, and Military Park Garage all underwent “face” lifts: Signage was designed in the custom font known as NJPAC Sans, which can be seen on Arts Center paraphernalia ranging from floor-to-ceiling banners and pocket-size brochures to T-shirts and bumper magnets. Under the supervision of angie, a marketing and visual communications company in Hackensack, CAD Signs dispatched a pair of boom trucks outfitted with 135- and 140-foot cranes to hoist the giant aluminum letters skyward. Each of the lowercase characters weighs from 75 to 100 pounds and the longest (“j”) is about 14 feet, says Jay Dority, NJPAC’s Director of Facilities and Capital Projects, of the letter he most identifies with. One challenge was pinpoint repositioning the trucks to allow the cranes to extend safely through the openings in the building’s structural steel canopy. Another was to convince nesting birds to find new digs outside the old hollow letters detached from the brickwork. The new NJPAC sign is sealed with a backing to deter unwanted tenants. Like the original, the new logo is up-lit by lamps focused on each of the letters. The illumination was the final dramatic touch as August arrived.  n


bold signage proudly displays the arts center’s new visual identity

a new face for njpac

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a pair of partners

M&T Bank stepped forward as title sponsor of the 2018-19 dance season, which culminates with a grand 60th anniversary celebration of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 92

njpa� welcomes goya foods and m&t bank Two outstanding corporations partnered with the Arts Center in 2018 in support of its mission to maintain the highest standards of excellence on its stages and to create transformative cultural experiences for communities throughout New Jersey. Goya Foods, Inc., the country’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, became NJPAC’s Official Sponsor of Latin Programming and Education, and the Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T Bank received title sponsorship of NJPAC’s diverse dance series. Funding from Goya strengthens the Arts Center’s efforts to advance Latin culture in New Jersey through performance, literacy, arts training and community engagement. Programs benefiting from the sponsorship include Dancing Classrooms™—a nationally recognized ballroom dance competition for fifth- and eighth-graders—and Books on the Move, which brings dramatic readings of children’s books into schools, public libraries and community centers. Goya championed many Latin performances for adults and students, for example, Congas y Canto: An Evening of Latin Jazz with Eddie Palmieri, Sheila E. and Tito Rojas, featured during the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and a SchoolTime performance and residency with Afro-Cuban jazz musician Arturo O’ Farrill. “We’re deeply grateful that Goya Foods enthusiastically supports arts learning for children at NJPAC, but particularly Dancing Classrooms—a program that has proven to be life-changing in building young students’ self-esteem, discipline and sportsmanship,” said Alison ScottWilliams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts

Samantha Figgins and Jeroboam Bozeman

Education. “The company’s advancement of ‘strong bodies, strong minds’ will connect the arts and nutrition in creative and essential ways.” M&T Bank, a past sponsor of R.A.M.P., one of the Arts Center’s most impactful initiatives for children, stepped forward as title sponsor of the 2018-19 dance season, which culminates with a grand 60th anniversary celebration of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. M&T Bank is promoting the vitality and diversity of dance in New Jersey by supporting performances, but also by advancing Community Engagement’s free dance events throughout the State and by donating a block of tickets for The Hip Hop Nutcracker to a Newark school. M&T Bank and NJPAC have enjoyed a multi-year relationship, which has included the bank’s participation in R.A.M.P. (Recorder Arts for Musical Pathways), a program that serves thousands of Newark schoolchildren. R.A.M.P. provides recorders to third- and fourth-graders, who receive classroom instruction in reading music, perform on the recorder, and join in a culminating concert with professional musicians in NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. “M&T Bank continues to build meaningful in-roads that connect the arts to Newark’s varied communities,” said John Schreiber, NJPAC’s President and CEO. “Dance fans are the most diverse of any of our audiences at the Arts Center, and each season we offer them programs celebrating traditional ballet, modern dance, folkloric, hip hop and more. We’re grateful to have the strong partnering arm of M&T Bank, which is helping to ensure the success of our mission to engage our constituents.”  n

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but wait … there’s more! the latest perks for njpac members only

We want members to feel like njpa� is their place, that they belong here, that it’s an institution they are a part of and that they want to see thrive.

—John Schreiber

It’s nice to flash around an AmEx platinum card or MasterCard Black Card, but they just don’t jazz up your wallet like the cheerful, sunburst-y orange of the NJPAC membership card.

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With a February announcement of enhanced perks, members soon realized the card was more than just a pretty façade. Benefits were added at ALL seven membership levels. The result? A 30% increase in membership. The relaunch of the program was designed by the Development Department to attract new members as well as acquaint them with the amazing work of Arts Education students and NJPAC programming,

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often through behind-the-scenes events. Who doesn’t want to shake hands with Audra McDonald?

11/22/17 11:31 AM

“We want members to feel like NJPAC is their place, that they belong here, that it’s an institution they are a part of and that they want to see thrive,” said President and CEO John Schreiber. “The redesigned card and benefits are a way to thank our members for their support, but also to increase their investment—of their time and their energy, not just their money—in the Arts Center.” Among the enticements are a great piece of swag like this year’s tote bag and dining discounts at restaurants like nico kitchen +

benefits were added at all membership levels, resulting in a 30% increase in membership

bar, Marcus B&P, or Dutch’s Restaurant at the TRYP by Wyndham hotel. You can skip to the front of the line for NJPAC’s concession stands at sell-out performances or have your own preferred parking space reserved. Depending on the membership giving level, after-show receptions, open rehearsals, invitations to Arts Education events, and meet-and-greets with artists are offered throughout the year. A family level at $175 entitles the gang to special discounts on weekend classes and family shows or an invite to activities like a hip hop dance class before a performance of The Hip Hop Nutcracker. (Individual student memberships are $25.)

Members at the $300 level can enjoy an event in partnership with the Women’s Association of NJPAC and a $5 discount on day-of parking for a performance, among other incentives. Sustainer members are extended the opportunity to join an “insider dinner” with NJPAC leadership or Board. And did we mention that those reserved parking spaces are strategically located to get you in and out of the lots or garage ahead of the crowd? “Put your new card in your wallet,” Schreiber advised members. “It’s a small but powerful symbol of your passion for the performing arts.”  n

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re: imagine

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One of the soggiest of Septembers departed New Jersey with a glittery moon, a whisper of a breeze and not a raindrop in sight for the Women’s Association of NJPAC’s Spotlight Gala 2018.

Founders Award, Ostrowsky began by acknowledging those founders for their philanthropy: Raymond and Patricia Chambers, Arthur and the late Patricia Ryan and Roy and Diana Vagelos.

Illuminated in vivid color against the clear night sky, the NJPAC campus became an Ozian destination for more than 900 guests, many of whom lingered outdoors to take in the scene on Chambers Plaza.

Borrowing a lyric from the Tony Bennett tune “Because of You,” NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber reminded each donor that their generosity supported programs in schools and communities throughout the State; just one example cited was a free screening of Marshall earlier this month for hundreds of high school students who joined in a discussion with John Marshall, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. (See related story, page 76.)

For Spotlight Gala 2018, the spaciousness of Prudential Lobby was enhanced by a dual-level tent that accommodated a dance floor, presided over by DJ Kiss, as well as a lounge for kicking back, networking or people-watching. Social by design, serious by mission— this year’s Gala on September 29 raised some $2.3 million for arts learning and NJPAC general operations—the WA also recognizes Newark leaders whose accomplishments elevate education and quality of life in the community. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka appeared onstage to honor RWJBarnabas Health President and CEO Barry Ostrowsky, born and raised in the city, for his network’s front-running strategies for healthier living, as well as his devotion to the arts. Accepting the WA’s

And then the music played. A set lit in gold gave extra sparkle to the brass in Christian McBride’s Big Band, which accompanied a procession of jazz artists there to pay tribute to the music of Lena Horne, Billie Holiday and Newark’s “Divine One,” Sarah Vaughan. Eighteen-year-old Nia Harris, an alum of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens and currently enrolled at Berklee College of Music, was first up for the women, who also included vocalists Cyrille Aimée

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began as a small group of women who banded together “ What to embrace the idea of a New Jersey Performing Arts Center has become one of the most powerful forces in the State … ” — Sarah Rosen

Managing Director, Women’s Association of NJPAC (first winner of NJPAC’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition), Valerie Simpson of the great songwriting partnership Ashford and Simpson, and R&B supernova Alice Smith, singing “Tenderly” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” In addition to bassist and music director McBride, the headlining men were guitarist and singer Raul Midón, Southside Johnny (whose latest album is an homage to Billie Holiday), and former Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams, an acclaimed guitarist. Celebrating the Music of Lena, Billie & Sarah featured more than a few musical surprises—McBride and Southside Johnny in “Billie’s Bounce,” a bluesy duet for bass and harmonica, Aimée scatting magnificently to that same bass on “Lullaby of Birdland”—but the most overwhelming was saved for last, when a fourth jazz legend was commemorated. Simpson led Smith and Aimée in a salute to the recently departed Aretha Franklin, concluding with “Ain’t No Way.” The audience reconvened, humming bits of “Stormy Weather” or “Someone to Watch Over Me,” for a foodie fantasia staged by NJPAC Events. Among the appetizers at the cocktail reception were skewers of glazed duck in sweet plum sauce, dragon fruit and tuna ceviche, and the centerpiece of the tent: a station of mini-“meat”balls displaying turkey meatballs with cranberry glaze, salmon balls with lemon caper crème fraîche, and more. The main entrée

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was a gourmet’s reimagining of surf’n’turf: petit filet mignon with peppercorn sauce incorporating Newark’s All Points West Whiskey, lemon grilled shrimp, wild mushroom polenta cake, and roasted artichoke and tomato. The dessert extravaganza occupying the greater part of the lobby in the later hours is traditionally the spot for mingling over wishfully non-caloric treats; diners kvelled over skewered marbles of poached pear dipped in zabaglione, popping them like gumdrops. Sharing in the evening’s festivities were NJPAC Board Chair John Strangfeld, WA President Marcia Wilson Brown, and Gala Co-Chairs Mindy Cohen, Vice President of the WA, and Kevin Conlin, Chairman and CEO of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Prudential was the Gala’s lead sponsor. To date, the WA has raised more than $52 million on behalf of the Arts Center, says Sarah Rosen, Managing Director of the WA. “What began as a small group of women who banded together to embrace the idea of a New Jersey Performing Arts Center has become one of the most powerful forces in the State, advancing world-class artistry, a cultural home for our children, and the renaissance of Newark.”  n

Clockwise from top left: Alice Smith, Christian McBride & Cyrille Aimée, Valerie Simpson, Nia Harris

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Chambers Plaza dressed up for Spotlight Gala 2018

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to date, the women’s association of njpac has generated more than $52 million for the state’s anchor cultural institution

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topping it all off

the 2018 spring luncheon raised a record-setting $230,000 for arts education & njpa� operations

Want to make sure that people turn out for an event in especially spring-like finery?

But, as at Ascot and the Kentucky Derby, the hats are the event’s crowning glory.

Here’s one way: Arrange for winter to hang on well past its welcome.

“I came last year and I saw all the women in beautiful hats, so I knew I had to get something like that to wear,” said Gloria Walker, who paired a floral dress with a fascinator topped in puffs of magenta netting that perched on the side of her head like an early peony.

