September is not only the perennial “Back to School” month but the time when the Fall Arts Calendar reveals itself, just like the changing leaves on trees throughout the Garden State. In New Jersey the arts are more vibrant than ever, and as students prep their backpacks, non-profit arts groups are gearing up for seasons packed with music, drama, dance performances and art exhibits.
Summer festivals are over but just making room for the fall fests, and September 28 and 29 marks the 43rd Annual Peters Valley Craft Fair with over 150 crafts people from around the nation exhibiting twelve different media including ceramics & pottery, drawing & painting, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood and basketry. This year the fair is expanding to include a selection of Artisanal Food exhibitors. This is a festival you won’t want to miss at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in scenic Warren County New Jersey. For more information visit petersvalley.org
Central New Jersey will be bouncing to jazz and blues with the New Jersey Blues and Jazz Festival sponsored by the Karma Foundation at the State Theatre in New Brunswick from October 3-27 with Herbie Hancock, Bela Fleck and BB King headlining. Even sooner, on September 14-15, the Central Jersey Jazz Festival pairs up the twin cities of New Brunswick and Somerville for two days of free performances that features New Jersey’s own Christian McBride on Sunday with additional performances by the Jazz House Kids, and on Saturday by the New Brunswick Jazz District Band.
Fall brings Oktoberfests in towns throughout the state (Medford, Leonia and Highlands, to name a few) and Victorian Weekend for its 41st year in Cape May complete with private house tours and special performances by Cape May Stage and the East Lynne Theatre Company (pictured).
Many fall arts events are still in their final planning stages. Stay tuned for more information on National Arts & Humanities Month activities in October, including a Creative Conversation being planned by the NJ Emerging Arts Leaders as part of the month long celebration that is also Discover Jersey Arts Month! For an online directory of cultural events that will help you sort out the jam packed fall months, be sure to visit Discover Jersey Arts where you can find events in all corners of the state and even find ticket deals that make it affordable to bring friends and family to support the diverse and dynamic arts groups throughout New Jersey.
Images courtesy of ArtPride
Ann Marie Miller is the Executive Director of ArtPride, the premier arts advocacy organization in New Jersey, and a regular contributor to the Dodge blog.