Want to see a live performance in NJ this summer? Check out this online guide
New Jerseyans itching to be among crowds, seeing live performances once again, now have a one-stop resource for many events scheduled in the Garden State over the next few months.
The online "Summer Stages" guide, available on the Discover Jersey Arts website, is a collaboration between ArtPride New Jersey, the state Council on the Arts, and the state Division of Travel and Tourism.
ArtPride President and CEO Adam Perle said the detailed listing is the result of a yearlong task force that spawned a marketing campaign to spotlight the state's "live, safe cultural experiences."
"New Jersey arts organizations are both tough and creative, and they were certainly innovative, and have been throughout the pandemic," he said.
Perle said many of these groups and venues have taken advantage of grant programs available to them, to perform upgrades like high-tech air filters and touchless bathrooms.
They continue to work hard to adapt their existing spaces, or align with community partners.
"Downtown, private farms, municipal and county parks, we're going to see arts all over the place, all over New Jersey, more so than ever, and that's really a big part of what Summer Stages is highlighting," Perle said.
Some events in the database have already taken place, or are underway and will recur throughout the summer, while Perle expects others to be added as the days and weeks go by.
This weekend in particular features several Juneteenth celebrations, marking the new state and federal holiday.
While New Jersey is lucky to have a highly vaccinated population, Perle said, the forces behind Summer Stages have provided a series of COVID-19 "safety symbols" organizations can use to put attendees at ease.
"It's a balance between both the organizations being ready, the public health data being in the right place, and then the patrons starting to come back," Perle said. “But we are seeing that, we are seeing patrons come back."
Many, though not all, of these venues are nonprofits, and could use a boost not only to keep their doors open, but also to bring jobs back to the Garden State.
"When we're talking about specifically nonprofit arts organizations, prior to the pandemic, that's almost 22,000 jobs in New Jersey. And that's just the nonprofits,” Perle said.
So, what are the best things New Jerseyans can do for these groups this summer? Show up, buy a ticket, make a donation -- just start to get involved again, according to Perle.
For the full “Summer Stages” guide, go to jerseyarts.com/summerstages.