Essex County cleans up in JerseyArts awards

Photo Courtesy of Gustavo Garcia
From left are Allison Tratner of the NJ State Arts Council; SOPAC’s Kristin Svorinic, Dee Billia and Celeste Post; and Adam Perle of ArtPride.

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, recently announced the winners of the 2018 People’s Choice Awards, including several venues in Essex County. More than 18,000 ballots were cast in the annual contest, which celebrates the extraordinary work of New Jersey’s vital, vibrant and diverse arts community. From 11 arts districts and 116 organizations — the greatest number of nominees since the creation of the awards in 2008 — 17 cultural organizations were chosen as this year’s honorees.

“For more than a decade, the People’s Choice Awards has blown us away, and this year is no exception,” Allison Tratner, interim executive director of the State Arts Council, said. “The outstanding nominees get better every year, and their passionate patrons and fans come out and vote by the thousands, making it known that the arts in New Jersey are not to be missed.”

In Essex County, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark from Favorite Large Performing Arts Center; South Orange Performing Arts Center won Favorite Small Performing Arts Center; Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn won Favorite Large Theater to See a Musical; the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Newark won Favorite Symphony/Orchestra; the Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir in Millburn won Favorite Choral Group; New Jersey Tap Ensemble in Bloomfield won Favorite Modern/Cultural Dance Company; the Opera Theatre of Montclair won Favorite Opera Company; the Montclair Jazz Festival won Favorite Music Festival; the Montclair Film Festival won Favorite Film Festival; the Montclair Art Museum’s SummerART Camp won Favorite Visual Arts Camp; NJPAC’s Young Artist Summer Intensive Program in Newark won Favorite Performing Arts Camp; and Montclair won Favorite Downtown Arts District.

“The arts are an unwavering force in N.J. They make an incredible impact on the economy and bring our communities together to move them forward,” Adam Perle, president and CEO of the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, said. “And, after celebrating 10 years of the awards, it’s clear that the arts matter to New Jerseyans.”