Tony Winner Kelli O’Hara and a star-studded roster of artists join Women@NJPAC’s tribute to the power of voices raised in song

NEWARK, N.J. (September 7, 2021) – A galaxy of singing stars, including Broadway’s Kelli O’Hara, jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, jazz vocal group Manhattan Transfer, a cappella ensembles Take 6 and Naturally 7 and modern-day doo wop masters Under the Streetlamp will appear during an exhilarating night of performances that celebrate the power of vocal music, at NJPAC’s annual Spotlight Gala @ Home on October 2. Toby and Leon G. Cooperman, and the Cooperman Family, will be honored with the NJPAC Founders Award during the Gala, acknowledging their contributions in the fields of medicine, education and the performing arts, and their founding gift toward the construction of the new Cooperman Family Arts Education and Community Center — a purpose-built new home for the Arts Center’s arts education and community engagement programs, scheduled to open in 2024.

NJPAC’s Spotlight Gala performance, titled Perfect Harmony, will be broadcast on NJ PBS, New Jersey’s public television station, and, at 7PM EDT.

All are invited to tune in to participate in this tribute to the life-affirming power of the performing arts, and to help NJPAC continue its work in arts education and community engagement — programming for children and families that the Arts Center provided virtually throughout the pandemic.

“For years, the Arts Center’s Spotlight Gala has been our way of celebrating the beginning of our season, of saying ‘thank you’ to all our supporters and audience members, and of ensuring that our work in arts education and community engagement can thrive and grow,” says John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC.

“Although the Arts Center is now beginning to reopen for in-person performances, I’m so pleased that this year we will once again take our biggest party of the year virtual, and share our exciting Spotlight Gala concert with arts lovers across the state through our ongoing partnership with NJ PBS.”

The annual Spotlight Gala is organized by Women@NJPAC, the Arts Center’s longtime advocacy organization. Since its establishment in 1994, Women@NJPAC has raised more than $55 million to support NJPAC and its programs. Originally known as “The Women’s Board of NJPAC” and later “the Women’s Association of NJPAC,” the organization began with only nine members. These “founding mothers” not only helped raise the funding necessary to launch NJPAC’s arts education programs and open the Arts Center in October of 1997, they also grew their small band into a powerhouse of fundraising and “friend-raising” that today numbers thousands of members.

Over the past 27 years, the Women@NJPAC has become an organization that not only supports the work of the Arts Center, but serves as a networking venue par excellence for New Jersey women, and a funder with a particular focus on issues impacting women and girls. Women@NJPAC annually hosts multiple events on and off the Arts Center campus.

“Today, Women@NJPAC is focused on supporting the vital work of the Arts Center — and amplifying the voices of women in our communities, in the arts, in the social justice movement, and in the corporate world,” says Faith Taylor, President of Women@NJPAC.

“The Spotlight Gala is not only an opportunity for us to raise funds for NJPAC’s award-winning programs for children and families, but also to spread the word about our work supporting all women, and lifting up the next generation of fierce, creative and effective leaders.”

Some of the many programs hosted or made possible by Women@NJPAC this year included:

  • A Leading Ladies virtual panel discussion featuring the powerhouse team of women behind the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, an initiative that raised millions of dollars to keep New Jersey’s arts organizations alive in the wake of coronavirus.
  • The third annual Gathering of Givers, Women@NJPAC’s celebration of the power of women in philanthropy, which this year focused on women’s contributions to rebuilding communities after the pandemic, featuring Lara Abrash, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte & Touche, and Joanne Lin, Principal, Newark Venture Partners, among many other women executives.
  • She Did That: Black Women in the Workplace, a part of the Arts Center’s PSEG True Diversity Film Series, which highlighted the growing impact of African American women executives and entrepreneurs.
  • The launch of Women Leaders @ Work, a new series of virtual events, co-sponsored by Executive Women of New Jersey, that explores the impact of women who are advancing organizations large and small. The first event in the series, Women in the Boardroom, focused on women who are taking leadership roles in corporate and nonprofit boards.
  • A virtual edition of the Women@NJPAC annual Spring Luncheon, which offered a fascinating conversation with fashion icon Norma Kamali, and an appearance by Tony Award winning Broadway powerhouse, Laura Benanti;
  • Plus, hundreds of students in NJPAC’s arts training programs received scholarships from Women@NJPAC to continue their studies.

About the Women@NJPAC

Women@NJPAC, a “sisterhood for good” has spent 27 years elevating the voices of women and girls and contributing to the New Jersey community in countless ways, all while raising more than $55 million to support NJPAC and its arts education and community programs that enrich the lives of our current and future generations of cultural citizens. When the group that would grow into Women@NJPAC was established in 1994, its organizers could be counted on two hands. Since that time, Women@NJPAC has grown into an organization of thousands of executives, artists, activists, mothers and change-makers devoted to advancing the performing arts, amplifying the philanthropic work of its members, and helping NJPAC deliver on its mission as an anchor cultural institution. For more information, visit

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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, which have reached almost 2 million children, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

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