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WHO WE ARE

The Westfield Arts Collective, Inc., is a newly-created New Jersey non-profit whose mission is to create an inclusive, community-operated workspace where people with common interests in the visual and performing arts can meet, socialize, and collaborate. Through exhibition, education, performance and community outreach, the Westfield Center for the Arts will inspire creativity and enhance people’s lives. Our vision is to create a permanent “Center for Creativity” at the former Rialto Theater in downtown Westfield. The Center is a reimagining of a nearly 100-year-old Westfield institution and will function as a community gathering space for creating and enjoying art. It will be an adaptive space where makers, artists, actors, writers, and musicians of all ages and experience can connect, create, learn and build community.

Founding Board Members

Sal Caruana

Beth Cassie

Bill Crandall

Nancy Gleason

Tom Jardim

Dawn Mackey

Cheryl Marks Young

Michele Modestino

Carl Salisbury

Margaret Smith

Giao Williams

 
A drawing of a bridge in Westfield

OUR STORY

The organization came about largely as a result of an amendment to the Town of Westfield's land use ordinance in October 2020, when the Town changed the zoning in the Town's Central Business district to allow "artisan manufacturing," or the creation of traditional and non-traditional art such as printmaking; leather products; jewelry and clothing/apparel; metal work; wood work; furniture; glass or ceramic production; and paper manufacturing. Several of the founding members came together to take advantage of this change in zoning law and began looking for a central location in downtown Westfield that could house such an endeavor.

Since its initial creation, the mission of the Westfield Arts Collective has evolved, from solely a "makerspace" for the creation of physical objects (e.g., ceramics, woodworking, pottery, etc.) to a laboratory for all kinds of art, including music, visual arts, and fine arts. Our vision now is to create a permanent “Center for Creativity” at the former Rialto Theater in downtown Westfield, which the Westfield Arts Collective is in contract to purchase. The Center is a re-imagining of a nearly 100-year Westfield institution and will function as a community gathering space for creating and enjoying art. It will be an adaptive space where makers, artists, actors, writers, and musicians of all ages and experience can connect, create, learn and build community. The organization received its 501(c)(3) charitable designation in October of 2021.