JC Fridays returns Sept. 6

Art House Productions’ ‘seasonal celebration’ continues amid shifting cultural landscape

While the city’s cultural affairs programming is somewhat in flux as the new administration begins to map out how it plans to leverage its cultural programming to enhance tourism, residents can rest assured that at least one old cultural staple will return this week.
On Sept. 6, Art House Productions will present the fall installment of its quarterly JC Fridays series, now in its seventh year.
The ever-expanding series, which is co-sponsored by the Hudson Reporter, will include art shows, gallery openings, art-related seminars, art installations, live music, performance acts, educational demonstrations, and more.
All events are admission-free and open to the public.
Recognized for its thriving emerging art scene, Jersey City is home to professional photographers, painters, dancers, filmmakers, and craft artists. JC Fridays, held quarterly, offers one of the best opportunities for the larger Jersey City community to see the fine art created in their backyard.

What’s in store

This season’s installment of JC Fridays will include more than 30 events, including the 2013 season finale of the city’s Groove on Grove concert series, a show that Art House Productions Executive Director Christine Goodman described as an “anchor event.”

The ever-expanding series will include art shows, gallery openings, art-related seminars, art installations, live music, performance acts, educational demonstrations, and more.
The Dopeness, a new café/performance space at 332 Second St., will enter the JC Fridays fray for the first time this week with a show by its resident artist Uno from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Indiegrove also makes its JC Fridays debut on Sept. 6 with a free seminar on “artists’ empowerment and entrepreneurship,” Goodman said, from 6 to 9 p.m.
In conjunction with JC Fridays, Silverman development will host an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. for its Mark Dagley exhibit, which will run through Nov. 29 at 232 Pavonia Ave.
Project Greenville is back with “I Love Greenville,” a group show of works by artists from Greenville or works that were inspired by Greenville. This show will take place at 128 Winfield Ave. from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 6 and 7.
St. Peter’s University is hosting a community garden/art event as part of JC Fridays as well.
The latter two events, Goodman said, are part of Art House Productions’ ongoing efforts to expand JC Fridays beyond its traditional home downtown.

“As part of this goal, we’re working with neighborhood groups to support their efforts to build up multiple events,” Goodman said. “Ultimately, we want people to be able to go to any neighborhood and have a few different cultural experiences within walking distance from one another. That is the long-term plan.”
Several old staples will also be back for JC Fridays, of course.
Boca Grande, at 564 Washington Blvd., will offer live jazz on Sept. 6 to accompany its current art exhibition.
City Life, in the Powerhouse Arts District, will be back with Art Beats, a interactive communal and participatory art experience.

City’s changing priorities

The fall 2013 JC Fridays will take place at a time when city-sponsored cultural and artistic programming is in transition. The City Council is currently weighing a measure that could shift the Division of Cultural Affairs from its current home at the Department of Health and Human Services to the revamped and expanded Mayor’s Action Bureau, which is now called the Resident Response Center.
Several city-sponsored cultural events that were already planned for the fall, including the annual Artists’ Studio Tour in October, will still take place this year. However, it remains to be seen what, if anything, will happen to the city’s lineup of arts programming—which includes many ethnic parades and the Concerts at the Hub series—next year. It is possible that some or all of this programming could be scrapped by the retooled Division of Cultural Affairs so that the city’s arts programming is more in line with new priorities set by the administration of Mayor Steven Fulop, priorities that are expected to boost tourism in the city.
Such a move would leave independently produced events like JC Fridays, Creative Grove, and LITM’s monthly art shows among the few long-running cultural series to remain in the city.

E-mail E. Assata Wright at awright@hudsonreporter.com.

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