“I felt like I was wearing black for 10 months!” exclaimed Christine Pearson, a member of the Women’s Association of NJPAC Board. So Pearson made up for that long season of dreariness by wearing a baby-blue pantsuit—covered in a pink-and-purple floral vine print, and paired with a hot pink top—at the WA’s annual Spring Luncheon and Auction on May 8. A fundraiser for NJPAC and its Arts Education programs, the Luncheon is known for its covetable silent auction prizes (Public bikes or Seinfeld tickets, anyone?), its healthy treats served on the stage of Prudential Hall—and for a crowd that celebrates the chance to dress up to the nines. Warm sunny weather helped that impulse along this year. Florals and fancy footwear were a recurring theme of the outfits paraded through the Luncheon’s cocktail hour in the Prudential Lobby, as pastel drinks were passed and plenty of Instagram-worthy selfies were taken.

“This is my grandmother’s, from the ‘20s,” said Lori Roper, a writer in residence at Newark’s Gallery Aferro, adjusting her bright yellow pillbox-style hat. “It’s antique haberdashery.” After the networking reception and auction, Luncheon attendees heard from NJPAC’s hip hop students, and were treated to a talk on fueling a sense of purpose in work and in one’s home life, by author and Essence magazine editor Mikki Taylor and CBS News national correspondent Michelle Miller. By day’s end, not only had everyone been inspired and had a chance to revel in their spring wardrobes, but more than $230,000 had been raised for arts education and NJPAC operations—a new record for this annual event.  n

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shows of strength The Women’s Association of NJPAC teamed with the Department of Community Engagement to salute women of achievement with a series of special events during Women’s History Month. Some of the activities that put a spotlight on sheroes included:

»»The Activist Collector: An African-

American Woman’s Journey from Newark to Pre-Apartheid South Africa, a free presentation in association with the Newark History Society, took place on March 5. The conversation centered on Lida Clanton Broner, a Newarker who voyaged to South Africa in 1938 and returned with a remarkable collection of art, much of which was donated to the Newark Museum.

»»PSE&G True Diversity Film Series

unreeled Girl Rising on March 15 in Victoria Theater. This Emmy-nominated 2013 documentary follows the stories of nine girls from different parts of the globe who pursue an education to rise above their desperate circumstances. Admission was free to the screening and panel discussion, which included WA Trustee Michellene Davis of RWJBarnabas Health as moderator and girls from the Newark area.

»»On the same evening, the Institute

of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark co-hosted Jazz Jam Sessions at Clement’s Place, the club space in Rutgers’ residence building at 15 Washington St. This installment of the free jam series focused on women composers and songwriters. Talented musicians of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens traditionally open the session, which gives students an avenue to improvise with the pros.

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»»A dramatic reading of a work-in-

progress—Turning by playwright Darrah Cloud—took place in the Chase Room on March 16. Presented as part of the NJPAC Stage Exchange, the play is based on the real-life story of the first women’s gymnastics Olympic team, which trained in New Jersey and went on to compete for the U.S. in 1936 Berlin. The reading was followed by a Q&A with the cast, creators and partnering theater Centenary Stage.

»»The next day, Books on the Move, the

Arts Center’s touring series of children’s book presentations, gave dramatic readings of Firebird, an autobiography by ballerina Misty Copeland, at venues in East Orange and Jersey City. This account by the first African-American woman to become a principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre was read by an NJPAC Teaching Artist; youngsters participated in a related arts activity and received a copy of the book to take home.

»»Another free film screening, on March

22 at Express Newark, was the 2017 documentary STEP, Amanda Lipitz’s account of a girls’ high school step-dancing team in Baltimore. The showing was followed by a step class taught by Maxine Lyle of Soul Steps.

»»A Quest for Freedom, a dance and

music presentation in celebration of women, gathered dancers of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in performance with the famed Ahn Trio, an ensemble of three sister instrumentalists. This unique collaboration was performed on March 24 to new music created for the occasion, as well as the trio’s interpretations of songs by David Bowie, Prince, Kenji Bunch and others.  n

PSE&G True Diversity Film Series



things you probably didn’t know about

volunteering Before there was an NJPAC, there were NJPAC volunteers, rallied together by Dena Lowenbach (who remains a key member of the Arts Center’s universe). Today, more than 250 of them not only provide a supportive arm to the staff, but our guests benefit from their know-how on practically a daily basis. The volunteers are also known for their close-knit friendships, wholehearted team spirit—and taste for nuttiness: Their season kick-offs at the Arts Center elevate themes like wacky game shows or the Fabulous ‘50s to inconceivable levels. This crew obviously doesn’t stand on ceremony but they take their mission very seriously. The following are insider factoids about volunteering at NJPAC:

1. Volunteers in the arts can profoundly influence the life of a child. From the moment a student steps through the door at NJPAC for a class, a performance or an activity, he or she is likely to encounter the guidance of a volunteer. And that volunteer could very well watch this child grow creatively and vertically through the years. “I began volunteering at NJPAC in 1999 after retiring from Prudential Insurance Company,” says Jeanette Marable. “Some of the students have become professional musicians, some have returned to NJPAC to work in Arts Education. … It was inspiring to witness their progress.”

2. Volunteers are always learning something new from interesting people.

Volunteers lend many helping hands to Guest Services, which has a direct connection to our patrons. Visitors checking their coats or looking for a restaurant recommendation at the info desk in the lobby are likely to be greeted by a volunteer. More than a few volunteers report that their most rewarding experiences are striking up conversations with audience members and working alongside NJPAC’s Teaching Artists. Ginny Bowers Coleman Director, Volunteer Services

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“I got to meet and help amazing people (and) see how talented the kids and instructors are,” recalls Vincent Veneziano, an intern from Ramapo College who became immersed in set design at NJPAC. “This is what I learned from the internship program: responsibility, helping, organizing and creating.”

3. Speaking of interns, they sometimes discover new career paths here. The Arts Center’s interns are required to dedicate 10% of their hours to the Department of Volunteer Services. Their majors vary from business and public administration to marketing and communications. Sometimes their experiences at NJPAC coincide with their classroom learning, but often students venture into other areas of the entertainment industry that appeal to them. “This internship has prompted me to look into a business management minor,” writes Erick Correa from Rutgers in New Brunswick. “I participated in a few volunteer and social media projects,” notes Elida Abreu, a student at Essex County College. “There was something new for me to do every day, so my daily activities constantly changed.”

4. Volunteers are from your neighborhood and in your neighborhood. NJPAC’s volunteers work closely with Community Engagement in bringing family programs beyond four walls and into schools, churches and other public spaces throughout New Jersey. This could translate into assisting with a dance workshop in Asbury Park, staffing a booth at a street fair in Nutley, or participating in the massive coordination of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. One of Doris Revis’ favorite programs is Books on the Move, a free series that brings dramatic readings and related arts activities to 30 venues each year. “We go from the inner cities of Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, etc., to the suburbs of Glen Ridge, Chatham and Millburn,” she explains. “The kids are the same everywhere—eager to learn and be drawn into the awesomeness of books. “I feel that we don’t just take NJPAC out into the community; we always bring a little bit of the community back with us to NJPAC.”

5. Volunteers don’t have to be fluent in the arts—just fond of them. Diane Evans says she is more comfortable in an office setting than near a stage, even though she raised a dancer daughter. The Linden resident enjoyed a long career as a professional accountant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Navy; after responding to a notice seeking volunteers at NJPAC, she was quickly welcomed by the Development Department. Once a week, she lightens the workload by organizing and reconciling documents and monitoring the department’s software programs for efficiency. Social media, computing, security, construction, education … those are just a sampling of the diverse disciplines that contribute to the running of an arts center. And volunteers are an essential part of the infrastructure that keeps things humming along.  n

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can’t draw, I can’t “ Ising, I can’t play

an instrument. But I believe that the arts are important for New Jersey, for the quality of life in this State.

— Josh Weston,

Honorary Chairman ADP



inquiring mind

josh weston finds fulfillment on paths less taken

Doing the expected thing? That’s not how Josh Weston—the former CEO of ADP, one of New Jersey’s most active philanthropists, and a Board member at both NJPAC and Jersey City’s Liberty Science Center (LSC)—gets things done. One early example: Weston could have gone straight into business when he graduated college, back in 1950. But walking through the halls at City College of New York his senior year, the young man from Brooklyn noticed a sign on the wall: Apply for a Fulbright. “What’s a Fulbright?” he asked the dean of students; he’d never heard of the federally-funded international scholarship program, then only a few years old. “The dean said: ‘Don’t waste your time trying to go to England or France, your chances are one in a thousand.’ So I asked him what he suggested, and he said: ‘Well, no one knows where New Zealand is.’ “So I went to look up New Zealand!” Weston recalls, almost 70 years later. “In the library, because we didn’t have Google then. It turns out they were the second country in the world to have single-payer health. I thought: I’m going to study this, someday knowing how that works will be useful in America!” He chuckles; single-payer may have taken a bit longer to reach the States than he anticipated. Weston applied, won a Fulbright, and, though he’d never been farther from home than Niagara Falls, at 22 he packed up to get a master’s in economics at the University of New Zealand in Wellington, 9,000 miles away. Today, what he remembers most is the journey there and back again: the disappointingly rocky beaches of Hawaii, meeting the islanders of Fiji, and traveling by boat, as there was then only one flight weekly into Wellington, a clipper plane that landed on the water.

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“And,” he remembers, “I asked the Fulbright people: Look, could I come back going the other way? They said yes—and I got to hit another 15 countries on the trip home.” Figuring out how to take a side trip around the globe on a trip home from school? That’s a signature Weston move: He always takes time to think outside the box and explore all the possibilities. Among other things, it helped him rise through the ranks at ADP, a company he joined in 1970 after years at the mail-order firm J. Crew. His success at ADP was stratospheric; he became the company’s chairman and CEO by 1982, and he held that title for 15 years. The firm—which offers human resources services to thousands of

doing here? Why? How can I do it better? It’s applying curiosity to the workplace.” At ADP, Weston’s curiosity led him to become known for both innovation—he spearheaded the use of computers there in the 1970s—and for an exceptionally personal touch, which included calling hospitalized employees himself to check on how they were doing. He also thought outside the box when it came to ADP’s social responsibility, throwing his company’s support behind NJPAC from the minute then-Governor Tom Kean unveiled a model of his vision for the Arts Center for Weston and other CEOs at a Drumthwacket pow-wow.

you’re a successful company, you have an obligation “ When to give back. It helps the business, too—if there’s a good quality of life where you’re doing business, it helps you recruit employees, retain employees. ” — Josh Weston

companies—was a relatively small concern, worth perhaps $20 million, he estimates, when he first came on board. By the time he left, it had revenues in the billions. How’d he do it? “Curiosity helped, I think curiosity is important,” says Weston, now retired but still ADP’s honorary chairman; he keeps an office at the company’s airy, futuristic headquarters on ADP Way in Roseland. “When I’m talking at business schools, I tell them this: 39 plus one equals more than 40 plus zero. “And they look at me like I’m crazy and I say: Alright, I got your attention. Here’s why: A 40-plus-zero person goes to work eight hours a day, five days a week, doing the same thing. Right next to him is a 39-plus-one person, who takes one of those 40 hours and thinks: What am I

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Although he did not simply fund the idea; he got involved in what NJPAC would look like, right from that very first meeting. “(Kean) had this model of a mini Lincoln Center he wanted to build and he said: ‘Guys, what do you think of this?’ I said: ‘Hey, Tom. Build one building, and build it right,’” Weston recalls of that first meeting with Kean.

