Monmouth University Center for the Arts and Center Director Vaune Peck will be honored next month by Monmouth Arts with the Excellence in the Arts Award at the organization’s 2021 gala event, All That Jazz! The gala, which is hosted annually to celebrate the accomplishments of community leaders who have made a difference in the arts in Monmouth County, will be held on Thursday, September 23 at the Asbury Hotel.
Peck’s career spans more than 35 years in arts administration. Most notably, as the founding director of Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts, she created a comprehensive performing arts and cultural events program that now presents well over 150 events annually. A strong advocate for the arts, her roles include artist/agent relations, programming, strategic planning, grant writing, fundraising, public relations, community outreach, marketing, curating, and much more. Her own strong artistic and creative abilities as an exhibiting painter and sculptor aid in her understanding of what artists need to confidently perform or exhibit their work at the University. A few of her notable past and present professional affiliations include Monmouth Arts trustee, Long Branch Arts Council trustee, Long Branch Poetry Festival co-founder, and founder of the Association of Independent Art Galleries (AIAG).
Additional honorees include Chris Pinnella, a local musician, performer, and bandleader; the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, the National Historic Landmark home of T. Thomas Fortune that promotes his legacy of social justice advocacy; and Gabe Chajnik, dancer, choreographer, and founder of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theatre.
As the largest fundraiser for Monmouth Arts, the annual gala supports programs and services that enrich the local arts community. “As the pandemic draws to a close, Monmouth Arts is committed to helping artists and arts organizations during the recovery process,” says Teresa Staub, executive director of Monmouth Arts. More information about the gala and ticket information is available at www.monmoutharts.org/allthatjazz.