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Jefferson Arts Committee

The Jefferson Arts Committee is a non-profit organization located in Jefferson Township (Morris County), New Jersey, dedicated to the pursuit of cultural and artistic activities that include concerts, student artist programs, special choral and instrumental performances, art and photography shows, summer gazebo concerts, and theatrical performances.

The concept was conceived back in 1986 when the Liberty Days Committee was formed by township residents Jack Kelly, Debbie Smead, Janet Breckenridge, and Frances Focacci, and some other interested township residents. They wanted to celebrate the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial in Jefferson Township with a huge celebration, and they did.

After such a successful event, they decided to form the Jefferson Arts Committee with the purpose of providing cultural activities for the residents of Jefferson Township and its neighboring communities, promoting an active interest in cultural affairs by the community, and encouraging participation of youth in these activities.  In 1987, they formed the Jefferson Arts Committee (JAC) naming it so after its new chairman Jack Kelly.  It has been incorporated since and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Seeing an interest in many areas of the arts, The Jefferson Community Players, The Jefferson Township Community Band, The Jefferson Township Community Chorus, and The Jefferson Township Gazebo Committee emerged from the JAC’s mission as sub-committees and are today sponsored under the umbrella of the Jefferson Arts Committee.   All the groups have a specific interest and operate successfully within the community.

In the past, and hopefully again in the future, the JAC brought the talented West Point Military Academy Band to Jefferson Township to perform in free concerts.   Further, the members of the Jefferson Arts Committee were instrumental in the township’s 2004 yearlong Bicentennial celebration (www.jeffersonbicentennial.org).

Each summer, The Jefferson Arts Committee’ largest endeavor is coordinating the annual Jefferson Township Day celebration -- an all day event starting with a parade and an opening ceremony followed with games and activities for children of all ages, demonstrations, continuous live musical entertainment, a variety of food and refreshments, and arts/crafts/and merchandise vendors. The day's activities culminate with a concert under the stars followed by a spectacular aerial fireworks display.   July 14, 2007 will mark the 21st annual celebration!

In December of 2005, JAC undertook a new winter event they called Christmas in the Village with the cooperation of the Jefferson Township Recreation Department. This event takes place in the historic Village of Milton (vicinity of Dover-Milton Road) and centers on live entertainment and activities in various buildings in the area including the Jefferson Township Museum.  There is a pancake breakfast, fine crafts show, musical performances by students and adults, an art show, a gingerbread house contest, a Victorian tea and theatrical performance, Victorian Christmas at the Museum, and young adult band performances.  The day begins with Visit with Santa at Camp Jefferson and ends with the lighting of the township Christmas Tree at the township Gazebo.

Regular meetings of the Jefferson Arts Committee are held on the fourth Thursday of the month in the Wiegand Farms (Department of Persons with Disabilities) all-purpose room located on Catholic Charities Way (off Weldon Road) at 7:30 P.M. Special Meetings are held as needed by the JAC and its two largest committees - The Jefferson Township Day Committee presently chaired by John Focacci and the Christmas in the Village Committee presently chaired by Christine Williams.   At the present time, the Jefferson Arts Committee does not collect dues from its members.

The Jefferson Arts Committee is considering forming an arts association this year encompassing local artists not only from Jefferson Township but surrounding areas and will be working diligently to accomplish that expansion goal.

The 2007 officers of the Jefferson Arts Committee are.

President - Carol Punturieri

Vice President - Sheila Rhoades

Recording Secretary - Rose Jackameit

Corresponding Secretary - Betty Eastman

Treasurer - Janet Breckenridge

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Jefferson Arts Committee or being involved with any of its events, can do so by contacting President Carol Punturieri by telephone at (973) 697-3828 or by e-mail to jeffersonartscomm@hotmail.com  Regular mail can also be sent to The Jefferson Arts Committee, PO Box 2604, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438.

Volunteers and new ideas are always welcome.

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This page last updated on: 21 February 2007

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