Under Weston’s leadership, ADP invested millions into NJPAC over the years, starting well before the building opened—and Weston put even more of his own personal wealth into the Arts Center during that time. For one thing, as a lifelong fan of the NJSO, he felt it deserved an acoustically superb concert hall with flawless sightlines. But more than that, he sees giving back as his responsibility—both as ADP’s leader, and as a citizen of New Jersey.

“I can’t draw, I can’t sing, I can’t play an instrument,” he says.

he says, he pushes for the expansion of the Arts Center’s educational programs.

“But I believe that the arts are important for the State, for the quality of life in this State. ADP started from almost zero in New Jersey. I think that when a company does well, it does well not just because its CEO does a good job. The whole environment the company grows up in helps. So when you’re a successful company, you have an obligation to give back.

He also has a unique role in the Board room, a result of his longtime involvement with NJPAC.

“It helps the business, too—if there’s a good quality of life where you’re doing business, it helps you recruit employees, retain employees.” In addition to support for the arts, Weston’s other passion is STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), which has fueled his support for LSC. “And the main thing is, NJPAC and Liberty, they’re both educational institutions, they’re not just for entertainment,” he says. He and his wife Judy have advocated for both institutions by not only giving money, but structuring their gifts as challenge grants— that is, offering funds that are released only when the institution can raise an equal amount from other donors. The idea is to use one donation to leverage others—and ultimately, broaden support for the institution. And the Westons stick close to their investments. Josh Weston can often be found in the audience at NJPAC presentations, from the New Jersey Speakers Series to NJSO performances and Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s lectures on astronomy. He also drops by to observe NJPAC’s arts education programs in action. “We try to have a significant involvement, you know—we just don’t show up with a check in an envelope, we like to know what’s going on,” Weston says. And of course, he has served on the Board of Directors at NJPAC for 18 years—where,

“At every Board meeting, (President and CEO) John Schreiber and (Board Chair) John Strangfeld—they expect me to break the ice with the first tough question. And I do. I’m chief questioner.” Weston’s 90th birthday in December was marked by a gala co-hosted by two institutions he’s supported for years: NJPAC and LSC. More than a hundred guests sipped champagne under LSC’s signature Hoberman Sphere, then wandered into the Weston Family Lab for Earth and Space Exploration, where visual data can be displayed on a spherical screen. More than 600 data sets—from detailed photos of every inch of the Moon, to graphs of the Earth’s water, color-coded by temperature—dazzled guests. Video greetings from far-flung friends who couldn’t be there in person—including the Mayor of Tel Aviv; former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert; the superintendent of the Montclair Public Schools; and David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee—were shown during dinner, interspersed with performances by the NJSO and classical-musicians-turnedrockers Charles Yang and Peter Dugan. Typically, when he finally got up to address the crowd, Weston didn’t talk about himself. Instead, he took the opportunity to talk up a new philanthropic project: The Safe Water Network, which provides sustainable sources of water in Ghana and India. It fell to the evening’s final performer, Broadway superstar Terrence Mann, to ask from the stage: “Josh! 90 years! How does that feel?!” “Age-adjusted, it’s okay!” Weston replied.  n

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on april 18 and 19, more than 200 njpac’ers were ready for their close-ups


Shine Portrait Studio put a face on NJPAC by hosting one big happy photo op in its space at Express Newark in the Hahne & Company building. “Stand still!” said no one, ever, since subjects were encouraged to move to the live beats of Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens and Newark’s DJ Fauzi while under the lights. NJPAC staffers and volunteers, who were snapped by talented RutgersNewark shutterbugs and some of their professional mentors, nibbled on sandwiches, crudités and occasionally the scenery by hamming it up with bits of costumes. Shine is fashioned in the tradition of a Main Street photo studio with the Newark community always in its lens. It provides free use of its state-of-the-art equipment and tech support to creatives throughout the area.


njpa� short stories 2018 MLK Celebration: Philip S. Thomas, Deborah Smith-Gregory, Rev. Ronald Slaughter, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Rick Thigpen, Donna Walker-Kuhne, John Schreiber

2018 rev. dr. martin luther king, jr. celebration Solidarity and service in the face of political turmoil was the recurrent theme of NJPAC’s Living the Dream awards ceremony on Jan. 12, held as part of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The gathering concluded with a spirited, faith-affirming concert by Mary Mary and Tasha Cobbs-Leonard. Three honorees, whose contributions to Newark and its greater community embrace the King legacy, were ushered into the Chase Room to the uplifting sounds of the Rev. Stefanie Minatee’s Jubilation Choir and young musicians of NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens. More than 200 dinner guests stood in ovations for Newark NAACP President Deborah Smith-Gregory, recipient of the Steward of the Dream award; the Rev. Ronald Slaughter, Senior Pastor of St. James AME Church, recognized

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as the Visionary of the Future, and Philip S. Thomas, NJPAC’s Founding Vice President of Arts Education, who was inducted into the Council of Elders. Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka condemned the relentless divisiveness in Washington and praised the evening’s awardees for “making Dr. King’s legacy a reality in the City of Newark.” His points were echoed in remarks by NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber, who forwarded the idea that King today would be heartened by the power of the community in shouldering the fight for social justice. Rick Thigpen, Vice President of State Governmental Affairs for PSEG—sponsor of the event, with United Airlines and ADP— returned to Living the Dream proceedings to share his esteem for the honorees, whom he described as “extraordinary examples of achievement in our own community.”  n

side by side njpac’s advisory councils

When time and resources are invested in fostering a relationship with a community, the benefits accumulate in interesting ways. Thanks to a committed complement of volunteers who serve on NJPAC’s Advisory Committees, there’s been more music, dance, art and conversation for everyone in the public to enjoy at no cost. Donna Walker-Kuhne, Senior Advisor for Community Engagement, reports an increase in “signature programs” helmed by members of the Faith-Based, Jazz, Latino, Celebrate Dance, LGBTQ, and Elders committees. All these groups, which are consolidated under NJPAC’s Advisory Council, offer cultural knowledge about their constituencies to the Arts Center but have been taking a more proactive role in producing unique events with NJPAC as well. “The Faith-Based Committee’s Beyond Gospel programs at Express Newark are always filled to capacity,” noted Walker-Kuhne, giving as an example this year’s evening of live liturgical

dance. “They have a dynamic and exuberant membership that’s passionate about faith, the arts and NJPAC.” Members of the Celebrate Dance Committee raise their hands and leap to their feet by leading dance workshops— ballet, modern, tap, West African, liturgical, Chinese, you name it—and are now focused on engaging the Indian community (Hindu dance) in Middlesex County. Recent partners include Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts and DanceWorks Studios, both in Montclair, and Nimbus Dance Works in Jersey City, all of which provide instruction, a venue or both. The Latino Committee and Community Engagement have stepped up to take a producing and promotional role in the Hispanic Youth Showcase, a competition for gifted Hispanic children in music and dance, which has taken place at NJPAC each year since the Arts Center’s 1997 opening. Thanks to the Jazz Committee, jazz fans flock to Clement’s Place at Rutgers-Newark for free, SRO Jazz Jam Sessions. Often, these concerts will follow a theme, like women songwriters or holiday

The Council of Elders

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favorites, or feature a guest artist (tapper Maurice Chestnut).

year’s recipient of the M. John Richard/ NJPAC Community Service Award.

Pearls of Wisdom, the intergenerational dialogue series held at Clement’s Place, is the brainchild of the Council of Elders, which was seeking a way to bridge the student and senior populations of Newark. Topics put up for discussion have included “Passing the Torch: Reclaiming Our Communities” and “Parallel Worlds: 1968 and 2018.” (The Council of Elders and the Faith-Based Committee intersected on the Pearls of Wisdom concept, which made for an extra-winning combination.)

Presiding over the 10th annual ceremony on November 19, the award’s namesake and his wife, Lynne, beamed as Marable recalled living in Newark’s Society Hill development and witnessing the implosion of Military Park Hotel to clear the way for the Arts Center. “I said, ‘I want to work there someday,’” she recalled.

And finally, the LGBTQ, or Pride, Committee began its own Amateur Night at the Apollo-type evenings with Free Form at nico kitchen + bar. The committee planned and promoted the free, two-hour event, which attracted a colorful collection of performers representing all aspects of the arts.  n

ambassador of dance “This is a happy task,” commented NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber before announcing that Community Engagement Producer Eyesha Marable would be this

M. John Richard, Eyesha Marable, Lynne Richard

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A warm, welcoming advocate for NJPAC on campus and out in the community, the Rev. Marable is celebrating 29 years of spreading the ministry of dance here and abroad. She founded the National Liturgical Dance Network, which trains and supports dance ministers, and serves as Coordinator of Dance for the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Church. Locally, she is the Supply Pastor of the Mt. Zion AME Church in Millburn and teaches dance at Bethany Baptist Church’s Community Health and Dance every Monday in Newark. A former professional dancer with Footprints Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and Showtime at the Apollo, she has shared the stage with LL Cool J and gospel artists like Donald Malloy. To see her perform with other liturgical dancers in Prudential Lobby or conduct a dance workshop for children is, in a word, uplifting. M. John Richard, NJPAC’s former COO, retires this year as the leader of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, where he worked for the last decade. He established the award to encourage the NJPAC team to become active and dedicated “ambassadors” in their communities. Those honored receive a $2,000 gift ($1,000 from NJPAC, $500 from the Richards and $500 from Schreiber) for a non-profit organization of their choice.  n

Right: Frank Giantomasi. Above: Leon G. Cooperman

forums on finance

lightly grilled Frank Giantomasi, the legal mastermind behind Hotel Indigo, One Theater Square, The Rock and so many more Newark developments, was in the hot seat at NJPAC’s First Annual Celebrity Roast on May 2. A tireless supporter of Newark kids—and one of the funniest fellows in the Garden State—Giantomasi has brought his lawyering skills to many real estate projects, especially in Downtown Newark. He agreed to be “given the business” by friends and celebrities in Victoria Theater for the benefit of NJPAC’s arts education programs; the dinner event raised more than $200,000. A grad of Seton Hall Law School and partner in the firm of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, this go-to guy was roasted by Jersey comedians Tom Papa and Judy Gold; ESPN Sports Center correspondent Reese Waters; and Adam Ferrara of Top Gear USA. His colleagues and family also got in their digs before his witty come-back round, all for a good cause.  n

Some of the best minds in the business world can be found at NJPAC because they want to see Lee Cooperman on stage. Leon G. Cooperman, who is former partner, Goldman Sachs, Chairman and CEO of Omega Family Office, a member of NJPAC’s Investment Committee, and a former Board member, has hosted Conversations with Lee Cooperman in the Chase Room since 2014. This series of sit-downs with corporate giants, broadcasters, political leaders and other thought leaders offers their wisdom on national issues, particularly the economy. This year, James Tisch, President and CEO of Loews Corp., talked with Cooperman about his family’s Atlantic City roots in hotel and theater development and the growth of Loews into today’s diversified conglomerate. On June 20, Cooperman welcomed two guests: Ken Langone and Bernie Marcus, friends, philanthropists and billionaire co-founders of The Home Depot. Conversations with Lee Cooperman is sponsored by Investors Bank.  n

