ENGAGING AND BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ARTS
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Morris Arts, located in Morristown, NJ, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 and long dedicated to enriching the community through the arts. Our mission to “engage and build community through the arts” is accomplished through:
- Arts education programs in the schools
- Arts programming in the community
- Arts advocacy locally and statewide
- Support of our local community of artists and arts organizations
In the 40 years since its inception, Morris Arts has grown significantly, consistently earning accolades for its quality programs and services. In fact, for the past 16 consecutive years, Morris Arts has received a Citation of Excellence award and has been designated as a Major Service Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in recognition of its “solid history of service excellence, substantial activity and broad public service.”
EDUCATING YOUTH THROUGH THE ARTS
- Morris Arts contracted to place 32 Arts Plus Residencies into the schools that directly involved more than 3,000 students with in-depth, interdisciplinary programs with professional teaching artists. One of the Arts Plus Residencies, the Barbara Keefauver Memorial Residency, is targeted for an underserved school in Morris County and is funded by the Arts Council of the Morris Area.
- The annual Arts Education Showcase in May 2013 was attended by approximately 200 cultural arts representatives, teachers, administrators and artists representing more than 50 schools from 9 New Jersey counties. Morris Arts also served as a resource to schools by publishing its annual Arts Education Program Guide and supplemental website, in addition to a series of workshops that serve the cultural arts community by providing, information, networking, and peer to peer mentoring.
- Morris Arts funded Telling Our Stories, a program for middle school students that uses storytelling as the vehicle to focus on improving oral and written communication skills in addition to developing self-esteem, conflict resolution abilities and problem-solving skills. Also funded was Girls Surviving, an intensive summer program led by a storyteller and an actor in which 14 to 17 year old girls examine issues facing them, share insights in a safe forum, and work through the issues by writing and performing a play as the culminating event.
- For our 40th Anniversary year, Celebrate the Arts (April 11th) paid homage to those individuals who have had a major impact on Morris Arts over the past four decades: the late Barbara Keefauver (founder), former Executive Director Carolyn Ward, former Board President, Richard (Dick) Eger, former Board member and ongoing Giralda Chairman/logistician David Clair, former AIE Director Bonnie Gardner and board member/graphic designer John Weber. Their gifts in time, treasure and talent have built and sustained Morris Arts.
- Morris Arts awarded scholarships to two graduating Morris County high school seniors pursuing the arts in college, chosen on the basis of their artistic excellence.
The 2013 Eugenie Coladarci Arts Scholarship ($1,250) was awarded to visual artist (industrial design artist) Daniel Hounsell who graduated from Mountain Lakes High School and will be attending Pratt Institute (New York) in the fall.
The 2013 Elaine Ehlers Arts Scholarship ($5,000) was awarded to actor Rachel Moss who graduated from the Morristown Beard School and will be attending the Muhlenberg College (PA).
BUILDING VIBRANT COMMUNITIES THROUGH THE ARTS
- Morris Arts regranted $49,000 in State funds to 31 arts organizations/arts programs plus $1,500 in mini-grants throughout Morris County for general operating support or special arts projects. Morris Arts and its regrantees provided more than 750 cultural events that benefited approximately 78,000 individuals in Morris County.
- Morris Arts presented two juried exhibits at the Morris Art’s Gallery at 14 Maple, a professional gallery showcasing the work of New Jersey artists.
ARTS IN COMMUNITY
- A Pumpkin Illumination event was presented as part of the Morris Arts’ ArtsEverywhere! initiative
- The 30th Annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival Concert, scheduled for June 23, 2013, should draw nearly 2,000 to the concert featuring the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as part of a family-friendly event.
L-R: Gallery at 14 Maple, Rites of Spring exhibit; 2013 Scholarship Winners Daniel Hounsell (Coladarci) and Rachel Moss (Ehlers); happy crowds at Giralda 2012; Balinese dancers at 3rd Saturdays at Morris View: the “great pumpkin” at Pumpkin Illumination, 2012.
COLLABORATIONS & PARTNERSHIPS
- First Night® Morris County, December 31, 2013: On New Year’s Eve, Morris Arts programmed more than 245 artists, presenting 80 events in 24 venues in downtown Morristown attracting nearly 5,000 people to the evening’s offerings. Including music, theatre, dance and visual arts, the evening provided a cultural feast for all ages.
- The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders:
Morris Arts presented monthly performances by high caliber performing artists (from Balinese dance to barbershop) at Morris County’s Morris View Healthcare Center as part of its 3rd Saturdays at Morris View program.
Morris Arts also managed the Atrium Art Gallery’s 4 exhibits of nearly 300 contemporary artists showing 1,000 pieces of art, including a juried exhibit of high school student art and one of African-American art at the Morris County Administration building.
- The Mayo Performing Arts Center: For the 4th year, Morris Arts is partnering to offer Music Beyond Borders, four free outdoor summer concerts of world music and dance, attracting over 1,000 people to the Green. This summer’s offerings will sample West African dance/drumming and tap dancing; Japanese taiko drumming; Argentine tango dancing; and music featuring the Australian aborigine instrument the didgeridoo.
RECOGNITION & AWARDS
- Arts and Humanities Month Proclamation from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders identifying Morris Arts as “a leader in developing, supporting and promoting artists, the arts and experiences that enhance and transform the lives of Morris County citizens.”