Special Programs and Services

Cultural Affairs Department

Located in the historic Hamilton Club Building of Passaic County Community College, The Cultural Affairs Department is home to the Poetry Center, the Theater & Poetry Project (TAPP), the Passaic County Cultural & Heritage Council (PCCHC), the PCCC Art Galleries, and the Folklife Center of Northern New Jersey.

Since its founding in 1980 by award-winning poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan, The Poetry Center has hosted poet laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, inaugural poets, and others of national and international reputation. Its unique programming is supported by a NJ State Council on the Arts grant, and includes the following: the Distinguished Poets workshop and featured reading series with an open reading segment; three literary contests; publication of the annual Paterson Literary Review, the monthly New Jersey Poetry Calendar, resource books, and anthologies; and the broadcast of its reading series on a northern New Jersey cable program, POETRYWORKS/USA. A Poetry Center Library of books is housed in the Learning Resources Center.

In partnership with the Poetry Center and funded by a NJ State Council on the Arts grant, TAPP presents an aesthetically exciting and comprehensive program, including theater, music, and dance performances, poetry writing workshops, and Meet-the-Author sessions for Paterson Public School students. In the spring, TAPP hosts an annual award ceremony and poetry reading in the PCCC Theater for the winners of a student poetry contest.

The PCCHC is the officially designated county arts, cultural, and heritage agency, granting NJ State Council on the Arts and NJ Historical Commission funds annually to approximately 50 Passaic County organizations and offering technical workshops and expanded publicity opportunities through its PCCHC website, Facebook page, and the Passaic County Events Newsletter. Through its local arts and history programming, the PCCHC strives to reflect the diversity and preserve the ethnic traditions and cultures of its communities.

Launched in July 2018, the Folklife Center of Northern New Jersey will tap into the cultural richness of Paterson and its surrounding areas. Supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and NJ State Council on the Arts, the Center will encourage communication between artists, communities and organizations. It will also educate audiences about community-based aesthetics, meanings and values, as expressed through various art forms. The Center will plan performing folk arts events in the PCCC Founder’s Theater, and exhibits in the Hamilton Club Building.

The PCCC Art Galleries present monthly changing exhibits of contemporary art by regional, national, and international artists in the Passaic County Community College’s Broadway, LRC, and Hamilton Club Galleries.  The Hamilton Club Art Collection, The Federici Studio Sculpture Collection, and the Passaic County Community College Contemporary Art Collection are on permanent display in the historic Hamilton Club Building and are open to the public free of charge. Guided tours are available to students, school and community groups, and the general public, and free artist talks and workshops are offered to students and the community.

For more information, visit pccc.edu/cultural-affairs, or call 973-684-5444 or 973-684-6555.