Coinciding with our June reopening and the welcoming back of guests on-site, we have evolved our service model once again. Based on what is now a tried-and-true virtual programming practice that has expanded our audiences nationally and internationally, The Newark Museum of Art is now a hybrid of remote and on-premises experiences.

Of course, this integration is a new experiment for the entire field. Here is what this looks like for our members, visitors, and families.

Since it’s summer, we are making the most of our urban oasis, the Alice Ransom Dreyfus Garden, with the premiere of Arts in the Garden and a new partnership with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Sandwiched between two thunderstorms, opening night provided the opportunity to enjoy a world-class concert outdoors with appropriately spaced seating. The garden concert, titled Togetherness, featured eight members of NJSO and marked the in-person debut of Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) in his new role as creative curator for the symphony.

From this summerlong collaboration, the Arts in the Garden series includes concerts, film, and art making. Through an easy advance ticketing system, we have room for up to 160 arts and culture fans.

This week our garden is the locale for another special event, with seats reserved for some highly deserving VIPs. On Thursday, June 17th, proud families gathered with the 2021 class of Explorers for an in-person graduation ceremony. Congratulations, you impressive students. We are so pleased to be able to mark the occasion the way it should be commemorated: in person as a shared, communal celebration.

Being installed on our second floor as I write, New Jersey Arts Annual: ReVision and Respond will be presented on-site with various digital complements. It is a spectacular show with 45 New Jersey artists and their 50 works of photography, painting, sculpture, and textiles. Appropriately timed, ReVision and Respond explores themes of loss, isolation, identity, and social injustice. Augmenting this first special exhibition on-site in over a year are several virtual programs featuring the artists with three Inside Look tours and two Studio Snapshot videos.

Visitor engagement will also be virtually enhanced with an interactive emoji voting activity, building connections between the emotions inspired by the artwork and our visitors’ own recent life experiences.

For members, a virtual evening tour is planned on Tuesday, June 22nd with Amy Hopwood, NMOA curator as well as a juror for NJAA. To ensure you don’t miss out, become a Member. The 2021 New Jersey Arts Annual: ReVision and Respond is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and The Newark Museum of Art and is on view June 17th until August 22nd.

As we carefully make our way back, our mode of fundraising for the rest of the year remains virtual. Based on the success of Art Ball 2021 on June 5th, we feel confident this is a strong path forward. Now armed with experience fundraising over a variety of digital platforms, we are planning two more virtual events before the end of our fiscal year in December. Details to come in future messages about our fall luncheon, Artist as Global Citizen, and a new, ambitious convening in September, The Moral Pandemic: A Racial and Gender Equity Summit.

With recent learning and flexibility as our inspiration, we move onward.

Linda C. Harrison
Director and CEO
The Newark Museum of Art