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Above: Bishop Carlye J. Hughes Right: John Schreiber

oh, happy day Prudential Hall took on the grandeur of a cathedral for the joyous celebration of Carlye J. Hughes as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. Hughes is the first woman and African American elected to this position. Bishop Hughes most recently served as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, Texas; her first call was to St. James’ Church in New York City. Chief Consecrator for the September 22 ceremony was the Rev. Michael B. Curry, the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, who also preached at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19.  n

doctor in the house John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC, is usually the man who makes things happen behind the scenes at the Arts Center. But he was escorted ceremoniously to center stage in Prudential Hall on May 22, when he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at

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the Montclair State University Graduate School commencement. As the featured speaker at the graduation ceremony, he exhorted the graduates— whatever their field—to expand the reach of their profession and work toward the common good “by always being curious, collaborative, inclusive, unaccepting of ‘the way things are,’ fearless and energetic.”  n

a venue for new works Accomplished artists in search of support and space for new work are often welcomed to NJPAC, where they can utilize the resources of state-of-the-art theaters and show their creativity to a multicultural audience. At the TD James Moody Jazz Festival on November 16, jazz singer and songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant performed Ogresse, her first evening-length composition. Jointly commissioned by NJPAC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the song cycle was presented at all those venues around that time, as well as the McCarter

Theatre Center in Princeton. Fronting a small orchestra that included a banjo, a string quartet and a tuba, Salvant sang all the roles in the piece, which tells the bloodthirsty, gothic fable of an ogre woman with a tragic backstory and a lonely heart. (See story, page 14.) During the celebration of Kwanzaa in December, the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, which specializes in West African dance, shared an NJPAC stage for the first time with the GRAMMY-winning a cappella group SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK®. The program included the premiere of the song “The Living Waters” by Aisha Kahlil, a member of SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK. Kahlil’s song is a mournful cry about the ravaging pollution of the world’s waterways and the senseless destruction of natural resources.  n

up on the roof Clocking more than two decades on the calendar, NJPAC has to be proactive in keeping its infrastructure up to date. In FY18, an appropriation of $1.7 million from the State of New Jersey budget financed essential roof repairs and other capital replacements. The new roof has been designed for improved performance in hurricanes. In July, another $1.7 million was granted and targeted for the air conditioning system and house lighting system, both of which are nearing the end of their lifespans. With those improvements comes another perk: energy savings from newer technology. The units are expected to put $40,000 back in the Arts Center’s pockets each year.  n

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre

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Newark: The Next 50

a look back and forward Fifty years ago, Newark hovered between hope and despair as Martin Luther King preached one of his last messages and the rebellion of 1967 brought a long-simmering strife onto the streets. The challenges of the half-century ahead of us was the topic of Newark: The Next 50, a post-Election Day conversation in Victoria Theater. Moderated by award-winning Newark journalist Sandra King (of public television’s Due Process), the forum represented a partnership of NJPAC, Due Process and the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, with support from Newark Celebration 350. A panel of eight community leaders, introduced by Institute President and CEO Ryan Haygood, included Mayor Ras J. Baraka and former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. The dialogue was offered free to the public and included insights on gentrification, community policing, economic development, public education, and mass incarceration, among other issues. “I’m taking away two words,” said Haygood in conclusion. “’Stay’ and ‘build.’”  n

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njpac’s wellness fair

does a body good At the NJPAC Wellness Fair, 15 minutes is about all it takes to breathe easier, eat better, or pocket some knowledge on what makes us tick. Held for the third year, the displays and demonstrations by 19 vendors, which focused on fitness and preventative health practices, took place throughout the afternoon of June 18 in Prudential Lobby. Staffers could schedule quarter-hour sessions in meditation, yoga with Newark Yoga Movement founder Debby Kaminsky, or sword fighting with Meredith Hull, to list just a few activities. Sword fighting? Hull, who is NJPAC’s Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Operations and Real Estate, explained that the sport of historical rapier tones the body and hones the mind. She wields a longsword of steel (also called a two-hander) that’s nearly as tall as she is, and draws on her background in dance to deftly sidestep her opponents. The late Schary Cole of NJPAC’s Development Department was fondly remembered at a cook-off featuring healthful, staffer-made cuisine. Benefitseligible employees also participated in biometric screenings to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels, BMI and more.  n

transitions Veronica “Ronnie” Goldberg was a woman of firsts at NJPAC: She was a founding member of both the Board of Directors (1993) and what is now the Women’s Association of NJPAC (1994). She also served as the WA’s second president. When Goldberg announced her departure from the Board at the beginning of the year, a trove of institutional history shadowed her. A philanthropist who traces her Newark roots back to 19th century Irish immigrants, she is a symbol of the revival of the city she loves. Beyond Newark’s borders, she is a trustee of Foundation for Morristown Medical Center and served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports during the Clinton administration. You need only stroll outside on the Walk of Fame to see Goldberg’s fine hand at work; it was one of her best-loved NJPAC projects.  n The Board announced the retirement of Ann Borowiec, former CEO of J.P. Morgan Private Wealth Management and the first Chair of the Development Committee, instituted in 2014. Her strategic thinking was credited for the restructuring of the Development Department and the launch plans for the capital campaign. Borowiec, who joined the Board in 2010, is committed to education reform and tirelessly advocates for the elevation of the arts in our schools.  n In December, following a comprehensive search, Beth E. Silver was hired as NJPAC’s new Vice President Human Resources. The Montclair resident arrives at the Arts Center from her position as Senior Vice President/Head Human Resources Executive at Frederick Goldman Inc. in New York City, a leading jewelry manufacturer. Silver has deep expertise in employee relations, business compliance, and talent acquisition/retention. Her previous experience has included Manhattan-based posts at the market research firm GfK, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources, North America; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; and Grey Worldwide/Grey Global Group. She holds a master’s degree in marketing from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University.  n It was hello and goodbye for NJPAC’s ex officio Board members as Trenton ushered in a new Governor and his team. The Arts Center extends thanks to former Gov. Chris Christie, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and State Treasurer Ford M. Scudder for their active service to NJPAC. With the arrival of the new administration, Gov. Phil Murphy, Secretary of State Tahesha Way and State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio were welcomed to the Board. The new ex officio members have already become engaged in the work of the Arts Center and we look forward to their continued service.  n

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the budget picture Endowment Income and Transfers 7%

operating income – $45.8 million Endowment Income and Transfers 7% Contributed Revenue 28% Contributed Revenue Other28% Earned Income 12% Other Earned Income 12%

Performance Related Revenue 55% Performance Related Revenue 55% Arts Education Revenue 1% Arts Education Revenue 1%

operating expenses – $45.5 million General and Administrative 11% Marketing and Communications General and 5% Administrative 11% Marketing and Communications 5% Theater Operations 22% Theater Operations 22% 126 njpac.org

Development 6%

Development 6%

Performance and Performance Related 47% Performance and Performance Related 47%

Arts Education 9%

Arts Education 9%

new jersey performing arts center corporation

consolidated balance sheets june 30, 2018 and 2017


Cash and cash equivalents


Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts Contributions and grants receivable, net









Prepaid expenses and other assets






Property and equipment, net

Total assets







Liabilities and Net Assets

Liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued expenses



Advance ticket sales and other deferred revenue



Loans payable



Other liabilities









Total liabilities

Commitments and contingencies Net assets: Unrestricted:

Designated for special purposes, including net investment in property and equipment

Designated for operations



Total unrestricted



Temporarily restricted



Permanently restricted – endowment







Total net assets Total liabilities and net assets


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njpa� leadership board of directors as of february 28, 2019

Assistant Treasurer Secretary Steven M. Goldman, Michael R. Esq. Griffinger, Esq.

Assistant Secretary Alma DeMetropolis, CFA

Founding Chair Raymond G. Chambers

Chair Emeritus William J. Marino

Chair Emeritus Arthur F. Ryan

Donald A. Robinson, Lawrence E. Bathgate II, Esq. Esq.

James L. Bildner

Daniel M. Bloomfield, MD

Linda Bowden

Modia Butler

Jacob Buurma, Esq.

Dr. Nancy Cantor

Kevin P. Conlin

Wayne Cooperman

J. Fletcher Creamer, Jr.

Pat A. Di Filippo

Robert H. Doherty

Brendan P. Dougher Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Esq.

J. Andres Espinosa

Anne Evans Estabrook

Leecia R. Eve, Esq.

Michael Fucci

Thomas Gebhardt

Christine C. Gilfillan

Savion Glover

Steven E. Gross, Esq.

Ryan P. Haygood, Esq.

William V. Hickey

Jeffrey T. Hoffman

J. Michael Hopkins

Ralph Izzo

The Honorable Thomas H. Kean

Scott A. Kobler

Ellen B. Marshall

Chair John R. Strangfeld

Treasurer Marc E. Berson


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Debbie Dyson

In memorium Tracey Massey

D. Nicholas Miceli

Barry Ostrowsky

Victor Parsonnet, M.D.

Christopher R. Reidy Philip R. Sellinger, Esq.

The Honorable Clifford M. Sobel

David S. Stone, Esq.

Michael A. Tanenbaum, Esq.

Robert C. Waggoner Amrit Walia

Carmen Villar

One of the Arts Center’s greatest friends and benefactors, Patricia Ryan, was parted from us on May 6. A tribute to her remarkable life was held in Victoria Theater, where Art— her beloved husband of 54 years—and her children and grandchildren listened to wistful remembrances and inspirational music. As longtime philanthropists in Newark, the Ryans gave hope and support to such institutions as the Newark Boys Chorus School, the Newark Museum and historic Branch Brook Park. Here, she was a founding member and past President of the Women’s Association of NJPAC and chaired its first Gala, among so many other selfless accomplishments. Her grace and kindness leave boundless memories for those who were lucky enough to know her.  n


Nina M. Wells, Esq.

Josh S. Weston

The Honorable Ras J. Baraka

Marcia Wilson Brown, Esq.

