SJCA's 2022 Annual Meeting Highlights
On September 27th, SJCA held its 2022 Annual Meeting at Perkins Center for the Arts in Collingswood. The day couldn't have been better as SJCA's members and partners from across the cultural community came together to reconnect, in person, for the first time since 2019!
The sun-drenched upstairs gallery was packed with attendees being serenaded by the melodious sounds of the performance by Christine Elise & Kuf Knotz. Their uplifting message and mellow music set the stage for a meeting with a distinct vibe of positivity and possibility!
Speaking of the stage, it was framed by easels holding three paintings by local South Jersey Artist Heather Deegan Hires of Heather Artz. Heather stepped in to help provide visuals for the stage area at the request of SJCA Executive Director Julie Hain, who said, "Once we realized that the gallery space would be too bright for a traditional slide deck presentation, we had to get creative, and what better way to do that than to call an artist for help!"
The resulting three paintings represent the artists' interpretation of SJCA's three major themes: Connection, Collaboration, and Inclusive Community. It is only fitting that artists take on SJCA's work to become the backdrop for SJCA's recap of 2022 achievements and a look ahead at what's to come for 2023.
Highlights from 2021-2022 included:
- A physical move to Stockton University's Main Campus in Galloway, NJ
- Distributed $50,000 in funds to artists and history professionals in the field as a result of the New Jersey Arts & Culture Renewal Fund's Phase III Grant
- Expansion of the South Jersey Cultural Asset Map (SJ CAMP)
- Deepened partnerships across the field, including with the eight South Jersey County Cultural & Heritage offices
Upcoming plans for Fall 2022 into Spring 2023 include:
The South Jersey Culture Pass is an annual membership that offers special discounts and exclusive experiences at hundreds of South Jersey arts, culture, history organizations, and other cultural venues. The annual membership costs $99; you get SJ Culture Pass discounts, a special SJ Culture Pass bulletin, and a monthly entry into the “Culture Pass Lotto”! The Culture Pass Lotto awards one South Jersey Cultural Pass member per month with prizes including local artists’ works, tickets to concerts and events, and other, one-of-a-kind “behind the curtain” happenings.
The hope is that by collectively marketing the organizations participating in the SJ Culture Pass membership discount bundle, SJCA can expand their audiences, while at the same time helping to create revenue to support the programs and resources SJCA provides the field.
Arts and Culture “Connectors” are artists or cultural professionals, local to one of the South Jersey counties, that act as field representatives, operating of, by, and for each county’s cultural community. As a part of this program, Connectors receive professional development and mentoring, helping to develop a pipeline of able cultural leaders with a toolkit for success. Connectors also host local gatherings to engage with community members.
SJCA prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in all we do and has worked to find Connectors from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from the African American and Hispanic communities and artists with disabilities. This year’s Connector Fellows are Raymond Tyler, Atlantic County author, artist, and DJ; photographer Emma Curry of Cape May County; abstract landscape painter, Andrea Sauchelli; and historian and DEIA specialist, Kiyomi Locker, both of Ocean County. The Camden County Connector is next on the list as the program continues to grow and develop. SJCA is currently working on expanding the program to all eight counties in southern NJ and is seeking sponsors and collaborators.
- South Jersey Cultural Asset Field Survey
To continue to grow our network and our understanding of the entire South Jersey Cultural Landscape, SJCA will conduct a Cultural Asset Field Survey.
Beginning in October, SJCA will work with a committee of partners and cultural professionals to help shape the survey to capture relevant topics in the field. We hope to release the survey by late December and summarize the data by the close of FY23.
We will use user experience-minded survey software that offers multiple ways to capture data across platforms. Creating a robust reciprocal communication network that allows SJCA to disseminate information widely and equitably, as well as to receive information directly from the field on an ongoing basis. With this reciprocal communication network at its core, SJCA obtains a holistic view of the South Jersey cultural community, its challenges, and its strengths. This perspective helps SJCA to develop relevant resources, broker collaborations across sectors and the cultural field, and collectively advocate for South Jersey-specific needs.
Check out the full recording here SJCA ANNUAL MEETING 2022 VIDEO
SJCA Annual Meeting Attendee Audience Image
Kenneth Leap, Artist & Founder, Reimagine Runnemede
Ben Leis, Comedian