• By Mabel Pais

Get ready to experience the talent of singer-songwriters, DJs, comedians, hip hop artists, spoken word poets, dancers, a jazz violinist and more to be featured at several venues for Newark’s home-grown stars.

The North to Shore Festival makes its final stop in June in Newark, city of many talents. Below is a listing of events spread over several locations:


7 p.m.: Samara Joy at Prudential Hall at NJPAC


9 a.m.: Black Creative Economy Summit at Symphony Hall

JUNE 24-30

Newark International Film Festival at various venues


9 a.m.: Black Creative Economy Summit at Symphony Hall

7 p.m.: “Prescribing Creativity: Promoting Health Equity through Arts-on-Prescription” panel discussion, online


9 a.m.: Black Creative Economy Summit at Symphony Hall

5 p.m: Well Together & BLAKTHEBRAND, “The Paradox of Being Art Show” at Equal Space

6 p.m.: “In Our Words … Stories from the Battlefield of Love — The Good, Bad, and Revolutionary” at 44 William Street

6:30 p.m.: The Lincoln Park Jazzy Soul Series at Terrace Ballroom at Symphony Hall

7 p.m.: “Jazz, Jamming, and Living Life” at Clement’s Place


9 a.m.: Black Creative Economy Summit at Symphony Hall

6 p.m.: Felix Hernandez Rhythm Revue Dance Party at Chambers Plaza at NJPAC

6 p.m.: “Rah Digga’s Lyrics Matter: The Salon Series” at Clement’s Place

7 p.m.: Blues People at Clement’s Place

8 p.m.: Matchbox Twenty, Andy Grammer at Prudential Center


7 p.m.: Lynette Sheard Experience at Clement’s Place

7 p.m.: The Amethyst & Amber Griot Gala: A Celebration of Newark Poetry at Kruger Scott Mansion

7:30 p.m.: New Jersey Symphony at Branch Brook Park

8 p.m.: Gabriel Iglesias at Prudential Center

8 p.m.: Brothers Osborne at Prudential Hall at NJPAC

8 p.m.: Zarna Garg at Victoria Theater at NJPAC

8 p.m.: Jeezy, Scarface at Symphony Hall

8 p.m.: Brick City Jam at All Points West Distillery


10 a.m.: Art-making activities at Newark Museum of Art

11 a.m.: Lincoln Park Music Festival Power Up Yogi Fest at Lincoln Park

Noon: Showcase Stage, presented by Audible at Harriet Tubman Square. With Choy, Aja Moyé, J Read, Nicole Soul, Rasha Jay, Evelyn Tejeda, Charisa the Violin Diva & Strings Nation, Company of Collaborative Artists

Noon: Family Fun Day: An Interactive STEAM Fair at Newark Public Library

1 p.m.: CURRENTS: Collaborative Art & Ecology on the Passaic River at Riverfront Park Boat Dock

1 p.m.: “Newark Arts: Murals and Martinis” at Harriet Tubman Square

6 p.m.: “Newark Alliance: Night Market” at Halsey Street between New and Bleeker streets

6:30 p.m.: “Newark Levels: The Muses of Brick City” at Equal Space

7 and 9:30 p.m.: Sommore at Victoria Theater at NJPAC

7:30 p.m.: “Hey! I Heard You’re Black” (staged reading) at NJPAC Center for Arts Education

8: p.m.: Kevin Hart at Prudential Center


10 a.m.: Art-making activities at Newark Museum of Art

Noon: Showcase Stage, presented by Audible at Harriet Tubman Square. With Choy, Aja Moyé, J Read, Nicole Soul, Rasha Jay, Evelyn Tejeda, Charisa the Violin Diva & Strings Nation, Company of Collaborative Artists

1 p.m.: Down in the Ro’ Open Mic Experience at Tinjune Restaurant

2 p.m.: “Broadway in the Bricks” at Military Park

2 p.m.: “Glory in the Garden” (gospel tribute) at Newark Lab School

3 p.m.: “Coming Home” (staged reading), presented by Aurway Repertory Theatre at West End Avenue Park

6 p.m.: The Vibes in the City Experience & Awards Ceremony at Newark Art Hub

6 p.m.: Roc & the Collective RnB Night at The Yard

8 p.m.: Kevin Hart at Prudential Center


Rising Newark artists will step into the spotlight over three days at the Audible Showcase Stage, a new feature of the ‘Prudential presents North to Shore Festival, which comes to Newark June 23-30.

