Welcome to NJArts.net


jay-lustigI don’t get excited very easily. People I know are constantly telling me how calm and easy-going I am, and I guess they’re right. But I have to admit I’m pretty excited right now.

With this post, I am officially launching NJArts.net.

A little background first: As a journalist, I’ve been covering the arts in New Jersey for 30 years — the last 25 of them with the state’s largest daily newspaper, The Star-Ledger. For most of that time, I’ve been a pop-rock critic; more recently, though, I’ve been an editor, and for the last two years I was the paper’s arts and entertainment editor.

Like a lot of other Star-Ledger employees, I left the paper on Sept. 5 as part of a massive reorganization. And the main thing I’m going to be doing now is editing and writing for this web site.

It’s my belief — and, judging from the talks I’ve been having with people involved in the state art’s scene, a lot of other people’s belief, too — that there is a need for a web site that provides thorough, quality coverage of the arts, in all their forms, in all parts of the states. A single place you can go for news, previews, reviews, listings, on-sale information and more; that covers all kinds of events, big and small; and actively reaches out to people via social media. A site full of positive energy, but not an unquestioning cheerleader for the state’s artists and cultural institutions.

That’s what I’m going to strive to make this site be.

I recognize that there is other quality Jersey arts journalism going on elsewhere on the web, and promise to regularly alert NJArts.net readers about other posts worth checking out, as well.

Needless to say, this is a work in progress. I would have liked to have the calendars and other listings more complete before launching, and have more photos throughout the site, but figured it was better to make the site active as soon as possible. But come back often — I promise there will be new stuff all the time. And if you feel we’re really missing something — or want to let us know anything else — please email us at njartsdaily@gmail.com.


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Explore more articles:


Tom September 15, 2014 - 6:09 pm

Congrats, Jay! Best of luck.

David Lieberfarb September 15, 2014 - 6:39 pm

Good luck, Jay.

Victor Kaply September 15, 2014 - 9:10 pm

Jay, wishing you the very best with your new venture. Nobody in Jersey knows music and the arts like you. You’ve been a seasoned music veteran for over 25 years. Here is a toast to you for the next 25 years!

Dana September 15, 2014 - 10:11 pm

Congratulations Jay! It looks great!

Matt Mead September 15, 2014 - 11:52 pm

Looks pretty great so far Jay. Congratulations on your exciting new venture! Looking forward to seeing NJArts.net grow with you.

Kate Jacobs September 16, 2014 - 9:19 am

Well done Jay! Wishing you the very best of luck with this new endeavor.

Fran Wood September 16, 2014 - 9:23 am

There may be no one in the state better qualified to do this than you, Jay. I’m rooting for all the support you need to make yours THE go-to site for arts in New Jersey!

Layonne September 16, 2014 - 9:51 am

All the best Jay :)

Scott Sheldon September 16, 2014 - 9:57 am

Already added to my Feedly! Best of success. ________________
Scott Sheldon
The Sanctuary Concerts
240 Southern Boulevard
Chatham, NJ
10.18 GARY WRIGHT “Dreamweaver” Memoir Tour
12.7 DAR WILLIAMS “Honesty Room” Performance

Steve Hedgpeth September 16, 2014 - 10:27 am

I wish you all success in your post-Ledger venture.

Ed Palermo September 16, 2014 - 10:33 am

Congratulations, Jay! Your story about “cover bands” you wrote years ago which included my Frank Zappa tribute big band was one of the most thoughtful and flattering reviews I ever received. I always read and enjoyed your work!

philip thomas September 16, 2014 - 10:36 am

congratulations. An undertaking long overdue and well worth the energy. I wish you much success. Can you entice Michael Redmond and Valerie Sudol to join your effort? :-)

Michael Redmond September 18, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Thanks for the shout-out, Philip! As much as I’m cheering Jay on, I don’t see much role for me at NJARTS.net, as earlier this year we moved to Delaware and so I’m no longer involved in any meaningful way with New Jersey’s cultural life. I don’t think one covers an arts scene authentically from a distance — you gotta be there, it’s a physical thing, a people thing, a face-time thing. But I’ll be reading this site faithfully. All best, in all ways! /mr/

Richard Reiter September 16, 2014 - 11:27 am

Hey Jay! You are the man to do this! You’re the expert about NJ arts, and our greatest supporter! Good luck!

Stormin' Norman Seldin September 16, 2014 - 1:37 pm

Glad to see you continue the work that you know and love best. Please keep up the great job you’ve always done, and again, thanks for the wonderful articles you have written both about myself and many other talented Jersey artists. You are always on top of the NJ arts and will encourage others to support you also.

Kelly-Jane Cotter September 16, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Congrats, Jay! You’ve hit the ground running. I’ve long respected your work and am eager to see what you do next.

Elizabeth Sobo September 16, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Excellent! Please include Robert Johnson! We need him desperately!

Mark Packer September 16, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Congrats, Jay! Thank God someone of stature is still writing about the arts in New Jersey.

Saul Hansell September 16, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Jay. Day 1 looks great. I can’t wait to see what’s next. This fills a huge need. Best, Saul

Jeff Friedman September 16, 2014 - 8:27 pm

What will the role of arts in higher education be in this web site? Will professional artists who happen to be faculty in institutions of higher education be relegated to the “non-professional” category and therefore not previewed or reviewed by the web-based press? Will professional guest artists from national and international locations be ignored because they have been commissioned by institutions of higher education? Inquiring minds want to know…

njartsdaily@gmail.com September 16, 2014 - 8:33 pm

“What will the role of arts in higher education be in this web site?” — I’m not really planning to cover that. “Will professional artists who happen to be faculty in institutions of higher education be relegated to the “non-professional” category and therefore not previewed or reviewed by the web-based press?” — I’m open to writing about such artists. Am not looking to relegate anyone. “Will professional guest artists from national and international locations be ignored because they have been commissioned by institutions of higher education?” — No

Deb Cooperman September 18, 2014 - 7:17 am

Bravo, Jay! SO happy to see this; looking forward to reading and sharing.

Wishing you all good things on the project.


Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter