The fifth year of the SouthNEXT festival was terrific. Overall there were 15 presenters, two interactive art projects, and one incredible musical concert to finish the day/event.  There were presentations on subjects as varied as living a mindful life, thinking differently about death, and the science of CBD. The Oct. 19-20 event was a great collaboration with Seton Hall University; Sunday was on campus on two great locations and featuring a talk by American icon Dolores Huerta, labor rights activist, who was also interviewed by Alicia Menendez.

This year's SouthNEXT also had its first SOMA's Got Crazy Talent show on Saturday night at SOPAC and had a capacity crowd of attendees to come and support and root for their favorite neighborhood performers. The winner of the talent show was 15 year old Silas, who sang a very soulful and heartfelt song and took home a $500 Amazon gift card.

In addition to benefiting from Seton Hall, SouthNEXT was free this year thanks to RWJBarnabas Health's generous financial sponsorship. Other sponsors included Seton Hall University, the Township of South Orange, Stop n Shop, SOPAC, and South Orange Village Center.