JC Fridays, the four-times-per-year citywide celebration of free arts and culture, is returning for an encore this Friday, Sept. 10.
The series was launched in spring 2005 by a group of Jersey City artists, arts organizations, and business owners to better promote the arts in the city. Since its inception, the number of participating venues has increased greatly, thanks to outreach efforts.
Sponsors include the Jersey City Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, Mayor Jerramiah Healy, the Jersey City Municipal Council & the Division of Cultural Affairs, Jersey City Urban Enterprise Zone Program, Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce, and the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District.
This time around, nearly 40 venues will hold events for thousands of adults and children.
But the upcoming JC Fridays almost fell victim to new policies from the new administration in Trenton.
Christine Goodman, one of the co-founders of JC Fridays, said recently that the celebration had been in danger of cancellation. Gov. Christopher Christie announced in March that the state will keep all the money that comes from the town’s specially designated business districts, known as Urban Enterprise Zones. Those districts were allowed to charge a low 3.5 percent sales tax to attract shoppers, with the tax revenue coming back to the districts for use in renovations, for hiring police, and physical improvements.
Goodman said the city despite its budget difficulties was able to provide funding for this week’s JC Fridays to take place.
T.G.I. JC Fridays
Now in its fifth year, JC Fridays offers a variety of happenings, including art exhibitions, live music, performance acts, educational demonstrations, and more across the city. All the events are free and open to the public.
Some of the events include:
• “Studio Tour Preview Exhibition,” presented by the Jersey City Department of Cultural Affairs in the Rotunda Gallery of City Hall, featuring the works of local street artists Bigfoot, Tristan, Kid Zoom and others. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. 280 Grove St. For information, call (201) 547-4333.
• The Academy of Massage Therapy presents a Massage Therapy Student Clinic. The student clinic is open to the public. Also, the academy is offering a JC Friday’s promotional special: $25 1-hour massages in the clinic all weekend (Promo code: Fridays). 2 - 10 p.m., 75 Montgomery St. - Suite 402. For information, call (201) 568-3220.
• A special edition of “Groove on Grove” at the PATH plaza featuring Black Hollies, The Milwaukees, and Segunda Quimbamba. Libations and food by Bar Majestic, Sawadee Thai, and other local restaurants. 6 - 11 p.m., Grove Street PATH Plaza (intersection of Newark Avenue and Columbus Drive). For information, call (973) 219-9696.
• Art House Productions presents “The Ukuladies Jersey CD Release Party,” celebrating their Debut CD, “All Time Greatest Hits Volume II.” This event will also feature the visual art exhibition “Flowers,” a collaborative project of floral artist Emi Takamen and photographer Tatsuro Nishimura. 7:30 - 11 p.m., 1 McWilliams Pl., 6th Flr. For information, call (201) 915-9911.
• Central Avenue Liquors will offer educational wine sampling. 6 - 9 p.m. 210-212 Central Ave. (near Ferry Street). For information, call (201) 792-1500.
• A Sound Start, by Van Vorst Park, will offer interactive fun for the whole family including demo Kindermusik classes and Itsy Bitsy Yoga. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 489 Jersey Ave, (at Mercer St). For information, call (201) 200-1342.
For more information on more events and locations, visit www.jcfridays.com.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.