All-day celebration of South Orange/Maplewood arts and community with today’s top artists joined hands to help benefit SOPAC

Lauryn Hill

Charlie Pollock With James LaVerdiere Serenading SOPAC’s Chair Of The Board Barbara Stoller

Christine Ebersole And Kelly Bishop Reading An Excerpt From “Lost”

AJ Calloway Of EXTRA TV With Zach Braff
And Budd Mishkin Of NY 1 TV

The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) presented "SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT", an all-day, star-filled celebration to benefit SOPAC, to honor the South Orange/Maplewood community and its contribution to the arts. Over 1,000 local residents of all ages experienced a plethora of performances, workshops, panel discussions, and more. From a morning family-friendly show featuring indigenous music of Africa, to an intimate afternoon conversation with Columbia High School alumni Zach Braff and AJ Calloway, to a glamorous evening with performances by several stars of stage and screen, SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT was an unprecedented festival of the arts! “The genesis of SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT is the vision and passion of one impactful South Orange resident, Jonathan Felsman, who lost his battle with cancer last year,” explains Ondine Landa-Abramson, SOPAC’s Executive Director. “He was committed to making both South Orange and SOPAC premier arts destinations. We hope to reflect his incomparable vision and drive through this extraordinary event.” In Felsman’s honor, SOPAC bestowed the 2010 Jonathan Felsman Spirit Award to South Orange’s beloved traffic control officer Butch Larkin. In addition, the 2010 Spring Gala Honoree awards go to former Secretary of State of New Jersey Nina Mitchell Wells, and founding SOPAC Chair of the Board Barbara Stoller. A tribute to all the talent that has derived from the Essex County area, SMALL TOWN, BIG TALENT showcases local artists including: South Orange/Maplewood residents and/or natives Budd Mishkin (NY1), singer/songwriter Ms. Lauryn Hill, Christiane Noll (2010 TONY nominee), Kelly Bishop (TONY Award winner), Christine Ebersole (two-time TONY Award winner), Max Weinberg (drummer; member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Zach Braff (TV/film actor and director), AJ Calloway (EXTRA correspondent), Tim Squyres (award-winning film editor), Nat Adderly, Jr. (pop/blues arranger), Lydia Johnson Dance (SOPAC’s resident dance company), Jessica Kirson (comedienne), Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes (jazz pianists), Sarah Partridge (jazz vocalist), and many more.
Visit SOPAC's website here...

Photos By: Micha Hamilton