Women, Power & Promise: The Keys to Success

Wednesday, April 27, 5:30pm


Join The Newark Museum of Art’s Business and Community Council for a special hybrid event. Women, Power & Promise: The Keys to Success will inspire future generations of women and girls through thought-provoking conversations with high-powered leaders in the arts to explore the keys to success in the 2020s and beyond, and what work remains to be done in these industries in terms of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

The event begins at 5:30pm with networking and music in the Museum’s beautiful Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden, followed at 6:30pm by a virtual keynote conversation and panel via Zoom and streaming onsite at The Newark Museum of Art.


5:30pm | Networking Reception and Performance (on-site)

6:30pm | Virtual Keynote and Panel Discussion (via Zoom and streaming on-site)


On-site Reception & Virtual Panel

$45 | Non-Members

$40 | Members

Virtual Panel Only

$35 | Non-Members

$30 | Members

$10 | Students


Ticket discounts available for groups of ten or more. Please contact Audrey Carmeli at acarmeli@newarkmuseumart.org.

Keynote Conversation

Tayari Jones

New York Times best-selling author of An American Marriage

New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage, which was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Jones, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, United States Artist Fellowship, and NEA Fellowship. Her third novel, Silver Sparrow, was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University and the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

Panel Moderator

Lezlie Harrison

Vocalist & WBGO On-Air Host of “Come Sunday”

Lezlie Harrison is her own personal renaissance. Her constant state of evolution and growth brings with it, gifts for those paying attention. On the planet’s premier Jazz radio station, WBGO, her voice as a regular curator and presenter reveals the love and pride with which she regards America’s classical music.

As a vocalist both bold and subtle, her vulnerability attends to the fragile matters of our collective human affairs while her optimistic momentum inspires us to rise above any tribulation to rejoice. Be it Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Soul, the American Song Form, original compositions or any song in ANY form, Ms. Harrison will imbue it her distinctive stamp and make a very personal delivery.

Hyper-active on the New York and global Jazz scenes, Lezlie is also, along with the late Dale Fitzgerald and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, a member of the triumvirate responsible for launching New York’s world renowned JAZZ GALLERY.

On occasion Lezlie lends her regal presence to the stage as an actress, bringing to those endeavors, the same sense of organic elegance that she brought to the runways and photo studios of Paris some years ago.

By way of her childhood in New York and North Carolina or her maturation in New York, Boston or on stages throughout Asia, Russia, Europe and elsewhere, Lezlie Harrison shows aesthetic evidence that she is a recipient of the lessons of dignity, integrity and grace bestowed upon her by her elders and fine-tuned by her own history.


T. J. Newman

New York Times best-selling author of Falling

New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman is a former bookseller turned flight attendant who worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of her debut novel Falling on cross- country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. Falling debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and as a #1 national bestseller. It has been named a best book of the year by USA Today and Esquire. After a heated bidding war, the film rights to Falling went to Universal. T. J. lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kristen Visbal

Sculptor of the iconic "Fearless Girl"

Bronze sculptor Kristen Visbal studied the process of lost wax casting at the prestigious Johnson Atelier Art Foundry, world renowned for their apprentice program. There, Visbal apprenticed in mold making, patina and wax chasing and taught a mold workshop. Her most well-known work is the Fearless Girl sculpture, inspiring the empowerment of women worldwide and symbolizing the call for gender diversity in leadership. The 50-inch Fearless Girl was installed in March 2017 in celebration of International Women’s Day and stands permanently at the New York City Stock Exchange. The success of the project was enhanced by Visbal’s use of motion and her ability to capture emotion in portraiture

Melissa Walker

Founder and President, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS

Melissa Walker is a visionary, results-oriented leader and arts education advocate. In 2002, her passion for performing and working with young people led her to establish JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, a nationally recognized jazz education and performance organization. A Brown University graduate and GRAMMY Award-winning jazz vocalist, Walker is the brainchild of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, produced by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, a successful model of collaboration between a nonprofit, corporate sponsors and government and community partnerships.  Walker has been recognized by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business and received the Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Hero Award.


Jackie Jones

Vocalist, Flutist, Composer, Arranger and Recording Artist

Jackie Jones delivers a brand of performance excellence and professionalism that places her among an elite category of vocalists of exceptional caliber and unsurpassed capability. A product of the Jazz program at Rutgers University, Jackie received a solid foundation in composition and performance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts while earning a degree in psychology. A Newark native, she is a graduate of the fabled Arts High School where she studied flute and vocals.

Among her career achievements, Jackie has been blessed to establish musical associations with many noteworthy talents including appearing as the opening act for Lou Rawls, as well as performing with a host of jazz luminaries such as saxophonist Houston Person, vibraphonist Roy Ayres, trumpeter Nat Adderly, guitarist Jimmy Ponder, Bassist Christian McBride and drummers Winard Harper and Cecil Brooks III. Her abundant talents have carried her overseas to perform at festivals in Russia, Berlin and Switzerland, and while at home, she makes regular appearances at local music festivals.

Jackie Jones independently produced the CD “Part of Me” which is available on her website www.jackiejones.com.


Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are available at various levels. Please contact Audrey Carmeli at acarmeli@newarkmuseumart.org for more information.

Vice President Sponsors


Edison Properties Newark Foundation

Genova Burns

Ivy Alexander

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey

PNP Staffing Group

RBH Group, LLC

Rutgers Business School