New Madison arts center hires former Bickford artistic director

Eric Hafen
Eric Hafen


From the Madison Community Arts Center

The Madison Community Arts Center on Kings Road is open for business and has hired its first director of arts and events. Many local community groups are already scheduling presentations, meeting and performances in the multi-purpose space.

“The space is open and available for any organization to use” said Mayor Robert H. Conley. “It is a great space for a fundraiser, evening meeting or performance”.

“This 3,000 square foot facility is equipped with dressing room, ticket booth, sprung dance floor, restrooms and a large performance space. The possibilities are endless and exciting,” said Lisa Ellis, director of business development.

“The goal has always been for this space to become a center for the arts and cultural events and over the coming months the schedule will fill quickly.”

With support from the Borough and Downtown Development Commission (DDC), the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance (MACA) has hired Eric Hafen as its new director of arts and events.

One of Mr. Hafen’s primary duties will be scheduling arts and cultural events in the Madison Community Arts Center.

“I look forward to providing the community with high quality artistic programming throughout the borough as well as heading up the efforts to further enhance Madison Community Arts Center with new features, grid-work, lighting, sound, video projection capabilities, so that it can be a first rate multi-use arts facility,” said Hafen.

“All of the artistic disciplines are represented within the Borough; professional and community theatre, visual arts, dance, music, fine arts, sculpture, story-telling, universities with high quality arts educational programs.”

Eric Hafen served as the producing artistic director of the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum for 17 seasons, where they showcased many award-winning professional plays and musicals as well as top line jazz and popular concerts including John Pizzarelli, Dan Levinson, T.S. Monk, Thomas Pandolfi, John Sebastian, Bria Skonberg and Rio Clemente.

He has also presented national touring children’s theatre including TheatreWorks USA, Pushcart Players, as well as several film series.  In New York City, his directing work has appeared Off-Broadway as well as at the Jekyll & Hyde Club. He serves on the board of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the consortium of professional theaters in New Jersey.

“Renting this space for $1 a year and making it into a hub for the arts is just one of the great benefits the Borough is receiving from the project developer, KRE Development,” said Mayor Conley.

The $1 per year rental agreement was part of the negotiated sale with the developer back in 2014.  The Board of Education received $12 million for selling the property, and the property is now the third largest taxpayer in the borough.

Anyone interested in renting the space should contact

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  1. Great choice. I enjoyed working with Eric when he was at the Bickford and look forward to seeing him again in our area.