New Jersey Performing Arts Center launches Colton Institute for Research and Training in the Arts

Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is growing – with the creation of the Colton Institute for Research and Training in the Arts.

Made possible by a generous $10 million gift from Judy and Stewart Colton to support arts education programs and research into new arts training techniques, the Colton Institute will enable the continued growth of the Center for the Arts.

NJPAC’s dedication to arts education began over 25 years ago – before the Arts Center campus opened in 1997. It now offers more than 3,000 arts education classes, residencies and workshops each season , reaching more than 100,000 students and families.

Musical theater students perform at NJPAC.

The work of the Colton Institute will also enable NJPAC to:

● Expand its most successful arts education and teacher training programs to reach more students;

● Develop a more complete artistic training experience for teachers and professionals;

● Identify research agendas and, in collaboration with a team of professional researchers, coherently study and analyze the impact of the arts education work of the Arts Centre;

● Continue to develop NJPAC’s rigorous training for its arts education faculty, enabling the Arts Center to ensure consistent pedagogical knowledge and practices for all of its teaching artists;

● Develop and disseminate tested learnings and curricula to other performing arts centers, educators and the field at large nationally.

The Colton Institute will also increase the Arts Center’s educational offerings and advance its services for students – many of whom come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds – including mentoring and on-the-job training, creating a pathway to college opportunities and career in the performing arts, whether on stage, behind the scenes, or in administrative offices.

Performance by Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens from NJPAC.

“The arts are intrinsically linked to 21st century skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, and global and cultural awareness. The Colton Institute will enable NJPAC to expand and enhance programs that advance these skills and help our students use them to take the next steps in their journey. I am extremely grateful to the Coltons for their recognition and generous support of this mission,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO, NJPAC.

“This gift is particularly personal for us. One of our grandchildren has participated in NJPAC’s arts education programs, and we’ve seen how transformative that experience can be,” said Judy and Stewart Colton.

“The arts play an undeniable role in the development of children, creating cultural citizens who have knowledge, compassion and tangible skills to better understand themselves and others, which equips them to contribute to society in meaningful ways. “said Jennifer Tsukayama, Vice President, Arts Education, NJPAC. “With the significant gift of Judy and Stewart Colton, the research institute provides us with the opportunity to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of NJPAC’s teaching, learning philosophies, and programs.”

For more information about NJPAC, its education programs and ongoing initiatives, please visit

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