The Honorable Mildred C. Crump

The Honorable Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

The Hon. Elizabeth Maher Muoio

Elizabeth A. Mattson

The Honorable Philip D. Murphy

President and CEO John Schreiber

The Honorable Tahesha Way

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board of directors as of february 28, 2019 Chair John R. Strangfeld Chairman & CEO Prudential Financial Treasurer Marc E. Berson Chairman The Fidelco Group Assistant Treasurer Steven M. Goldman, Esq. Partner Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, LLC Secretary Michael R. Griffinger, Esq. Director Gibbons P.C. Assistant Secretary Alma DeMetropolis, CFA Managing Director The Private Bank JPMorgan Chase Founding Chair Raymond G. Chambers The MCJ Amelior Foundation Chair Emeriti William J. Marino Retired Chairman, President & CEO Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Arthur F. Ryan Retired Chairman and CEO Prudential Financial Honorary Counsel Donald A. Robinson, Esq Partner Robinson & Miller LLC Lawrence E. Bathgate II, Esq. Partner Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. James L. Bildner CEO Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Daniel M. Bloomfield, M.D. President & CEO Cardurion Pharmaceuticals Linda M. Bowden New Jersey Regional President PNC Bank Modia “Mo” Butler Partner Mercury Public Affairs Jacob S. Buurma, Esq. Vice President The Sagner Companies

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Nancy Cantor, Ph.D. Chancellor Rutgers University — Newark Kevin P. Conlin Chairman, President & CEO Horizon BCBS of New Jersey Wayne Cooperman President Cobalt Capital Management J. Fletcher Creamer, Jr. CEO J. Fletcher Creamer & Sons, Inc. Pat A. DiFilippo Executive Vice President Turner Construction Corporation Robert H. Doherty New Jersey Market President Bank of America Brendan P. Dougher New York Metro Managing Partner PwC Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Esq. Chairman and Managing Director Gibbons P.C. Debbie Dyson President, ADP National Account Services ADP J. Andres Espinosa Executive Vice President & Chief Credit Risk Officer American Express Anne E. Estabrook CEO Elberon Development Co. Leecia R. Eve, Esq. Vice President, State Government Affairs (NJ, NY, CT) Verizon Michael Fucci Chairman of the Board Deloitte, LLP Thomas A. Gebhardt Chairman & CEO Panasonic Corporation of North America Christine C. Gilfillan President MCJ Amelior Foundation Savion Glover Actor, Tap Dancer, Choreographer Steven E. Gross, Esq. Chairman Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.

Ryan P. Haygood, Esq. President & CEO New Jersey Institute for Social Justice William V. Hickey Retired Chairman & CEO Sealed Air Corporation Jeffrey T. Hoffman Senior Vice President, N.A. Field Operations Data Analytics & Sales Effectiveness Chubb J. Michael Hopkins Managing Director & Head of Community Relations Broadridge Financial Ralph Izzo Chairman, President, and CEO PSE&G The Hon. Thomas H. Kean President THK Consulting, LLC Scott A. Kobler, Esq. Partner McCarter & English Ellen B. Marshall Northeast Regional Market Executive Santander Bank, N.A. Tracey Massey Regional President, Americas Mars Wrigley Confectionary D. Nicholas Miceli Regional President, Florida Metro TD Bank Barry H. Ostrowsky, Esq. President & CEO RWJBarnabas Health Victor Parsonnet, M.D. Retired Director of Surgical Research Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Christopher Reidy Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Administrative Officer BD Philip R. Sellinger, Esq. Managing Shareholder, New Jersey Greenberg Traurig, LLP The Hon. Clifford M. Sobel Former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil U.S. Department of State David S. Stone, Esq. Senior Managing Partner Stone & Magnanini

Michael A. Tanenbaum, Esq. Chairman Tanenbaum Keale, LLP Carmen S. Villar Vice President Merck, Co. Robert C. Waggoner Chairman BurrellesLuce Amrit Walia Regional Managing Director Wells Fargo, Private Bank Nina M. Wells, Esq. Former Secretary of State State of New Jersey Josh S. Weston Honorary Chairman ADP EX OFFICIO The Hon. Ras J. Baraka Mayor City of Newark Marcia Wilson Brown, Esq. President of the Women’s Association at NJPAC Vice Chancellor for External & Governmental Relations Rutgers University — Newark The Hon. Mildred Crump President, Newark Municipal Council City of Newark The Hon. Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. Essex County Executive The County of Essex, NJ Elizabeth A. Mattson Chairperson NJ State Council on the Arts The Hon. Elizabeth Maher Muoio Treasurer State of New Jersey The Hon. Philip D. Murphy Governor State of New Jersey John Schreiber President & CEO New Jersey Performing Arts Center The Hon. Tahesha Way Secretary of State

women’s association of njpac as of february 28, 2019

President Co-Executive Marcia Wilson Brown, Vice President Esq. Robin Cruz McClearn

Co-Executive Vice President Suzanne M. Spero

Vice President Mindy A. Cohen

Secretary Ellen W. Lambert, Esq.

Treasurer Michellene Davis, Esq.

Dini Ajmani

Beverly Baker-Jackson, Esq.

Audrey Bartner

Deborah Q. Belfatto

Sherri-Ann P. Butterfield, Ph.D.

Alejandra Ceja

Patricia A. Chambers* Carol Chartouni

Sally Chubb* **

Barbara Bell Coleman**

Christine C. Gilfillan

Tenagne Girma-Jeffries

Aisha Glover

Veronica M. Goldberg* **

Melissa A. Honohan

Sheila F. Klehm**

Ruth C. Lipper**

Dena F. Lowenbach

Terri MacLeod

Gabriella E. Morris, Esq.*

Trish Morris-Yamba

Ferlanda Fox Nixon, Esq.

Mary Beth O’Connor Immediate Past President

Lisa Osofsky

* Founding Member **Trustee Emerita Christine Pearson

Mary Kay Strangfeld** Faith Taylor

Mikki Taylor

Diana T. Vagelos* **

Nina Mitchell Wells, Esq.

Karen C. Young

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women’s association of njpac as of february 28, 2019 President Marcia Wilson Brown, Esq. Senior Vice Chancellor for External and Governmental Relations Rutgers University — Newark Co-Executive Vice Presidents Robin Cruz McClearn Owner East Avenue Advisors, LLC Suzanne M. Spero Executive Director The MCJ Amelior Foundation Vice President Mindy A. Cohen Gala 2019 Co-Chair Community Leader and Philanthropist Treasurer Michellene Davis, Esq. Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer RWJBarnabas Health Secretary Ellen Weisbrod Lambert, Esq President, EWLambert, LLC Chief Humanitarian Officer, Mothers Monument Dini Ajmani Assistant Treasurer State of New Jersey Beverly Baker-Jackson, Esq. President Baker & Baker Management Services Audrey Bartner Community Leader and Philanthropist Deborah Q. Belfatto Luncheon 2019 Co-Chair Community Leader and Philanthropist Sherri-Ann P. Butterfield, Ph.D. Executive Vice Chancellor Rutgers University — Newark Alejandra Ceja Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation Panasonic Corporation of North America

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Patricia A. Chambers* Community Leader and Philanthropist Chair, Lambert Bridge Winery Carol Chartouni Community Leader and Philanthropist Sally Chubb* ** Community Leader and Philanthropist Barbara Bell Coleman** President BBC Associates, LLC Christine C. Gilfillan Governance Chair President The MCJ Amelior Foundation Tenagne Girma-Jeffries Founder and CEO The Cultivation Group Aishia Glover President & CEO Newark Alliance Veronica M. Goldberg* ** Community Leader and Philanthropist Melissa A. Honohan Senior Manager, Alliance Advocacy Allergan Sheila F. Klehm** Managing Director Wealth Management UBS Financial Services Inc.

Ruth C. Lipper** Community Leader and Philanthropist

Mary Kay Strangfeld** Community Leader and Philanthropist

Dena F. Lowenbach Community Leader and Philanthropist

Faith Taylor Luncheon 2019 Co-Chair Professor Feliciano Business School Montclair State University Founder of Resiliency Center

Terri MacLeod Community Leader and Philanthropist Gabriella E. Morris, Esq.* Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships UNICEF USA Trish Morris-Yamba Community Leader and Philanthropist Ferlanda Fox Nixon, Esq. Editor/Franchisee TAPinto Denville Mary Beth O’Connor Immediate Past President Women’s Association of NJPAC Owner & Managing Partner Lucky VIII Films Lisa Osofsky Partner, Private Client Services Practice Leader Mazars USA, LLP Christine Pearson Community Leader and Philanthropist

Mikki Taylor President, Satin Doll Productions, Inc. Editor-at-Large, ESSENCE Magazine Diana T. Vagelos* ** Community Leader and Philanthropist Nina M. Wells, Esq. Former Secretary of State, State of New Jersey Karen C. Young U.S. Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Leader *Founding Member **Trustee Emerita

njpac senior management as of february 28, 2019 John Schreiber President and CEO Timothy Lizura Senior Vice President, Real Estate and Capital Projects Lisa Mantone Senior Vice President, Development

Lennon Register Vice President and CFO David Rodriguez Executive Vice President and Executive Producer Sarah Rosen Managing Director, Women’s Association

Alison Scott-Williams Vice President, Arts Education Beth Silver Vice President, Human Resources Chad Spies Vice President, Operations and Real Estate

Katie Sword Vice President, Marketing and Communications Warren Tranquada Executive Vice President and COO theater square development company, llc John Schreiber President

njpac council of trustees as of february 28, 2019 Val Azzoli Michael F. Bartow Rona Brummer John M. Castrucci, CPA Elizabeth G. Christopherson Susan Cole, Ph.D. Robert S. Constable Irene Cooper-Basch Anthony R. Coscia, Esq. Andrea Cummis Samuel A. Delgado

Steven J. Diner, Ph.D. Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. Curtland E. Fields Bruce I. Goldstein, Esq. Renee Golush Paula Gottesman Sandra Greenberg Kent C. Hiteshew Patrick E. Hobbs John A. Hoffman, Esq. Lawrence S. Horn, Esq.

Reverend M. William Howard, Jr. Reverend Reginald Jackson Howard Jacobs Byerte W. Johnson, Ph.D. Robert L. Johnson, M.D. Marilyn “Penny” Joseph Donald M. Karp, Esq. Douglas L. Kennedy Gene R. Korf, Esq. Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin

Ellen W. Lambert, Esq. Paul Lichtman Kevin Luing Joseph Manfredi Antonio S. Matinho Bari J. Mattes John E. McCormac, CPA Catherine M. McFarland Joyce R. Michaelson Edwin S. Olsen Richard S. Pechter Daria M. Placitella Jay R. Post, Jr., CFP Steven J. Pozycki Marian Rocker David J. Satz, Esq. Barbara J. Scott Marla S. Smith Suzanne M. Spero Joseph P. Starkey Sylvia Steiner Arthur R. Stern Andrew Vagelos Richard J. Vezza Kim Wachtel Rita K. Waldor Constance K. Weaver Elnardo J. Webster, II E. Belvin Williams, Ph.D. Gary M. Wingens, Esq.

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family of donors NJPAC thanks each and every one of its members for making a commitment that helps ensure the future well-being and success of your Arts Center.

njpac shining stars as of june 30, 2018 New Jersey Performing Arts Center reserves special accolades for its Shining Stars—the generous visionaries, luminaries and great dreamers who make everything possible. This list includes contributors whose cumulative giving to NJPAC totals $1 million and above.



