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Shows, Arts, and Culture in Newark in Summer 2013


The Newark Arts Alliance is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a new executive director and a campaign to raise awareness about its mission.
“I’m excited to see how we can improve the communications here, get the information out, and make sure people know this is a place where they can be creative and a place where artists can get their work seen,” says Dennis Lawson, who assumed leadership of the NAA earlier this year.

Lawson, former public relations manager for the Delaware Art Museum, also hopes to use his newly minted literary skills to help the NAA expand into the literary arts. (He earned a master of fine arts in creative writing at Rutgers University’s Camden campus.) Though the organization will keep its focus on visual and performing arts, Lawson hopes to host poetry and prose readings, with the help of an eclectic group of writers.

“There are a lot of open mikes in the area, but we want ours to have a literary angle,” says Lawson. He also hopes to expand the NAA’s summer camps offerings and to better organize the group’s art classes into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

The organization’s leaders will host a 20th anniversary celebration gala in September. “We’re also going to use that as a time to have a membership drive to push the idea of becoming a member to support the organization and help us continue what we’re doing,” says Lawson. (newarkartsalliance.org)

The Chapel Street Players’ production of “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Photograph by Che-Yu (Peter) KuoThe Chapel Street Players has been cultural icon since 1934. The company was first affiliated with the University of Delaware’s drama department but later moved to its current location, a converted church. Repertoire includes comedy and tragedy, classic and contemporary works. There’s also a summer repertory series and a one-act play showcase. (chapelstreetplayers.org)

The Newark Symphony Orchestra has been performing as a community orchestra since its founding in 1966. The season consists of eight concerts—four in the Symphony Series and four in the Chamber Series. In addition, the orchestra holds an annual youth concerto competition for both college- and high school-aged musicians. They go on to perform with the orchestra in a spring concert. (newarksymphony.org)

Founded in 1977, the New Ark Chorale offers a unique repertoire that ranges from Bach to Broadway. This auditioned ensemble that presents five to seven concerts per season has sung in five states. (newarkchorale.org)

The people of the Delaware Dance Company encourage artistic development through the study of ballet, modern jazz, tap and theater arts. The company has two performing groups, the Performing Company and the Youth Dance Ensemble, and presents an annual “Nutcracker” performance, as well as a spring program. (delawaredance.org)

Founded in 1997, Mid-Atlantic Ballet is a pre-conservatory that utilizes the discipline of classical ballet as the foundation for instruction in other dance forms, as well as competitive figure skating, gymnastics and synchronized swimming. The school presents two main-stage productions of full ballets each year at the University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall and numerous in-studio performances and outreach programs. (midatlanticballet.org)

The University of Delaware produces stellar cultural events. Its renowned Resident Ensemble Players theater group is respected nationally. UD’s
classical and contemporary music offerings also are worth considering. (rep.udel.edu and music.udel.edu)  

â–º For more from the June issue, click here
â–º For more from the 2013 Newark Guide, click here