Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman will join with the Central Jersey Arts Council (CJAC) and dignataries at the official grand opening of the Blazing Star Cultural Arts Center. The center, which is located at 63 Carteret Avenue, has an incredibly rich and diverse cultural history.
The Blazing Star Cultural Arts Center is also home to the Carteret Historical Committee, and the Central Jersey Arts Council. In addition, the Blazing Star will also serve as a practice space for cultural groups such as the new Carteret Community Choir. The building itself has served many generations of Carteret residents. The structure was originally built in 1898 as a YMCA. It was then purchased by local industrial businesses and donated to the Borough in 1930 to be used as a public library and educational facility. It served as the Borough’s library until 2001 when the library was relocated to 100 Cooke Avenue. All of the building’s architectural highlights have been preserved throughout its restoration.
Improvements to the building were made over a five year period as grant funding and donations became available. It now houses pictures, documents, and artifacts relating to Carteret’s local history and also provides a resource for the creative arts and cultural history. The building is functioning as an educational resource for residents and visitors, serving as a museum, reference center, meeting place, and arts facility.
“This a great example of our efforts to diversify of Carteret’s recreational and educational resources,” said Mayor Reiman. “We are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Blazing Star Cultural Arts Center. This facility will provide the community with a comfortable place for learning, sharing, and congregation.”
With the opening of the Blazing Star Cultural Arts Center, there will be a year-round calendar of events including historical exhibitions and presentations, art shows, musical performances, community arts and musical workshops, classes and more. On the day of the grand opening, there will be multiple musical guests, hands on art activities, face painting, historical displays, and paintings of Carteret landscapes and buildings.
“It is my privilege to follow suite by filling the space with innovative programming that pulls together history, culture, and the arts,” said Lindsay Erben, the Executive Director of CJAC. “Our calendar will be filled with performances, workshops, displays, exhibitions, and presentations for everyone to enjoy! We look forward to building on fond memories and making new ones.”
Carteret’s arts scene has experienced a robust boost as Mayor Reiman was recently joined by County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios, to announce that the Borough has received a $6 million grant from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund to be utilized towards the construction, and expansion of the former Ritz Theater located on Washington Avenue.
The future Carteret Performing Arts Center will reside within the Washington Avenue Redevelopment Area and include a 1,500 seat, state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center (PAC) and a concert hall. Future plans for the site also call for constructing a movie theater