“When I walked in, there was a sheet of water coming down in the lobby and running into the main hall,” says Art House Productions Founder and Director Christine Goodman, about the flood this past February that knocked ArtHouse out of its brand new home.
“Over the years, we’ve faced a lot of major hurdles,” Goodman details. “It is no small feat to keep a nonprofit arts organization alive for fifteen seasons… But this flood was awful. We lost just about everything and had to rebuild from the ground up. It was very sad to be forced to cancel programs featuring incredible artists whose work we were excited to present. We were also challenged by the very nature of what we were dealing with. It’s hard to understand the extent of the damage when you hear the word “flood.” I think we can wrap our heads around “fire,” but a flood can range from a wet carpet to total devastation. We had to be very clear about what we were dealing with. The fact was that we had no idea how long a rebuild would take – or if we would ever be able to open our doors again.”
After three months of cancelled performances, rented spaces, a hefty clean-up task that included professional carpet cleaning “to get the smell and grime out,” and an outpouring of support from the community, ArtHouse was back home in time to present the 10th summer of JC Fridays and close out their 15th season as an organization.
“So now,” says Goodman, “we’re ready for a party.” The annual SUMMER BLOWOUT provides layers of significance and purpose into the party, including immediately the relief from the chaos of the flood, but also Art House’s own evolution over the course of the past decade and a half.
Over the last 15 years, Art House has grown from a monthly open mic into an institution and one of the most active performing and visual arts organization in the region. Art House’s long-standing commitment to providing space for creatives coupled with its dedication to bringing the community together with artists and their work has contributed to the growth and personality of Jersey City itself.
“We have matured and expanded, with an eye toward internal stability, groundbreaking programming, and smart growth,” says Goodman. “We have developed an educational arm; that’s a real inspiration. I find so much joy in seeing our next generation of artists take the stage at Art House. We plan to continue expanding our educational offerings in the coming years. We are also building exciting partnerships with companies and artists working outside of our region – both nationally and internationally. That work will come to Art House in the 16th season and beyond.”
The party, though, is the focus of the moment for Goodman. “This event is sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Co, so we’ll have good beer on hand! This will be a great night to dance, with DJ Purple Stuff spinning throughout the night, ProSteel (a steel pan band with a great upbeat groove) and The Defending Champions. The Defending Champions have become our annual SUMMER BLOWOUT headliner. Their full horn section gets the whole room jumping!”
Tickets are available online for $10 or can be purchased at the door (136 Magnolia Avenue) for $15. Both options include one drink ticket.