Open Doors festival, Making Strides 5K part of Newark’s October calendar
October is shaping up to be a very exciting month for Newark. From October 12th to the 15, Newark Arts is hosting the 16th annual citywide arts festival called Open Doors. And as Executive Director Jeremy Johnson proclaimed, “It’s going to be an explosion of art by people from Newark and around the world that you’ll definitely want to see.”
Newark Arts has a simple mission: power the arts to transform lives —and Johnson said that’s exactly what you’ll see happening at Open Doors.
The festival will open with Willie Cole: Made in Newark, a solo show at CoAD Gallery at NJIT featuring new and retrospective works by Newark native and internationally acclaimed visual artist Willie Cole. A conceptual artist, Cole is known for merging everyday objects and African-inspired motifs, and his works can be seen in museums across the country, including The Met.
The organizers of Open Doors also are thrilled to offer an exhibit called “i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s, for colored girls,” which is curator Peter Wright’s tribute to the playwright Ntozake Shange. Shange is an acclaimed writer, educator, and performer/director, whose groundbreaking play “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf” is taught in schools across the country. The exhibit will open at the City Without Walls gallery on Saturday Oct. 14, and Dr. Shange herself will be there.
But, Johnson said, if you only have time for one thing that weekend, the blockbuster event will be the M&T Bank Murals and Martinis™… and Music! Public Art Tour. “It’s a one-seat ride across Newark for people to sit back and enjoy great art and great martinis!” The tour will end at Prudential Center for a sneak peek at its new Grammy Museum Experience. For more information go to www.newarkarts.org/opendoors.
Another important Newark event is American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a noncompetitive 5K walk that will begin at Prudential Center-NJ Devils Championship Plaza. The walk is held each year in order to raise breast cancer awareness, honor survivors, and raise critical dollars for research and support of the society's various volunteer programs. Making Strides of Newark is just one of more than 300 events across the country that draw nearly one million people each year. “Everyone has been touched by cancer and on Oct. 15, the Essex and Union County communities can come together and walk through downtown Newark in honor of someone they've loved or someone they've known,” said Ana Campoverde, senior manager of community development in northern New Jersey. And it isn’t just family members who show up — there are more than 1,000 breast cancer survivors who cross the Newark starting line every year. “The event is beloved by the community and the businesses in the area,” Campoverde said. And this year is gearing up to be particularly special, as Making Strides of Newark celebrates its 20th anniversary and aims to raise $420,000. For more information, go to www.makingstrideswalk.org.