Arts Access 2021

A Year in Review
Dance Facilitator at work in the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

A Year in Review

Every day at Arts Access is full of exciting achievements and creative freedom. While the world around us continued to present new challenges this year, we continued to find new opportunities at Arts Access! Join us for a review of some of this year’s most memorable moments.



Matheny Arts AccessThe artists at Arts Access are passionate about the art that they create and their work has inspired thousands of fans and supporters. Our second virtual exhibition, For the Love of Art, invited viewers to ponder: why do we love art? Featuring artwork from the Arts Access traditional and digital painting programs, this exhibit celebrated all the reasons we love art and how that passion inspires our artists.

Read More about For the Love of Art



Matheny Arts AccessPlays By People 2021

After making the difficult decision to cancel Plays By People in 2020, we anxiously awaited the return of this annual theatrical event. Plays By People is part of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s annual Stages Festival, which was back this year with a combination of virtual and in-person events. For Arts Access, Plays By People 2021 was our first exciting foray into live streaming virtual performances and showcased the work of Cheryl Chapin.

Read More about Plays By People


Matheny Arts AccessJC Fridays

In June, Arts Access participated in the second virtual Access JC Fridays, presented by Art House Productions in Jersey City. JC Fridays is a seasonal arts festival that features art events that take place in restaurants, galleries, stores, and event spaces in almost every neighborhood of Jersey City. Like everyone else, Art House quickly pivoted in the spring to convert their event to exist in a virtual space. The event showcased work from artists with disabilities and work that celebrates disability in its many forms. We were excited to share the work of Arts Access at this event, including Rasheedah Mahali’s candid video project, “I Need a Video Camera.”

Read More about JC Fridays


Matheny Arts Access11th Annual Rutgers NJMS Collaborative ARTS Exhibit

Collaboration in the arts is always an exciting endeavor, and we are so proud to have been part of the Collaborative ARTS Exhibit at Rutgers NJMS for 11 years now! Once again, the artists from Arts Access and JSDD’s WAE Center brought their incredible talents together for another truly inspiring exhibition. After the great success of last year’s exhibit, we were all excited for another virtual edition of this unique event.

Read More about the virtual reception

Matheny Arts AccessFull Circle 2021

One of the most highly anticipated events at Arts Access, Full Circle is a multi-disciplinary fine arts showcase featuring original work created by the Arts Access artists. Full Circle features two main components: a fine art gallery exhibition and a multi-media stage show. The gallery exhibition showcases acrylic paintings, digital paintings, and sculpture, while the stage show presents choreography, dramatic work, and staged readings of creative writing.

Reimagined for the first time as a virtual event, this year’s production had a lot of new and exciting things for everyone to experience. The heart of this year’s Full Circle was the livestream event, which took place on Saturday, November 6, 2021. The livestream showcased filmed performances of dance, poetry, and drama, intertwined with footage from the Arts Access gallery. Additionally, the Full Circle gallery exhibit was uploaded to a virtual gallery space.

Read More about the livestream event


Matheny Arts AccessNew Artist Merchandise

During the spring, we introduced two new scarf designs, featuring artwork by Natalia Manning and Misty Hockenbury, and one new tie design, featuring artwork by Jess Evans! As a year end bonus, we’ve also brought back the Arts Access wall calendar (there’s a limited supply, so get yours soon). These new merchandise items not only widened the selection of merchandise items in our Art Shop, but also provided more vocational opportunities to our artists.

Read More about the new merchandise


Second Annual Artists Sunday

Matheny Arts Access

This fall, Arts Access joined artists and organizations across the country for the second annual Artists Sunday, a nationwide event the Sunday after Thanksgiving, encouraging consumers to shop with artists and craftspeople.

Read More about Artists Sunday




Grants to support the Arts

Arts Access is proud to have received grants this year from both NJSCA and the NEA to support our work in the arts.

Read the press release about the NJSCA grants
Read the press release about the NEA grant


Matheny Arts AccessVirtual Facilitation

Since its development during the spring of 2020, our virtual facilitation program has continued to grow and flourish! More and more artists are returning to Arts Access via their computers and we have welcomed some entirely new artists to our program thanks to the accessibility and flexibility that virtual facilitation offers.

View Highlights from virtual facilitation sessions


We’d like to say a very special thank you to all of our supporters for helping us continue to create great opportunities like the ones listed here for our artists. Thanks for a memorable and unique year!

To stay up to date on all the latest news and projects from Arts Access, be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media.

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