‘I’m a believer in the arts as an engine of community improvement — they’re fun, cost-effective, educational, build community bonds, beautify our city, and attract visitors, homebuyers, and commerce,” says Michael Gumpert, who has been named executive director of Artworks in Trenton.

In 2004 Gumpert moved to Trenton from Pittsburgh, where he was involved in a 24-hour event showcasing art and music: Art All Night. Believing the concept of a 24-hour art show open to all would be perfect for Trenton’s art scene, Gumpert organized the first Art All Night (AAN) in Trenton at Artworks on June 23 and 24, 2007. The success of the first Art All Night was repeated, and expanded upon, under Gumpert’s leadership as over 5,000 people attended the second AAN event on June 21 and 22, 2008 at the sprawling 50,000 square-foot former Roebling factory building in Trenton, future home of the Museum of Contemporary Science. The third Art All Night is scheduled for June 20 and 21, 2009, at the same MOCS site. Trenton resident Patti Peiffer will take the reins of Art All Night as Gumpert assumes his new responsibilities.

According to Artworks’ mission statement Artworks is a visual arts center that offers “classes, exhibitions, and events (to) make art an accessible experience for all.”

“I am so honored to be able to serve the Artworks organization — this remarkable organization that has made such an impact on our city over the last 20 years, and is needed today more than ever,” says Gumpert. “I hope area residents will take advantage of all Artworks has to offer them in these times of economic hardship,” Gumpert continues. “There’s nothing like immersing yourself in making or discovering art to uplift yourself and your city. And just like famous artists have often produced their best work in times of pain or trauma, maybe your masterpiece is just waiting for this opportunity to be created — at Artworks.”

Gumpert grew up in East Windsor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993 with a double-major in urban studies and sociology. He later worked for several Pittsburgh non-profits, first as an organizer and later as executive director.

Artworks, 19 Everett Alley, Trenton, 609-394-9436, www.artworkstrenton.org.

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