An independent nonprofit organization, ValleyArts is the arts service and activist organization of the Valley Arts District, home to Luna Stage, ArtsETC, Arts Unbound, ORNG Ink, ValleyArts Firehouse Gallery, Hat City Kitchen, Garden State Urban Farms, Ironworks Community Artist Center, Yema Gallery, Oualie Gallery, and many individual artists and creative entrepreneurs. The highest priorities of ValleyArts are to inspire the neighborhood to recognize the arts as essential to community health and vitality; help build up and serve individual artists, arts organizations, and creative entrepreneurs; and encourage everyone to participate in arts, culture and creativity as part of everyday life.
In addition to its many community and civic partners, ValleyArts is closely allied with HANDS, Inc., the nonprofit organization that combines strategic real estate investment and community organizing to revitalize communities.
The help advance its mission, ValleyArts engages the neighborhood, promotes the Valley as a home and destination for the arts, and runs specific arts and education programs not otherwise available in the area. This includes the popular Hat City Streets Festival, which involves the entire neighborhood, all anchor organizations, Orange Public Schools, City of Orange, and more than 200 artists. ValleyArts also curates and manages the Firehouse Gallery founded in 2012; the neighborhood Orbiting Gallery program; professional training programs for artists in collaboration with Arts Business Institute; biannual ArtWalks that feature the neighborhood’s five galleries; and a wide range of artist talks, programs, and special events. High-level community partnerships include provision of facilities for ORNG Ink, the neighborhood’s teen arts center in partnership with University of Orange; artistic leadership of the Saturday Arts Academy in partnership with Orange Public Schools; and leadership of the East Ward Mural Program in partnership with HANDS Inc.
Next year, ValleyArts will launch several new initiatives including its Shared Artist Studio Co-ops designed to enable more than 30 artists to rent incremental shares of fully-equipped artists studios; the new ValleyArts Artist Service Center, a neighborhood service facility to help artists with basic needs such as access to high-speed copying equipment, table-top digital photography studio for documenting works of art; museum quality outputting devices; and a shipping and wrapping area, and expanded after-school programs for children in collaboration with Orange Public Schools. Both the Co-ops and the Artist Service Center will be located in the Kelli Copeland Studio Lofts building, now under construction by HANDS at the corner of Freeman and South Jefferson Streets in Orange.