June 2nd, 3rd, & 4th, 2020


The first State Teen Arts Festival was held at McCarter Theater in 1970. It was a collaborative planning effort by New Jersey arts educators, the State Department of Education, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Arts & Education Center, the New Jersey State Museum and McCarter Theater.


During the three festival days, esteemed young artists, teachers and professional artists from around the state come to critique, as well as to teach workshops and master classes in their individual specialties, including drama, filmmaking, voice, acting, instrumental music and more.

Prior to the State Festival, at the county level, students in their home schools prepare and practice their chosen art presentations for critiques and critical analysis, in one or two art disciplines. Students who excel in their particular art form are selected to be sent to the state level. Only students who are invited to participate can be adjudicated by state level judges.

During the State Festival, students who have been invited can receive valuable feedback about their art in group and individual critiques, both written and verbal, and often “sit-in” on the critiques of other emerging artists in their discipline, increasing their educational experience. Professional artists at the Festival provide in-depth critical reviews and analysis of student work, performances and group presentations, a process that all students report to be most beneficial to their growth as artists.

In addition to the critiques, workshops and master classes will be provided to expose student artists to help students develop perceptual, intellectual and technical skills; gain cultural awareness and understanding; and develop personal aesthetic values. 

All New Jersey high schools that have registered with us are welcome to send students to participate in our workshops and classes.