Middletown Arts Center Director Awarded NJ Governor's Recognition
Executive Director Maggie O'Brien says she is trying to create a place that connects the community.
The Middletown Arts Center's Executive Director Maggie O'Brien has been awarded a recognition by the Governor's Office for outstanding achievement in the arts.
O'Brien said she was "surprised" and humbled" to receive the John J. Pappas Recognition Award at The 34th New Jersey Governor's Awards in Arts Education at a ceremony in Trenton in May.
O'Brien has served as the head of the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) since the 23,000-square foot facility at the Middletown Train Station opened in 2007. Last year the MAC welcomed more than 60,000 thousand visitors.
"I think the most important thing we do is to connect the community with the arts," said O'Brien Wednesday. "Middletown is such a diverse community, and we also get people from all over Monmouth County. Some are getting something artistic for the first time, some are patrons of the arts, some are developing a skill, some are senior citizens, some are looking for healing, some are looking for a hobby. We are really trying to run the gamut with all different kinds of programming that can reach all kinds of people."
In addition to her role at the MAC, O'Brien participates on the Middletown Township Planning Committees for events like Middletown Day and Middletown 350 events.
She continues to also work with the Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council, the non-profit 501c3 that operates the Arts Center, to develop new programming that engages and entertains visitors from across New Jersey.
O'Brien is also active in developing partnerships at the Arts Center. A few include the JINKA Foundation, The Shore Consortium for the Gifted and Talented, 180 Turning Lives Around, Amanda’s Easel, High Tech High, Middletown Board of Education, American Sewing Guild, New Jersey Creativity in Counseling, JMJ Home School Association, Colts Neck Swing Band, Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation, Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast, New Jersey State Youth Orchestra, Art Educators of New Jersey, and more.
Maggie O’Brien has also previously received the Customer Service Excellence Award from the State of New Jersey and has been named a Community Champion of the Arts by the Monmouth County Arts Council.
Visit www.middletownarts.org for more information.
The MAC can also be found on Facebook at Middletown Arts Center and Twitter @MiddletownArts.