Women@NJPAC Spring Luncheon & Auction Smashed Previous Records, Raising $350,000 for Arts Center’s education and Community Programs
Record-Breaking attendance for Fundraiser featuring Cosmetics Pioneer and Beauty Industry Icon Bobbi Brown, Montclair Resident
“I’m just curious, and I don’t feel my age,” said Brown, who discussed launching Jones Road Beauty in her 60s, in a conversation with Allure Editor in Chief Jessica Cruel
( Newark, N.J. - May 10, 2022 ) Women@NJPAC welcomed more than 500 guests to the Betty Wold Johnson Stage in the Arts Center’s largest theater, Prudential Hall, on Tuesday, May 3, for the organization’s Spring Luncheon & Auction.
The annual fundraiser, which had not been held as an in-person event since 2019, drew businesswomen, nonprofit executives, artists, entrepreneurs and more in spring-inspired finery to a morning of networking and socializing on the Arts Center campus, followed by lunch in the theater and a silent auction.
This year’s Luncheon raised a record $350,000 for Art Center programs — smashing previous fundraising totals for the celebration.
The Spring Luncheon & Auction, a signature event for Women@NJPAC for decades, has long served as a fundraiser for the Arts Center’s many performing arts education programs and community events, which reach tens of thousands of children and families annually, through classes on the NJPAC campus, programs for students and teachers in schools, as well as free community performances, classes and workshops.
A keynote conversation between renowned celebrity makeup artist and entrepreneur Bobbi Brown and Jessica Cruel, Editor in Chief of Allure, capped the event.
“I’m just curious, and I don’t feel my age,” said Brown, as she discussed how she came to launch her most recent cosmetics company, Jones Road Beauty, at age 64. Not only has the fledgling company frequently sold out of its new offerings, but Brown has now become a TikTok star for her videos demonstrating Jones Road products and new makeup techniques on the platform.
“I’ve always been someone that has believed that we are the same — wherever we come from, socioeconomic status, skin color, country, old and young, we’re the same. Am I old or am I young? I don’t know!”
Brown, a longtime Montclair resident, became known for the launch, in 1991, of her first company, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Jones Road Beauty, her new makeup line, debuted in 2020.
“I got tired of fighting for what I believed in (at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics)…I didn’t want to do a lot of things, there’s always pressure to do things when you’ve got a billion-dollar brand,” Brown said of her decision to leave her first company. “So I left, and I was able to think, finally. So I let go of one thing and jumped into another.”
“It was a beautiful feeling to be back in the company of so many friends and members of the NJPAC family, and the conversation between Bobbi Brown and Jessica Cruel was honest, thoughtful and resonated deeply with our audience,” said Faith Taylor, President of Women@NJPAC.
“This was an incredibly joyful return to a longstanding tradition for Women@NJPAC, and to have our first Luncheon in three years be such a wonderful success was absolutely inspiring,” said Sarah Rosen, Managing Director of Women@NJPAC.
During the Luncheon — which also included a performance by students of NJPAC’s long-running Jazz for Teenseducational program and a silent auction of luxury items ranging from fine jewelry to bicycles and baby gear — the Ronnie Goldberg Award for service to the organization was presented to Gabriella Morris, one of the original nine founders of Women@NJPAC. Today, 25 years after she helped establish this “sisterhood for good” to help raise funds for the construction of the Arts Center, Morris continues to work with Women@NJPAC and serves the organization as a Board member.
Morris, a former President of the Prudential Foundation, today serves as the Chief Philanthropy Officer at the World Food Program USA, an organization recently recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger. Morris is also a board member of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Harlem School of the Arts and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
RWJ Barnabas Health served as presenting sponsor for the event. Prudential Financial, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the MCJ Amelior Foundation and Whole Foods Market were Underwriting Sponsors of the Luncheon.
Women@NJPAC is celebrating 25 years and more than $55 million raised to support NJPAC and programs that enrich the lives of our current and future generations of cultural citizens. When Women@NJPAC was established in 1994, its organizers could be counted on two hands. Since that time, the organization has grown – to some 2,000 members strong today – to help NJPAC achieve its dreams. Many of the most influential and powerful women in the state lend their time, talent and treasure to the organization to support arts education for our young, champion Newark’s remarkable evolution, and advance NJPAC as a home for world-class artistry.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s town square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10 million visitors (including almost 2 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit www.njpac.org or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information. @njpac
One Center Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
www.njpac.org or 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722)
Photo Caption: The Spring Luncheon & Auction crowd in the Prudential Hall Lobby at NJPAC
Photo Credit: Van Jahnke