Grant to support “Mobilizing Our Community” program
TOMS RIVER, NJ — The National Endowment for the Arts is awarding the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College a grant of $10,000 to support a collaboration with mobile artist Kevin Reese called “Mobilizing Our Community.”
“All Americans should have access to the arts,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Grants such as this one the Grunin Center are an important part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ work to ensure people in communities both large and small across the nation have the opportunity to experience the arts.”
“Mr. Reese is an actor, designer, and visual artist with 40 years of experience working with young people as a performer and artist-in-residence,” said Mark Wilson, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Grunin Center. He is also a teacher of math, history, geometry, and physics, which he merges with his knowledge of art and art history. “Mr. Reese works with communities to create large permanent moving sculptures – at schools, community centers, and art centers – inspired by participants’ designs,” Wilson added. “This program connects both geographically and economically disadvantaged people, who may not have had the opportunity to participate in such a large-scale art project.”
During this collaboration, Reese conduct community-based workshops at OCC as well as school-based residencies to facilitate more intensive learning opportunities. During these school visits, he will work with students to create miniature “maquette” mobiles, installed as part of the larger public display. As they create individual pieces, students must learn to balance together to create a whole piece of art that will be a legacy and will open a dialogue about the importance of art and art’s place in a community. Students will work on life skills that include teamwork, critical thinking, community building, confidence building, and communication skills.
“We will use this educational tool to connect diverse communities together through arts education,” Wilson noted.
About the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts
The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College, is a performing arts center dedicated to providing art and entertainment to Ocean County and the Jersey Shore. Featuring premiere acts from across the globe, the Grunin Center’s intimate venue allows patrons to experience once-in-a-lifetime from venerated artists, hometown musicians, and unique entertainers. Music performances of all genres, theatre, film, and dance make their way to the Grunin Center stage each season. The Grunin Center is also the home to young performers from various educational performing arts organizations, including Ocean County College students from the performing arts and fine arts programs, and the Ocean County and NJ State Teen Arts Festivals. Our Art Gallery highlights local artists by displaying several collections throughout the year. Additionally, the Garden State Philharmonic is the Orchestra-in-Residence. For more information, visit grunincenter.org.
About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.