Awards open to people with disabilities

VSA New Jersey (VSA/NJ), a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities, is accepting applications for the 2016 Arts Achievement Awards through Jan. 22.

The annual VSA/NJ Arts Achievement Awards include the Student Arts Excellence Awards, presented to students with special needs (mainstreamed, inclusion, self-contained classes or activities), 14 – 21 years old, not to exceed the 12th grade level, who show outstanding achievement in and commitment to an art form.

The Education in the Arts Awards are presented to outstanding educators and administrators for establishing high quality arts programs for students with special needs. The awards also recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to arts education for students with special needs.

Award recipients become candidates for the distinguished NJ Governor’s Awards in Arts Education.

For applications, contact VSA New Jersey at 703 Jersey Ave., New Brunswick, 08901; call 732-745-3885 or 732-745-3913 (TTY); or email info@vsanj.org.

Benefit concert with Bobby Bandiera slated

RED BANK — Tickets are currently on sale for Hope Concert 8, featuring Bobby Bandiera and Friends, scheduled for 8 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Count Basie Theater, 99 Monmouth St.

Proceeds will benefit 180 Turning Lives Around, Visiting Nurse Association Health Group and the Red Bank Borough Middle School’s new arts initiative.

“Bobby and his friends continue to demonstrate their generosity and spirit of bringing hope to much needed organizations,” said Count Basie Theatre President and CEO Adam Philipson in a press release.

“The Hope concerts are a staple of the Basie’s benefit performances and make great change for the organizations in receipt. 180 Turning Lives Around, VNA and the Red Bank Middle School are three extremely deserving organizations that will utilize these donations to the fullest.”

Tickets range from $50-$500. For more information or tickets, call 732-842-9000 or visit www.thebasie.org.

Performances set through Dec. 13

Two River Theater, with Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, will present “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” the Tony Award-winning musical farce written by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The director is Jessica Stone, the choreographer is Denis Jones, and the musical director is Gary Adler. Performances will continue through Dec. 13 in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank.

To purchase tickets, call 732-345-1400 or visit tworivertheater.org.

SantaLand Diaries will be presented Dec. 12-13

Monmouth Players presents The Santa- Land Diaries by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, on Dec. 12 at 8:15 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Navesink Arts Center in the Dean K Anderson Theater, 149 Monmouth Ave., Atlantic Highlands. All admission is $15.

SantaLand contains adult content and is not for children.

Desserts and coffee are available before and after the show.

Call 732-291-9211 for reservations.

Music contest features anti-drug sentiment

New Jersey high school students who love music and who understand the dangers of substance abuse are invited to take part in the 2016 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs! music competition.

Create a positive message about staying away from drugs and alcohol. The statewide concert on May 25 will feature county finalists at the Rutgers University Nicholas Music Center, Douglass campus.

First place will receive a $5,000 music contract; second place a $3,000 contract; and third place a $2,000 contract. Entry deadline is Feb. 1.

The contest is sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association and Greater Media’s WCTC 1450AM.

For entry forms and contest rules, visit www.shoutdowndrugs.com.

Holiday networking party and gift drive

Join The Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce for a Holiday Networking Party and Gift Drive from 5:30- 8 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Beacon Hill Country Club, 8 Beacon Hill Road, Atlantic Highlands.

Help to send holiday cheer to the Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care system.

Advanced registration is $35 AH and EMACC member discount and $45 general admission.

‘Yuletide Harmonies’ set for Dec. 12

Celebrate the holiday season with a festive afternoon concert. The Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society will present “Yuletide Harmonies” — a fun concert of vocal harmonies — on Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Ocean Township High School Auditorium, 550 West Park Ave., Oakhurst.

The concert will feature traditional holiday favorites sung in four-part harmony by the Chorus of the Atlantic, a 35-member group of male harmony singers under the direction of Craig Page.

The quartets “Elves of Note” and “Surfboard Santas” will perform in the barbershop style of close harmony singing.

Also appearing on stage will be the “Matinee Idles,” a group of retired men who do afternoon performances, to sing some classics and share some laughter and good cheer, under the direction of John Huetz.

Special guests will be the Ocean Chamber Choir from Ocean Township High School under the direction of Teddy Kernizan.

The audience will have an opportunity to participate with some carol sing-alongs. It is rumored that Santa may make a surprise appearance during the show.

Tickets are $17 for general admission, $14 for seniors and students, free for children age 16 and younger. Tickets are available at the door. Call ahead to buy your tickets and save $2 per ticket. Call 732-784- 7343 and leave your name and phone number.

The Chorus of the Atlantic welcomes visitors to their rehearsals. They meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Red Bank Middle School, Harding Road, Red Bank.

Monmouth Arts to hold photo walk Dec. 3

On Dec. 3 from 5:30-7 p.m., Monmouth Arts and Michael S. Miller will host a photo walk through picturesque nighttime Red Bank. The walk will begin after a brief overview of lighting for nighttime shooting. Take part in the walk and capture the essence of the holiday with photography and fellow artists.

Cost is $10 for Monmouth Arts members, $15 non-members.

Meet at Monmouth Arts, 105 Monmouth St., Red Bank.

For more information, call 732-212- 1890 or visit www.monmoutharts.org.

Attic Treasures and Bake Sale slated

The Food Pantry and Community Clothes Closet of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation will serve as the host to an Attic Treasures and Bake Sale from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Dec. 5 and from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 6, at 992 Broadway, West Long Branch. All proceeds will go toward the building expansion fund for these ministries.

Items offered will include slightly used treasures to ‘rummage’ through, and some new items too. There will be a table of Fair Trade items for sale and some independent sellers as well. In addition, there will be some new handmade craft items and baked goods.

A special section will be set up where “Kids CAN Shop.” Items at the Kids Shop will be specially priced by the can. Things will cost between one and five cans of food, which will help to stock our Food Pantry and will include vegetables, fruit, soup and any kind of beans. Please make sure it is not expired. Only kids will be permitted to shop in the “CAN” section. Shop early for the best selections and to help support these ministries.