Valley Arts

Address

580 Forest Street
Orange, NJ 07050
County: Essex
http://valleyartsnj.com

Contact

Mr. Richard T. Bryant

Grant Amount

$40,000

Program Area

Arts

Focus

Grant Details

For general operating support of Valley Arts' efforts to strengthen artistic programs in the Valley and launch pilot programs in other Orange neighborhoods and schools.

Organization Background

It wasn't long ago that Hat City was just another neighborhood with a colorful history that had not yet reinvented itself from its manufacturing past. Today it's the 15-square block Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange -- now considered one of the top creative places in the state. At the center of this new energy is ValleyArts, an arts service organization that collaborates with Luna Stage, Arts Unbound, ORNG Ink, Hat City Kitchen, Yema Gallery, HANDS, University of Orange, individual artists, and others to help advance rather than displace community.

To help achieve these goals, since 2008, ValleyArts has developed and led programs that further advance the creative community. These include development of artist professional training programs; creation of shared artist studio co-ops; expansion of gallery exhibitions the Firehouse Gallery and through the neighborhood Orbiting Gallery program; engagement of artist teachers in the Orange Public schools; enhancement of arts activities and programs for young people; marketing of the District as an arts destination; and further development of the annual Hat City Streets Festival and other neighborhood events in performing and visual arts and crafts.

In January 2012, Richard T. Bryant was retained to lead the strategic planning process for the Valley Arts District, and was subsequently named Executive Director of ValleyArts Inc. in May 2012. Bryant also helped to plan and implement Luna Stage Theater Company's move from Montclair to West Orange and developed future plans for MACA (Madison Arts & Culture Alliance), a consortium of three universities, a dozen arts organizations, and more than 40 individual artists, among other projects. Bryant also planned and managed the launch of Hamilton Stage for the Rahway Redevelopment Authority, and developed a three-year operating plan for the theater that merged its operations with the Union County Performing Arts Center.

In early 2013, Bryant was named Co-Chair of Creative Orange, a cross-sector group of leaders from business, the arts, education, local government, science and technology, philanthropy and more, that engage in high-level discussions regarding community issues of greatest importance to Orange's stakeholders and residents.

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