Rahway, New Jersey - Rahway has been on the tongues of arts critics and culture lovers alike lately. Heralded as an emerging destination for cutting edge theatre, dance, and contemporary visual arts, Rahway is earning its reputation - celebrating the grand opening of the new performing arts theater Hamilton Stage just last weekend, and the upcoming presentation of a prestigious Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman in mid-October.
Now the City of Rahway is readying for CULTURE CRAWL, an explosive evening of culture in many forms, taking place throughout the streets of the downtown art and business districts on Thursday, October 4th, 6-9 PM. Sixty-one scheduled events will take place in a three-hour period, all within a 4 ½ block radius. Other pop-up performances and spontaneous events will take place during CULTURE CRAWL as well.
Arts organizations, non-profits, retail shops, restaurants, artist studios, and other businesses will open their doors, hosting exhibitions, performances, studio visits, and organized cultural activities that highlight more than 20 performing arts companies and musicians, and 55 visual artists.
Four outdoor stages will feature live bands, in addition to musicians performing on the street and inside numerous venues. The Brooklyn-based electronic group OKTOPUS will play ambient music on the train station plaza. Santo David, a Latin band led by David DeSorbal will play at Aria Bistro & Bar at Hotel Indigo, and folk-rockers REDIMERE will play at the Rail Yard, the outdoor patio of the popular Rail House 1449, with special guests. The sidewalk on East Cherry Street will be the site of a deconstructed band – a band whose members synchronize to play the same song together, while standing at a distance from each other on the street.
Culture Crawlers can interact with numerous artists’ works on the street as well. Passerby can experience a site-inspired sound installation by AP Vague located under the train trestles on Irving Street. Live painting by artists Demer, Rain, Kasso and Snow will be a highlight in the train station plaza. Community activists from Guerilla Haiku Movement will also be in the plaza to instruct people in the traditional art of haiku writing in a non-traditional format – sidewalk chalk and outdoor spaces. Guerilla Haiku Movement will lead two different free-for-all sessions in the train station plaza and in the YMCA parking lot, in addition to organizing a haiku –inspired scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt kicks-off at 6 PM in the train station plaza.
Artist Michael Neff takes his Night Shadow chalk drawing series to Rahway’s evening streetscape. Neff is inspired by cast shadows in urban settings – he outlines and colors these shapes as they cross sidewalks, walls, curbs, and streets, then photographs these ephemeral drawings. Christina Wilson utilizes the sides of buildings and alleys as surfaces for still photographic projections.
A large-scale site-built sculpture by Jason Peters lights up the parking lot of 1591 Irving Street. The sculpture is made from construction materials like buckets and scaffolding, and is lit from within as a glowing undulating chain.
Performances include dance by the acclaimed NY-based company Ballets with a Twist and the well-respected Rahway Dance Theatre. Both perform rotating numbers on the Mainstage of the Union County Performing Arts Center (1601 Irving St). Celebrated jazz pianist Jean-Michel Pilc performs short compositions at RSI Bank (1500 Irving St) on the bank’s new Estonia grand concert piano.
Many other events like spoken word, poetry readings, visual arts exhibitions, live music and open houses are also scheduled for the evening. Download the CULTURE CRAWL map from ArtsRahway.com for more details.
Hungry CULTURE CRAWLERS can take advantage of the appetizer and drink specials at Rahway restaurants, and other special promotions with the presentation of a CULTURE CRAWL map. Participating businesses include Aria Bistro & Bar at Hotel Indigo (1 Carriage City Plaza), Flynn’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse (1482 Main St), Cubanu Restaurant (1467 Main St), Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge (1579 Main St), Gino’s Pizzeria (1576 Irving St), and The Waiting Room (66 E. Cherry St).
About Rahway Arts District
With a growing density of arts organizations, both non-profit and commercial, art galleries, dance studios and cultural programs, the Rahway Arts District is developing into a regional hub for art, culture, creativity and innovation. The Arts District is a lively cultural community where the visual arts, theatre, performing arts, and music offer exciting events and activities throughout the year. This is Cultural Tourism at its best…Rahway is a must-see destination for the Arts!
Rahway is just minutes away from the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, Routes 1 & 9, and Routes 35/27. A multi-tier parking deck is located on the corner of Lewis & Main Streets. Rahway’s train station is a stop on NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast train lines. Rahway station is 35 minutes from New York Penn Station.