Countdown to Chairs of Inclusion Premier at the Gala

It’s hard to believe we’re less than two months away from the premier of Chairs of Inclusion at the WAE Center’s Anniversary Gala, November 2.  Our staff has been working diligently on both the Chairs project and the Gala, and their efforts are really showing results. Here’s a peek at what’s happening:

Our Chairs are attracting a lot of attention. Several are already on exhibit at the Rutgers NJ Medical School Fall Arts Festival in the school’s first floor gallery, 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ. This exhibit features two of Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern’s“Dialogue of Four Chairs” paintings along with Yvette Lucas’ “Care Chair.” If you are near the Medical School, stop by and check the exhibit out. It is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, and the Arts Festival opening reception is Thursday, October 16, 4-6pm. You can also see exhibit photos on the Chairs of Inclusion Facebook page.

More Chairs are headed out for previews, and I’ll post details about those additional exhibits as they become available.

If you haven’t seen our “Chairs with the Power to Transform” article in the Jewish Federation’s “speakEZ” newsletter, take a moment and read it. I know you’ll be moved by what artist Jennifer Levine, producer/director Steve Rogers, and WAE Center member Kristen Z. had to say about working on Chairs. As Steve says, “Watching the art evolve was beautiful. It was impossible not to be inspired.”

Marilynn Schneider has been profiling each of our professional artists in her “Notes from the WAE Center Director” blog. Her blog also reveals how the Chairs of Inclusion concept came to life, and shares the thoughts of some of the Center’s members in WAE Center Artists Talk about Their Chairs of Inclusion Experiences.

Steve Rogers shot some wonderful footage of the professional artists at work with WAE Center members and created short video clips for us, which we have posted on the WAE Center’s YouTube channel – check them out! Yvette Lucas is sharing beautiful Chairs photos on her Facebook page. Thanks to both Yvette and Steve!

Invitations to the Gala are mailed out and online registration is set up.  If you’d like to request a printed copy of the invitation, please contact Joni Levine at 973-272-7148 or We are not only premiering the Chairs at the Gala, we will also be honoring long-time supporter Randee Rubenstein with JSDD’s Golden Heart Award for Outstanding Leadership.

The Chairs will officially be available for purchase at the Gala, and we’ll be posting more details about this in October. After the Gala, the Chairs will have an Exhibit Opening at the Gaelen Gallery East, Leon and Toby Cooperman JCC, 760 Northfield Ave, West Orange.  This is a great opportunity to come and meet the artists and see what all the buzz is about.