The Perkins Center for the Arts and Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge have collaborated on a New Jersey wildlife-themed calendar for 2022 with the idea of bringing together two passionate missions of educational inspiration.
The calendar came to be during COVID last year and was inspired by a previous one from Perkins called the Youth Arts calendar. The idea of the wildlife calendar was inspired when Perkins’ Development Officer Isabella Lee and the refuge’s Director of Development and Communications Tracy Francois thought of ways to combine creative avenues during the pandemic.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be a great idea if we created a collaborative calendar?” Lee recalled. “So we would partner with the organization and then invite folks to submit New Jersey Wildlife-inspired artwork for this project.”
The two organizations shared similar intentions with the project, with both taking into consideration what creative inspiration can be found in familiar places. Lee expressed how the two organizations met eye to eye.
“For Perkins … it was about being able to recognize creative inspiration where it comes from, that can be any part of your life, but partnering with Cedar Run we really wanted to highlight the long history of finding inspiration in the natural world.” Lee explained.
The calendar will feature chosen artwork for each month and feature a thumbnail of each submission by artists to recognize their creative work, according to Lee. The deadline to submit work for the calendar is Sept 3, and the final product will be available for presale in the middle of this month and printed and ready by Oct. 23.
Perkins’ Executive Director Kahra Brass also spoke about the importance of the calendar and how art, wildlife and nature connect.
“Part of our intent in this relationship is identifying partner organizations that allow us to have that collaborative mindset and that collaborative traction, to really elevate the conversation around the arts and use the arts to elevate other conversations in this case about wildlife and environmental responsibilities.” she said.
With that in mind, the New Jersey wildlife calendar focuses on expanding the arts conversation by encouraging artists and non-artists to find inspiration in their day-to-day lives.
Perkins Center of the Arts and Cedar Run follow all CDC guidelines when hosting in person events. If you are interested in visiting one of the centers for any upcoming events or activities, visit https://www.cedarrun.org/ or https://perkinsarts.org/