WEST ORANGE, NJ - After nearly seventeen years since its inception, the West Orange Arts Council has announced that it now has a physical location on Valley Road in the Luna Stage building, which is located at 555 Valley Road. In addition, local artist, Carol Black-Lemon, the newly-elected WOAC chairperson has announced the establishment of the Art Council’s new Art Center.

Recently, Mayor Rob Parisi and the Town Council approved the leasing of the storefront to the Arts Council.

Looking ahead to the opening of the new WOAC facility, the Art Council's  focus is to support and promote local artists, grow the business, inspire and provide a service to the community and ultimately, to increase membership and enthusiasm for the arts. Plans for usage of the Arts Center include workshops, art exhibitions, poetry readings and a gift shop featuring fine art and handmade crafts from local artists. 

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“This is a great opportunity for us to not only provide a service to our community but to also help advance the careers of our local artists,” said Black-Lemon.

Black-Lemon is the fourth person to assume the role as Chairperson of the West Orange Arts Council. Formed in October of 1998, Lisa Suss, one of WOAC's original founders, continued as chairperson for a number of years until Heidi Sussman took the helm in 2010. After her two-year term was completed, Bill Cofone, led the organization for three years having recently retired from his position.

One of Cofone's most noteworthy achievements was his leadership in campaigning for “A Home of Our Own,” a long-standing dream of the West Orange Arts Council to establish an arts center to serve all West Orange residents. It was his unwavering commitment, along with his frequent visits to the mayor’s office that led to this triumph, according to Black-Lemon.

“We couldn't be more excited and proud of this accomplishment, and Bill is a huge part of this success,” said Black-Lemon.