$10,000,000 & above

$1,000,000 & above

The Chambers Family and The MCJ Amelior Foundation City of Newark Toby and Leon Cooperman Essex County Betty Wold Johnson New Jersey State Council on the Arts Prudential / The Prudential Foundation Estate of Eric F. Ross State of New Jersey Victoria Foundation Women’s Association of NJPAC

ADP Alcatel-Lucent American Express AT&T Randi and Marc E. Berson Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Chubb Stewart and Judy Colton Joanne D. Corzine Foundation Jon S. Corzine Foundation Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Edison Properties Newark Foundation/ The Gottesman Family Ford Foundation Gibbons P.C. Veronica M. Goldberg The Griffinger Family Harrah’s Foundation Hess Foundation, Inc. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey Jaqua Foundation Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies JPMorgan Chase Kresge Foundation The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Arlene Lieberman/The Leonard Lieberman+ Family Foundation

luminaries $5,000,000 & above Bank of America The Joan+ and Allen Bildner+ Family Fund CIT Merck Foundation Katherine M. and Albert W. Merck+ NJ Advance Media PSEG Foundation/PSEG Wells Fargo Judy and Josh Weston

A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper/Lipper Family Charitable Foundation McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Jersey Cultural Trust Panasonic Corporation of North America Dr. Victor and Jane Parsonnet Pfizer Inc. Michael F. Price PwC Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Charitable Trust Pat+ and Art Ryan The Sagner Family Foundation The Walter V.+ and Judith L. Shipley+ Family Foundation The Smart Family Foundation/David S. Stone, Esq., Stone and Magnanini John Strangfeld and Mary Kay Strangfeld Foundation Morris and Charlotte Tanenbaum TD Bank/TD Charitable Foundation Turner Construction Company Turrell Fund United Airlines Diana and Roy Vagelos Verizon Robert and Mary Ellen Waggoner Wallace Foundation + deceased

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the muse society as of june 30, 2018 NJPAC’s Muse Society recognizes those visionary friends who include the Arts Center in their financial planning through bequests, charitable gift annuities, insurance and other deferred gifts. We are deeply grateful to the following friends who have included the Arts Center in their estate plans and made known their future gift. For more information or to notify NJPAC of your intent to include it in your estate planning, contact Lisa Mantone, Senior Vice President of Development, at 973.297.5154. Audrey Bartner Judith Bernhaut Andrew T. Berry, Esq.+ Randi and Marc Berson Joan+ and Allen Bildner+ Candice R. Bolte Edmond H.+ and Joan K. Borneman Ann and Stan Borowiec Raymond G. Chambers Toby and Leon Cooperman Fred Corrado Ann Cummis Mr. and Mrs. James Curtis

Harold R. Denton Richard DiNardo Charles H. Gillen+ Bertha Goldman+ Steven M. Goldman, Esq. Phyllis and Steven E. Gross Opera Link/Jerome Hines+ Jackie and Larry Horn Rose Jacobs+ Gertrude Brooks Josephson+ and William Josephson in Memory of Rebecca and Samuel Brooks Adrian and Erica Karp

Gail and Max Kleinman Joseph Laraja, Sr.+ Leonard Lieberman+ Ruth C. Lipper Amy C. Liss Dena F. and Ralph Lowenbach Joseph and Bernice O’Reilly+ Mr. and Mrs. Paul Ostergaard Maria Parise+ Donald A. Robinson, Esq. Marian and David Rocker Estate of Eric F. Ross+ Bernice Rotberg+

Pat+ and Art Ryan Ethel Smith+ Leonard R. Stern+ Paul Stillman Trust Morris and Charlotte Tanenbaum Carolyn M. VanDusen Artemis Vardakis+ Nina and Ted Wells Judy and Josh Weston +deceased

premier donors and sponsors as of june 30, 2018 NJPAC is deeply grateful to the institutions and individuals whose aggregate contributions (gifts, grants, sponsorships and events) for the year total $50,000 or more. $1,000,000 & above New Jersey State Council on the Arts Prudential/The Prudential Foundation Women’s Association of NJPAC

$500,000 & above Toby and Leon Cooperman

$250,000 & above Bank of America/Bank of America Charitable Foundation The Horizon Foundation and New Jersey/Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey The Chambers Family and The MCJ Amelior Foundation PSEG Foundation/PSEG Victoria Foundation

$100,000 & above ADP American Express Audible, Inc.

The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Stewart and Judy Colton Betty Wold Johnson M&T Bank Merck Foundation New Jersey Cultural Trust PwC RWJBarnabas Health Pat+ and Art Ryan The Smart Family Foundation/ David S. Stone, Esq., Stone and Magnanini John Strangfeld and Mary Kay Strangfeld Foundation TD Bank/TD Charitable Foundation Wells Fargo Judy and Josh Weston

$50,000 & above Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office BD Randi and Marc Berson/ The Fidelco Group The Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund

Boraie Development LLC Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Jennifer A. Chalsty Mindy A. Cohen and David J. Bershad Deloitte, LLP Edison Properties Newark Foundation Mimi and Edwin Feliciano Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Gibbons P.C Steven M. Goldman, Esq. GOYA The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey William Randolph Hearst Foundation William and Joan Hickey Investors Bank/Investors Foundation, Inc. JPMorgan Chase William J. and Paula Marino McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane NJ Advance Media

NJM Insurance Group Panasonic Corporation of North America PNC Bank, N.A/The PNC Foundation Steve and Elaine Pozycki Richmond County Savings Foundation Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Santander Bank, N.A. The Walter V. and Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation Tanenbaum Keale, LLP Michael and Jill Tanenbaum Morris and Charlotte Tanenbaum Turrell Fund United Airlines Nina and Ted Wells Wilf Family Foundation John and Suzanne Willian/ Goldman Sachs Gives

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njpac contributors as of june 30, 2018 NJPAC is deeply grateful to the following corporations, foundations and government agencies for their generous annual support of artistic and arts education programs, the endowment fund, and maintenance of the Arts Center. For more information, please contact Doris Thomas, Director, Corporate Relations and Sponsorships, at 973.353.7569.

business partners as of june 30, 2018

benefactor $1,000,000 & above New Jersey State Council on the Arts Prudential/ The Prudential Foundation Women’s Association of NJPAC

leadership circle $200,000 & above ADP Bank of America The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey/Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Merck Foundation PSEG Foundation/PSEG Victoria Foundation

co-chair circle $100,000 & above American Express The Bank of America Charitable Foundation The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation M&T Bank New Jersey Cultural Trust TD Bank Wells Fargo

director’s circle $50,000 & above Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office Audible, Inc. BD Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Deloitte LLP Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation GOYA The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey

William Randolph Hearst Foundation Investors Bank/Investors Foundation, Inc. JPMorgan Chase Lowenstein Sandler, PC NJ Advance Media PwC Richmond County Savings Foundation Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey RWJBarnabas Health Steinway and Sons Santander Bank, N.A. TD Charitable Foundation Turrell Fund United Airlines

president’s circle $25,000 & above Bloomberg Boraie Development LLC Capital One Chubb Disney Corporate Citizenship Gibbons PC Greenberg Traurig, LLP Lyft McCarter & English, LLP The Johnny Mercer Foundation NJM Insurance Group Panasonic Corporation of North America PNC Bank, N.A./The PNC Foundation Sills Cummis & Gross PC Verizon

composer’s circle $10,000 & above Accenture, LLP Allied Beverage Group

The Berger Organization The Russell Berrie Foundation Coca-Cola Refreshments C.R. Bard Foundation Dranoff Properties Elberon Development Group Flemington Car & Truck Country The Hyde and Watson Foundation J. Fletcher Creamer & Son, Inc. Jacobs Levy Equity Management F. M. Kirby Foundation Landmark Fire Protection Bob Liev and Michael Seeve The Nicholas Martini Foundation Mazars USA. LLP Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP Profeta & Associates Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area Sandalwood Securities SP+ Tanenbaum Keale, LLP Turner Construction Company Whole Foods WithumSmith+Brown, PC Wyndham Worldwide

encore circle $5,000 & above Advance Realty Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation Berkeley College Brach Eichler, LLC Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, PC Connell Foley LLP DeWitt Stern Group EisnerAmper LLP EpsteinBeckerGreen

Evergreen Partners Fedway Associates Inc. Fidelity Investments Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman Gateway Group One Genova Burns Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation Gilbane Building Company E.J. Grassmann Trust GRL Capital Advisors/Glenn Langberg Hines HLW Inserra Shop-Rite Supermarkets Jewish Federation of GMW KPMG L+M Development Partners, Inc. Linden Cogeneration Plant Lotus Equity Group Mars Wrigley Confectioners US Michael Rachlin & Company, LLC Nordstrom Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Peapack-Gladstone Bank Performing Arts Readiness Project Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils RBH Group Sherman Wells Sylvester & Stamelman, LLP ShopRite of Newark SILVERMAN Summit Medical Group Tito’s Handmade Vodka Willis Towers Watson Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

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the vanguard society as of june 30, 2018 New Jersey Performing Arts Center is deeply grateful to the following individuals and families for their generous annual support, which makes it possible for NJPAC to maintain its world-class venue, fill it with star-studded, diverse performances, and carry out its arts education programs that transform the lives of New Jersey’s children. For more information, please contact Lisa Mantone, Senior Vice President of Development, at 973.297.5154.

leadership circle $200,000 & above The Chambers Family and The MCJ Amelior Foundation Stewart and Judy Colton Toby and Leon Cooperman John Strangfeld and Mary Kay Strangfeld Foundation Judy and Josh Weston

co-chair circle $100,000 & above Betty Wold Johnson Pat+ and Art Ryan The Smart Family Foundation/ David S. Stone, Esq., Stone and Magnanini

director’s circle $50,000 & above The Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund Jennifer A. Chalsty Jodi & Wayne M. Cooperman Edison Properties Newark Foundation Mimi and Edwin Feliciano Steven M. Goldman, Esq. William and Joan Hickey William J. and Paula Marino McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane Steve and Elaine Pozycki The Walter V. and Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation Michael and Jill Tanenbaum Morris and Charlotte Tanenbaum John and Suzanne Willian/ Goldman Sachs Gives

president’s circle $25,000 & above Randi and Marc E. Berson Ann and Stan Borowiec Sally Chubb Mindy A. Cohen and David J. Bershad

The Griffinger Family Steve and Bonnie Holmes Kaminsky Family Foundation Don Katz and Leslie Larson Dana and Peter Langerman Harold and Donna Morrison Thomas O’Flynn and Cheryl Barr Susan and Evan Ratner Marian and David Rocker The Sagner Family Foundation Karen Sherman David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust Walsh Family Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey Nina and Ted Wells Wilf Family Foundation

composer’s circle $10,000 & above Anonymous Audrey Bartner Lawrence E. Bathgate, II Judith Bernhaut Rose Cali Carol and Roger Chartouni Keven P. Conlin Turner Construction Company/ Pat A. Di Filippo Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Esq. Debbie Dyson Michael Fucci Veronica M. Goldberg Alice Gerson Goldfarb Phyllis and Steven E. Gross Mr. and Mrs. Warren Grover Jeffrey and Judith Hoffman Carolyn and J. Michael Hopkins The Huisking Foundation Meg and Howard Jacobs The Honorable and Mrs. Thomas H. Kean Scott and Susan Kobler Lee and Murray Kushner and Family Michelle Y. Lee Ann M. Limberg

