Morris Arts, building community through the arts

By ROI-NJ Staff
Morristown | Feb 9, 2018 at 9:32 am
Nonprofit Profile

Origin

Morris Arts was founded in 1973 as a private, not-for-profit organization committed to building community through the arts.

Mission

Morris Arts believes the arts enrich the lives of everyone in our community and are vital to the social fabric and economic prosperity of Morris County, while simultaneously being a catalyst for positive social change.

Goals

We will continue with our Arts in Education programs. We will promote, plan, coordinate, contract and assess 40-50 artist residencies during the 2017-2018 school year, continuing to reach a diverse audience of elementary and secondary school children.

Our Community Arts Programs for 2017-2018 will include:

  • Meet Me in Morristown, during summer 2018;
  • Giralda Music & Arts Festival, since 1992;
  • Pumpkin Illumination, in Morristown and now Dover;
  • Music Beyond Borders summer concert series;
  • 3rd Saturdays at Morris View senior arts program;
  • Public art projects;
  • Artistic programming for First Night Morris County.

Programs

  • Create arts education programs for our schools;
  • Create and support arts events in the community;
  • Support local artists and arts organizations through a re-granting program of funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts;
  • Provide exhibiting opportunities in our office space at the Gallery at 14 Maple and the Atrium Gallery at the County Administration building;
  • Champion the support and funding of the arts through our advocacy work at the local, county, state and federal levels.

Achievements

Last July, Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder traveled to Washington, D.C., joining seven selected arts leaders from around the country to advocate on behalf of retaining and funding the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.

The Town of Morristown adopted Morris Arts’ Percent for Art program in the spring of 2015. The goal of Percent for Art is to enliven and enrich the downtown by requiring commercial developers to invest a percent of their redevelopment budget (up to $100,000) to support public art on or around their project.

In 2016 we unveiled the Gateway Totem Project in front of Grow It Green’s Early Street Community Garden in Morristown. With the goal of honoring past, present and future immigrant communities and promoting cross-cultural understanding and acceptance, the Gateway Totem Project features two 10-foot-tall pillars of Indiana limestone, with 16 panels of iconic symbols evoking the multiple immigrant communities who have called the Speedwell area home.

Benefactors

Individuals and companies who believe in the importance of the arts to build a strong community, as well as the importance of arts in education in our schools.

Our major grants come from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the F.M. Kirby Foundation; and a number of smaller foundations. Local companies support either Great Conversations or the Giralda Music & Arts Festival. We also raise money from individuals through an annual fund campaign and through a planned giving program.

Finally

Girls Surviving is an intensive program led by a professional storyteller and professional actor in which 14- through 17-year-old girls from the Morristown area examine issues facing them, share insights in a safe forum and work through the range of concerns that impact young women by collectively writing and performing a play as the culminating event.

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Gina Moran, director of development, at: gmoran@morrisarts.org or 973-285-5115, Ext. 13.

In Brief

Where: 14 Maple Avenue, Morristown.
Serving: Morris County and 11 other counties in Northern New Jersey.
Key members: Tom Werder, executive director; Barbara Reuther, director of arts in education; Lynn Siebert, director of arts participation & communication; and Gina Moran, director of development.

ROI-NJ Staff | editorial@roi-nj.com | @ROINJNews