Jersey City Theater Center offers a wide range of year-round programming for adults, youth, and artists. We host both in-person and virtual events.
Voices International Theatre Festival
Voices International Theatre Festival showcases thematically provocative multidisciplinary works that provide a global and local cross-section of ethnic, racial, gender, and political perspectives. The festival, held annually since 2019, is an exchange of ideas, encouraging empathy and understanding between cultures and individuals.
We have presented hundreds of individual artists and theatre companies from over 20 countries, including Belarus Free Theatre, Palesa Mazamisa (South Africa), Ranan (India), Roman Viktyuk Theatre (Russia), Matara (Israel), Sidra Bell Dance (New York), and Haeboma (South Korea).
In 2021, we held our inaugural Immigration Arts Summit. The day-long event centered on a multidisciplinary performance – mixing dance, film, and poetry – presented by immigrant artists from Guinea, Mexico, Jamaica, Columbia, the U.S., and Italy.
Stories of Greenville
Greenville is a majority Black neighborhood of Jersey City that has suffered from years of disinvestment, disproportionately high crime rates, complex racial disparities, and socioeconomic and achievement gaps. The Greenville Community Partnership (GCP), seeking to change those outcomes, developed the I Love Greenville community plan. With funding from the state’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) Program, JCTC joined as the initiative’s very first arts organization partner in 2019.
JCTC launched Stories of Greenville, a multidisciplinary arts project designed to create exposure for Greenville artists and healing through artist and community collaboration. To date, we have reached hundreds of students in public schools, over 200 Greenville artists, and thousands more through over 75 in-person and virtual events.
Through a partnership with Greenville-based The Spot JC Foundation and funding from Hudson Partnership CMO, we launched Spotlight, an arts-based youth development program for at-risk youth, in November 2021. For 18 weeks, Spotlight provides 40 children ages 9 to 21 with instruction and access to the arts, focusing on theater, photography/videography, and art’s therapeutic properties.
Professional artists mentor and guide students through the technical processes of each art form and help them build their unique artistic vision. In addition, students engage in the arts through field trips to galleries, theatre and dance productions, and other cultural events. Spotlight includes a stipend for participation and culminates in performances and exhibitions of students’ original work at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. Participating youth will staff the event at all levels, from box office to technical production.
Artist Outreach and Development
JCTC is committed to providing an inclusive platform where historically marginalized and underrepresented artists have a safe space for artistic expression. We work with hundreds of artists each year in New Jersey and worldwide, encouraging non-traditional, experimental, and multimedia works. In addition, we host residencies for local artists and provide mentorship and professional development through programs like our Producer’s Lab. We also hold an open call for play submissions culminating in a month-long New Play Festival to showcase the work of emerging playwrights.
In addition, we are active members of the International Society of the Arts (ISPA), the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), Art Pride New Jersey, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
Producing and Presenting Works
Throughout the year, JCTC stages original productions and events like our Global Music Series at locations that include White Eagle Hall and West Side Theatre at New Jersey City University. Past works have addressed the educational red-lining of urban communities of color, the transactional invisibility of undocumented labor, and what it means to be an “other” in your community. We regularly accompany these productions with talkbacks to foster meaningful dialogue, critical thinking, and reflection.
Other Youth Programs and Outreach
JCTC focuses on meeting the needs of at-risk students and schools in Jersey City and Hudson County’s most culturally underserved areas with free or heavily subsidized programming that expands arts accessibility and engagement. Ongoing partners include Henry Snyder High School and PS15; we provide educational programming through our Stories of Greenville program and continually seek new relationships. We also collaborate with Jersey City Summer Youth Mural Arts Program, LUX Performing Arts, and Impress Ballroom, among other organizations.