(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Arts Festival (“NAF”) will mark its 19th year by going virtual, Thursday, October 8 through Sunday, October 11, 2020. “Art+Tech: Perception, Access, Power” is the theme of the free online event at NewarkArtsFestival.com, created in partnership with The Newark Museum of Art and sponsored by Prudential and Verizon.
NAF has been twice named New Jersey’s Favorite Visual Arts Festival by JerseyArts.com People’s Choice Awards. The festival will shine a light on established and emerging artists, art galleries, and cultural institutions in the region. NAF’s new digital platform will allow attendees to explore a simulated three-dimensional gallery “inside” The Newark Museum of Art, consisting of curated contemporary artworks. Viewers will “click” on their favorite pieces and be transported to websites about the featured artist or partnering gallery, works for sale, studio visits, additional events and more.
The NAF gallery is being designed by The Honk-Tweet, led by Wolfgang Gil, a Newark-based, Venezuelan-born artist who specializes in augmented and virtual reality, immersive sound, and interactive web design. An aural soundscape, inspired by Newark’s diverse music scene, will accompany NAF’s virtual gallery. Alongside the virtual gallery, NAF will also promote concurrent artistic offerings throughout Newark, including media, dance, theatre, poetry and arts education.
“Newark Arts Festival unabashedly celebrates all the arts our great city has to offer. During the current pandemic, we’re pressing forward to uphold Newark as one of America’s most arts-vibrant communities, a diverse cultural capital, and thriving center for black and brown creatives. Thanks to the new digital platform, art lovers and art buyers can enjoy the four-day festival from the safety of their laptop or smartphone,” said Newark Arts Executive Director Jeremy Johnson.
“We are thrilled to partner with Newark Arts to host such vibrant area artists in the virtual space of The Newark Museum of Art. A savvy trio of curators—Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Lauren Craig, and Marcy DePina—have selected the artworks, underscoring the Festival’s collaborative community spirit. It is heartening that in the midst of these upending, unprecedented times, our reach extends far beyond our walls through digital experiences, making the Museum and Festival ever more accessible.” said The Newark Museum of Art Director & CEO Linda C. Harrison.
“Prudential is proud to serve once again as a Platinum sponsor for Newark Arts Festival 2020. The arts are an economic driver for Newark, accounting for more than 5,000 jobs and $178M in annual economic activity according to Americans for the Arts. For 145 years, Prudential has stood by the City of Newark, our home and headquarters. As the city responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, a global economic crisis, and a national movement for social justice, the arts will play a vital role in recovery. We welcome all to join us in supporting the arts community by participating in Newark Arts Festival,” said Shané Harris, Vice President, Social Responsibility and Partnerships at Prudential Financial and President, The Prudential Financial Foundation.
“Verizon is excited to sponsor the free, virtual Newark Arts Festival: Art+Tech. With so many people hurting and sequestered due to the coronavirus, the festival opens a digital door for thousands of children and families to be inspired, moved and uplifted by diverse artists. By combining art and technology, this event offers an accessible visual and aural experience for communities in New Jersey and beyond. I look forward to seeing everyone at NewarkArtsFestival.com,” said Braxton Plummer, Verizon’s New Jersey Director of State and Local Affairs.
"In these unprecedented times, the arts provide a space to express our feelings and to collectively heal the dual traumas of the pandemic and the on-going struggle for racial and social justice in our country. In spite of the pandemic’s major impact on the arts community, Newark Arts is pushing forward to support the vibrant and diverse arts scene in our city. We are excited to present NAF 2020 on a virtual platform and to provide the opportunity to illuminate the great artistic and innovative talents of the city of Newark," said Marcy DePina, Festival Program Director and incoming Newark Arts Board President.
Newark Arts’ mission 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 (AEN), 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.
IMAGE: Clara Aden, Technological Glitch, Charcoal, acrylic paint and CDs on canvas, 60 x 20 inches. Used with permission.