Valley Arts


400 So. Jefferson
Orange, NJ 07050
County: Essex


Ms. Candace L. Gabbard

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support to strengthen programs, enhance coalitions with local organizations and expand school and community-based programming.

Organization Background

It was only a few years 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, West Orange Arts Council, Orange Public Schools, City of Orange Township, 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 and business center co-ops; expansion of gallery exhibitions the Firehouse Gallery; 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 September of 2015 Candace (Goldstein) Gabbard took the leadership of ValleyArts replacing Richard Bryant who moved on to launching other arts organizations. Gabbard worked closely with ValleyArts for many years in her role as Director of Special Programs for the Orange Public School District. She partnered with ValleyArts to found the Saturday Arts Program, Orng Ink (studio space and support services for young emerging artists), Adult School (run by University of Orange as a part of ValleyArts) and artist-in-residency for after school hours programming. After 31 years as a leader in the educational and community spheres, Gabbard retired and became the Executive Director of ValleyArts. Gabbard brings her administrative expertise, educational knowledge, ability in programmatic development and her love of art to the position.

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