Jersey City was a very different city back in the day. There wasn’t a vast amount of cafes, farmer’s markets were rare, and art galleries didn’t exist. The city lacked a general sense of artistic expression. Sixteen years ago, Jersey City resident Christine Goodman was just an actor and student of the arts searching for a place to host her first open mic night. Today, she is the Executive Director and creative force behind Jersey City’s art venue, Art House Productions.
Art House Productions started out very small and grew alongside Jersey City. As the community’s interest in the arts grew, so did Art House Productions. As the programs expanded, so did the staff, as well as the business. Naturally, so did Christine. She grew as an artist, teaching people of all ages, but more importantly, as a business owner.
In addition to searching locations, applying for permits, hiring a staff, social media advertising and filing to become an official non-profit organization, she’s even helped create the Jersey City Arts Council, where people can go and ask all the art-related questions pertaining to all art endeavors in Jersey City.
Today, the Art House Productions is a multi-art venue, offering programs in music, art and theatre. There are programs available all year round, from acting classes for adults, open mics, dance programs, theatre festivals and their very popular program, STAGES! Theater company for Youth. This is a semester-long, afterschool program for performers ages 7-17 years old. At the end of the semester, the kids put on an actual performance for the public.
Their newest program is the Access Committee, which accommodates those individuals with disabilities. The program not only introduces the differently abled to the arts, they are encouraged to attend the shows and participate in them as well. A few weeks ago, the committee hosted, “The Twelve Dates of Christmas,” a one-woman show, featuring Rachel Handler, an amputee.
Still a proud Jersey City resident, but now a wife and mom to two little ones, Christine is proud of what her dream has become. As we sat in the art gallery chatting, I could sense the pride she has for all flourishing artists. I can’t wait for Lola to break a leg next year and attend the STAGES! Program!