South Orange Summer Nights

Flood’s Hill in South Orange is the place to be each Wednesday evening all summer long.

Beginning in June, enjoy programming on our summer stage. As the evenings get longer in July music takes center stage, complete with free concerts, food trucks, arts activities and games for the kids. In August comes the popular movies; bring your blanket, your family, and your friends and enjoy the show!

All in all, South Orange Summer Nights is three months of free arts programming for all to enjoy!

Visit the list of upcoming SOPAC events to see what’s coming this summer.

Programs are subject to change. In the case of inclement weather, activities will be canceled. 

South Orange Summer Nights is jointly produced by the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and SOPAC. 


Playin’ Around South Orange was a seasonal public art project highlighting both the visual and the performing arts.


Pianos transformed into works of art themselves by extraordinary local artists provided unexpected and delightful encounters and encouraged active arts engagement through the spontaneous making of music. The keys of the pianos would be ‘tickled’ every day giving performers and passerby alike a moment’s break from their daily routine.

Playin’ Around South Orange pianos were located throughout downtown South Orange and at Seton Hall University during the late summer and early fall months.

To honor each year’s pianos as pieces of art, they were auctioned off and/or donated to benefit SOPAC’s education programming.

SOPAC is thrilled to be able to participate in the New Jersey’s Families First Discovery Pass program offering free or discounted tickets to the performances listed below for the current season.

A Families First Card (or New Jersey WIC Identification Folder) is required for eligibility and must be presented when picking up tickets from Will Call at the SOPAC Box Office the day of the show. Limit of 4 tickets per FF/WIC card for each performance. Tickets may be purchased in person or over the phone.

Offerings are subject to availability. Due to Covid-19 we have suspended performances. 

SOPAC Box Office

(973) 313-2787  |

South Orange Performing Arts Center
South Orange, NJ 07079

About the Program

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission have partnered with the NJ Departments of Human Services (DHS) and Health (DOH) to launch New Jersey’s Families First Discovery Pass (FFDP) program. This program provides families and individuals enrolled in state assistance programs with free or highly discounted admission to arts and history organizations, venues and programs. The Families First Discovery Pass Program offers broad access to cultural experiences for New Jersey residents and helps cultural organizations engage new audiences with the goal of building long-lasting relationships. Residents who receive benefits through SNAP, WFNJ, Child Care Subsidy and/or WIC are eligible for free or steeply discounted cultural programs throughout the State.

Click Here for More Information

School Performances

Live performances can be an unforgettable experience that reinforce classroom learning, ignite creativity and help young people develop a lifelong enthusiasm for the arts. The School Performance Series presented by SOPAC complements classroom lesson plans by engaging students in entertaining and educational performing arts experiences that support the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards. Performances often include Q&A sessions with artists along with Study Guides to help get the most fun and learning from your field trip experience.

Arts Residencies

Since 2016, the Classical Music, Strings Residency has partnered with the Orange School District to provide students with long-term, sequential, classical music instruction in the elementary and high schools.

The South Orange Middle School Jazz Ensemble was launched in 2021 and since 2018 SOPAC has partnered with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation through AileyDance Kids, to offer a Dance Residency in the South Orange and Maplewood School District (SOMSD).

INSPIRED MINDS: Young Artist Exhibition

INSPIRED MINDS is a celebration of young artists in the region. The program provides an opportunity for Essex County high school students to undergo a full professional gallery experience; from application through exhibition, and possible sale of their art.

Providing opportunities for emerging artists was a passion of The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery’s benefactor, Milly Iris. Coupling those opportunities with arts education is at the core of SOPAC’s mission.

INSPIRING MINDS: Art Educators Exhibition

INSPIRING MINDS, presented in tandem with the student exhibition, is an opportunity for Art Educators to share their individual talents beyond their teaching credentials. Every teacher spends hours demonstrating art techniques, cultivating and displaying the artwork of budding student artists, but this show focuses on the other side of art education: the educator as an artist. This exhibition celebrates current art educators who continue to cherish their own inspirational journey and creative development. These unique and talented artists understand the significance of not only teaching art but creating it as well.

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud® is a free national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition to high schools across the country. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, learn about literary history and contemporary life as well as compete for awards and scholarships totaling $100,000.

SOPAC has collaborated with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as the New Jersey Poetry Out Loud® Region 5 Competition Partner since 2013.