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Newark Arts Announces Open Call For 2024 Art Festival: Radical Reimagining

originally published: 04/22/2024

Newark Arts Announces Open Call For 2024 Art Festival: Radical Reimagining

Opening Night of Newark Arts Festival 2023 at The Newark Museum of Art. Photo by Charles David Photography, Elevate Welcome Reimagine.

(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Arts has announced the return of its award-winning Newark Arts Festival, powered by Prudential Financial and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Calls for participation are open for the annual five-day celebration throughout Newark, taking place October 9-13, 2024. This year's theme is Radical Reimagining, and creatives from the 'City of the Arts' and the Greater Newark region are invited to audition, submit work, and propose activations and exhibitions that reimagine a world where art, culture and connectedness is the foundation of all that we do and all that we are.  The theme encourages artists to build conversations that deconstruct and reimagine an artful world reliant on "imaginative problem solving, cultural strategy and systemic transformation."

Voted NJ’s Favorite Visual Art Festival and earning the 2018 and 2019 People’s Choice Award, Newark Arts Festival attendance grows year over year as its multifaceted and culture-rich programming continues to gain the attention of art enthusiasts and buyers. Alongside the signature group exhibition at The Newark Museum of Art and fresh gallery offerings around Newark, Newark Arts Festival features diversified art and performance programming  in vacant retail and public spaces, resulting in an immersive and energetic cityscape.  The Festival will include both nationally recognized and emerging creatives while providing attendees the opportunity to shop and purchase the work of 500+ artists in open studios, artisan shops and galleries.

In addition to a multi-gallery viewing experience, this year features The Pink Ball at The Newark Museum of Art, Night Market in collaboration with Newark City Parks Foundation, a Sensory Friendly Art Tour, Next Up Newark Talent Showcase at Newark Symphony Hall and a morning run with Brick City Run Club. Accompanying the visual arts, Festival goers can also enjoy music, dance, theater and spoken word as well as hands-on activities for youth throughout the Festival. For the third year, the signature exhibition and featured Festival programming will be hosted in partnership with The Newark Museum of Art as part of both organizations’ missions to foster community within the City of Newark.

“We’re delighted to host for the third year the Newark Arts Festival exhibition, extended  through December 1st.  Our partnership brings community together to celebrate the city’s vibrant and diverse artists along with the Museum’s outstanding global collections.” said Catherine Evans, Deputy Director, Collections & Curatorial Strategies at NMOA.

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Major funders of the Festival include Prudential Financial and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Newark Arts Festival is a proud member of Festivals United, a new coalition of six major arts and cultural festivals based in Newark which will receive a total of $1.5 million in grant funding from the NJEDA over the next two years. The “Festivals United” coalition includes AfroBeat Fest, Halsey Festival, Lincoln Park Music Festival, Newark Pride and Newark Winter Village, in partnership with Newark Alliance and Newark City Parks Foundation.

“Newark Arts is thrilled to be among the recipients of such major, state-backed funding, which demonstrates how vitally important arts and cultural festivals are when the goal is to drive transformational change in cities. The impact of this funding will expand the Festival’s mission to increase visibility for Newark artists within the national creative economy, increase public access to arts and culture, foster collaboration between artists, Newark-based institutions, and businesses and contribute to the continued transformation of Newark,” said Lauren LeBeaux Craig, Newark Arts’ Executive Director.

The creative team for the Festival will be led by Lauren LeBeaux Craig, along with new and returning Newark Arts team members including Delilah Navarro, Senior Manager of Creative Projects and Communications; Adrienne Wheeler, Lead Curator, Artistic Initiatives; and Daryl Stewart, Lead Curator of Performing Arts.

“The Newark Arts Festival showcases Newark as a vibrant cultural center.  Prudential is a long-time partner of Newark Arts and celebrates the theme of this year’s festival: Radical Reimagining, which will demonstrate Newark’s artistry and culture as the city reimagines a better Newark, inclusive of all cultures, voices and perspectives,” said Shané Harris, Vice President Inclusive Solutions, Social Responsibility and Shared Value at Prudential Financial and President of The Prudential Foundation.

The Festival Open Calls began on April 22, 2024 and will accept submissions through June 6, 2024. Apply here. 

A Festival Info Session will take place virtually on May 9th, 2024 at 5:30pm. Register here. 

Performing arts auditions will take place at Newark Symphony Hall on Saturday, May 18th. Register here.

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Festival Agenda : The FREE city-wide festival will feature 5-days of programming in various creative spaces, historic venues, and performance stages. Each day the festival theme will highlight a different goal focused on manifesting radically art-forward ideas into reality. Here’s what to expect:

October 9th - Reimagining Newark Arts

The Festival’s opening event, The Pink Ball, highlights the  signature exhibition, Radical Reimagining. Visitors will step into a delightful experience while enjoying cuisine, libations, performances, and art.

Events to look out for: The Pink Ball, Radical Reimagining Signature Exhibition Opening - The Newark Museum of Art

October 10th- Reimagining Open Spaces

The annual Citywide Gallery Crawl including the opening of the Newark Arts Festival Headquarters invites the world to reassess where, when and how we expect to engage with great art and think beyond the box.

Events to look out for: NAF Citywide Gallery Crawl, Newark Arts Festival Headquarters Opening - Locations Around the City

October 11th - Reimagining the Urban Marketplace

Entertainment, commerce and artistry harmonize in the city’s newest downtown park, Mulberry Commons, offering craftsmanship, performances and more on the third day of the festival.

Events to look out for: Night Market - Mulberry Commons

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October 12th - Reimagining Legacy

Immersive family-focused events, like the Sensory Friendly Art Tour, Theater Day at The Newark Museum of Art, and HBCU Night: The R&B Classic promote community, resilience and joy.

Events to look out for: HBCU Night: The R&B Classic, The Sensory Friendly Kids Art Tour, Theater Day - The Newark Museum of Art

October 13th - Reimagining Community

During a community run or at an artful brunch with new friends, together we can redefine our collective identity and transform our community into a world where struggle and suffering are rare, but prosperity and love are not.

Events to look out for: Brick City Run Club Morning Run, NAF Brunch, Open Doors Studio Tour, Next Up Newark Talent Showcase - Locations Around the City

The mission of Newark Arts is to power the arts to transform lives.  Newark Arts shares resources, develops collaborations and cross-functional opportunities, promotes advocacy efforts, assists in audience development and public awareness of arts and culture, and serves as a cultural resource to the community. Newark Arts is supported by Prudential Financial, the City of Newark, M&T Bank, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Turrell Fund, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Hanini Group, and many businesses, institutions, and individuals.



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