For three days at Harriet Tubman Square, the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ will present festival-goers with giveaways plus FREE performances by a lineup of up-and-coming Newark artists.

From 6 to 9 PM on Friday, June 28, and  from 12 noon to 6 PM on both Saturday, June 29, and Sunday, June 30, the Audible Showcase Stage will offer a continuous series of FREE performances by hip hop and R&B artists, comedians, spoken word poets, instrumentalists, dancers and more, with DJ sets in-between, on an outdoor stage in the city’s Harriet Tubman Square, adjacent to the recently installed monument to Tubman, Shadow of a Face.

Performances are just the start of what’s on offer. The ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ will effectively be a festival-within-a-festival with games, live music and activities for children throughout the park and food trucks on the park periphery offering a range of cuisines and beverages for kids and adults alike.

This presentation, featuring a cohort of local artists all on one stage within easy walking distance of festival venues — such as NJPAC, The Newark Museum of Art and the Newark Public Library along with the shops and restaurants on Halsey Street — is a new feature of ‘Prudential presents North to Shore Festival’, the three-week, three-city summer celebration of arts and ideas produced by NJPAC, now in its second season.

“The ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ is a way for us to shine a brighter light on a number of our city’s up-and-coming performers and, at the same time, it creates a hub where festival visitors can go to extend their stay here, take in performances that give them a real understanding of Newark’s incredibly varied cultural landscape, and maybe explore The Newark Museum of Arts or Halsey Street. It can be a destination or a stepping stone for further exploration,” says John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC.

The majority of the local artists and groups appearing on the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ are ‘Prudential presents North to Shore Official Selections’ — performers chosen from among hundreds of applicants to take part in the event by the festival’s committee of Newark arts professionals and community leaders. Each was given a grant to enable them to appear at the festival.

Audible has long been a champion of Newark, where it has been headquartered since 2007, and the company works to elevate emerging creators through a range of programs that amplify underrepresented voices around the world.

“As the leading storytelling company and one of the largest employers of creative talent in the NYC Metro area, Audible has always been committed to celebrating the creative community,” says Aisha Glover, Global Head of Urban Innovation at Audible. “The Audible Showcase Stage will highlight the vast creative talent right here in Newark, and we’re thrilled to share their dynamic performances with festival goers.”

“Newark is an international city of the arts and we wanted to curate a snapshot of all the different cultures that make up our city,” says Marcy DePina, Executive Director of the Newark City Parks Foundation, which was chosen to produce the Audible Showcase Stage in the park. “There are so many unique cultural expressions in Newark. Our goal was to highlight that diversity and make it really welcoming for everyone to come and take part.”

‘Official Selection’ artists to be featured at the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ include:

Trinidadian singer, storyteller and activist Choy

Vocalist and songwriter Aja Moyé

Newark-native violinist J Read

Nevisian-American comedian, writer and activist nicole soul

New Jersey resident and alternative rock vocalist Rasha Jay

Dominican dancer and choreographer Evelyn Tejeda

Charisa the ViolinDiva, the Newark-based soul jazz violinist

New Jersey-based choreographer Camille Moten Rennie and her troupe Company of Collaborative Artists

These ‘Official Selection’ performers will be joined by other notable Greater Newark area performers including the world-renowned DJ, producer, label head, promoter, curator and influencer DJ Spinna on Friday; Eli Fola, the Nigerian-American, multi-disciplinary sound artist, saxophonist, DJ and producer behind “Yoruba Tech Soul” headlining on Saturday, and  trailblazing NJ hip-hop artist P.Genz kicking things off on Sunday. Performances will be interspersed with sets by local turntablists including Newark’s DJ Wallah, DJ Shell Spin, DJ Sienna Chanel as well as hosts Alexandra Hill, Unicorn151 and Kitab Rollins.

