SinCCJ Recap: Authors & Artists Day:

A meeting of creative minds took place June 25 at the Jamesburg Senior Center, when Sisters in Crime-Central Jersey held its first “Authors & Artists Day” in cooperation with the Monroe Township Cultural Arts Commission.  The event featured readings and signings by SinCCJ mystery authors and a mini-gallery that showcased works by visual artists from MTCAC.

During a brief remote introduction, SinCCJ president Linda Rawlins explained how that group began, how it has evolved and how it serves its members and the community. Authors who read from their recent fictional works included Rawlins (via Zoom), David Manfre, Sue Ortiz, Roberta Rogow, Eileen Watkins and Victoria Weisfeld. Three members of the Cultural Arts Commission spoke about its offerings—Marilyn Gonyo as a commissioner, Nancie Gunkleman as both a commissioner and an artist, and Audrey Roth as an artist. Gunkleman and Roth, along with Bea Donovan, Joyce Reynolds, Aleksandra Sletskaya and Joyce Reynolds, exhibited original works in a range of media—paintings in oil and watercolors, and drawings in pencil, ink and pastels.

The day included light refreshments, and plenty of time for members of the two organizations to socialize and get to know each other. Gungleman commented, “I never knew such a talented group of writers existed in our town.”

A sale of used books, donated by SinCCJ members, raised money for that group’s Literacy Fund. Any left unsold were donated to the library of the Senior Center.

“What a great way to spend a Saturday!” said Daria Ludas, SinCCJ published author and liaison to the MTCAC. “Combining Sisters in Crime Central Jersey and the Monroe Township Cultural Arts Commission for a joint event was awesome. Both groups include several award-winning authors and artists, so the day was inspiring as well as creative. I would like to see more combined events with these two talented groups.”   

SinCCJ is a chapter of Sisters in Crime, an international, inclusive community for all who write, read and love crime fiction, mystery, thrillers and suspense. The Monroe Township Cultural Arts Commission promotes local cultural activities such as music, arts, literature, drama and dance, including summer concerts in Thompson Park and live theater at the Monroe Township High School Performing Arts Center.

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