We power the arts to change lives in our community of Newark.

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Years powering the arts

Years of art festivals


Abington Walls
Akwaaba Gallery
Artfront Galleries
Barat Foundation
Cement Gallery
Clements Place Jazz
Cryout Cave: Poetry.Art.Music
Express Newark
Fairmount Art Wall
Four Corners Public Arts
Gallery Aferro
Gutt Gallery
HCAD Gallery at NJIT
Index Art Center
Ironbound Film & Television Studios
Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark Artists Database
Newark Print Shop
Newark Public Library
Newark School of the Arts
Newark Symphony Hall
Paul Robeson Galleries
PES Studios
Prospect Firestation Gallery
RyArMo Photography Studio
The Dietze Building
The Jewish Museum of NJ
The Newark Allery
The Newark Museum Of Art
The People’s Gallery at City Hall
The Pocket Gallery
WBGO Art Gallery


Prudential Financial
The City of Newark
M&T Bank
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Victoria Foundation
Turrell Fund
Bank of America
New Jersey State Council on the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts
United Airlines
Hanini Group
Rutgers University-Newark
New Jersey Institute of Technology
PNC Bank
Crawford Street Partners
The MCJ Amelior Foundation
LM Development Partners
NJ Arts and Culture Renewal Fund
TD Bank
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Columbia Bank
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
Newark Happening
McCarter & English
Hyde and Watson Foundation
MT Weiner Foundation

Newark Arts’ Mission: 

Powering the arts to transform lives

Established in 1981, Newark Arts was created to advance and expand the resources and offerings of arts and cultural organizations in the great city of Newark, New Jersey.

Newark Arts provides leadership, direction, and technical assistance through partnerships with Newark’s many artists, arts administrators, community organizations, community development corporations, planning groups, economic development agencies, and government agencies as well as the general public.

Newark Arts’ goal is to share resources, develop collaborations and cross-functional opportunities, promote advocacy efforts, assist in audience development and public awareness of arts and culture, and serve as a cultural resource to the community.

Newark Arts serves as the anchor and umbrella for the arts community providing programs, services, advocacy and outreach that supports over 60 arts organizations throughout the city.  Representing many, but telling one story, Newark Arts exists to improve the quality of life for Newark artists, arts organizations, and residents through sustainable initiatives that provide living wage jobs, improve education leading to greater levels of college readiness, increase the tax base, and create greater civic engagement.

Our Story

Over the Years


NAC Founded

  • NAC Founded – Key founders include Elizabeth “Liz”Del Tufo and Professor Judith “Judy” Brodsky

“I was Director of the Essex County Division of Cultural Affairs (ECDCA). Essex County, with Newark as the largest city, needed a strong cultural presence. There was a need in Newark for an organization to represent artists.  Judy Brodsky [who] was Assistant to the Provost at Rutgers, was very supportive and felt the organization should be more formalized and pointed to me to do the organizing.”  

–  Elizabeth (Liz) Del Tufo


(To be inserted)

  • 1st Strategic Plan
  • Jim Dixon serves as 1st P.T. Director
  • SW 0654 – Celeste Bateman serves as 2nd P.T. Director

“Some of the programs that Newark Arts Council was involved in were the Salon Series.  We went to different venues and featured different artists throughout the city in multidisciplinary events.  One of my favorites was the Bonjornos (Mary Lou and Jerome/filmmakers) at The Priory (New Community Corporation/NCC).  They really excited by interest in that art form.  Another Series featured visual artist Manuel Ascevedo.  Galleries were prominent settings for many of the Salons.”

– Celeste Bateman, Interim Director for 18 months between 1997 and 1999

  • Oglesby 1st F.T. Executive Director

The early 2000s

  • NAC headquarters moved from Newark Boys Chorus School to 17 Academy Street
  • NAC completes Strategic Plan with American for the Arts 
  • First Arts and Economic Impact Study shows how arts support Newark’s economic growth
  • First Open Doors Studio and Available Space Tour
  • ArtStart Grants Program initiated – Grants to Newark arts organizations
  • NAC hosts Conference on Artist Housing featuring ArtSpace, Inc, a national leader in developing artists housing
  • NAC sponsors citywide Conference on Public Art featuring arts leaders from around the country
  • NAC website developed
  • NAC sponsors Summer Arts Program with City of Newark
  • NAC Commissions Artists Related Housing Needs in Newark, a study of Newark’s artists housing needs by The Actor’s Fund of America, which led to a greater understanding of the potential costs/benefits of artists housing to the City of Newark and beyond.  Study became lynchpin for developers considering how and where housing for artists might be developed in Newark.
  • ODST 2004 features “Mix In the Bricks” in raw industrial  space at 744 Broad Street.

