NEWARK, N.J., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center was named one of six nationwide recipients of The Wallace Foundation Excellence Awards, it was announced today at a ceremony held at the Arts Center. The honor, which recognizes NJPAC's commitment and effectiveness in broadening participation in the arts, comes with a $2 million grant to the Arts Center for endowment and cash reserve. "The goal of The Wallace Foundation Excellence Awards is to encourage organizations to sustain and expand the impact of their work with local constituencies and to draw national attention to the importance of participation building to the health and growth of the arts field," said Christine DeVita, President of The Wallace Foundation. "The Excellence Awards honor organizations that have made engaging people more deeply in the arts part of their organization's DNA. The Awards are an important part of our efforts to develop and share effective ideas and practices for enhancing arts participation and bringing the transformational benefits of the arts to all." "There can be no greater commitment to making arts accessible to all audiences than that embodied by The Wallace Foundation," said NJPAC Co-Chairman Arthur F. Ryan. "They have looked at the issue from both a scholarly and a practical point of view and have challenged long-held perceptions about how the arts and culture should strive to have resonance and relevance in America's diverse communities. To receive recognition from this pioneering Foundation is a real badge of honor for NJPAC." According to The Wallace Foundation, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center was honored, in the inaugural year of the Excellence Awards, "for innovative multi-cultural outreach, including its 25 annual productions reflecting global perspectives outside classic European traditions and its collaborations with more than a dozen New Jersey universities, libraries, churches and community-based organizations to connect non-traditional audiences with featured artists through workshops, discussions and performances." NJPAC was also honored for its arts education programs, which offer a comprehensive menu of performances, residency programs, arts training, and scholarships for elementary, middle and high school children, as well as professional development opportunities for New Jersey's educators.
SOURCE New Jersey Performing Arts Center