Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature ValleyArts.
Organization name: ValleyArts
Communities served: Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange, Orange Community Schools
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WHAT WE DO: ValleyArts is the arts service and activist organization of the Valley Arts District of Orange and West Orange, a fifteen-square block area around the Highland Avenue Train Station. Since it’s founding in 2008, ValleyArts has identified, attracted, and supported artists as its principal approach to help drive the revitalization of the Valley Arts District. The highest priorities of ValleyArts are to engage the community and inspire the neighborhood to recognize the arts as essential to community health and vitality; help build up and serve individual artists, arts organizations, and creative entrepreneurs; and encourage everyone to participate in arts, culture and creativity as part of everyday life.
To help advance its mission, ValleyArts engages the neighborhood, promotes the Valley as a home and destination for the arts, and runs specific arts and education programs not otherwise available in the area. This includes the popular Hat City Streets Festival, which involves the entire neighborhood, all anchor organizations, Orange Public Schools, City of Orange, and more than 200 artists. ValleyArts also curates and manages the Firehouse Gallery founded in 2012; the neighborhood Orbiting Gallery program; biannual ArtWalks that feature the neighborhood’s five galleries; and a wide range of artist talks, programs, and special events.
WHY WE’RE GREAT: ValleyArts is not an organization that uses the term community lightly. It is the key aspect of helping to build up the area. ValleyArts works hard to engage the neighborhood.
Nothing that ValleyArts does is an isolated effort and that is reflected in the collaborative nature of the businesses in the area. Community partnerships include provision of facilities for ORNG Ink, the neighborhood’s teen arts center in partnership with University of Orange; artistic leadership of the Saturday Arts Academy in partnership with Orange Public Schools; and leadership of the East Ward Mural Program in partnership with HANDS Inc City of Orange and area churches.
It is with these kinds of collaborative efforts from the people and businesses in the community that the Valley Arts District has come to be considered one of the State’s top creative places. It is home to Luna Stage Theatre Company, ARTSETC, Arts Unbound, ORNG Ink, ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, Hat City Kitchen, Garden State Urban Farms, Ironworks Community Artist Center, Yema Gallery, Oualie Gallery, and many individual artists and creative entrepreneurs.
HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP: Donations will help ValleyArts continue to advance and expand its programs and services to artists, nonprofits, community organizations, schools and youth in order to energize and revitalize the neighborhood. As ValleyArts moves forward and incorporates new programs and initiatives any additional funds that can be offered will allow ValleyArts to invest it in the Valley Arts District and the surrounding community.
ADDITIONAL NEEDS: ValleyArts is currently working to further engage the community by creating a system of volunteers that can impact the Valley Arts District and the City of Orange in a variety of ways. Volunteer roles vary from participating in events and helping beautify the neighborhood to engaging many different members of the community. Whether or not you choose to invest your money in ValleyArts, it would be of great value for you to invest your time and help us further enhance our impact.
ValleyArts is also looking for material donations of jewelry making, printmaking, and clay making equipment. If you can make an equipment donation, know of anyone who can donate, or if you would like to volunteer please contact ValleyArts at firstname.lastname@example.org or (862) 252-7035.
— ValleyArts Coordinator Olivia Robbins
GO TO THE JERSEY GIVE BACK GUIDE NOW.
The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!