coLAB Arts Inc


5 Lorain Street
P.O. Box 887
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
County: Middlesex


Mr. John P. Keller, Jr.

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Grant Details

A year-long theater education residency, connecting professional artists with New Brunswick High School Students

Organization Background

From its initial inception in 2006 as a student organization at Rutgers University, coLAB Arts' has served the emerging artists of New Brunswick, NJ. By 2007, coLAB Arts was officially founded as an independent organization fully dedicated to the idea that culture is fostered by a partnership between artists and communities.

coLAB Arts' mission is to cultivate a hip, mindful, and inclusive community of artists, audiences, and critics empowered to create inspired and inspiring art. In order to bring art to the public eye, coLAB Arts strives to cultivate a community of creativity, providing "unproven" artists with adequate resources including physical space, technical and administrative support, and financial assistance to produce and present their work. By providing sustaining support to emerging artists who are producing investigative and risk-taking work, coLAB Arts spans the media of dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Access to these fresh and insightful creative endeavors is offered to the public, which increases the New Brunswick community's opportunities to not only learn about the creative arts but to advance forward civic thinking.

Dan Swern is the co-founder and producing director for coLAB Arts. The 2014/15 year will mark Dan's second year as the paid Producing Director of the organization, overseeing all administrative and general operating needs, including artistic and educational programming. He has developed and produced programs in every arts discipline, including a new emerging choreographer residency in collaboration with Lustig Dance Theatre. As a director, he has directed a bilingual production of Romeo and Juliet/Romeo y Julieta, the New Jersey premiere of Ken Urban's I Heart Kant, and the regional premiere of I Hope They Serve Beer on Broadway by Tucker Max (and upcoming New York transfer). He is currently directing Raymond Luedeke's new opera My Life With Pablo Neruda, based on the 100 Love Sonnets of Pablo Neruda and two new productions for Voice A Fire in New York. He is the producer for Sprat Theatre Company and formerly was the associate producer for the New York production of Punchdrunk's Sleep No More. Dan is a member of the New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders and New Brunswick Community Arts Council. He is a proud graduate of Rutgers University.

coLAB Arts Director of Education, John Keller, leads this education project. Keller is a lifelong New Brunswick resident, and an alumnus of Rutgers University - Mason Gross School of the Arts Graduate Acting program. He has worked regionally and in NYC as an actor in both theater and television and continues to study with leading theater companies and artists. Working with such notable companies as Contemporary American Theater Festival, George Street Playhouse, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Tectonic Theater. Company, Theatre167. He also appeared in a principle role on this seasons Boardwalk Empire. John's work with coLAB Arts began in 2009, with a focus on building a company comprised of dedicated professionals including actors, costume and set designers, directors, stage managers and writers committed to creating quality education opportunities for traditionally underserved students. Outside of the arts, John sits on the Board of the Town Clock Community Development Corporation in New Brunswick, NJ as well as the Advisory Board of the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, which is dedicated to the sharing of knowledge about young people making the transition to college and coming to age in the digital era.

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