Get your fill of free arts, entertainment, dance, and live music at the quarterly citywide JC Fridays event on June 3. The event is the biggest ever in its six-year history, as it now includes neighborhoods like Bergen Hill and Greenville.
JC Fridays attracts thousands of people from both within and outside of Jersey City who are drawn to the rich and varied offerings from the local arts and culture scene. From Indian performance art around Hamilton Park to martial arts downtown, visitors will get a taste of all types of art, food, and creative talent.
What began as an effort by arts groups to showcase Jersey City’s growing cultural landscape in 2005 has garnered widespread public and private support.
JC Fridays is co-sponsored by the Jersey City Reporter and Jersey City Magazine, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Division of Cultural Affairs, among others.
“We are trying to make it different year after year.”– Christine Goodman
“This is our sixth year anniversary event. It has tripled since it first began going from 12 venues in the first year to 43 venues,” said Christine Goodman last week. “It is wonderful to see people who are active in different neighborhoods reach out to neighbors and say ‘Hey, why don’t you have a JC Fridays event!’ ”
Individuals can find maps with a guide to the activities at the PATH stations, local host venues, and online at jcfridays.com.
Organizers are gearing up for a big turnout. “We expect 4,000 audience members.” said Goodman.
The start of each new season brings JC Fridays to town. “We are trying to make it different year after year,” said Goodman. “We ‘re always trying to have people come and buy art and support our artists and businesses…[so] businesses [can] have more patrons, traffic, more people having dinner.”
Ushering in the summer with arts-related fun
Memorial Day typically serves as the official kick-off for summer, ushering in warmer weather and outdoor fun. JC Fridays comes on the heels of this holiday and offers a way to officially begin a season of warm weather exploration and activity.
Many people make the reverse commute from New York City to attend JC Fridays. Goodman shared that the community, businesses, and artists benefit when new people visit and experience art in Jersey City.
Planning for the event begins five to six weeks in advance. Art House Productions runs the overall festival and handles marketing and distribution while venues put in additional effort to host and promote the event.
“JC Fridays is a great example of how we’re building community,” Goodman noted.
From her perspective, a great event would look like “people walking down the street with maps out, going in and out of venues, lots of foot traffic…and seeing smiles.”
JC Friday event highlights ART—The wonder of crochet will be on display at Ed’s Salvage Co. on Bergen Avenue,
showing the ultra-chic designs of Teva Durham. The artist will also be signing her new book,
MUSIC—“Groove on Grove” at the PATH station gets locals boogying with a special Friday
multi-band showcase featuring The One and Nines, Roland Ramos Presents, The Black Hollies, and The Milwaukees. Plus, the new and exciting Barcade will be providing libations and grub will be offered by Park and Sixth, Lucinda’s Crepes, and The Taco Truck.
DANCE—The room will be hopping at the Grassroots Community Space on Coles Street, where workout dance demos of Cardio Hip Hop with Neil Fernando will be set to the rhythm of the Urban Drummers.
ART—The beloved Made with Love bakery, on Jersey Avenue, will be offering an interesting take on art with the artist using a growing contemporary medium: the cell phone. Titled “InstaScapes: A collection of digital Polaroids,” the images of Seth Siditsky combine this newer technology with Polaroids.
MULTI-MEDIA—Bergen Hill Sound/Image is bringing together video art, hand painted 16mm
film works, and experimental sound with Nyugen E. Smith, Jacqueline Arias, and Zack Lischer-
Katz, as well as Too Many Frets, and members of Smoove Sailors and Stars, Bars & Mars.
ART—The winners of the Project Greenville photo contest will be revealed at the “Images of
Jersey City: a Group Photo Exhibition,” over on Winfield Avenue. More than 40 photographers’
glorious images of Jersey City will give a unique perspective on the city.
Visit www.jcfridays.com for updates.
Adriana Rambay Fernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.