Appel Farm: Affordable Entertainment

By Diana Russell

Staff Writer

The award-winning Appel Farm Arts and Music Center is located on the outskirts of Elmer NJ, and offers a variety of concerts and art classes for children and adults, a summer arts camp, and a conference center. Most concerts are held on the grounds of Appel Farm in The Clare Rostan Theater which seats 250.

“There are no bad seats, and where else can you meet and great the artists in the lobby after the show?” reports Dee Billia Publicity Manager.  “We are also offering chats and dinners before some shows to promote other Salem County businesses.” The venue specializes in folk, acoustic, and blues, as well as national and international singer-songwriters.  In April, 2010, Appel Farm will present a national Bluegrass tour at Salem Community College.

On the first Friday of the month, intimate concerts by up-and-coming artists are held in the Gallery which seats fifty.  Gallery tickets are $7.00 and include free refreshments. There are samples of Auburn Vineyard’s award-winning wines, or patrons are welcome to BYOB.

Family Matinees are held on Saturday afternoons, October through April, and are geared for children over age five.  They include a variety of well-known characters, area celebrities, and even topics like math and science.  For one Family Matinee, children can dress in costumes and in another make snowglobes. A three-show subscription is $18.00.

In the summer, Appel Farm hosts an all day outdoor Arts and Music Festival with performers on two stages, a children’s activity area, a craft fair, and food vendors.  Patrons can bring their own picnic but no alcohol is allowed.

In addition to musical programs, Appel Farm offers art classes in ceramics, painting, drawing, and sculpture, and workshops in yoga and theatre for both children and adults.  There is also a community outreach into local schools in visual arts, theater and dance.  It is an opportunity for schools with few art resources to receive quality programs for a small fee or sometimes for free.

This unique 176 acre site has been home to a residential summer arts camp for 45 years.  Young people can explore art, music, dance, photography, theater, and writing along with outdoor activities.  Campers can come for two, four, or eights weeks and are taught by professional worldwide artists.

Appel Farm also operates a conference center that, according to their website, offers “a relaxed atmosphere to work, interact and play.” It is available from August until mid-May for retreats, workshops, meetings, reunions, and wedding receptions.

All events at Appel Farm have parking and are handicap accessible.  Assistive Listening Devices, and large print and Braille brochures are available for concerts.  Because it is a non-profit arts center, volunteers are extremely important and are utilized for concerts, art programs, and in the office.  For more information about Appel Farm, visit their website at or call 856-358-2472.


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