NEWARK, N.J. (October 15, 2019) – NJPAC announced Tuesday evening that it has raised $100 million toward the $175 million goal of All Together Now: The NJPAC Changemaking Campaign, the third capital campaign in the Arts Center’s history.
With New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy, Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka and a host of supporters, Board members and stakeholders gathered on the stage of Prudential Hall, its largest theater, NJPAC announced the amount approximately two years into the five-year fundraising effort.
The biggest gifts to the campaign to date are from Toby and Lee Cooperman, Prudential Financial Inc./The Prudential Foundation, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, the Ryan Family, the Women’s Association of NJPAC and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
In announcing the campaign, NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber — a jazz festival producer in his early career and a life-long fan of “America’s classical music” — compared the Arts Center’s fundraising efforts to the work of jazz artists playing together.
“In order for great jazz to be created, musicians have to listen to each other, collaborate, and inspire one another,” he said at the announcement.
“In our own way, the Arts Center does the same thing: We engage collaboratively with our volunteer leaders, donors, community, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Everyone has a role to play — and it wouldn’t be the same without any one piece. That’s why we’re calling our campaign All Together Now we need as many supporters as possible to play their unique part in our future.”
Calling NJPAC’s progress on the campaign “pretty darn impressive,” Governor Murphy reiterated his faith in the Arts Center and applauded its impact on its home city.
“In this administration, we believe with all of our hearts that as the arts go, so this state goes. And in so many respects, as NJPAC goes, Newark goes and the great state of New Jersey goes,” said Governor Phil Murphy, while lauding the Arts Center for its arts education initiatives and its focus on diversity.
The overwhelming response by thoughtful philanthropists to NJPAC’s fundraising effort is evidence of the Arts Center’s success in programming, arts education and community engagement — and of the transformation of Newark’s downtown from a “business district” to a vibrant business, residential, arts, entertainment, and education community.
Support gathered by the Arts Center through the campaign will:
- Help underwrite the creation of a new, 45,000 square-foot building, the Cooperman Family Education and Community Center, which will serve as a home for NJPAC’s arts training programs, but will also feature a black box theater, rehearsal space for community groups, and extensive, innovative offerings for school children, families, preschoolers and senior citizens;
- Develop 7.3 acres of the Arts Center’s campus to bring more residential buildings, restaurants, retail stores and arts facilities, like galleries and jazz clubs, to Newark’s downtown, including along an extension of Mulberry Street that connects the Arts Center to Rector Street;
- Enhance access to the arts for all New Jersey citizens through statewide (and national) presenting of new productions;
- Foster partnerships with content providers including Netflix and BET to bring NJPAC productions to the world;
- Expand NJPAC’s reach through authentic and inclusive community engagement and audience development that brings arts programming to community hubs throughout New Jersey;
- And grow NJPAC’s Endowment, cash reserves, and Annual Fund to ensure continued financial sustainability, and allow leadership to take advantage of new, entrepreneurial opportunities.
At the launch event, Schreiber noted that NJPAC already enjoys a successful track record at executing on every aspect of its mission: nearly 10 million people from New Jersey and beyond have attended Arts Center programming over its first two-plus decades. And its educational efforts have enriched the lives of more than 1.8 million students and families.
But “an anchor cultural institution like ours is honor-bound to reflect the community we’re serving and the world in which we live. And that community, like our world, is always changing,” said Schreiber.
“Our founders were intentional about creating a world-class performing arts center that would be a nimble and responsive resource on a local and statewide level. We’re not reinventing that mission. Instead, we are honoring it — by delivering on the founders’ vision in new ways that continue to surprise.”
Schreiber credited the campaign’s tremendous success in its opening months, in large part, to the tireless work of the NJPAC’s volunteer leaders, including Board co-chairs Barry Ostrowsky, Esq. and Steven M. Goldman, Esq., Women’s Association President Marcia Brown and Board member Marc Berson, among many others.
“They take the work and mission of NJPAC as seriously as they do their day jobs. NJPAC’s Board is an indispensable asset in the daily workshopping of our vision,” Schreiber said.
Ostrowsky, Goldman and Brown spoke on behalf of the institution’s volunteer leaders, and all emphasized that the Arts Center’s influence had grown beyond the realm of the arts into the work of using the arts to build and sustain community.
“We need a burning bush in these times, one that is enlightening the world as to the importance of living with each other, and loving each other as we should. And I think NJPAC is doing that,” said Brown.
“I implore you to continue to give, but more importantly, to be a soldier in this campaign to build a world that never was.”
The event ended with a performance by current students and alumni from NJPAC’s acclaimed Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program, including recent MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellow, percussionist and composer Tyshawn Sorey.
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njpac.org or 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722)
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted nearly 10 million visitors (including over 1.8 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.