ENGAGING AND BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE ARTS
The Arts Council of the Morris Area is a private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 and celebrating its 40th anniversary, 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, the Arts Council’s has grown significantly, consistently earning accolades for its quality programs and services. In fact, for the past 15 consecutive years, the Arts Council 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
- The Arts Council contracted to place 32 Arts Plus Residencies into the schools that directly involved more than 4,000 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 2012 was attended by approximately 200 cultural arts representatives, teachers, administrators and artists representing more than 50 schools from 10 New Jersey counties. The Arts Council 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.
- The Arts Council 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.
- The Arts Council awarded scholarships to two graduating Morris County high school seniors pursuing the Arts in college, chosen on the basis of their artistic excellence.
- The 2012 Eugenie Coladarci Arts Scholarship ($1,250) was awarded to visual artist (industrial design artist) Miriam Buchwald who graduated from Morris Hills high School and is attending Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh).
- The 2012 Elaine Ehlers Arts Scholarship ($5,000) was awarded to trumpeter Joseph Soriano who graduated from Roxbury High School and is attending the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University (NJ).
Building Vibrant Communities through the Arts
- The Arts Council regranted $47,500 in State funds to 24 arts organizations/arts programs plus 2 mini-grants throughout Morris County for general operating support or special arts projects. The Arts Council and its regrantees provided more than 750 cultural events that benefited approximately 78,000 individuals in Morris County.
- The Arts Council presented two juried exhibits at the Arts Council’s Gallery at 14 Maple, a professional gallery showcasing the work of New Jersey artists.
- A Pumpkin Illumination event was presented as part of the Arts Council’s ArtsEverywhere! initiative that brings grass-roots arts programming into the community.
- Presented the 22nd Annual Celebrate the Arts event in which the Arts Council recognizes and honors selected awardees that have enriched the quality of life in the Morris Area through service, advocacy, education, and support.
- The 29th Annual Giralda Music & Arts Festival Concert drew almost 2,000 people to the concert featuring the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as part of a family-friendly event.
L-R: Gallery at 14 Maple, DISCONNECTED exhibit; 2012 Awardees at Celebrate the Arts; happy crowds at Giralda 2012; 3rd Saturdays at Morris View: the “great pumpkin” at Pumpkin Illumination, 2012.
Collaborations & Partnerships
- First Night® Morris County, December 31, 2011: For the past 21 years, the Arts Council has programmed this family friendly New Year’s Eve event with over 200 artists performing at more than 80 events in 24 venues to 5,000 people in downtown Morristown.
- The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders:
The Arts Council 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.
Programmed monthly performances by high caliber artists at Morris County’s Morris View Health Care Center in its 3rd Saturdays at Morris View program.
- The Mayo Performing Arts Center: The Arts Council partnered to offer Music Without Borders, four free outdoor summer concerts of world music and dance.
Recognition & Awards
- Arts and Humanities Month Proclamation from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders identifying the Arts Council as “a leader in developing, supporting and promoting artists, the arts and experiences that enhance and transform the lives of Morris County citizens.”