City Council renewed an $80,000 contract with the Union County Performing Arts Center to provide “technical and programming assistance” for downtown events and certain programs offered at the facility.
The arts can often be the linchpin to redevelopment efforts in many towns, some successful and some not so much. Arts organizations had a tough time slogging through the recession, especially smaller local and regional nonprofits. The Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC) has always been one of the key targets for downtown redevelopment in Rahway.
A $6-million overhaul and expansion apparently won’t be enough to draw Rahway Rising readers to the Union County Performing Arts Center. If our recent poll is any indication, half of readers likely won’t be checking it out, only a quarter of them will “probably” go, and a scant handful are definites to be there.
Are you more likely to go to the Union County Performing Arts Center since it expanded?
Doubt it. Neil Sedaka and Engelbert Humperdinck just don’t do it for me. 50 percent (37/73)
Probably. The new productions look interesting. 26 percent (19/73)
Nah. I don’t have any interest. 17 percent (13/73)
Definitely. Can’t get enough of that Connie Francis. 5 percent (4/73)
The 73 votes cast in the poll easily beat the previous high of 58 votes in a poll about feeling safe downtown.
Readers weighed in on what kind of programming they’d like to see at the arts center in a previous poll in January. Comedy and concerts were the leaders in that poll, followed by plays, but there were only 25 votes cast back then. Of course, any of the RR polls are completely unscientific.
Like most arts centers, UCPAC is considered a draw for downtown and the expansion – which included the $1.3-million sale to the county – was an effort to try to boost that, making it an integral part of redevelopment efforts, along with the other arts district initiatives.
I get the impression from some that the programming just isn’t what they’re looking for. As one reader put it: there’s too much programming aimed at the “blue hair” demographic. Are readers going elsewhere for the arts? Do you prefer other places in the area, like NJPAC, Paper Mill, State Theatre or Count Basie? Is there too much competition? Maybe readers just aren’t the artsy types? As Coffee Talk’s Linda Richman would say: Discuss.
As we approach the six-month mark of the blog, check out the latest poll and let us know how we’re doing.