Upcoming Events in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District (April & May)

By Patricia Rogers

Marafanyi presents: Community West African Dance and Drum Workshops @ The Firehouse Gallery, April 16, 2016

Pre-Pay: $15 per person | Pay ON 4/16: $20 per person

This workshop highlights the beautiful, archetypal movements of traditional dances that are hundreds of years old.  Connecting body, mind and spirit, participants learn to express themselves through a powerful, lyrical vocabulary of steps, and experience the shared language of African drum and dance via this energetic and expressive art form.  Adults, mature teens, all levels of experience welcome.  Dress comfortably for movement.

Pre-Pay: $15 per person | Pay ON 4/16: $20 per person

This workshop highlights the infectious, traditional, poly rhythmic music associated with the West African djembe drum.  Participants will learn basic hand drum technique, a vocable drum language, and music that is hundreds of years old, while experiencing a powerful connection to each other through body, mind and spirit.  Adults, mature teens, all levels of experience welcome.

* Take BOTH Workshops (Dance AND Drum)
Pre-Pay: $25 per person | Pay ON 4/16: $35 per person

Pre-Pay via credit card here:

Contact us to pay via check:
tel 877-904-2362 | email rootsheartpulse@ureach.com
Ask us about our sliding scale pricing

* $5 Drum Rentals Available (with advance registration only)"

Brews and Brushes 7 @ The Firehouse Gallery
April 30, 2016

This month, the highly anticipated Brews & Brushes 7 will take place Saturday, April 30th at the ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery.  This version of the paint and sip is co-presented by Brew Council and local visual artists, Krystal Lemonias and Naeema Campbell.

The themes for these events are always inspired by different artists and exhibits happening in New Jersey and New York City.  This month's is inspired by A Strange New Beauty show currently at the MoMA and the multi-talented artist Edgar Degas.  From the Brews & Brushes event page: "We will be using construction paper compositions of Degas' paintings as our references to create a painting of organic shapes and silhouettes juxtaposed similarly to Degas well-known ballerina paintings while drinking great beer.

General admission is $35 and includes an artist set up with an easel, brushes, and 12x12 canvas, paint and, of course, a tasting of the 4 beers on the menu."

I am a huge fan of this event and have been a couple times.  This is something that I look forward to every month because Brews and Brushes is such a good experience.  You learn, have fun, and drink delicious beer.  Read about my time at Brews and Brushes 4 here. 

For more information about Brews and Brushes 7, please visit their Facebook page

Arts Unbound presents ArtBender 2016 all around Orange, New Jersey for 24 hours from May 14-15

Arts Unbound presents ArtBender 2016 all around Orange, New Jersey for 24 hours from May 14-15

"ArtsBender is 24 hours of creativity and self-expression, happening in and around The Oranges of NJ.  Join your friends and neighbors at creativity hubs, start a communal project in your neighborhood, do some painting or play some music on your front porch or do that project you keep putting off! ArtBender is free and anyone can participate and join the fun.

Here's how you can get involved:

1. Plan your project, and COMMIT TO STARTING AND FINISHING IT THAT DAY.  Make a collage, refinish old furniture or paint a mural.

2. Tell your neighbors what you're up to and ask them to join in.  Be part of the friendly competition to raise funds for Arts Unbound.

3. Join with your friends and neighbors to host a bender, or join one of the public benders around town that weekend.

ArtBender was created by Arts Unbound, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping seniors and people with disabilities develop their careers as artists. For 24 hours, there'll be various ways to help raise pledges or make a contribution to this great organization. Want to get involved? Make artwork or a pledge, host a bender, or attend the auction!"

Visit www.artbender.org to get involved.

The Takeover - Networking Event @ The Firehouse Gallery,
May 16, 2016

Repeat after me, The Takeover is real.

The Takeover is a networking event happening Monday, May 16, 2016 starting at 6:00pm at one of the premiere locations in New Jersey’s Valley Arts District: ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, 580 Forest Street Orange, New Jersey.  This first of a series of seasonal events was inspired by the growth and continued conversation on: what will make the Valley Arts District pop?!


The Takeover is a way to engage, educate and excite its attendees about the future, and potential of this neighborhood, to meet collaborators and build a network, and to pursue their career in Orange, based in the Valley Arts District.  We want connections to be made, and ideas for events, projects, businesses, etc. that can incorporate everyone’s brand and interests, also finding ways to continue to cultivate the network we have.

Called The Takeover because Patricia Rogers continues to be inspired by the number of young professionals in the Valley Arts District (and in neighboring towns West Orange, East Orange, Maplewood and Montclair), and most of all their ambition, drive, and talent.  This is a force and movement that can change the world.

Maximum seating for this event is 30 people due to the small space of the main space in ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery.  You can purchase tickets online at www.thetakeover.brownpapertickets.com

Although you can also purchase tickets at the door, we strongly encourage you to at least RSVP with Patricia Rogers, valley.zine.editor@gmail.com.  We appreciate this as we want to be able to properly prepare for this event and for participants to get the most out of the experience.

The ticket gets you access to:

  • Valley Girl presentation on the Valley Arts District
  • Food & Drink tasting sponsored by Britt Bites, including Chef Diamond, Chef Leticia, Jeff Dorch and Josh Hewitt
  • Several cool networking activities
  • Business card raffles with specials from local businesses
  • Photo-booth polaroid to take home
  • more surprises

For more information:


or contact Patricia Rogers directly via email, valley.zine.editor@gmail.com

About the Writer

Patricia Rogers, #ValleyGirlNJ, lives in New Jersey's Valley Arts District.  The native New Yorker works as a writer, blogger and community activist.  Starting Masconsumption Media in 2012, she has been passionate about capturing the stories of the vibrant up and coming Valley Arts District neighborhood through her blog, zine, events and more.  She blogs for Jersey Indie, Luna Stage, and Hat City Kitchen and offers many creative media services.  Visit her blog www.masconsumption.com and keep up with your favorite Valley Girl on social media at @valleygirl_nj (Twitter / Instagram).