RAHWAY — Rahway’s second annual Culture Crawl takes place on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 9 p.m., in a single evening explosion of visual art, music, performance, delicious food, various cultural experiences and family-friendly activities. Culture Crawl is free to the public.
Culture Crawl traverses Irving, Main, Milton and Cherry streets in Rahway’s town center. Businesses all over town are hosting various events including art exhibits, musical ensembles, poetry readings, dance and other performances. Nearby parking is available and a free shuttle is operating throughout the evening.
Culture “Crawlers” grab a map highlighting the walking route of more than 30 participating venues and locations, then stroll from one activity or experience to the next. Maps are available on the CultureCrawl.org website in advance, and on the night of the event from any Rahway Arts District volunteer.
The main stage, located at the Rahway train station plaza, treats viewers to performances by Rahway Dance Theater, SoulJerz break-dancing group, live music by Oktopus and live painting by local street artists Demer, Rain and friends. Other bands and musicians can be found in numerous street locations, alleyways and inside venues along the Culture Crawl route.
One Culture Crawl highlight is a rotation of short performances in the Rahway Arts District Park by StrangeDog Theatre, Death by Improv and Brien McVernon. StrangeDog Theatre presents Quarrels, a 10-minute comedy by Ben Clawson, in anticipation of their staging of Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things, a two-act comedy also by Clawson, at Rahway’s new Hamilton Stage, opening in December. Edison-based Death By Improv contributes to the fun with a series of improv skits to enjoyment of spectators. Guitarist Brien McVernon showcases his versatility as a musician and songwriter.
Another fun and inspirational delight for families and history buffs of all ages is the New Jersey Hall of Fame mobile museum. The museum introduces New Jersey youth to the fascinating stories of New Jersey born inductees in interactive exhibits. Of the many inductees, just a few of the innovators and thought leaders included are poet William Carlos Williams, the multi-talented Paul Robeson, author Judy Blume, and Rahway’s own Carl Sagan, a Rahway High School graduate.
A festive Street Food Fair on East Cherry Street will feature a variety of delicious street food by favorite area eateries and restaurants, like Cake Therapy, D&R’s Gourmet Deli, Flynn’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse, Kim’s InTheMix, The Waiting Room and others.
Visual arts exhibits include Abstract Lives, a group exhibit of ten artists at Arts Guild New Jersey; a group exhibit of works by Rahway area artists at UC PAC’s Hamilton Stage; a display of new photographs by Montclair artist Marco Munoz Jaramillo documenting the riverways near the Pulaski Skyway; an exhibition of Brooklyn artist Kathleen Vance’s Traveling Landscapes series (miniature landscapes of living plants and running water housed in steamer trunks and suitcases); site-specific outdoor sculptures by Rahway artist J.D. McGuire; and sculpture installations by Woodbridge artist Lisa Bagwell.
A newly installed mural created by Rahway Mural Lab, a mural arts program for Rahway teens initiated by Rahway Arts District Inc, is located on Irving Street between Elizabeth Avenue and Elm Avenue. This 8-foot by 16-foot mural is a collaborative effort involving nine students and two artists to create a beautiful artwork representing the Rahway River.
Other unique interactions with art and culture occur in unexpected places. For example, visit the Liberty Harley-Davidson/Buell dealership for a demonstration on special effects makeup showing the stages of sculpting, life casting, and molding in a tribute to Boris Karloff’s iconic Frankenstein, Earls Cuts N’ Curls barbershop for a live musical ensemble and poetry reading, or an art exhibit by Pica Portraits at Pet Essentials Pet Supply.
A list of participating artists, venues, and special offers is on CultureCrawl.org. Updates and special announcements are made on the website. For more information, call the Rahway Arts District office at 732-540-1075.