Since 2016, Jeremy Johnson has been executive director of Newark Arts, one of the city’s leading nonprofits. The organization makes grants to neighborhood arts programs, produces the award-winning Newark Arts Festival, and advocates for policies to uplift Newark as a city of the arts. During his tenure, Newark Arts has strengthened the city’s cultural profile, including the 2020 ranking of Newark among America’s Top 10 Arts-Vibrant Communities by the National Center for Arts Research. Johnson led the creation of Newark’s first community cultural plan, Newark Creates, which resulted in the city-sponsored Creative Catalyst Fund to support area artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Art holds up a mirror to our times. The past year has been a period of upheaval and uncertainty, but it has also inspired innovation. A spirit of determination and adaptability has been crucial. As Hereford College of Arts (HCA) opens its doors to the public to celebrate the Festival of Arts, we interviewed Xaviere