While not created to fill any particular void within New Jersey, a newly formed partnership of several arts and cultural organizations will serve to recognize and celebrate minorities working in the arts in the Garden State.

The New Jersey Arts Administrators of Color Network recently had kickoff events in Camden and Newark, and it plans to unveil new programming and more outreach in late January or early February.

Deonté Griffin-Quick, the manager of programs and services for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, said this collaboration between NJTA, ArtPride New Jersey, and the State Council on the Arts will function as a collective for the many people of color working in arts organizations around the state, especially those behind the scenes.

"Creating art, might be producing art, it's just to give them a safe space to grow and to connect, and use each other's resources to help each other progress in their careers," Griffin-Quick said. "This is really to give people of color a platform to showcase their experience, their expertise, and their skills, to let folks know that we do exist, that we are qualified and capable to be in executive leadership."

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Dance organizations, museums, film and writing groups, and presenting houses such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center are among those that will have a presence in the structure of NJAAC, according to Griffin-Quick.

Young people of color who are passionate about the arts are welcome to align with this new group, as are people with more experience who are exploring an interest in becoming arts administrators. NJAAC's goal is to provide both ends of this spectrum alike with professional development opportunities.

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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