Newark Arts’ Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival marks its 16th year with events highlighting Brick City’s vibrant art scene taking place from Thursday, Oct. 12th – Sunday, Oct. 15th. But the celebration of music, art, dance and more falls secondary to the overall message of community — a community that often gets lost in the conversations about revitalization, rejuvenation and renaissance. Long before there were rumblings about Newark becoming the “Next Brooklyn” or the fear of gentrification started to take hold, Newark was a home to artists.
Over the years, artists in the popular arenas of music, film, television, and literature have consistently represented Brick City with pride. And right along side the Whitney Houstons, the Philip Roths, the Savion Glovers, and the Ray Liottas were painters, sculptors, poets, mixed media artists, drummers, muralists, photographers, and playwrights. And the Newark Arts‘ Open Doors Fest embraces them all in a brilliant recognition of the talented creatives who call the city home today and understand the value of the arts in Newark and beyond.
So starting on Oct 12th, from University Heights and Halsey Street to the Ironbound and Riverfront Park, artists like Willie Cole, Yuri Alves, Lisa Conrad, Gregg Banks, Miguel Luciano, Amrisa Niranjan, Jay Golding, Juan Ramiro Torres, Nell Painter and many, many more gather together to not only share their work with residents and visitors alike, but to also speak to the power of art and its role in the world today. But don’t forget, amid all those fine artists, you can also see creatives who use music (Lyle Omolayo), fashion (Off The Hangar), and film (The Trade) throughout the festival, expressing themselves, their journeys, and their message.
The fest even encourages art enthusiasts to enjoy the works lying outside the cluster enclaves of University Heights, Market Street or The Gateway, with events at The Jewish History Museum of New Jersey (Threading The Needle) and The Painter’s Palette (Artists Face-Off). And should you worry if your little ones will be bored, have no fear, the Open Doors Kids program events have something that will spark the imagination of even the most skeptical youngster.
Labeled as “Your Passport to the Arts,” the festival offers free and ticketed events throughout the 4-day celebration. But to be fair, there’s so much going on that there’s simply no way to see it all. And that’s speaks to the abundance, enthusiasm and inclusive spirit of Newark’s arts and culture community.