By Mary Ann Bourbeau |
RED BANK – Monmouth Arts, the county’s official arts agency, is dedicated to promoting a vibrant arts community that enhances the quality of life for all of its residents.
Teresa Staub took over in February as executive director and she’s looking forward to getting the word out about the organization to both artists and residents alike.
Staub worked as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society for 11 years. Her daughter became involved with Phoenix Productions in Red Bank, and instead of waiting for her in the car, Staub started helping the theater group with props. Before she knew it, she was producing a show.
“Once I got involved, I absolutely loved it,” she said.
She was a fundraiser for New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan and the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal before coming to Monmouth Arts.
“I am so proud to be a part of a nonprofit that allows our arts community to flourish,” she said. “Through its many programs and services, Monmouth Arts sparks cultural growth as well as provides much-needed funds to arts organizations to create a thriving cultural environment.”
Monmouth Arts’ programs are made possible through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Monmouth County Historical Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts. With an annual budget of $500,000 and a five-person staff, the organization supports artists and arts groups through a multitude of efforts such as networking events, workshops, art walks, grants and other resources. Some of the professional development opportunities include workshops on strategic planning, using social media and developing an artist statement. The organization also publicizes artist performances and exhibitions in e-blasts, through social media and on the website.
Monmouth Arts was founded in 1971 after the Junior League of Monmouth County saw the need for a central agency to coordinate and assist all county artists and arts organizations. It began with seed money from the Junior League and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. In 1973, an anonymous donor provided funds to purchase Walter Reade’s Carlton Theatre in Red Bank, later renamed the Count Basie Theatre in honor of Red Bank native William James “Count” Basie. Although they are both still located at the same Monmouth Street address, the two non- profits separated in 1999 so that each could better focus on its individual mission.
“People should stop by to find out all we do,” said Staub.
The Monmouth Arts community is made up of 75 nonprofit arts groups, 1,400 artists and 3,080 creative businesses such as art galleries, theater groups, bookstores, music and arts academies, dance schools, design, advertising, architecture and publishing businesses. It also has many individual arts supporters.
“I always look at Monmouth Arts as the group behind the curtain,” said Staub.
The Monmouth Teen Arts Festival, which takes place every March at Brookdale Community College, is one of its biggest events, attracting 2,000 middle and high school students each year. Sneak Peek Film and Reception events are held in conjunction with Bow Tie Cinemas, Sony Pictures Classics and area restaurants. The next one will take place on June 15 at Front Street Trattoria, followed by a screening of “Maudie” at Bow Tie Cinemas.
The 2017 Monmouth County Senior Art Show will run from Aug. 4-30 at the Monmouth County Library headquarters in Manalapan, with a special reception on Aug. 16. First place winners in both professional and non-professional levels across 11 categories will advance to the state competition.
“I think people would be surprised to see all we offer the community,” said Staub. For more information, visit www.monmoutharts.org.
Arts and entertainment writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was first published in the June 1-June 8, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
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