On October 7, 2019, Morris County issued a Proclamation recognizing the importance of culture in our society and encouraging citizens to “explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong participation in the arts.” The Proclamation notes that the “arts and humanities embody much of the accumulated wisdom, intellect and imagination of humankind and allow us to explore ideas, express emotions and better appreciate cultures from around the world…” adding “beauty and balance to our lives…” and the arts and humanities “contribute to a strong and healthy economic climate by stimulating economic activity and creating jobs.”
The Proclamation further recognizes Morris Arts’s efforts toward that goal “by developing, supporting and advocating on behalf of artists, arts organizations, and arts experiences through programming such as First Night Morris County, Music Beyond Borders, Great Conversations, Giralda Music & Arts Festival, Arts in Education, Pumpkin Illumination, the Gateway Totem Project, and many others,” and it calls attention to “Morris County’s diverse cultural community [which] offers a wide range of music, theater, dance, visual arts, and is blessed with an abundance of outstanding arts organizations, historical sites, museums and other cultural venues – which make life in Morris County so vibrant, stimulating and inspiring.”
Representatives from Morris County’s arts and cultural community gathered in support of the Proclamation which also coordinates with National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture in America organized every October by the national organization, Americans for the Arts, and comprising the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation. From arts open houses to governmental proclamations, curtain speeches and special events, communities across the United States join together this month to recognize and celebrate the importance of the arts and culture in our daily lives.
L-R: Representatives of the Arts/Culture Community join Morris County Freeholders: Anthony Scareon (Mayo Performing Arts Center); Terry Scullin (Morris Music Men); Erin Keating (Shakespeare Theater of NJ); Freeholder Kathryn A. DeFillippo; Linda De Titta (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ); Freeholder Stephen H. Shaw; Dr. Lynn Siebert (Morris Arts); Allison Larena (Mayo Performing Arts Center); holding Proclamation, Tom Werder (Morris Arts); Dr. Cleveland Johnson (Morris Museum); Freeholder Deputy Director Heather Darling; Sarah Michal (Music at Morristown United Methodist Church); Freeholder Deborah Smith; Anne DeGraaf (Morristown National Historical Park); Freeholder John Krickus. Photo, courtesy of Karen Mancinelli.
Freeholder Deputy Director Heather Darling presented the Proclamation to Tom Werder, Executive Director of Morris Arts, on behalf of the larger arts and humanities community in Morris County. Werder highlighted the importance of the arts to the health of the County and its impact as an economic engine for the area. He added “I am honored to receive this proclamation on behalf of Morris County’s vibrant arts and humanities community. In today’s world, the arts are more important than ever, bringing us together, rather than dividing us. The arts are a powerful economic engine, providing over $32 million in economic activity and employing one thousand workers within our county alone. Even more importantly, however, the arts are food for our souls.” During October, Morris Arts will be featuring the numerous cultural and arts events in Morris County on its website cultural calendar at www.morrisarts.org. Additionally, Morris Arts has made the Proclamation available for arts and cultural organizations to read or post in order to highlight the month and educate patrons about the arts in our communities.
Members of the Arts and Humanities Community present in support of the Proclamation, L-R: Anne DeGraaf (Ranger/Management Assistant, Morristown National Historical Park); Sarah Michal (Director of Music Ministries,Music at Morristown United Methodist Church); Linda DeTitta (Development Director, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ); Erin Keating (Development Associate, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ); Anthony Scareon (Manager of Administration & Board Relations, Mayo Performing Arts Center); Dr. Cleveland Johnson (Executive Director, Morris Museum); Allison Larena (Executive Director, Mayo Performing Arts Center); Terry Scullin (Morris Music Men); Luis Martinez (artist, musician); and (holding proclamation) Tom Werder (Executive Director, Morris Arts).