THE ART CENTER’s community engagement programs reflect our commitment to making art accessible to all audiences. These programs deliver engaging educational visual arts experiences to under-served, economically disadvantaged, marginalized audiences, or communities with barriers. We serve the immediate community of Summit, the surrounding Hudson, Union, Essex, Sussex, and Somerset counties, and we recently launched new initiatives that reach communities statewide.

Arts Alive Initiative

Created in partnership with Elizabeth Public Schools, the Arts Alive Initiative brings students to the Art Center for an in-depth sequential learning arts education program that expands their knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. One of our flagship programs, the Arts Alive Initiative has brought 300 students per year from Jefferson Arts Academy to the Art Center to create art projects that apply ideas and themes from the Art Center’s exhibitions. This initiative supports the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual Arts.

After-School In-Community Programs

The Art Center sends our teaching artists out to lead various after-school programs for ages K–12.

Arts & Healing

THE ART CENTER runs several arts and healing in-community programs. Our partners include:

  • New Jersey Veterans Affairs—a year-round program offering creative arts therapy for veterans in nursing homes that are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia and to formerly unhoused veterans now living in transitional housing.
  • SAGE Eldercare in Summit—a year-round program using creative arts therapy for adult day program clients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Neighborcorps Reentry in Middlesex County Department of Corrections—we provide arts and healing programs to incarcerated and reentering citizen populations.

If you have any questions please contact Sarah Walko, Director of Education and Community Engagement at 908.273.9121, ext. 213 or

kids making pottery
student painting

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