Kickoff to winter arts at ‘JC Fridays’ A citywide day of free art, performances on Dec. 7

Celebrate Jersey City’s winter “JC Fridays,” a free all-day event of art, music, dance, photography, theater, film, performances, and more at locations throughout Jersey City on Friday, Dec. 7. From its rather modest start of less than a dozen events, “JC Fridays” has doubled in size and is held quarterly at the change of every season.

This “Friday” includes over two dozen free events to choose from, including many holiday concerts by well-known local musicians and bands. At many of the events there will be free food and drinks for guests. In addition, several businesses are offering discounts to customers.

Downtown and beyond

In 2005, art leaders had a gem of an idea to unite art lovers, residents, and businesses together with a shared appreciation for the arts. Now nearing its third anniversary in June, “JC Fridays” has become a much anticipated local seasonal event. According to Christine Goodman, director of Art House Productions, the event has gained momentum and notice of people outside Hudson County and continues to grow from word of mouth.

At the last “Friday” on Sept. 7 over 1,000 people came to the event, with the next scheduled for Friday, March 7.

“It is an event that people are excited about – they look forward to it,” said Goodman. “They tell their friends. That is what makes something like this last.”

Goodman said that one of the goals for “Fridays” is to eventually spread throughout Jersey City. She said that they are one step closer to this with the help of two new sponsors – the state of New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone program and the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce.

“We have these amazing new sponsors,” said Goodman. “Since ‘JC Fridays’ doubled in size we are really struggling with how to make an event that size successful. There have been a lot of challenges to maintain that.” According to Goodman, they want to continue to reach areas outside of the downtown area, giving artists new venues, and giving residents a reason to leave home.

When they reached out to local businesses they got several new businesses outside of the downtown area including: The Pointe, Lincoln Inn, and Renato’s, she said.

Another highlight for this “Friday” is all the live music – even at non-traditional venues. In addition, many venues will be selling items just in time for the holidays.

“It will be an opportunity to buy some presents for family and friends,” said Goodman, “and to celebrate the holidays with artists in JC.”

Citywide events all day

On Friday, the activities start at 6:30 a.m. and go past midnight, with many of the events taking place in the early evening. Maps will be available at event locations throughout the city and visitors are encouraged to design their own tour of galleries and shops.

There are several family-friendly events, plus information on venues that have handicap access. Visit: for details.

For complete list of times and events, see sidebar.

Music, dance, parties

Music lovers won’t have to wander too far to hear great music. There are 11 venues that are providing live music including: A Sound Start (family friendly); Ria’s Café (by local David Jacobson); Janam Indian Tea Shop (band Goodnight Bravado); and at Art House Productions a performance by the Ukuladies.

Other noteworthy performances that are also a part of the “meet your neighbors series” include: the Alan Quinn Jazz Band at the Pointe, the Bryan Beninghove Trio at the Lincoln Inn, and Glen Coleman at Renato’s. Theater-goers can get a taste of Broadway at World of Style Vintage and Balance Salon’s “Christmas Spectacular.” The “Stylettes” will perform fabulous high kick dances.

Naomi Wolf will sign copies of her new book “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” at Imagine Atrium.

Most of the venues will be serving a cup of holiday cheer and tasty finger foods including: Habib Ayat Studio, Railroad Studio, and others. In addition, many of the performances are at area restaurants (Sawadee Thai Cuisine, Lincoln Inn, others) so guests can try items on the menu. LITM and Bar Majestic are offering drink specials.

But those are just a few of the highlights, there is much more to see at the citywide event. See sidebar for a complete list.

The sponsors

The free events presented throughout the city were made possible by support from the following: Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, The Jersey City Municipal Council and Division of Cultural Affairs, The Jersey City Reporter, Jersey City Magazine, Historic Downtown SID, The Jersey City Museum, Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, the state of New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Program, the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce and Art House Productions.

This program was made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, which was administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Local business supporters include: Bar Majestic, CANCO Lofts, Garcia & Turula LLC, LITM, NEW, ProArts, and Ria’s Café. Friends include: Another Man’s Treasure, BaGua Juice, and Sam Pesin in honor of Liberty State Park. For more information, visit:

JC FRIDAYS (by time frame)

Art House Productions, at Cosi Café, 545 Washington Blvd., art, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

City Hall, John Meagher Rotunda Gallery, 280 Grove St., art, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

A Sound Start, 85 Wayne St., music & demo, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grigory Gurevich Studio Gallery, 282 Barrow St., art, demo, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ria’s Café, 24 Mercer St., art, music, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Habib Ayat Studio, 171 First St., art, music, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Railroad, 150 Newark Ave. (#4R), art, music, film, 4 p.m. to ? p.m.

JCTC/Arts on the Hudson, 50 Dey St., art, music, dance, 4 p.m. to ? p.m.

LITM, 140 Newark Ave., art, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Lex Leonard Gallery, 143 Christopher Columbus Drive, art, 6 to 9 p.m.

Nuradeen, 483 Jersey Ave., art, 6 to 10 p.m.

Sawadee Thai Cuisine, 137 Newark Ave., art, 6 to 10 p.m.

Curious Matter, 272 Fifth St., art, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

World of Style Vintage & Balance Salon, 18 Erie St., performance, 7 to 9 p.m.

Imagine Atrium/Outside the Box Publishing, 528 Jersey Ave., performance, 7 to 9 p.m.

919 Gallery, 150 Bay St., photography, 7 to 11 p.m.

The Pointe, 2 Chapel Ave., music, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Lincoln Inn, 13 Lincoln St., music, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The Attic Ensemble, 83 Wayne St., performance, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Renato’s, 278 Central Ave., music, 8 to 10 p.m.

Janam Indian Tea Shop, 353 Grove St., music, 8 to 10 p.m.

Grassroots Arts Facility, 143 Columbus Drive, art, music, 8 to 11 p.m.

Art House Productions, 1 McWilliams Place, (roof), theater performance, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

58 Gallery, 58 Coles St., art, 10 to 11 p.m.


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