Morristown Mayor wants to create builders fund for local art

Tom Werder of Morris Arts presents plaque to Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder of Morris Arts presents plaque to Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Video playlist: Highlights from ‘Celebrate the Arts’ 2016

 

By Kevin Coughlin

Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty thinks the arts are worth paying for. And he thinks developers should do some of the paying.

Receiving an award as “Outstanding Arts Advocate” this week, the Mayor said he will explore ways to tap builders to create recurring support for the arts.

It would be an extension of his “One Percent for Art”  program, which began when a  re-developer agreed to pay up to $100,000 for public art at the future home of the Fox Rothschild law firm on Market Street, as a condition of town approvals.

“I will always be an advocate for arts. And this is just the beginning,” he told fellow honorees Wednesday at the Bickford Theatre for the annual Celebrate the Arts event hosted by Morris Arts.

Tom Werder of Morris Arts presents plaque to Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder of Morris Arts presents plaque to Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“We are going to try to get a recurring income for the arts in our developments. Why not?  We can do so much with people who make millions of dollars in our backyard. Why can’t we funnel some of that money to the arts? It will be great for the arts in Morristown and the surrounding towns.”

Morris Arts Executive Director Tom Werder, who recognized the Mayor for his annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival and for One Percent for Art, was excited about the possibility of expanding that program.

“The next natural step is to imagine ways that funding public art can continue after the development is completed so there is an ongoing sustainable investment in the arts in town. Morris Arts looks forward to being a part of this exploration,” Werder said.

Tom Werder presents award to Viki Craig of Art in the Atrium at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder presents award to Viki Craig of Art in the Atrium at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Other honorees at Celebrate the Arts included Vicki and Charles Craig, whose annual Art in the Atrium exhibition in Morristown has become New Jersey’s largest showcase for African American artists.

They started the venture 24 years ago after observing that no black artists were included in a countywide art show. A number of artists promoted by the Craigs have gone on to national acclaim, with exhibitions in elite galleries and museums.

Danielle and Chris Merzatta of Merzatta Jewelry were named Outstanding Arts Professionals for launching a successful business during the recession by crafting artworks that are both profitable and made from sustainably sourced materials.

Danielle Merzatta of Merzatta Jewelry speaks at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Danielle Merzatta of Merzatta Jewelry speaks at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Danielle movingly cited her grandparents, seated in the front row, as living reminders about the true value of art.

“In their 90s, married 69 years, Grandma’s jewelry collection is still evolving. They’ve been speaking to each other through objects for seven decades. And the jewelry box that stands in the wake of that marriage is a remarkable thing.

“There is legacy in it, history, heartbreak, upgrades, travel, loss and love.

“And Margaret Reinhard’s jewelry box taught me how powerful these artful objects will be in decades to come,” said the Morristown High graduate, who flew back from a show in Texas for the ceremony.

Andrea Lekberg, owner of The Artist Baker and former pastry chef at the Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown, was celebrated for “Creative Placemaking” — opening her bakery courtyard to aspiring sculptors.

Paula Davidoff and Carolyn Hunt, co-founders of Girls Surviving,  a teen program in Morristown, took honors as Outstanding Educators.  Mondelēz International, makers of Snickers and Ritz Crackers, was named Outstanding Corporation for supporting Morris Arts’ Pumpkin Illuminations and other events.

High school scholarship winners Tyler Harker and Zachary Catron at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
High school scholarship winners Tyler Harker and Zachary Catron at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin

And a pair of West Morris Mendham High School seniors — composer Zach Catron and artist Tyler Harker — went home with scholarships of $5,000 and $1,500, respectively.

Before performing a spring-themed medley on guitar, 2006 scholarship winner Alex Wintz advised the teens to embrace the moment.

“As you continue to grow into the professional realm of the arts… always remember there’s going to be times that aren’t so great,” said Wintz, a Morristown native trained at Berklee and Juilliard.

“But if you stop yourself and think what you’re doing for a living, that changes everything. When those times happen, just remember that.”

Art and the Atrium trustees at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  From left: Charles & Viki Craig, Lawrence & Janet Woods and Ivory and Marjorie Herbert. Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Art and the Atrium trustees at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ From left: Charles & Viki Craig, Lawrence & Janet Woods and Ivory and Marjorie Herbert. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom Werder presents award to Andrea Lekberg of The Artist Baker at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder presents award to Andrea Lekberg of The Artist Baker at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
High school scholarship winner Zachary Catron at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
High school scholarship winner Zachary Catron at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom Werder presents award to Danielle Merzatta of Merzatta Jewelry at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder presents award to Danielle Merzatta of Merzatta Jewelry at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom Werder presents award to Kimberly Fontes of the Mondelez Corp. at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder presents award to Kimberly Fontes of the Mondelez Corp. at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom Werder presents award to educators Carolyn Hunt and Paula Davidoff at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom Werder presents award to educators Carolyn Hunt and Paula Davidoff at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
 Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty speaks at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty speaks at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
 at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tyler Harker, scholarship winner, with Morris Arts Director Tom Werder
at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Tom McMillian, president of Morris Arts, at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Tom McMillian, president of Morris Arts, at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Alex Wintz performs at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Alex Wintz performs at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Andrea Lekberg of The Artist Baker and Alan Levitan of Morris Arts at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Andrea Lekberg of The Artist Baker and Alan Levitan of Morris Arts at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Frank and Kay Failla of the Lauren and Emily Failla Foundation with Jane Kurek of Provident Bank at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Frank and Kay Failla of the Lauren and Emily Failla Foundation with Jane Kurek of Provident Bank at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Samantha Rothman of Grow It Green Morristown and artist Eric Hendrickson at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.'  Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Samantha Rothman of Grow It Green Morristown and artist Erik Hendrickson at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morris Museum Director Linda Moore, MPAC Director Allison Larena and Tourism Director Leslie Bensley at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Morris Museum Director Linda Moore, MPAC Director Allison Larena and Tourism Director Leslie Bensley at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Marjorie and Ivory Herbert of Art in the Atrium Inc. at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Marjorie and Ivory Herbert of Art in the Atrium Inc. at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts and Jane Kurek of Provident Bank at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts and Jane Kurek of Provident Bank at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty, Jody Marcus of the Morris Museum, and Morris Tourism Director Leslie Bensley at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty, Jody Marcus of the Morris Museum, and Morris Tourism Director Leslie Bensley at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morris Tourism Director Leslie Bensley and Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Morris Tourism Director Leslie Bensley and Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Margret Brady and Linda Smith at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Margret Brady and Linda Smith at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Anne Matlack of Harmonium, June Van Thoen of the Morristown United Methodist Church, and Don Siebert at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Anne Matlack of Harmonium, June Van Thoen of the Morristown United Methodist Church, and Don Siebert at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Frank Vitolo and Gina Moran of Morris Arts at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Frank Vitolo and Gina Moran of Morris Arts at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Bickford Artistic Director Eric Hafen flanked by Elizabeth Sobo and Randy James, at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin , March 30, 2016
Bickford Artistic Director Eric Hafen flanked by Elizabeth Sobo and Randy James, at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Former Morristown Mayor Jay DeLaney Jr. chats with visitor at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Former Morristown Mayor Jay DeLaney Jr. chats with visitor at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Anne Matlack of Harmonium and Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-26th Dist.) at 'Celebrate the Arts 2016.' Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Anne Matlack of Harmonium and Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-26th Dist.) at ‘Celebrate the Arts 2016.’ Photo by Kevin Coughlin

 

 

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