In the event of inclement weather, performances will be held in the Newark Public Library’s Centennial Hall across the street from the park.

Through a first-ever collective and collaborative effort, a coalition of Newark organizations including NJPAC, Newark Parks Foundations, the Newark Arts and Education District, Newark Alliance, Newark Arts, The Newark Museum of Art, the Newark Public Library, FORSA Media, SO FRESH Fest, Lauren LeBeaux Lifestyles and Audible worked to offer a range of additional complementary festival events held near or adjacent to the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ so festival-goers can spend an entire day (or weekend) at events within easy walking distance to Harriet Tubman Square.

Explore the lineup at the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ and surrounding events:


From 6 to 9 PM, the ‘Audible Showcase Stage’ in Harriet Tubman Square kicks off the weekend with DJ Spinna, hosted by Alexandra Hill.


From 12 noon to 6 PM, the Audible Showcase Stage will feature performances from dynamic Newark artists including host Unicorn 151, DJ Shell Spin, Choy Band (12 noon), Aja Moyé (1 PM), Evelyn Tejeda (2 PM), J Read (3 PM) and Eli Fola (4:30 PM).

From 10 AM to 5 PM, The Newark Museum of Art, which faces the park at 49 Washington Street, will offer free admission and drop-in art-making activities on its plaza for families.

From 12 noon to 4 PM, the Newark Public Library, which faces one end of the park at 5 Washington Street, will host a free Family Fun Day and Interactive STEAM Fair, with art-focused activities for kids including paint-making and graffiti print making.

At 1 PM, Newark Arts will launch a Prudential presents North to Shore edition of its Martinis & Murals bus tour of Newark’s public art works — including lunch and cocktails — that leaves from just down the street at Vermella Broad Street (355 Broad Street). (Tickets available through Eventbrite.com.)

The Newark Alliance will host a family-friendly, free Night Market along Halsey Street, between New and Bleeker Streets, from 3 to 9 PM featuring DJs from bunkr.

FORSA Media and DEYIOR present Luv + Grind – International Music Series with DJs spinning the romantic sounds of Africa and the diaspora, 9 PM at Tinjune Downtown (494 Broad Street).


From 12 noon to 6 PM, the Audible Showcase Stage in Harriet Tubman Square will offer performances from host Kitab Rollins, DJ Sienna Chanel, DJ Wallah, P.Genz (12 PM), nicole soul (1 PM), Company of Collaborative Artists (1:45 PM), Rasha Jay (3 PM), Charisa the Violin Diva (4 PM) and DJ Wallah (5 PM).

From 10 AM to 5 PM, The Newark Museum of Art will offer free admission and drop-in art-making activities on its plaza for families.

SO FRESH Fest will host Rest Fest from 11 AM to 4 PM, with a series of restorative wellness activities including guided meditation, restorative yoga, breathwork, stress-reduction strategies, aromatherapy, sound baths and holistic health practices at The Newark Museum of Art. (Tickets available at Eventbrite.com.)

From 10 AM to 2:30 PM the Newark Historical Renaissance Ride presents The Black Ivy Ride: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan and 100 Years of Newark Arts leaving from Harriet Tubman Square. (Tickets available through Eventbrite.com.)

And at 1 PM, Kween Moore presents Down In The Ro’ Open Mic Experience, one of Newark’s leading poetry and performance arts platforms at Tinjune Downtown (494 Broad Street).



Zarna Garg, named ‘Variety’ Magazine’s ‘10 Comics to Watch for 2023’, is “One in a Billion.” This Indian immigrant mom is breaking down barriers with her hilarious stand-up routines that tackle everything from family life to cultural stereotypes.

Her performance at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC takes place on Friday, June 28 at 7 pm.

Thanks to her captivating performances and relatable content, Zarna has gained immense popularity on TikTok, where she has over 100 million views. She’s also racked up performances at iconic venues like ‘Comedy Cellar’, ‘Carolines on Broadway’ and the famed ‘Kennedy Center’.

