The Women’s Association of NJPAC (WA) connects women who are impassioned by the arts and who embrace the importance the arts play in children’s lives and in the brightness of their futures. We serve as ambassadors for the arts who assemble and engage women from divergent communities throughout the great state of New Jersey to support the cultural, educational, and artistic vision of NJPAC.
The WA was formed by nine pioneering women—Joan Budd, Patti Chambers, Sally Chubb, Ronnie Goldberg, Sheila Labrecque, Gabriella Morris, Pat Ryan, the late Phyllis Cerf Wagner, and, Diana Vagelos—in support of Governor Kean’s idea of building an arts center for New Jersey in Newark. Despite the skeptics, the nine women strategized how to introduce influential and prominent New Jersey women to the concept and help to raise the initial funds and friends needed to build NJPAC.
Before the building was even open, the WA, first coined The Women’s Board Association, hosted their first Spotlight Gala in a Continental Airlines hanger at Newark Airport starring the soulful legend Ray Charles. The nine women then recruited more dedicated women to join their efforts and soon, they established a Board of Trustees and an association of members.
Oh, how time flies! Today, the Board of Trustees has 38 women and our membership has grown to over 2,000 members and counting. Since 1994, we’ve raised over $45 Million.
NJPAC is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey–where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.
- Present the world’s greatest artists in the State’s most spectacular setting
- Convene ongoing civic, social, cultural and intellectual exchanges
- Engage New Jersey’s diverse population
- Enhance and transform the lives of children and families through arts education
- Help drive Newark’s revitalization
The WA is downright passionate about Arts Ed. We’ve raised over $1.5 Million for the program and continue to look for new and innovative ways to support the fourth largest program of its kind in the USA. We’ve funded hundreds of scholarships to eager and talented students. We’ve raised money for tap shoes, ballet slippers, dance studios, scripts, props, sets, summer musicals, hip hop classes, vocal training, and so much more!
Why? Plain and simple—the arts transform lives. NJPAC’s schooltime performances, in-school residencies, and after-school arts training classes reach thousands. We’re confident that exposure to the arts early and often makes for better citizens down the road. When we hear a child singing in the shower, or drumming on his desk, or telling jokes to her friends…we see confidence boosting, talent budding, and character building. And that’s too hard to ignore.