Audible announces Newark Artist Collaboration, program intended to promote and assist local artists

Audible, which has done much to lift the city of Newark, announced Tuesday a way it will be able to elevate the work of Newark-based artists and encourage local investment in the city’s creative community.

The program, the Newark Artist Collaboration, will begin this fall with the unveiling of 12 commissions at Audible’s headquarters at 1 Washington Park and in the surrounding downtown neighborhood.

Audible officials said the Newark Artist Collaboration will include an array of site-specific and original interdisciplinary artworks to be installed in and around Audible’s headquarters, which is undergoing a comprehensive renovation in preparation for employees’ forthcoming return to the office.

The neighborhood projects are made possible with the support of area stakeholders, including Aetna Realty, Bolton Development, Fidelco Realty Group, FOCUS – Hispanic Center for Community Development, the Newark Public Library and Rutgers University-Newark.

Audible’s scope of resources will support distinctive collaboration and advancement of artistic practice.

Opportunities will include;

  • Indoor and outdoor facade activations (murals, wall installations, etc.);
  • Digital artwork and video; experimental and immersive media (light, sound, etc.);
  • Interventions, functional sculpture and design work in a collaborative framework (such as apparel and product design).

A request for proposals, which opened Monday, will close Aug.  9. A virtual community meeting will take place July 14 to review the inaugural scope of work and answer questions.

A jury of local arts professionals and stakeholders will play an integral role in the artist selection process. The city of Newark’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs and local arts organizations such as Express Newark, Newark Arts, the Newark Museum of Art and Project for Empty Space have advised on and supported the development of the program.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the city is thrilled by the announcement.

“Our city has a long heritage of being a center for the arts, and what’s great about the Newark Artist Collaboration is that it will empower and commission local artists while giving them the opportunity to brighten our neighborhoods,” he said. “I am grateful for Audible’s leadership in engaging Newark’s artists, and I look forward to seeing what they create.”

The Newark Artist Collaboration is an extension of Audible’s deep commitment to the cultural life of Newark, where it established its headquarters in 2007 with founder and Chairman Don Katz.

“Newark is the wellspring of generations of profound creative talent across arts, music and culture, and I’m proud that Audible, which exists to serve the creative professionals who write and perform the words we deliver, can support artists in our hometown and help showcase their work,” he said. “We hope to continue to lead by example, encouraging local investment and continued advancement of the arts.”