SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Three arts organizations based in South Orange have been nominated for Discover Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards, and South Orange itself has been nominated for Favorite Downtown Arts District.

“We are thrilled that South Orange has been nominated as best Downtown Arts District for the first time," said Bob Zuckerman, Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance. 

"This nomination reflects all of our efforts to program our downtown with events like Downtown After Sundown and PlayDay as well as our placemaking initiatives such as the parklet and rapid lounging," said Zuckerman.

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In addition to South Orange's nomination for Downtown Arts District, the SOMA Film Festival is nominated for Favorite Flm Festival, the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for Favorite Small Performing Arts Center (described as venues with 1,000 or fewer seats), and State Repertory Opera, for Favorite Opera Company.

SOPAC has been selected as the Favorite Small Performing Arts Center for the past three years, the only years this category has been part of the Discover Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards. 

The SOMA Film Festival was nominated in 2017, it's inaugural year, garnering a second nomination this year as well.

"Of course, [South Orange] wouldn’t even be considered if it weren’t for the great work of our partners at SOPAC. We hope everyone will vote and vote often for us as best downtown arts district, SOPAC as best small performing arts center, and the SOMA Film Festival as best film festival," said Zuckerman.

Other local nominations include the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, which was nominated for Favorite Large Theater to See a Musical, and for their Broadway Show Choir in the category Favorite Choral Group. The Paper Mill Playhouse won in both these categories in 2017, as well as for Favorite Performing Arts Camp, which they were not nominated for again this year.

The South Mountain International Blues Festival, which takes place in the South Mountain Reservation in West Orange, is nominated for Favorite Music Festival.

This is the 10th year of the Discover Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards, which have been given out every year since 2008.

Last year, winners were selected based on votes from nearly 18,000 people who cast ballots for their favorite local groups and downtowns, according to Discover Jersey Arts.

Click here for the 2018 People's Choice Awards Ballot.

Voting will continue through February 20, 2018, with winners announced in early March, according to the Discover Jersey Arts website.

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