Former Mayor and State Assemblyman Ed Salmon sent the following to Governor Murphy in May of 2018. Just last month the Governor did make an appointment. And she is from Teaneck, NJ, giving North Jersey nine seats on the Council. The Council points out that we have a representative who lives in the northernmost area of Ocean County. Except for a handful of those in the inner circle, few in South Jersey seem to know who she is. We will eventually get representation. The key word here is effective. Here’s Ed:
It has been over nine years since the heart of South Jersey has had a representative on the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA). We are respectfully aware that as our Governor you have a full agenda and this may not be on your priority list at this point but South Jersey needs and deserves effective representation on the Council as soon as possible.
As you know, many communities in South Jersey are struggling. We know this isn’t exclusive to our region but with industries leaving and casinos closing, South Jersey has been hit harder than most.
That’s why many cities and communities have turned to the arts as a possible economic solution. However, without effective leadership in the arts, without a voice on the NJSCA and without talented, intelligent individuals who understand our region and possess the insight, business acumen, common sense and passion it takes to move us forward, we will not be successful.
It’s not about spending more money, it’s about using the available money as wisely and efficiently as possible. It’s about helping artists and arts organization reach their potential. And in our region, it’s about raising awareness of the diverse and remarkable arts of South Jersey. For that we need representatives with vision and an understanding of the unique needs of our region.
There are four seats available now on the Council and even the executive director of the NJSCA, Allison Tratner, has publicly stated they should go to South Jersey. We have identified four candidates who will be exceptional when appointed. Their résumés are attached.
Cheryl Broschard is the Development & Cultural Project Manager at AtlantiCare, Atlantic County’s largest employer. As such, she runs its successful Healing Arts Program. She is very familiar with the artists of South Jersey and many arts organizations. She is known for her honesty, dedication to the arts as well as her financial and organizational skills and attention to detail. She lives in Atlantic County, born and raised, and also happens to be Native American. In the last three years she has been endorsed by three Senators, two Assemblymen, a dozen arts organizations and almost one hundred artists. She is still waiting for a nomination. Cheryl’s Statement
Vedra Chandler was born and raised in Camden. She graduated Harvard University with a degree in Government but decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her true passion — singing. She traveled the world as a singer/dancer before returning to her hometown of Camden where she is Community Events Manager at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. She uses the arts as a vehicle to tap into the potential of Camden city and its residents and revitalize underutilized spaces through the Connect the Lots initiative. She also serves on several boards for the arts in her area. Vedra’s Statement
David Todd McCarty is a creative genius and astute businessman who lives in Cape May County. He is a partner in a successful ad agency located in Moorestown, NJ. He is also a photographer, writer, director and online newspaper publisher who is well known in the art world. He understands what makes the artists and arts of South Jersey tick. He is a member of, and very involved in, the Cape May County Democratic Committee. David’s Statement
Barry Taylor is the former president of Millville’s Wheaton Arts, and a past president and board member of ArtPride where he still holds emeritus status. He also was an executive in community affairs after leaving Wheaton Arts. He has been a staunch advocate for the arts of South Jersey, even in retirement. He understands the inner workings of the NJSCA while still connecting with the individuals and organizations who work so hard to produce the arts of South Jersey. Barry’s Statement
We are so fortunate to have found these four exceptionally qualified individuals who are willing to give of their time to help the arts and the communities they love. We need them and they will make a difference.