A. Michael and Ruth C. Lipper/ Lipper Family Charitable Foundation Amy and William Lipsey The Harold I. & Faye B. Liss Foundation Carmen and Benito Lopez Barry and Leslie Mandelbaum Ellen Marshall and Jim Flanagan The Lester and Grace Maslow Foundation, Inc. Mary Beth O’Connor, Lucky VIII Films Bobbi and Barry H. Ostrowsky, Esq. Dr. Victor and Jane Parsonnet Richard S. and Kayla L. Pechter James and Nancy Pierson Mr. and Mrs. Leslie C. Quick, III Christopher R. Reidy Dr. Maria Rivas and Mr. Julio Pietrantoni Donald A. Robinson, Esq. The Rubenstein Foundation Philip R. Sellinger Cliff and Barbara Sobel The Marion and Norman Tanzman Charitable Foundation Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Alexine and Warren Tranquada Robert and Mary Ellen Waggoner Joyce and George Wein Foundation Linda A. Willett, Esq. Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Zinbarg Jan and Barry Zubrow

encore circle $5,000 & above Jean and Bruce Acken Anonymous Barbara and Val Azzoli Barbara and Ed Becker Daniel Bloomfield and Betsy True Denise and Dennis Bone Linda M. Bowden Nancy Cantor and Steven R. Brechin Norman L. Cantor Sylvia J. Cohn

Kevin Cummings Alma DeMetropolis, CFA Robert Doherty Brendan P. Dougher Albert and Martha Driver Susan and Thomas Dunn Dexter and Carol Earle Foundation J. Andres Espinosa Leecia Roberta Eve Drs. Brenda and Robert Fischbein Thelma and Richard Florin Vincent and Ellen Forlenza Leah and Edward Frankel Tom and Tracy Gebhardt Lawrence P. Goldman and Laurie B. Chock Renee and David Golush Peter O. Hanson Hobby’s Restaurant/The Brummer Family Jackie and Larry Horn Karen and Ralph Izzo Don and Margie Karp Rabbi and Mrs. Clifford M. Kulwin Ms. Sheila Labrecque Ralph and Martyann LaRossa Elaine and Rob LeBuhn Judith Lieberman Dena F. and Ralph Lowenbach Lisa Mantone and Thomas Vilardi Tom and Joanne Marino Judy and Heath McLendon Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Merson Mr. and Mrs. D. Nicholas Miceli Joyce R. Michaelson Duncan and Alison Niederauer Edwin S. and Catherine Olsen Ms. Deanne Wilson and Mr. Laurence B. Orloff Jean and Kent Papsun Christine S. Pearson Judith and Kenneth Peskin Rob and Nora Radest Karen and Gary D. Rose Susan Satz John Schreiber Susan N. Sobbott Robert and Sharon Taylor Thomas C. Wallace Helene and Gary Wingens

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spotlight gala 2018 sponsorships NJPAC and the Women’s Association of NJPAC are deeply grateful to the following gala and event supporters:

lead sponsor

silver sponsors

gold ticket(s)


($15,000) Arbee Associates Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office BNY Mellon Chubb Cognizant Edison Properties Fidelco Group, Randi and Marc E. Berson Greenberg Traurig, LLP William V. Hickey The Honorable Thomas H. Kean L+M Development Partners, Inc. McCarter & English, LLP New Jersey Institute of Technology NJM Insurance Panasonic Corporation of North America PNC Wealth Management RWJF Special Contributions Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation Seyfarth Shaw LLP Sills Cummis & Gross, PC The Smart Family Foundation SP+ TD Bank Ticketmaster Turner Construction Company Wells Fargo Kim & Finn Wentworth Judy & Josh Weston Willis Towers Watson Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP

($2,500) William R. Bershad Meg and Howard Jacobs Christine S. Pearson Donald A. Robinson, Esq.

underwriter ($150,000) Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey The MCJ Amelior Foundation RWJBarnabas Health

vice chairs ($50,000) Mindy A. Cohen and David Bershad Toby and Leon G. Cooperman PSEG PwC The Ryan Family Tanenbaum Keale LLP

dinner committee platinum ($35,000) Platinum Gibbons P.C. JPMorgan Chase

dinner committee gold ($25,000) ADP American Express Bank of America BD Boraie Development Corporation Dranoff Family Foundation Elberon Development Co. Paula and Bill Marino Merck & Co., Inc. Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils Rutgers University — Newark Nina Mitchell Wells and Theodore V. Wells, Jr

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platinum ticket(s) ($5,000) Madison Marquette Kate S. Tomlinson and Roger P. Labrie

silver ticket(s) ($1,500) Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. Carol and Roger Chartouni Judy and Stewart Colton Marla and Donald Cussen Goya Foods Laura Overdeck PS&S The Sagner Family Foundation David and Sylvia Steiner

friend ticket(s) ($1,000) Beverly Baker-Jackson and Thomas Jackson Audrey Bartner Deborah Q. and Joseph A. Belfatto Caucus Educational Corporation Evelyn and Stephen Colbert Ann D. Cummis Genova Burns LLC

Veronica M. Goldberg Lawrence P. Goldman and Laurie B. Chock Steve M. Goldman, Esq. Sarah E. Jones KPMG Ellen and Thomas Lambert Ellen Marshall and James Flanagan Mazars USA LLP Peggy and Howard Menaker Gabriella Morris and Dennis Brownlee Neiman Marcus Short Hills Ferlanda and Milford Nixon NJCU The PICK Foundation Maria Rivas and Julio Pietrantoni St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center Faith and Gary Taylor Terry Tucker Verizon Gary M. Wingens

Official Airline of Spotlight Gala 2018

annual spring luncheon & auction 2018 sponsorships presenting sponsor ($10,000) RWJBarnabas Health

underwriters ($10,000) Prudential The MCJ Amelior Foundation

gold sponsors ($5,000) Jennifer A. Chalsty Mindy A. Cohen Alma DeMetropolis Veronica M. Goldberg Kathy Grier Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Mazars USA LLP PSEG PwC Mary Kay Strangfeld Faith Taylor Nina Mitchell Wells

silver sponsors ($3,000) Audrey Bartner Deborah Q. Belfatto Patricia A. Chambers Robin Cruz McClearn Panasonic Corporation of North America Christine S. Pearson PNC Wealth Management Rutgers University — Newark United Airlines, Inc.

Official Airline of the Spring Luncheon 2018

With your support, the Women’s Association of njpac’s Spotlight Gala 2018 raised $2.3 million for arts learning and njpac general operations. njpac.org 143

members as of june 30, 2018 New Jersey Performing Arts Center gives special thanks to the following Members who help meet the Arts Center’s annual financial needs with gifts of $650 to $4,999. For information on becoming a Member, please call 973.297.5809.

sustainer $3,000 & above Patricia L. Capawana Austin G. Cleary Eleanor Kessler Cohen and Max Insel Cohen Lauren and Steven Friedman Gregg N. Gerken Louis V. Henston Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Kuchner Ellen and Donald Legow Dr. Diane M. Ridley Usha Robillard Carlos A. Rodriguez Dennis Sanders & Family Stephen and Mary Sichak Robin and Leigh Walters The Honorable Alvin Weiss Aleta and Paul Zoidis

patron $1,250 & above Anonymous Joseph and Jacqueline Basralian George and Jane Bean Eileen R. Becker Bloomingdale’s Dyan Bryson Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Chapin, III Judith Musicant and Hugh A. Clark Nancy Clarke Carol and John Cornwell Carmen A. Corrales Margaret J. Cunningham Victor L. Davson and Cicely Cottingham D’Maris and Joseph Dempsey Mary Ellen DeNoon Donna and Kenneth Eberle Alice and Glenn Engel Herbert and Karin Fastert

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Doralee and Lawrence Garfinkel Rosemarie Gentile Kenneth and Claudia Gentner Thomas P. Giblin Mr. and Mrs. Michael Gilfillan Sanford and Karolee Glassman Herb and Sandy Glickman Carolyn Gould

Eli Kleinman Fund for Jewish Education Gail and Max Kleinman Hans Knapp Irvin and Marjorie Kricheff Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey W. Kronthal Mark and Gayle Lerch Dr. and Mrs. Donald Louria Liz and David Lowenstein Kevin and Trisha Luing

Prudential Hall’s glass sphere is not lit from within; it was designed to refract light from sources around it, a nightly reminder that NJPAC shines thanks to the “light” provided by its generous supporters. Kitty and Dave Hartman Ryan P. Haygood, Esq. Lisa Hayward and Michael Riccardi Joan Hollander Jeremy V. Johnson Richard and Cindy Johnson Mary Louise Johnston J. Kappelhof Adrian and Erica Karp Carolyn and James Kinder

Lum, Drasco & Positan, LLC Michael Margitich Michele Mason Massey Insurance Agency Edward Moran Chris Moses and Christel Murdock Jack and Ellen Moskowitz Bruce Murphy and Mary Jane Lauzon

H. Herbert Myers Memorial Foundation Jeffrey S. Norman New England Foundation for the Arts Ocean First Bank Dr. Christy Oliver and Bessie T. Oliver Wayne Paglieri and Jessalyn Chang Dr. Kalmon D. Post and Linda Farber-Post Caroline and Harry Pozycki Cecile and Trevor Prince Jonathan and Bethany Rabinowitz Lawrence A. Raia Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Brent N. Rudnick Barbara Sager The Schiffenhaus Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Newton B. Schott Rita and Leonard Selesner Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Shapiro Pamela Sinishtaj Devesh Srivastava Elaine J. Staley Joan Standish Rosemary and Robert Steinbaum Kate S. Tomlinson and Roger Labrie Mr. and Mrs. R. Charles Tschampion Kathyrn Vermilye Jon Ulanet Richard and Arlene Vezza Dr. Joy Weinstein and Dr. Bruce Forman Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Whelan Cheryl Y. Wilson Mr. and Mrs. Pat Wood Karen C. Young

supporter $650 & above Sarrna Banks Dr. Sherry Barron-Seabrook and David Seabrook Candice R. Bolte Rolande M. Borno Miyoko and Richard Boswell Charlotte Boxley Dr. and Mrs. Robert J. Braun James and Sharon Briggs Eloyd O. Britt Demetrios Carnegia Janice Buffalow and David R. Chapman Jean and Michael Chodorcoff Fred Cordero and Jessica Sporn Brooks Cullen Andrea Cummis and Renard Fiscus Bas Debbink Suzanne Deluca-Warner The Development Wing, Inc. Irwin and Janet Dorros Richard R. Eger and Anne Aronovitch Sanford and Zella Felzenberg Kevin Fung Dr. Ronald Gandelman and Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell Barbara and Marc Gellman Dr. Louis Gianvito Lucia DiNapoli Gibbons Clifford and Karen Goldman Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Goodfellow Claire and Milton Gottlieb Thomas L. Green Stephen M. Greenberg and Barbara Infeld Wayne and Catherine Greenfeder

Dr. and Mrs. Frank Gump Mark Halliday Hammond Contracting Co., Inc. Lonnie and Bette Hanauer Peter H. Hansen Juanita and Lorenzo Harris Lorraine and Bob Henry Dr. Chris A. Hunt Bobby Kean Joan M. Kram

William and Patricia O’Connor Monica Osgood Michael Ostroff and Esther Rosenberg Larisa F. Perry Jay R. Post, Jr., CFP Gusta A. Pritchett Oliver B. Quinn Thomas and Carol C. Rakowski

Mark and Sheryl Larner Susan Lippa Jeanne and Edward Martine Bernice E. Mayes Laura and Bobby McGuinness Hector Mislavsky and Judy Martinez Drs. Douglas and Susan Morrison Joseph and Sheila Nadler

