One of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey’s flagship programs is the Arts Alive Initiative created in partnership with Elizabeth Public Schools. Since 2009, the Arts Alive Initiative has brought 300 students per year from Jefferson Arts Academy to the Art Center for an in-depth sequential learning program that expands their knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. The students visit for three consecutive weeks during each exhibition season and create art projects that apply ideas and themes from the Art Center’s exhibitions.
Upon the completion of the program, the students’ present their work for a critique by Curator, Mary Birmingham, who selects a number of pieces for display in an exhibition of their work at the Art Center. This initiative supports the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual Arts as well as other standards.