Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy was recognized by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and presented with a 2015 Monmouth Arts award on Oct. 23 during Monmouth Arts’ annual “Celebration of the Arts” Gala in Sea Bright.
The award, which honors individuals and organizations for inspiring and fostering the arts in Monmouth County, recognized Brookdale’s wide range of community arts programming, including regular theater productions at the Performing Arts Center and engaging exhibitions hosted by the Center for the Visual Arts.
Accepting the award on behalf of Brookdale, Murphy said she was proud to belong to a college – and a county – with such a long, proud tradition of artistic achievement and appreciation.
“I want to thank everybody here tonight, and I want to thank you for the work that you do on behalf of the arts in Monmouth County,” Murphy said. “One thing that we know at Brookdale Community College is that our students flock to the arts, and I know why. It’s through the arts that we make meaning of our lives. So I thank you for promoting that meaning in our world today.”
Instead of a trophy, Monmouth Arts Executive Director Mary Eileen Fouratt presented Murphy a beautiful, locally produced painting of downtown Red Bank as part of the award.
Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry also presented Murphy with an official proclamation on behalf of the Freeholder board, which declared Oct. 23, 2015 as “Maureen Murphy Day” in Monmouth County.
The gala also honored Margaret Mass and James Scavone of the Red Bank Visitors Center for their contributions to the local arts community.
Monmouth Arts, a nonprofit, is Monmouth County’s official arts agency. The organization fosters local artists, organizations and arts education programs through grants, promotions and annual events like the Monmouth Teen Arts Festival, which brings more than 2,000 young artists together each year on the Lincroft campus. This year Monmouth Arts also co-sponsored Brookdale’s Visiting Artist Program.
The annual gala helps raise funds for Monmouth Arts’ community programs. This year’s event was also held in support of the new MoCo Arts Corridor initiative, which aims to connect local artists, businesses and community leaders and strengthen Monmouth County through the use of art.
“As we say, ‘The Arts Mean Business.’ And they do,” said Kim Roberts Honecker, co-chair of the gala and chair of the Monmouth Arts B
oard of Trustees. “They can bring a lot of business into town, whatever town it might be. We are also, of course, advocating for art in the community and in our schools, which is really important. We want to pass that on to the next generation.”
To learn more about Monmouth Arts, click here. To learn more about Brookdale’s free community arts programs, theater productions, and other upcoming events, click here.