In 2023, the Museum starts fresh by building on the progress we’ve made, not only in the 114 years since our founding, but over the last four years I’ve been leading this innovative institution. Coming off receiving re-accreditation in ‘gold standard’ from the American Alliance of Museums and the Preservation Projects Award from Preservation New Jersey for our work restoring The Ballantine House, I am looking forward to some of our most exciting moves yet.

In the spring, an extraordinary monument depicting Harriet Tubman will be unveiled across the street in the eponymously named Harriet Tubman Square (formerly Washington Park). And towards the end of the year, the newly imagined Ballantine House will reopen.

There is just so much to be excited about this year. Twenty artworks in our Arts of Global Africa gallery were recently rotated to give room to other works in our collection including a new acquisition–a stunning photograph by artist and filmmaker Shikeith. That’s in addition to the remarkable commissioned portrait Isn’t She Lovely? Tracey Norman by Mickalene Thomas in the newly revamped Seeing America – Expanding Pop gallery. If you haven’t yet, come see these for yourself!

I must not be too tired of all the holiday festivities because I’m thrilled to celebrate the progress we’ve made. Please be well-rested and have your best attire ready in time to celebrate African art and fashion at Afro Elegance: Kings and Queens Black Tie Affair on February 11, in partnership with Afro Taco and FORSA! There will be DJ sets, a drumming performance by Brother Jerome and Umoja Dance Company, and a fashion show by Kwabs Couture.

And there’s more! We are delighted to announce to you first that our annual Art Ball will be back in-person on Saturday, May 13. Join us in our galleries for an evening of entertainment, cocktails, an exquisite dinner, and the best art party in town! Come support the NMOA and the achievements of our three stellar honorees – philanthropist, Judith Lieberman, and artists Karyn Olivier and Layqa Nuna Yawar. Circle the date. Cards will be mailed soon.

These gatherings bring me, our staff, and all the community members who attend, so much joy. I want to thank everyone involved in making these events happen, and of course all our donors and artists, without whom there would be little to celebrate.

I’m looking forward to another year of continued progress and all the spectacular gatherings coming up.

In gratitude,

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