The New Jersey Arts Incubator (NJAI) announces new leadership today.  Founder and Executive Director Amy Simon will take the Chairwoman’s seat on the Board of Directors as Carol Berman is hired as Executive Director and Joe Gardner as Managing Director.
“It has been a thrilling experience, creating and leading NJAI as we serve artists and communities in New Jersey” says Amy Simon,  “I am excited to welcome new leadership and new ideas for moving the mission forward while I focus on keeping our organization stable and inclusive.”
Adds Carol Berman, “I am excited to be part of the New Jersey Arts Incubator and to continue the exceptional work that Amy Simon began for the arts in New Jersey.  The Incubator remains dedicated to New Jersey artists and developing the business of art in New Jersey.  Joe Gardner and I hope to continue creating a support network for New Jersey artists that helps sustain, nurture and grow art in New Jersey as a tool for educational and self expressive purposes.  If, as Leo Schulemowitz once said, ‘Art Is The Highest Form Of Play’ than we’re grateful to be in the sandbox to stay!”
Carol Berman is an actress, singer, director and arts educator as well as a skilled and dedicated arts manager with more than 15 years experience in professional and educational fine and performing arts management.  Ms. Berman has lead the JCC Metrowest Triple Threat Theater Camp and School of the Arts for the past 6 years and, in 2008 was named Manager of the Gaelen Center for the Arts where she manages the yearly presenting season for the Maurice Levin Theater, Gaelen Art Galleries as well as New Jersey Jewish Film Festival. As a results-oriented, decisive leader with proven success in market identification she has a track record of increasing growth and operational improvements.
 Joe Gardner is an education, theatre director, actor and playwright, and producer of television, film and theatre.  Mr. Gardner has worked on a variety of commercial film, television and audio productions including PBS “Shining Time Station” series and the original “Curious George” television stories. Mr. Gardner is a long time member of the 12 Miles West Theatre Company and served for several years as its Literary Manager overseeing the development of new plays including two of his own. As the Education Director of NJAI Mr. Gardner developed and directed the workshop and production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Festival” produced in Verona Park in the summer of 2009. Mr. Gardner is also a publisher of children’s books specializing in active and interactive early childhood education.
The NJAI studio is located at the Essex Green Shopping Center in West Orange, NJ. Upcoming programming includes a Life Skills for the Working Artist seminar on October 20th and the continuation of the NJAI Music Series.  You can still catch the INCUBATION exhibit on display in the Gallery through October 30th.  An arts education for special needs toddlers’ program project is under way with funding help from the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation. This signature NJAI project will focus on using art experience to stimulate special needs toddlers 12 months – 36 months in an effort to maximize the development of skills and abilities. This prototype class will be offered in the winter 2011. For more information and a list of upcoming events please visit The office can be reached at 973-669-0602.