The arts mean business in New Jersey’s largest city. On any given day or evening, Newark is bustling with cultural activity that appeals to art and music lovers of every kind. Government, corporate, and nonprofit leaders proudly connect this activity to jobs and money that is creating a more prosperous city.
Newark’s crowded galleries, standing-room-only festivals, and packed concerts are not only a fun time for residents and visitors, they’re good for the economy. Newark Arts, the city’s umbrella organization for all the arts, teamed up with the national research firm Americans for the Arts and conducted a year-long 2016 study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5. It found that Newark’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates more than $178.3 million in annual economic activity, supports nearly 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs, and creates an additional $15.5 million in local and state government revenues.
Of the study, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said, “Communities that embrace arts and cultural education, activities and events are far richer than those who do not. Newark is a ‘city of the arts,’ where access to spoken word events, musical and dance performances, film, art exhibits, theatre offerings, museums and libraries add exponentially to our economic health. The impact of our commitment to the arts is felt in our communities, our businesses, our institutions, and our households, and it contributes to the revitalization that our city is experiencing. This report acknowledges the significance of our investment in this vital sector of Newark.”
Newark’s hometown artists are equally proud of the city’s cultural and economic boom. Tony Award-winning dancer, actor and entrepreneur Savion Glover said, “Newark has always been home. But also, it has always been an absolute cultural gem and the birthplace of so many talented artists. So I’m not surprised to see the incredible impact that the arts have on Newark as a whole and where we’re going as a city.”
Newark’s corporate community, which has long promoted local arts and culture, applauded the results of the study. “A thriving arts and culture industry helps local business and contributes to communities becoming stronger and healthier places to live. Based on this study, grant makers and corporations like Prudential should feel optimistic about continuing to invest in the arts,” said Shané Harris, vice president of corporate giving, Prudential Financial Inc., and executive director of The Prudential Foundation.
So know that when you take in a show, visit a museum or gallery, or experience one of the many entertainment options available in Newark, you’ll not only have a good time, you’ll be contributing to the economic vibrancy of one of America’s great cities.
Newark’s Newest Creative Spaces
The findings in the 2017 Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 study (AEP5) are evidenced by the number of arts and culture-related locations that have opened this year alone.
Express Newark, 54 Halsey Street (Opened in March 2017)
Located in the renovated Hahne & Co building, Express Newark is an arts incubator and provides video, photo, design and art classes. It was conceived by the faculty, staff and students of Rutgers-Newark and community arts leaders.
The Painters Palette, 97th Avenue (Opened in June 2017)
The Painters Palette invites you to “uncork your creativity” with painting classes and activities, such as Paint & Chew, Painting Party and Wine & Design.
Grammy Museum, 165 Mulberry Street (Opened in October 2017)
Located in the Prudential Center, the Grammy Museum -Experience will feature interactive music exhibits, public programs that include live performances, exclusive talks, and one-of-a-kind learning opportunities. It will even host your event.
Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street (Main entrance re-opened in November 2017)
The Newark Museum has re-opened its main entrance after closing it 20 years ago to keep temperature and humidity fluctuations from damaging centuries old paintings. An expansion of exhibit space now protects the art within and has enabled the re-opening.