ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

New Jersey’s Who’s Who Turn Out for NJPAC Gala

By Desirée Taylor
NJ Today

This year’s NJPAC Gala was a red carpet affair that drew hundreds of supporters. Among them were former governors, business and community leaders. “It’s not just companies from Newark that support this entity as we have and others …,” said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “It’s also the management here .. and now it’s being taken to a whole new level.”

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Taking the theater to another level is John Schreiber, NJPAC’s President and CEO. He said the money raised at the annual gala will help support NJPAC’s artistic programming and educational outreach efforts. “We touch about 60,000 kids each year through our residences

The Arts Center earns just over half of its annual 24 million dollar budget through ticket sales, parking revenues, and other earned income. The remaining 11 million comes from fundraising. This effort is led by the Women’s Association of NJPAC, a powerful group of women who over the years have brought 36 million to the Arts Center. But fundraisers note their job has been challenging in this economy. “We’ve had to find more donors,” said Sheila Klehm, of the Women’s Association of NJPAC. “… The key is to broaden our base.”

It’s been an incredible year for NJPAC. Last summer the hit television show America’s Got Talent broadcast 18 live shows at the Arts Center. And the Dodge Poetry Festival returns this week.