Yet again, Essex County takes lion’s share of Jersey Arts awards

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 2020 People’s Choice Awards. Now in its 12th year, the annual contest celebrates the extraordinary work of New Jersey’s vital and thriving arts community. Nearly 11,000 arts lovers from throughout the region cast their ballots this year. From 118 nominees, 21 groups were honored at ArtPride’s headquarters. Of those 21 groups, 15 were from Essex County.

“New Jersey loves the arts! That’s clear from the extraordinary support that the cultural groups in the People’s Choice Awards receive — and it’s well earned,” said Adam Perle, president and CEO of ArtPride New Jersey. “Today’s winners and nominees represent an incredible array of creativity from every part of the state and in every genre. These awards highlight the public’s favorites and honor the incredible economic and community impact of the arts.”

From Newark, New Jersey Performing Arts Center won Favorite Large Performing Arts Center; Paul Robeson Galleries won Favorite Art Gallery; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra won Favorite Symphony/Orchestra; Newark Arts Festival won Favorite Visual Arts Festival; Newark School of the Arts won Favorite Adult Art Class; and NJPAC Summer Program won Favorite Performing Arts Camp.

From Montclair, Montclair Jazz Festival won Favorite Music Festival; Montclair Film Festival won Favorite Film Festival; Montclair Art Museum’s SummerART Camp won Favorite Visual Arts Camp; and the municipality itself won Favorite Downtown Arts District.

From Millburn, Paper Mill Playhouse won Favorite Large Theater to See a Musical; and Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir won Favorite Choral Group.

From South Orange, South Orange Performing Arts Center won Favorite Small Performing Arts Center; from West Orange, Luna Stage Company won Favorite Small Theater; and from Bloomfield, New Jersey Tap Ensemble won Favorite Modern/Cultural Dance Company.

“As a theater dedicated to serving and reflecting the diverse voices of our community, we are grateful and honored to be recognized for the impact of our work,” Luna Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith said. “We look forward to creating powerful theater and catalyzing meaningful conversations for years to come.”

“Every year, thousands of New Jerseyans cast their vote in support of the diverse, and world-class arts organizations and artists that call New Jersey home,” said Allison Tratner, executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. “The Arts Council is proud to celebrate this year’s winners, and to shine a light on the role of the arts in making New Jersey a distinctive place to live, work and visit.”