Mid 2000s

  • Arts & City Awards Fundraiser initiated to recognize artists / supporters, contributors and to raise funds for arts programming.  Art & the City recognized artists and key arts leaders and featured a competition and auction featuring tabletop sized sculptures by artists.
  • Arts Education Roundtable created with support from Victoria Foundation (leads to NAER)
  • NAC advocates for implementation of City of Newark’s Percent for Arts initiative leading to set-aside of 1% new construction budget for public art. Mayor Sharpe James appoints NAC ED L. Oglesby 1st Chair to kickstarts Public Arts / Murals Program.
  • 4th ODST – Internationally celebrated sculptor and Newark native Chakaia Booker served as curator and juror. Artists from Newark and the surrounding metropolitan area were included in the juried exhibition curated by Ms. Booker.
    • NYTimes review of Open Doors exhibition, “Newark Between Us” by Rupert Ravens; best in NJ in many years in 30,000 sq. ft on 6th Floor t 744 Broad Street; Exhibition listed by Star Ledger as among Top Ten in New Jersey for 2006.
    • Arts Economic Prosperity III released in conjunction with Americans for the Arts
    • Open Doors Studio Tour Red Badge of Courage Revisited curated by internationally recognized curator, Omar Lopez Chahoud at 744 Broad Street; Star-Ledger again recognizes exhibitions as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten Exhibitions.
    • Gladys Barker Grauer receives 1st NAC Arts Award at reception hosted by Mayor Cory Booker
    • Leadership Newark honors NAC for Civic Leadership – “Outstanding Community Partner”
    • NAC holds Artist Development Forums at Aljira
    • ODST 2009
    • ODST features Newark filmmakers, Marylou and Jerome Bonjiorno at the Newark Museum screening their award-winning new film, Newark in 3-D.  Bonjiornos received early ArtStart Grant to support their filmmaking.

    The 2010s

    • Newark selected by G.R. Dodge Foundation to host 2010 International Poetry Festival; coincides with 2010 Open Doors Studio Tour
    • Arts & Economic Activity IV details 358 jobs; $95 million in household income; $11 million in tax revenue in the City of Newark generated by arts activity.
    • Quarter Mile Print Project by Stephen McKenzie accepted into Guinness Book of Records.
    • NAER receives 1st National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant
    • Artists Development Workshops: technical analysis portfolio review, meet w/curators.
    • NAER hosts major Conference on Arts Education with keynote by NEA Arts Education, Director Ayanna Hudson
    • NAER Receives 2nd National Endowment for the Arts Grant

    The recent years

    • “If Not for Tom” Gala and fundraiser honors former NJ Governor Tom Kean for his contributions to NJ Arts and aises historic funds to support the arts.
    • Oglesby retires as Executor after 17 years; J. Johnson hired after national search
    • GlassRoot honors L. Oglesby for Arts leadership

    NAC affected Newark positively.  It was the only organization involved in advocacy in Newark and the County.  NAC has had significant positive growth since its inception to its first paid staff, to Linwood Oglesby as its first full-time Executive Director; to its current director, Jeremy Johnson.

    NAC, even with its limited resources, had significant impact mobilizing artists; (NAC) looked at the City to see how the arts could strengthen the City.  Even early on it had significant impact.

    – Philip Thomas, Newark Arts Board President in 1991 and board member for 3 years.

    • “If Not for Clement” honors Dr. Clement”  for his outstanding contributions to the arts & humanities and for his outstanding leadership to the City of Newark, the state, and the nation.
    • NAC initiates Cultural Plan for Newark
    • NAC rebranded as Newark Arts

    Per (Mayor) Kenneth Gibson’s earlier assessment of urban issues that wherever the country was headed, Newark would get there first, Newark was ahead of the curve in amplifying the voices of the people of Newark and the talents they represent.  At the same time Newark Arts was advancing a strategic plan for the organization that would allow it to express its role with more intentionality in the community.

    – Peter Englot

    Artists now have a much clearer path to sustainability.  Artists can now see a stronger pathway to making a living Newark Arts has played a great role by supporting professional development for artists.


