Arts & Entertainment

South Orange Summer Concert Series Seeking Sponsors; Trustees Commit Some Funding

Lisa Hackett, left, and Matt Glass of the South Orange Village Center Alliance speak to the South Orange Board of Trustees on Monday night. Credits: Amy Kiste Nyberg

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The village agreed to underwrite up to $5,000 in expenses for the summer concert series Downtown After Sundown after learning at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting the event does not yet have sponsors.

South Orange Village Center Alliance Chairman Michael Glass and Executive Director Lisa Hackett told the board they need $15,000 to pay for the series, which features between 70 and 80 musical acts during the 20 weeks.

“It’s been a great success, but it does cost money,” Glass told the trustees. Although the SOVCA will continue to look for sponsors, Glass said they needed some assurance of funding to launch the concerts over Memorial Day weekend.

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“We kind of need to get it started if it's going to happen, and we can continue the efforts to secure sponsorships,” Hackett said.

Board members expressed their support. “I’m OK to commit to the first $5,000,” Trustee Mark Rosner said.

Hackett said that while SOVCA initially tried to find one sponsor for the entire series, or three sponsors that would split the $15,000 cost, they also are open to including more sponsors for smaller amounts.

“It’s an important part of what the village has done to keep the village vibrant," village President Alex Torpey said, adding that it’s an “amazing opportunity” for a sponsor “to be able to provide that much to our community.”

Glass said that in the past there may have been some concerns about sponsors not getting enough recognition, but that SOVCA has a plan to increase the visibility and promotion of sponsors.

“We have a brand new website, we have a more robust social media,” he said. “Everyone in town is going to appreciate whoever steps up to do this."

Hackett said those interested in helping to sponsor Downtown After Sundown can contact her at or call 973-763-6899.

In other action, the board:

  • Voted 5-1 to introduce an ordinance for a financial agreement for a tax exemption for a redevelopment project at Valley Road and Third Street. Trustee Michael Goldberg voted against the introduction of the ordinance. A public hearing is scheduled on April 22.
  • Voted 6-0 to delegate authority  to a purchasing agent to award a contract for natural gas. The usual bid process would not allow the village to respond quickly enough to bids in the volatile market, according to Administrator Barry Lewis Jr.
  • Heard a report from Lewis that the village is currently in discussions with the South Orange Performing Arts Center about taking ownership of the SOPAC building.
  • Heard a request from Seton Hall University student Logan Willans to consider building a skate park in South Orange. Trustees encouraged him to attend the next Recreation Committee meeting.
  • Watched a brief demonstration of a new budget tool that allows residents to see budget figures in a number of different formats and to download data. It is available on the village’s website and includes data back to 2008. It can be accessed through

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