(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) JCTC’s 12-Year Anniversary Celebration ‘celebrates’ not only the Jersey City nonprofit arts organization reaching the dozen-year mark, but the combination of arts, community and diversity for which JCTC is known. JCTC’s birthday party is the first soiree of the summer of 2018, bringing together leaders and other professionals from the worlds of art, business and politics. JCTC’s 12-Year Anniversary Celebration will be held at White Eagle Hall on June 26th and includes open bar, hot & cold hors d'oeuvres and live jazz from The Hudson Banks Trio.
The JCTC board of directors has created a Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture Award, which will be officially bestowed at JCTC’s 12-Year Anniversary Celebration. This annual award acknowledges individuals instrumental in helping the arts flourish so they can have a positive social and economic impact on communities. The first recipient of this honor is Bill LaRosa, the former Director of the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, who retired last September.
All proceeds of the fundraising event go towards supporting JCTC’s 2018/2019 season, which promises to be this nonprofit arts organization’s most ambitious periods of programming yet. Beginning in September, JCTC will amaze audiences with a robust schedule of theatre, dance and other performances as well as readings and visual art events. JCTC has also expanded its youth and family programming with new shows and classes for children and teens. Attendees to the 12-Year Anniversary Celebration will be the first to find out the details of what JCTC has in store for its upcoming season.
“JCTC is committed to bringing to Jersey City theatre and arts that have vitality, consistency and diversity,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “We believe that the arts unites people from different cultures and backgrounds and can improve the quality of life for all members of our diverse community. We are raising money for that programming as we celebrate and build on the support we have received from the community of Jersey City throughout the years.”
JCTC is a nonprofit organization founded in 2006. Since 2014, JCTC has produced and presented an array of programming at Merseles Studios, which includes a black-box theater, art gallery and artist studios and White Eagle Hall, a newly restored historic theater that reopened last year. JCTC is known for producing and presenting thought-provoking , engaging work from multiple genres and disciplines as well as talk-backs and discussions between artists and audiences, creating a dialogue that explores issues often global in scope but still relevant to the community.
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The 12-Year Anniversary Celebration at White Eagle Hall is a get-together, reception and networking event for lovers and supporters of the arts. At center-stage of this early summer party will be the presentation of JCTC’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement in Arts & Culture Award. No one in Hudson County is more fitting to be the inaugural recipient of JCTC’s Lifetime Achievement Award than Bill LaRosa, who served as Director of Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development from 1990 to 2017.
“Bill LaRosa always saw the arts as a means to unite the community,” said Levina. “The real magic in theater and the arts comes from listening, and with kindness and intelligence, Bill truly listened to artists and organizations. As Director of the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs, he always came from a place of love for the arts and respect for artists, giving them the attention they deserve. Bill knew and loved his community and truly embraced the arts in Hudson County. No arts organization can stand alone and he has been a crucial supporter of JCTC from our very beginning. It is an honor for JCTC to give our first lifetime achievement award to someone who truly made a difference for the arts in Hudson County and New Jersey.”
LaRosa support, consultation and encouragement to arts organizations and artists in Hudson County spans three decades. He was crucial in finding funding for the arts, especially with his facilitation of Local Arts Program (LAP) Grants, a program conducted in conjunction with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts that provides crucial financial support for the arts so people in all corners of the state can have access to quality arts experiences in their communities.
A graduate of New Jersey City University New York University, LaRosa also served as Vice President of the Association of New Jersey County Cultural & Historic Agencies, was a member of the New Jersey Center for Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Council and in 2000 was acknowledged by a Joint Legislative Resolution from the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly for “meritorious record of service, leadership, and commitment on behalf of the New Jersey tourism industry.” He is the recipient of various community service and New Jersey Association of Counties awards, served as the Chairperson of the Product Development Committee for the New Jersey White House Conference on Tourism Task Force (1993), is a member of the County Open Space Trust Advisory Board and Chairperson of the Hudson County Public Art Commission.
The JCTC Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture Award will be an original sculpture from Jerome China, a Jersey City-based metal sculptor. JCTC’s 12-Year Anniversary Celebration will also feature a silent auction of work by several area artists, including resident artists from Merseles Studios.
“Everyone is invited to celebrate arts, culture, diversity and community with us at White Eagle Hall,” said Levina.
Jersey City Theater Center's 12-Year Anniversary Celebration - A Reception, Cocktail Party & Networking Fundraiser - takes place on Tuesday, June 26 from 6:30pm - 10pm. Tickets are $100 and are available at www.JCTCenter.org. White Eagle Hall is located at 335-337 Newark Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey.