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Morris County Arts Workshop Grand Opens The Hive - Its New Storefront Location in Chester, NJ
Chester Mayors Bill Cogger and Robert Davis and Billy Andrews of Ramco-Gershenson Properties joined Morris County Arts Workshop Director Jane Shatz and supporters for the Grand Opening of The Hive, its new storefront location in Chester, NJ.
By: Morris County Arts Workshop
The excitement surrounding its opening started midweek with a special fundraising event hosted by Chester resident, renowned stand-up comedian, author and filmmaker Jim Breuer, formerly of Saturday Night Live. Addressing a sold out crowd, Breuer mesmerized the audience with poignant stories about his experiences, tales that brought out thunderous laughter, an open Q&A segment, and, of course, his uncanny imitation and enthusiasm of MCAW Founder and Director Jane Shatz. Breuer, who is on the board at MCAW, affirmed, “I want to encourage the arts here in Chester. Yes, Chester! Film, improv, open mic nights all here at The Hive so people can come here and not have to go into the City.”
Breuer also announced he is planning another Family Film Festival this summer with MCAW and Chester Recreation. Last year’s event took place at the Gazebo lawn in Chester and featured performances by MCAW and local bands and a series of homemade films submitted for prizes.
The Hive activity continued well into the weekend. Chester Borough Mayor Robert Davis, Chester Township Mayor Bill Cogger, and Billy Andrews, property manager of Ramco-Gershenson Properties, the owners of the Chester Springs Mall, were on hand with a crowd of art patrons to assist Shatz in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Both Mayor Davis and Mayor Cogger concurred they are grateful for MCAW’s efforts and are active supporters of the arts. “The Hive will bring a higher element in the education of the arts for children of all ages,” commented Mayor Davis.
“MCAW is amazing,” added Mayor Cogger. “They understand the arts are the core to a civilization and bringing people together.”
Andrews further pointed out that the concept of an active art space, such as The Hive, in a retail mall is something special.
Other activities during the Grand Opening Celebration included performances by the MCAW string ensemble and renowned jazz saxophonist and teacher Allen Won; live art by Charley Pellecer; crafts; Legos; and gallery previews.
Chester Recreation Director Maxine Finney commented, “Chester now has a place for the arts where the community can come together to be creative.” She plans to host more joint events with MCAW including the Summer Archery Camp in July and popular Haunted Halloween Workshop coming this October.
In addition to various art classes, other activities at The Hive include Guest Art Displays, Lecture Series, and Writing Workshops. The organization is continually seeking help to support its non-profit programs, including its annual Haunted Halloween Workshop, Art in Public Spaces Initiative, and Home for the Arts building. To make a donation or for additional information, please visit www.mcartsworkshop.com or contact Director Jane Shatz at (908)531-8433.
About Jim Breuer
Jim Breuer is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live. For more than 20 years, he has entertained fans with his standup comedy. He has appeared in numerous acting roles and guest spots and is a radio host on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio. He is also the author of I’m Not High and the critically acclaimed documentary More than Me, which humorously and poignantly chronicles a cross-country stand-up comedy tour and the challenges Breuer faced with his companion – his frail 84-year-old, and equally humorous Dad. For additional information on Jim Breuer and his upcoming tour dates, visit www.JimBreuer.com.
About the Morris County Arts Workshop
Founded in 2003 by Jane Shatz, a Juilliard School of Music dance alumna and Chester resident, the Morris County Arts Workshop (MCAW) is a non-profit group created to nurture and promote the love for the arts in children of all ages. The program is community based and offers a wide variety of classes from musical instrument lessons to voice to painting to yoga to language and martial arts. Classes are currently held in Chester, Mendham and Mount Olive public schools as well as The Hive in the Chester Springs Shopping Center on Route 206 in Chester, NJ. There are two sessions per year which culminate with a special Showcase performance and art display in the fall and spring. In addition, MCAW runs five weeks of summer camp for pre-kindergarten to age 15. For additional information and class schedules, please visit www.mcartsworkshop.com.