Awards include Kevin Hart’s ‘Lyft Comics’ comedy competition on Peacock and the 2021 ‘Ladies of Laughter’ Newcomer Award. Additionally, she won the Top Comedy Feature Screenplay Award at the 2019 Austin Film Festival and was a Nicholl Fellowships Semi-Finalist.

Deftly defying expectations and stereotypes, Zarna is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on the comedy scene. Don’t miss out on the chance to see her live at North To Shore.


To get a full listing of Newark’s ‘North to Shore’ events and tickets, visit northtoshore.com/newark.

Get Festival updates most quickly on social media.  Follow ‘North to Shore’ on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

Events are subject to change.



As part of the ‘Prudential presents North to Shore Festival,’ two online wellness programs are worthy of note: 


  • By Mabel Pais

First Lady Tammy Murphy moderates the panel on the transformative power of the arts on maternal well-being. The event takes place on June 18, 2024 via zoom at 12 Noon.

“As we celebrate the second annual North to Shore Festival, I am thrilled to participate in a panel that demonstrates the incredibly unique nature of this festival,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Not only does North to Shore bring together top performers from around the world and across our state, but it also allows us to come together to partake in meaningful conversations about the challenges our state faces. Improving maternal and infant health is an urgent priority for our administration, and I am thrilled to take the stage with experts in the field to discuss innovative approaches to making New Jersey the gold standard for maternal and infant care.”

Join an illuminating conversation on how creative engagement fosters resilience, self-expression and emotional healing during the journey of motherhood. Learn how artistic interventions can address maternal mental health challenges, promote bonding and empower women to navigate the complexities of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

A special feature of this session includes witnessing art and maternal health in action with a performance by Kelline Bonny, a parent in the Lullaby Project at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), who will perform an original lullaby created in collaboration with a teaching artist.



Tammy Murphy, First Lady of New Jersey


Yvelisse Gonzalez, MSW, LSW, PMH-C, Senior Manager, Public Health Programs, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey

Andrea Harris, Vice President and Chief Quality & Health Equity Officer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ

Tiffany Ortiz, Director, Early Childhood Programs at Carnegie Hall

Lisa Tremayne, RN, PMH-C, CBC, Program Director, RWJBarnabas Health Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (rwjbh.org)

Tonya S. Wright, MD, FACOG, Chief, Division of Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Assistant Professor and Vice Chair of Education, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn State Health

For those who cannot watch online, the recording can be seen at northtoshore.com.



  • By Mabel Pais

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 26, 2024 @ 4 PM

WHERE: Via Zoom (see below for registration link)

Creativity empowers individuals to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life — from reducing stress and anxiety to fostering emotional resilience and strengthening social connections. Join us for an informative conversation on how the first Arts-on-Prescription pilot program in New Jersey uses the arts to build health equity.

Launched by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in collaboration with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ and Rutgers University–Newark, this program enhances health and well-being by increasing access to arts and culture. Our panel of experts from healthcare, arts and community sectors will explore the profound impact on individuals and the community when creativity intersects with health.

This session includes a spoken word performance by Alana Jackson, Director of Arts & Wellness at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Fla.


Registration is required @ njpac-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7rdFif-oT029yJZWIcIXuA#/registration 



Julia Hotz, Author of The Connection Cure: The Prescriptive Power of Movement, Nature, Art, Service, and Belonging (Simon & Schuster, 2024).


Ketlen Alsbrook, Director for the City of Newark’s Department of Health & Community Wellness and CEO for the Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center

Aly Maier Lokuta, Senior Director, Arts & Well-Being at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

Theresa Tantay-Wilson, Director, Health Promotion Division at Rutgers University–Newark

Maureen Zimmer, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor, Behavioral Health at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ

The Prudential presents North to Shore Festival

Learn more at www.NorthtoShore.com.

The Prudential

Learn more at news.prudential.com.


Learn more at audible.com.

Newark City Parks Foundation

Learn more at newarkcityparks.org

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

Learn more at NJPAC.org.

(Mabel Pais writes on The Arts and Entertainment, Social Issues, Cuisine, Spirituality, Health & Wellness, Business, and Education) 


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