Frank Rand Brian James Remite Nogah Revesz Idida Rodriguez Ina and Mark Roffman Joel Rosen Arnold Saltzman and Robin Rolfe Suzanne and Richard Scheller Donald Schier Sharon and James Schwarz

Drs. Rosanne S. Scriffignano and Anthony Scriffignano Edie Simonelli Arlene F. Sloan and William C. Sloan, M.D. Marilyn and Leon Sokol Mr. and Mrs. Robert Spalteholz Beverly and Ed Stern Stanley and Sharon Streicher Marilyn Termyna Marva Tidwell Michael Toomey Louise and David J. Travis Bruce Tucker Mr. and Mrs. David S. Untracht Paul and Sharlene Vichness Douglas Walter Susan D. Wasserman Edward and Myrna Weisselberg Jacqueline Williams Dr. and Mrs. A. Zachary Yamba Diane C. Young, M.D., P.A. Richard Zaborowski Claire and Gil Zweig

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njpac staff and administration as of march 11, 2019 OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

John Schreiber* President & CEO Chelsea Keys Special Projects and New Ideas Lead Jennifer Suragiat Administrative Assistant, Office of the President David Rodriguez* Executive Vice President & Executive Producer Kira M. Ruth*** Administrative Assistant & Office Manager Warren Tranquada** Executive Vice President & COO Valerie Fullilove Senior Administrative Assistant Timothy Lizura Senior Vice President, Real Estate & Capital Projects


Alison Scott-Williams* Vice President, Arts Education Jennifer Tsukayama Assistant Vice President, Arts Education Operations Denise Jackson Administrative Assistant to Vice President & Assistant Vice President Cathleen Plazas Senior Director, Curriculum & Program Evaluation Betsy True Senior Director, Artistic Faculty & Curriculum Development Mark Gross Director, Jazz Instruction Jamie M. Mayer* Director, Curriculum & Professional Development Rosa Hyde* Senior Manager, SchoolTime & Assemblies Timothy Maynes Senior Manager, Business Operations, Bursar Victoria Revesz Senior Manager, School & Community Programs Roneasha Bell Manager, On-site and Community Programs Kyle Conner Manager, Sales & Partnerships Ashley Mandaglio Manager, Professional Development Danielle Vauters Manager, School and Summer Programs

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Becca Grek Coordinator, Program Registration & Operations Kristine Mathieson Coordinator, School & Summer Programs Daniel Silverstein Coordinator, On-site & Community Programs Patricia Sweeting* Coordinator, Performances & Engagement Kendra Williams Coordinatior, Faculty Evaluation and Training Thomas Skidmore Part-time Coordinator Program Evaluation & Statistics Tara Baker Administrative Assistant & Office Manager Sheikia “Purple Haze� Norris Faculty Lead, Hip Hop

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT Hassab Gebremedhin Senior Director Brian Remite** Manager


Lisa Mantone Senior Vice President, Development Trisha Singh Senior Administrative Assistant Laura McGuinness Assistant Vice President, Individual Giving Kathleen Braslow Director, Events and Donor Services Amy Fitzpatrick Director, Development Deborah Purdon, Director, Research & Prospect Management Doris Thomas Director, Corporate Relations & Sponsorship Josephine (Jo) Edwards* Senior Associate Director, Donor Services Angela Marie Tayco Manager, Membership Rolston Cyril Watts Senior Manager, Development Operations Aisha Irvis Senior Coordinator, Corporate Relations Rebecca Word Associate, Gift Entry


Lennon Register Vice President & CFO Mary Jaffa*** Assistant Vice President, Finance Karen Shaffer Assistant Vice President & Controller Betty Robertson** Senior Accountant, General Accounting Manuela Silva**** Senior Accountant, Payroll Geraldine Richardson*** Staff Accountant, Accounts Payable Monique Cook Financial Analyst


Beth Silver Vice President, Human Resources Ginny Bowers Coleman*** Director, Volunteer Services Taheerah Smiley Human Resources Generalist Suzie Chan Human Resources Specialist Ashanti Hargrove Receoptionist & HR Assistant


Ernie DiRocco** Chief Information Officer Carl Sims**** Director, Network Infrastructure Rodney Johnson** Support Analyst, IT & Telecom


Katie Sword* Vice President, Marketing & Communications Taylor Gonzales Marketing Assistant Debra L. Volz*** Senior Director, Creative Services Linda Fowler * Director, Content Yesenia Jimenez**** Director, Loyalty Services Charlene A. Roberts* Director, Performance Marketing Patricia Ryan Art Director Tina Boyer* Senior Manager, Creative Services Yasmeen Fahmy Manager, Digital Media Jenifer Braun Writer, Institutional Content & Correspondence

Nathan Leslie Manager, Marketing Katie Stein Digital Community Manager Thomas Stocky Manager, Group Sales Doris Ann Pezzolla**** Senior Graphic Designer Christy-Leigh Grosman Allison Terkowitz Graphic Designers Matthew Cherry Digital Marketing Coordinator Latoya Dawson Coordinator, Creative Services April Jeffries Coordinator, Group Sales Daryle Charles* Robert Paglia*** Fallon Currie (Parrish) Priority Customer Representatives Jerome H. Enis**** Consultant, Herbert George Associates Angela Thomas Consultant, Performance Public Relations


Chad Spies** Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Jay Dority Director, Facilities & Capital Projects Anthony Rosta Facility Supervisor & ADA Coordinator Meredith Hull Administrative Assistant Todd Tantillo*** Chief Engineer J. Dante Esposito**** Lead Engineer Thomas Amory Brian Cady** Sherman Gamble*** Mariusz Koniuszewski** Maintenance Engineers John Hook* Senior Director, Security, Parking & Traffic Operations Thomas Dixon**** Safety & Security Manager Robin Jones** Senior Director, House Management Gabrielle DeGaetano Molly Fishman House Managers Kathleen Dickson**** Senior Head Usher Lamont Akins**** Jerry Battle**

njpac needs you! Edward Fleming**** Cynthia Robinson*** Head Ushers Lauren Vivenzio**** Manager, Operations Hernan Soto**** Senior Supervisor, Operations Support Staff Francisco Soto* Supervisor, Operations Support & Services Tyrone Boyd Kemar Brown Delbert Green David Martina Operations Support Staff George Gardner**** House Painter Corey Lester* Mailroom Coordinator


Chris Moses** Senior Director, Production Christopher Staton* Senior Production Manager E. Kevin Jones Production Manager Christina Mangold Associate Production Manager Crystal Cowling Assistant Production Manager William Worman*** Head Carpenter Mario Corrales**** Bryan Danieli*** Assistant Head Carpenters Jacob Allen** Head Electrician John Enea* Gumersindo Fajardo**** Assistant Head Electricians Paul Allshouse** Head Audio John DiCapua John Finney** Assistant Heads Audio Richard Edwards**** George Honczarenko* Amere Jenkins Dan Pagan House Specialists Eunice Peterson**** Senior Artist Assistant Melvin Anderson*** Sally Burgos Lowell Craig*** Rachel Dresner Loni Fiscus Daniel Ovalle Christina Sanchez Sindy Sanchez Suzanne Santry Chloe Sullivan

Allison W yss**** Artist Assistants


Evan White*** Senior Director, Programming Craig Pearce* Program Manager Kitab Rollins** Director Performance & Broadcast Rentals Julia Kraus Producer, Artistic Development & Community Programming Eyesha Marable* Producer, Community Engagement Najiyyah Bailey Associate Producer, Community Engagement William W. Lockwood, Jr.**** Programming Consultant Donna Walker-Kuhne* Senior Advisor, Community Engagement


Austin Cleary*** Assistant Vice President Sales & Planning, NJPAC Events Roslyn Brown** Event Associate


Erik Wiehardt*** Director, Ticket Services Stephanie Miller*** Associate Director, Ticketing System Nicole Craig*** Associate Director, Box Office Robin Polakoff* Ticketing System Specialist Veronica Dunn-Sloan** Blanca Rosas Box Office Managers Jana Thompson Box Office Representative

WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF NJPAC Sarah Rosen Managing Director Amy Mormak* Associate Director, Events Christine Borowsky Events Coordinator Service Recognition (as of 6/30/29) * * * * 20+ years * * * 15+ years * * 10+ years * 5+ years

Contributions from generous individuals, corporations, foundations and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts support NJPAC’s artistic programming, Arts Education programs, community engagement and special initiatives… There are many ways to make a charitable donation to NJPAC including gifts of cash, appreciated securities. Other options include charitable gift annuities, estate commitments, and matching gifts. NJPAC’s Development Department can assist you in structuring a plan that fits your circumstances. If you would like information about particular types of gifts or how that gift can be made, please contact Lisa Mantone, Senior Vice President of Development, NJPAC, One Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102. Phone 973.297.5154. Email: lmantone@njpac.org. NJPAC Arts Education programs are made possible through the generosity of our endowment donors: The Arts Education Endowment Fund in honor of Raymond C. Chambers, Randi and Marc E. Berson, Joan and Allen Bildner, Toby and Leon Cooperman and Albert and Katherine Merck. Report to the Community 2018 was written by Linda Fowler, Director of Content Marketing. Special thanks to Michael P. Scasserra, Creative Director; Bonnie Felt, Graphic Designer; Debra Volz, NJPAC Senior Director, Creative Services, Patricia Ryan, Art Director, Creative Services and Jenifer D. Braun, Contributing Writer. Among the photographers whose works are included in the Report to the Community are: Anthony Alvarez, Mathieu Bitton, Cynthia L. Black, Khalid Al Busaidi, Lia Chang, Tristan Cook, Mike Coppola/WireImage. com, Rob Davidson, Norman DeShong, Andrew Eccles, Yasmeen Fahmy, Mark Fitton, Paras Griffin/ Getty Images for BET, Tim Lee, Bógar Adame Mendoza, Dranoff Properties, Matt Rainey, Deirdre Ryan, Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for BET, Shine Portrait Studio, Fred Stucker/NJSO, Alex Towle, Cortney Van Jahnke, Alberto Venzago, Donell Woodson/Newark Downtown District, Roey Yohai

2019 People’s Choice Award Winner NJPAC was named New Jersey’s “Favorite Large Performing Arts Center” for the eleventh consecutive year.

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season funders as of june 30, 2018 NJPAC is grateful to the following partners for their commitment and investment in our mission.



Official Soft Drink of NJPAC




Official Airline of NJPAC

O ’S






official sponsors:


Official Imaging Supplier of NJPAC

Media Sponsor

major support also provided by: The Chambers Family and The MCJ Amelior Foundation Stewart and Judy Colton Toby & Leon Cooperman Betty Wold Johnson

Panasonic Corporation of Victoria Foundation North America Judy & Josh Weston John Strangfeld and Mary Kay Strangfeld Foundation

additional support provided by: Audible, Inc. Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund Edison Properties Newark Foundation Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation The Griffinger Family

The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation William J. & Paula Marino McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane PNC Bank, N.A. Steve & Elaine Pozycki Pat† and Art Ryan

The Walter V. and Judith L. Shipley Family Foundation The Smart Family Foundation/ David S. Stone, Esq., Stone and Magnanini Steinway & Sons Michael & Jill Tanenbaum Turrell Fund

John & Suzanne Willian/ Goldman Sachs Gives The New Jersey Cultural Trust

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