New Jersey arts and entertainment news, features, and event previews.


originally published: 09/26/2022

(NEWARK, NJ) — On Thursday, October 6th, Newark Arts Festival (“NAF”) kicks off with a festive Opening Reception from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at The Newark Museum of Art (“NMOA”). Free with RSVP, the event will celebrate 21 years of NAF, voted New Jersey’s Favorite Visual Arts Festival two years in a row. It will also mark the very first time that NAF’s signature art exhibition is being held within the NMOA’s 2nd floor galleries, providing an incredible opportunity to the local artist community. 

The exhibition, titled Newark Arts Festival: Artful Healing, has been organized by NAF Lead Curator Adrienne Wheeler and NMOA Curatorial Assistant Elena C. Muñoz-Rodriguez. It features dynamic artwork submitted from local and global artists using the theme that art is medicine. This exhibit is a full circle moment for the Festival, which in 2020, built a computer-generated replica of The Newark Museum of Art to house a virtual exhibition. Now, NAF will host an in-person exhibition within the walls of the renowned Museum.

“We are once again thrilled to partner with the dynamic Newark Arts Festival team to host the Artful Healing exhibition on site and in person in the special exhibition galleries at The Newark Museum of Art. This will be the third year of our collaboration with NAF and we couldn’t be more delighted to showcase the incredible creatives who are based right here in Newark,” says Catherine Evans, Deputy Director, Collections & Curatorial Strategies at The Newark Museum of Art.

The Opening Reception of both the exhibition and the Festival on October 6th will feature live performances by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Black Fire Marching Band, The Mighty Kamm Band and more. Activations such as sound healing throughout the Museum will leave participants feeling uplifted and inspired.

”The Newark Arts Festival is a collaboration with the entire city, and we are deeply grateful to generous sponsors and partners like the Newark Museum of Art that are helping us to bring this vision to life. We continue to be grateful for all of the Festival artists and community partners who have shared their gifts and resources. With Artful Healing, we hope to inspire and elevate the spirits of our unique community with the highest levels of art in all forms,” says Felicia Swoope, Executive Director, Newark Arts. 


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Newark Arts Festival is sponsored by Prudential, City of Newark, Bloomberg Philanthropies, McCarter & English, The Newark Museum of Art, Hanini Group and Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau / Newark Happening.

The mission of Newark Arts is to power the arts to transform lives. Established in 1981 as the Newark Arts Council, the organization’s vision is to become a nationally recognized catalyst for the collaborative power of the arts in the City of Newark and urban America. Newark Arts is the producer of Newark Creates, a community-led citywide cultural plan, created in partnership with the City of Newark. Newark Arts’ key initiatives include Arts Education Newark, the ArtStart community grantmaking program, and the Newark Arts Festival. Newark Arts is generously supported by Prudential Financial, the City of Newark, M&T Bank, PSEG, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Turrell Fund, Bank of America, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, United Airlines, Hanini Group, and individuals, businesses, and institutions.

Founded in 1909, The Newark Museum of Art is the largest art and education institution in New Jersey and one of the most influential museums in the United States. Its renowned global art collections, supported by significant holdings of science, technology, and natural history, ranked 12th among North America’s art museums. The Museum is dedicated to artistic excellence, education, and community engagement with an overarching commitment to broadening and diversifying arts participation. As it has for over a century, the Museum responds to the evolving needs and interests of the diverse audiences it serves by providing exhibitions, programming, and resources designed to improve and enrich people’s lives.  

The Museum also encompasses the Victoria Hall of Science, the Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium, the 1885 Ballantine House, the MakerSPACE, the Billy Johnson Auditorium, the Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden, an authentic 1784 Schoolhouse, and the Newark Fire Museum. The Newark Museum of Art, a not-for-profit museum of art and science, receives operating support from the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey State Council on the  Arts/Department of State (a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts), the New  Jersey Cultural Trust, the Prudential Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Victoria  Foundation, the Estate of Phyllis and Sanford Bolton, the Wallace Foundation, and other corporations, foundations, and individuals. Funds for acquisitions and activities other than operations are provided by members and other contributors.

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