Dodge Poetry Festival Awarded to Newark and New Jersey Performing Arts Center

October 10, 2009

NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation announced that it has selected The City of Newark and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as the new site for The Dodge Poetry Festival. The Festival will move to the State’s largest city in October, 2010.

“This is a ringing endorsement of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, as a major cultural capital,” said Lawrence P. Goldman, NJPAC’s President and CEO. “We have always said that Newark is the London and Paris of New Jersey and this selection by the Dodge Foundation is a welcome validation.”

The Dodge Poetry Program was begun in 1986 as an initiative funded by the Arts and Education Programs of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Since then, there have been twelve biennial Dodge Poetry Festivals, which now routinely attract audiences of 17,000 to 20,000. The Festival is the largest poetry event in North America.

“Both the Trustees and Staff at Dodge were thrilled to be able to bring this signature event to Newark, a City where the Foundation has made many investments in the past decades,” said David Grant, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “We look forward very much to our partnership with NJPAC, the City of Newark, and other organizations that will provide venues for the festival.”

In its 22-year history, the Dodge Poetry Festival has involved nearly 500 Festival Poets, including Nobel Laureates, individual state and U.S. Poets Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and an array of poets from diverse cultures and subcultures here and abroad.

The Festival provided the substance for 25 hours of national PBS television programming seen by more than 50 million people, including more than 20 hours with Bill Moyers and two Emmy-winning programs. Series include The Power of the Word (1989), The Language of Life (1995), Poetry Heaven (1998), Fooling With Words (1999), and Sounds of Poetry (1999).

“Newark is the state’s center of arts and culture and entertainment and having the festival in Newark is a testament to its spirit,” said the Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor of the City of Newark, who championed the effort to bring the festival to the city. “It is a mutually beneficial endeavor. It will raise the profile of the festival and it’s great for the city.”

SOURCE New Jersey Performing Arts Center