BELMAR, NJ — The winners of the 2016 NJ Stage Awards were announced in the latest issue of New Jersey Stage magazine (  Awards were chosen by the public via a month-long online vote to find the best places to experience art in New Jersey.  Categories included art, comedy, dance, film, music, theatre, and best town.

Montclair was chosen as Best Town for an Arts Night Out, but winners came from throughout the state including Atlantic City, Dunellen, Jersey City, Metuchen, Newark, New Brunswick, Princeton, Red Bank, and Toms River.

Several venues held on to the top spot from 2015 including New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, which retained its top spots in Music for Best Place To See A National Act and Best Place For Classical Music; and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, which held on to the top spot in two theatre categories: Best Place To See A Touring Production and Best Place To See Children’s Theatre.  Meanwhile the Golden Door Film Festival in Jersey City held on to Best Film Festival; Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen kept on top of Best Place To See Emerging Musical Artists;  and Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick was once again named Best Place To See A World / NJ Premiere in theatre.

“The public was allowed to vote once a day per IP address,” explained Gary Wien, publisher of New Jersey Stage.  “This allowed the smallest of arts organizations the same opportunity as the largest.  We saw venues push voting on their websites, social media pages, and at the venues themselves.”

A few surprises included the Elephant Talk Music Indie Music Festival, which was voted as the Best Annual Music Festival; Dragonfly Multicultural Arts Center for Best Place To See Non-Equity Theatre; and Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts for Best Place To See Live Dance Performances.


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The top 3 vote getters for each category are listed in New Jersey Stage magazine and on a permanent page of the website.  In addition, the winners receive a free banner ad that rotates and spotlights one winner and links back to their website (the ads will run until the 2017 NJ Stage Award winners are announced).  Individual press releases for each genre will also point a spotlight on the top 3 winners in each category.

“Our goal is to give arts organizations and venues the chance to be seen by a larger audience,” said Wien.  “The NJ Stage Awards currently exist online, but plans are underway to create a true awards night.”

For the complete list of 2016 NJ Stage Award winners visit


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...