SJCA’s Annual meeting is an opportunity for the entire cultural community to convene. At the Annual Meeting, SJCA’s accomplishments over the past year are reviewed and notable speakers present on relevant topics in the field. Attendees learn with each other, share best practices and current projects, and network with their peers.

Although SJCA hosts an Annual Meeting every year, in 2020, SJCA held our first-ever “Virtual” Annual Meeting. During the meeting, we thanked exiting board president, Noreen Scott-Garrity, Associate Director of Education at Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, for her years of service with the SJCA Board and welcomed Cori Solomon, Executive Director, Appel Arts & Music Campus as the new SJCA Board President. Two new board members, Bill May local artist, musician, and former art supervisor of Newark Public Schools,  and Samir Nichols theatre and dance artist; Executive Director,  and Superior Arts Institute; Commissioner, Camden County Cultural Heritage Commission.  They bring with them experience and perspective that will undoubtedly energize the SJCA board!


We also discussed SJCA’s work with and the Change Network to improve community outreach and work towards a more equitable cultural community in South Jersey, as well as upcoming programs and initiatives like SJ CAMP.  Attendees were treated to an uplifting performance by storyteller Jackie Jonas, before hearing from guest speakers Dr. Brea Heidelberg and Ruby Lopez Harper about rebuilding and sustaining our cultural community through the lens of equity.  It was a fantastic gathering that was full of inspiration and hope for a stronger South Jersey cultural community.

Read on for details on the Centering Equity presentation and storyteller Jackie Jonas. View the session recording here.

Centering Equity

Rebuilding our organizations with an equity lens will be key to the sustainability of the South Jersey cultural community. How do we ensure that this work continues in the era of COVID-19? In light of a heightened focus on racial justice in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, how do we ensure that our organizations become anti-racist. Join this session, led by equity experts Dr. Brea Heidelberg and Ruby Lopez Harper.

Dr. Brea M. Heidelberg is an arts management educator, consultant, and researcher focusing on the intersection of the arts and other fields of study. She joined the Entertainment & Arts Management faculty of Drexel University in 2017 and currently serves as Program Director. She is also on the editorial board of the American Journal of Arts Management. Dr. Heidelberg is a contributor to the recently published Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Performing Arts Workforce. Her current research interests involve the professionalization of the field of arts management, the training and development of arts managers, and management issues unique to small and midsized nonprofit arts organizations. Dr. Heidelberg’s consulting work focuses on human resources issues in the nonprofit arts, particularly issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.



Ruby Lopez Harper is the Senior Director of Local Arts Advancement for Americans for the Arts. Her portfolio includes leading field education efforts centered in equitable practice, leadership development, local arts advancement, disaster preparedness and emergency response and community building for the arts agency field, arts and culture administrators, and arts marketers. She is the chief architect of the National Arts Marketing Project Conference, leads AFTA’s Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Network and the Leadership Forum program that produces affinity-based leadership development programs. She is a mentor for the Arts Administrators of Color Network. Ruby’s work has focused on equitable access, grantmaking, supporting individual artists, community development, economic development, cultural tourism, marketing, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and public art.