Excellence & Acclaim
Aljira is a not-for-profit contemporary visual art center, founded in 1983, to promote the work of emerging and under-represented artists.
- Aljira Design, a graphic design service, was founded in 1991 as a result of accolades for the communication materials emanating from Aljira.
- In 1993, Aljira was selected by the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions to organize the United States’ representation at the IV Bienal Internacional de Pintura in Cuenca, Ecuador. The project was so successful that it was extended to ten additional countries and 12 cities.
- In pursuing its mission of service to the community, Aljira was the catalyst for a project in 1996 that brought the first public art work to downtown Orange, NJ since World War II.
- A full fledged design studio for Aljira Design was established at Aljira in 1996 as a result of a grant from The Arts Challenge Fund.
- “In recognition of Aljira’s continued high standard of excellence in artistry, public benefit and leadership,” the New Jersey State Council on the Arts designated Aljira a Distinguished Arts Organization for 1996/97.
- Aljira at the Academy, a satellite exhibition space with children as its primary audience, was inaugurated in 1998 in collaboration with Sharon Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Montclair, NJ.
- Aljira Emerge, a professional development program designed to provide practical and timely career advice for emerging artists was launched in 1999.
- Aljira’s Young Curators, a multi-disciplinary program that asks young people to decode and interpret art they see in the many contexts in which it is created, was initiated in 2000.
- In 2001, Aljira received a major gift in the amount of $500,000 from the Prudential Foundation to seed its endowment and support its relocation to Newark’s downtown arts district.
- In 2001, Aljira was one of eight institutions in the nation chosen by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to participate in the Warhol Initiative, a capacity building effort for small to mid-size visual arts organizations.
- Aljira was one of ten New Jersey cultural institutions selected to receive the Governor’s Award in 2002.
- In January 2003, Aljira opened its newly renovated facility at 591 Broad Street in time to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2004.
- In July 2003, Aljira was designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
- In 2003, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded Aljira a citation of excellence for its pilot program offering strategic planning for artists, presented in collaboration with Creative Capital, a national organization that supports artists pursuing innovative approaches to form and content.
- In 2005, as a result of its pilot program with Creative Capital, Aljira redesigned the Aljira Emerge program to offer strategic planning seminars for artists.
- In 2006, Aljira’s Young Curators was renamed Culture Creators and expanded to serve four Newark Public Schools.
- In 2009, Aljira Design completed its lifecycle and closed after 18 years of providing distinctive design services for print.
- In 2009, Aljira partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark to introduce teens to careers in the arts while learning to produce and promote an original video.
- In 2009, Aljira received major funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and New Jersey Cultural Trust to undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process and upgrade its technology.
- In 2010 and 2012, Aljira partnered with La Casa de Don Pedro to offer learning programs in the arts for Newark teens.
- Aljira has been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts from 2006-2016.
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