SOPAC is proud to be part of the South Orange-Maplewood community and to be supported by the arts-centric Township of South Orange Village as well as South Orange Downtown, a non-profit organization dedicated to making the business district a vibrant place to live, work, and enjoy.
The South Orange Performing Arts Center offers audiences exhilarating and diverse arts entertainment in its intimate venue, serving as the cultural heartbeat of the greater South Orange/Maplewood region and contributing to the economic and social vibrancy of its highly diverse community.
This mission is supported by these Strategic Pillars:
- Curating transformational arts experiences for a dynamic and diverse community
- Building community and engaging audiences
- Ensuring long-term viability and sustainability
- Strengthening operations and impact across Board and staff
SOPAC is an accessible cultural destination that presents world-class artists in an intimate and welcoming environment. The Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall is a 439-seat mainstage theatre with superb acoustics, sight lines and seating. Audiences remark that performances in this space is like having their favorite artists right in their own living room. Artists acknowledge that the atmosphere encourages conversations with audiences. The Loft at SOPAC is a 2,185 square-foot multi-purpose space used for performances, rehearsals, classes and special events.
The unique architecture of our building, which includes a stunning 3-story glass-enclosed atrium, is also home to SOPAC’s Herb + Milly Iris Gallery. Beyond the building, SOPAC co-produces local events such as South Orange Summer Nights and serves students and schools through our education programs.
SOPAC is invested in arts education. SOPAC serves students and schools in our region through a School Performance Series, performing Arts Residencies and annual juried art exhibits entitled INSPIRED MINDS and INSPIRING MINDS. SOPAC also collaborates with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts each year to host the Region 5 Poetry Out Loud competitions. The Seton Hall University Arts Council presents a diverse range of events at SOPAC with seasoned professionals as well as students and faculty.
Nearly ten years in the making, SOPAC first opened its doors in 2006. South Orange Village Trustees, in partnership with Seton Hall University, envisioned SOPAC as the center of an ambitious redevelopment plan. Through visionary leadership and an unwavering commitment, SOPAC has become a cultural centerpiece for the region, an economic driver for the community, and a catalyst for artistic opportunity.
SOPAC’s spectacular sound design left the material nearly sumptuous.
Rolling Stone Magazine
I have been to hundreds of venues…from the moment we walked in last night, it was so comfortable, such great views, small and intimate, no separation between artist, stage and the listeners, like you were right on stage with the artist!