Creating a movement
In the spring of 2005, major art leaders in Jersey City reached out to the community in order to promote the art scene in Jersey City. They wanted to find a way to bring the art community, art lovers, residents, and business owners together.
Those leaders - Art House Productions, Jersey City Museum, Pro Arts, Victory Hall, Grace Church, Gallery 58, Mana Fine Arts and more - have turned the Jersey City art scene into a vibrant and thriving community. With each new JC Friday, the event has gained momentum and spread to new venues. This winter was the biggest "Friday" yet. The event brought well over 1,000 people to the art scene.
Because of the overwhelming response, JC Fridays are four times a year, at the change of every season. The next "JC Fridays" will mark the second year anniversary and is scheduled for Friday, June 1. There is a steering committee that advises on the day of citywide events and offers additional support. Three members of that committee include: Ev Stone (Mana Fine Arts), and Christine Goodman and Jack Halpin (Art House Productions).
According to Christine Goodman, director of Art House Productions, the different groups working together is what JC Fridays is all about.
"We try however we can to match [groups] up," said Goodman. "Really the whole spirit of JC Fridays is working together. It is great to see collaboration because that is what it is all about."
And even if you've been to past a JC Fridays and think you've seen it all - think again! Each season offers new performances, locations and activities. "The locations and the new organizations bring something new to the table," said Goodman. "Events that speak to a wide variety of interests."
What you'll see, some highlights
On Friday, the event starts at 8 a.m. and goes until 2 a.m. with many of the events taking place during the prime early evening hours. In addition, there are family specific performances and teen friendly events including BaGua Juice, BrightMoments Meetup, and others. (Visit: www.jcfridays.com for details.)
JC Fridays goes A-list with a film discussion by actor Matthew Broderick at Grace Church Van Vorst. Following the screening of Infinity, which Broderick directed, there will be a Q&A session.
Createspace is continuing the tradition of storytelling with their interactive spoken word performance. There are two spring fashion shows for the clothes lover at Hala Vintage and World of Style Vintage. The new bookstore Imagine Atrium will host a reading by local author James LeGrand.
Theater lovers can mix and mingle with the cast of Camino Real, a play written by Tennessee Williams at Victory Hall.
Dance enthusiasts can experience the fancy footwork of the Kennedy Dancers. Also, several local businesses will offer discounts that day including: Another Man's Treasure (10 percent of purchases), Hala Vintage (10 percent of all merchandise and 50 percent on winter clearance), and a JC Fridays flyer is good for a discount on Camino Real ($10 with flyer). (For complete list of times and events, see sidebar.)
According to Goodman, newcomers to the event should grab a friend and a map and go! "[The map] is put in time order," said Goodman. "Hit as many places as you can."
She added, "A good thing is that a lot of these places have a place where people can sit down and get something to eat or drink. You can pace yourself."
The free events presented throughout the city were made possible by support from the following: Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, The Jersey City Municipal Council and Division of Cultural Affairs, The Jersey City Reporter, The Jersey City Magazine, Historic Downtown SID, The Jersey City Museum, Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, and Art House Productions.
This program was made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, which was administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Local business supporters include: BaGua Juice, Imagine Atrium, LIFE, NEW, Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association, Star Bar, Waldo Lofts, and World of Style Vintage. Friends include: Another Man's Treasure, Dash Interiors, Leo Cooke Wine Cellars, and Sam Pesin in honor of Liberty State Park. For more information on the event please visit: www.jcfridays.com.
JC FRIDAYS (by time frame)
John Meagher Rotundu Gallery, 280 Grove St., art, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A Sound Start, 85 Wayne St., music & demo, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery St., art, 1 to 5 p.m.
Mana Fine Arts & Gaia, 227 Coles St., art, 2 to 9 p.m.
Erie Gallery, 18 Erie St., art, 3 to 5 p.m.
Createspace, 264 Fairmont Ave., performance & music, 4 to 10 p.m.
Grigory Gurevich Studio Gallery, 282 Barrow St., art & film, 5 to 8 p.m.
The Daylight Gallery, 281 Grove St., art, music & performance, 5 to 9 p.m.
LITM, 140 Newark Ave., art & party, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Life, 112 Morris St., art, 6 to 8 p.m.
The Waldo Lofts, 159 Second St., art, wine & cheese, 6 to 9 p.m.
BrightMoment Meetup, 107 Bright St., performance & music, 6 to 9 p.m.
Leon Yost, 223 York St, art, 6 to 9 p.m.
Hala Vintage, 326 5th St., performance, 6 to 10 p.m.
Yoga Shunya, 275 Grove St., performance, 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.
Imagine Atrium, 528 Jersey Ave., performance, 7 to 9 p.m.
BaGua Juice, 364 Grove St., performance, art, music, 7 to 9 p.m.
World of Style Vintage, 172 Newark Ave., fashion show, 7 to 9 p.m.
The Kennedy Dancers, 79 Central Ave., dance demo, 7 to 9 p.m.
J City Theater & Star Bar, 34 Wayne St., performance, 7 to 10 p.m.
Dash Interiors, 140 Bay St. (Suite 2), art, 7 to 10 p.m.
Nobis Gallery, 58 Coles St., art & performance, 7 to 10 p.m.
Powerhouse Arts & Cooke Wine Cellars, 140 Bay St., art & music, 7 to 10 p.m.
Gallery 58, 58 Coles St., art talk, 8 p.m.
Grace Church, 39 Erie St., film and talk, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Project 001 Gallery, 131 Erie St., music & art, 8 p.m. to ?
Iron Monkey & Rock Soup, 97 Greene St., art & music, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Victory Hall & Art House Productions, 186 Grand St., play reception, 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Brunswick Window, 158 Brunswick St., outdoor art, all hours