Art All Night Non-Gala


How to recover from the kind of tragedy that struck Trenton’s popular Art All Night gathering a few months ago? At Artworks Trenton, the healing process included a “Non-Gala” last Saturday evening, complete with food trucks, silent auction, DJ, and an opportunity for the community to reaffirm its support for the annual arts extravaganza.

ArtWorks Trenton would traditionally have held a fancy gala to raise funds for next year’s show, but board members admit the memories of the violence were still too raw to conduct business as usual.  

Instead they hit upon the idea of a more modest, casual “non-gala”, where artists whose work was interrupted that night were invited to finish their canvases outside the Artworks building in Trenton.

The future of the 12-year-old Art All Night program is still unsettled, after a gang-related shooting last June injured 22 people, bringing the 24-hour event to a sudden, violent close. One of the three suspected shooters was killed. It was a devastating blow to the artists, musicians, and tens of thousands of attendees who had grown Art All Night, over the years, into a hugely successful Trenton arts and music ”happening”, celebrating homegrown creativity.

In the meantime, Artworks is going ahead with their “Art All Day” event on Nov 3: an all-day, multi-location art viewing party featuring walking and trolley tours to more than 60 studios, community projects, and creative locations around the city. To quote the organizers: “This year it's more important than ever to show the world that Trenton's arts community stands as one.”