In October 2003, Gary Wien launched Upstage Magazine, a monthly print publication that covered the arts throughout Central New Jersey. The publication ultimately grew to 25,000 copies per month with distribution throughout much of the state. Upstage was well received critically and ultimately earned an Asbury Music Award for Top Music Publication in 2007, becoming the first publication other than The Aquarian to ever win the award. In addition both the website and Wien picked up multiple Asbury Music Awards (for Top Website and Top Music Journalist) as well. Wien left the publication shortly afterwards, and Upstage ceased publishing a few months later.
In the months that followed, arts groups continued to submit press releases and materials. In 2008, Wien launched NewJerseyStage.com as a hobby to be an online news resource to continue coverage of the arts. Six years later, he decided to return to covering the arts full-time and redesigned the website to become a digital version of the old Upstage Magazine. On May 1, 2014, New Jersey Stage became a full-time resource covering the arts. On July 15, the first issue of New Jersey Stage digital magazine was released.
One year after New Jersey Stage Magazine was launched, Gary Wien was diagnosed with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. He uses the website and magazine as a way of fighting the disease each day. Over 25,000 articles have been posted since New Jersey Stage became official and 75 issues of the magazine were published until the pandemic of 2020 forced it to go on hiatus. In 2021, over 550,000 unique visitors came to the website (* from Google Analytics stats) and the site continues to grow each year.
The website is primary run by Wien, but it benefits from the work of writers like Danny Coleman, Bob Makin, Bruce Chadwick, Karen Nowosad, Al Nigrin, Charles Paolino, and Spotlight Central. All of the writers on the site are volunteers - a group who love the arts. New Jersey Stage aims to bring artists, organizations, and art councils together. In addition to regularly publishing original feature articles, interviews, and columns, we encourage organizations to send us press releases. New Jersey Stage considers itself the Garden State's Arts Newswire and home of original arts journalism.
You can follow New Jersey Stage on social media: facebook.com/NewJerseyStage, twitter.com/NewJerseyStage, Google Plus, and via our RSS feed
P.O. Box 140
Spring Lake, NJ 07762