With its campus closed to audiences and artists during the coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the state’s anchor cultural institution, has found a new way to bring the magic of the performing arts to its community.
The online portal, NJPAC in Your Living Room (njpac.org/inyourlivingroom), offers live original content as well as a curated collection of past arts center performances, programming and workshops for children, and online performances from sister arts organizations across the region. From a film of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s most beloved performance piece, “Revelations,” to performances by Ja Rule, Michael Feinstein, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and even recordings of performances by some of NJPAC’s thousands of arts education students, the presentations shared via this online performance library reflect the diversity of programming that is the arts center’s hallmark.
Check out NJPAC’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for live events throughout the week, which will be archived on the website.
“In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, we need the joy and the connection the performing arts can bring us, more than we ever have before,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s executive producer and executive vice president, in announcing the new initiative.
More content will be added to the collection daily, and each new performance will be announced via NJPAC’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Many performances are geared toward children
Many of the performances are geared toward children, including one of NJPAC’s most recent touring productions, Magic Tree House: Showtime With Shakespeare, a hip-hop musical based on one of beloved Mary Pope Osbourne’s Magic Tree House books, in which her young protagonists travel back in time to meet, and assist, William Shakespeare.
The collection also includes several video versions of NJPAC’s signature performance and literacy workshops, Books on the Move, in which a teaching artist reads a picture book about a performing artist -- and the leads young readers through a performance of the story as well. Prior to the pandemic, this series was a weekly Community Engagement production at Greater Newark libraries.
Also check out Wellness Wednesdays dedicated to staying healthy while at home as well as our weekly DJ Dance Parties. Performances and other events created by NJPAC’s partners and fellow arts organizations are also offered on the site, including demos and lectures created by Newark’s GlassRoots Studio, online classes offered by Newark Yoga Movement, and videos from Broadway World’s Living Room Concerts series.
NJPAC suspended performances on and off its campus on March 13, in response to city and state guidelines prohibiting large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. The arts center plans to reopen its offices on May 11 and resume its in-person arts education and community engagement programs wherever possible then. Performances on its stages are slated to recommence on June 1. For more information and updates, visit njpac.org.