New Jersey Performing Arts Center Launches Colton Institute for Research and Training in the Arts

Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is growing — with the creation of the Colton Institute for Research and Training in the Arts.

Made possible by a generous $10 million donation from Judy and Stewart Colton to support arts education programming and research into new arts training techniques, the Colton Institute will enable the Arts Center’s continued growth.

NJPAC’s dedication to arts education began more than 25 years ago — prior to the opening of the Arts Center’s campus in 1997. It now offers more than 3,000 arts education classes, residencies and workshops each season, reaching more than 100,000 students and families.

Musical theater students perform at NJPAC.

The Colton Institute’s work will also allow NJPAC to:

● Expand its most effective arts education and teacher-training programs to reach more students;

● Develop a more comprehensive arts training experience for teachers and professionals;

● Identify research agendas and, working in tandem with a team of professional researchers, study and consistently analyze the impact of the Arts Center’s arts education work;

● Continue to develop NJPAC’s rigorous training for its arts education faculty, enabling the Arts Center to ensure consistent knowledge and pedagogical practices for all its teaching artists;

● Develop and disseminate learnings and tested curricula to other performing arts centers, educators, and the field at-large on a national level.

The Colton Institute will also increase the Arts Center’s education offerings and advance its services for students — many of whom come from economically disadvantaged circumstances — including mentorship and field training, creating a pathway for college and career opportunities in the performing arts, whether onstage, behind the scenes, or in administrative offices.

Performance by NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens.

“The arts are inherently linked to 21st-century skills such as collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, and global and cultural awareness. The Colton Institute will allow NJPAC to expand and enhance programs that advance those skills and help our students use them to take the next steps on their journeys. I’m incredibly grateful to the Colton’s for their acknowledgement and generous support of this mission,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO, NJPAC

“This gift is especially personal for us. One of our grandchildren participated in NJPAC’s arts education programs, and we have seen firsthand how transformational that experience can be,” said Judy and Stewart Colton.

“The arts play an undeniable role in the development of children, creating cultural citizens who have knowledge, compassion, and tangible skills to better understand themselves and others which equip them to contribute to society in meaningful ways,” said Jennifer Tsukayama, Vice President, Arts Education, NJPAC. “With Judy and Stewart Colton’s meaningful gift, the research institute affords us the opportunity to assess the impact and effectiveness of NJPAC’s teaching, learning philosophies, and programs.”

For more information on NJPAC, its education programs, and ongoing initiatives, please visit

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