    Our Leadership

    Over the Years

    Manuel Acevedo
    Onome N. Adejemilua,-Esq.
    Khalif Ra Al-Hadi
    Hope Alswang
    Charlotte Attenborough
    Carlos Aurellano
    Susan G. Austin
    Amiri Baraka
    Gladys Barker Grauer
    Ayana Bateman
    Celeste Bateman
    David B. Berkowitz
    David R. Berkowitz
    Cephas Bowles
    Dr. Alex Boyd
    Jeanette F. Brummell
    Gloria Bryant
    Natalie Burrows
    Michelle Butler
    Eleta J. Caldwell
    Lisa V. Chow, Esq.
    Arthur J. Cifelli
    Anthony G. Clark
    Dr. Paulette Coleman
    Samuel M. Convissor
    Lauren M. Craig, Esq.
    Delores Critchley
    Jennifer C. Critchley
    Frank J. D’Astolfo
    William Dane
    Victor Davson
    Saundra DeGeneste
    Elizabeth Del Tufo
    Priscilla DeLeeuw Barrowcllough
    Leon Denmark
    Marcy S. DePina

    Carole DeSenne
    Nancy E. Diamond
    James Dickson
    Mary W. Dowd
    Natasha Dyer
    Lawrence Emery
    Peter T. Englot
    Jeff Friedman
    Tarin M. Fuller
    Alfred Gallman
    Eduardo Garcia
    Ali Gates
    Lawrence P. Goldman
    Pamela E. Goldstein
    Michele Gonzalez
    LaJean E. Gray
    Wilma J. Grey
    Richard Grossklaus
    Patricia Hall Curvin
    Samer Hanini
    Joyce Wilson Harley
    Dale E. Harris
    Christopher M. Hartwyck, Esq
    Gayle Hawkins
    Sherry B. Hawn
    W. Stan Holland
    Michael M. Horn, Esq.
    John Hyer
    Bonnie Hyslop
    Pamela Irvin Fields
    Ronald H. Janis
    Marvin Kazembe Jefferson
    Jeremy V. Johnson
    Mary Louise Johnson
    Natalie Jones
    Phillip G. Jones
    Toni Jones

    Marshell Jones Kumahor
    Dupre “Doitall” Kelly
    Pat Kettenring
    Dorthaan Kirk
    David A. Lederman
    Marc Leibowitz
    Catherine Lenix-Hooker
    Ollyn J. Lettman
    Larry Leverett
    Clarence C. Lilley
    Bruce L. Lloyd
    Mariko Lockhart
    Lisa D. Love, Esq.
    Thomas L. Lussenhop
    Steven Mairella, Esq.
    William D. Manna
    Gloria Martin
    John Martin
    John Masi
    Joaquin Matias
    Cynthia T. McCoy
    Sheila D. McKoy
    William R. Mikesell
    Dr. Julia A. Miller
    Ryan A. Monroe
    Linda Morgan
    Gwen Moten
    Victor Nichols
    Jeffrey Norman
    Mary P. O’Malley
    Ronald Maurice Ollie
    Joanne Orozco
    Vicente Perez
    Richard Probert
    Elisa Puzzuoli
    Kathleen W. Rae
    William Reeder

    Ross Richards
    Kiyana N. Richardson
    Roy E. Rogers
    Kitab I. Rollins
    Wylie Rollins
    Abbe Rosenbaum
    Madeline Ruiz
    Miriam A. Santiago
    Stephen Sennott
    Nikia Simmons
    Melissa A. Smith
    Victoria J. Snoy
    Patricia Steele
    Paula Stephens
    Yvette C. Sterling, Esq.
    Elisabeth Stewart
    Susan Stucker
    Mary Sue Sweeney Price
    Lawrence J. Tamburri
    Philip Thomas
    Arthur W. Thomas
    Lincoln Turner
    Don Viapree
    Eric Vicioso
    Christine Vogel
    Linda A. H. Walker
    Donna Walker-Khune
    Joseph W. Walsh
    Bisa Washington
    Franotie A. Washington
    Stanley M. Weeks
    Scott A. Weiner
    Kristin Wenger
    Gene Wesley
    Nicole Whalen
    Martha Williams
    Valerie V. Wilson
    Daniel Zanella



    Our Impact in Pictures

    Jaziah Bryant enjoys a pre-COVID moment at the piano

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