Thank you for supporting Monmouth Arts After Dark: The Art of the Impossible! The evening was full of mystery, illusion, and a whole lot of hocus-pocus! The Wonder Bar was packed for Pam Flores' performance at the VIP Smoke & Mirrors reception. Brandon Williams' sleight of hand enchanted attendees, and Monmouth Arts Board President Luke Breslin raised a toast with the perfect Dark N' Stormy cocktail. The night continued at McLoone's Supper Club, where VJ Atom Worth's audio and visual art captivated the audience, along with illusionist Jeanette Andrews, who delivered an interactive performance that amazed the sold-out crowd.
We're so grateful to all the amazing sponsors, donors, and journal advertisers who supported us and made our event a huge success! We want to give a special shout-out to Hatteras for their generous donation of the printing of the ad journal. We also want to thank the fantastic Monmouth Arts staff and Board of Directors, volunteers, and everyone who pitched in to help out. And a big thanks to Stephen Rubino, our Master of Ceremonies, Remember Jones, Live Appeal Emcee, and Chris Curcia, Live Auctioneer, for their generous contribution to the event. You guys are the best!
We are incredibly grateful to all the honorees who made the night unforgettable. Kevin Smith's passionate and humorous speech had us all in stitches, Pat Battle's effervescent personality brought a smile to everyone's face, Tim Donnelly reminded us how lucky we are to live by the Shore, Debbie DeLisa and the Madison Marquette family were amazing hosts at the Wonder Bar, Impact 100 Jersey Coast brought together the women who are truly making a difference, and Ming Chen helped us spread the word.
We couldn't have done it without YOU, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
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MEET THE HONOREES
Artistic Achievement Award - Excellence in the Arts
Kevin Smith is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author, YouTuber, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy buddy film Clerks (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and acted in as the character Silent Bob of stoner duo Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob. Clerks won the "Award of the Youth" and the "Mercedes-Benz Award" at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, the "Filmmakers Trophy" at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards (Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Jeff Anderson for Best Debut Performance).
Jay and Silent Bob also appeared in Smith's later films Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which are set primarily in his home state of New Jersey. While not strictly sequential, the films have crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon known as the "View Askewniverse", named after Smith's production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier.
Since 2011, Smith has mostly made horror films, including Red State (2011) and the "comedy horror films" Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016), two in a planned series of three such films set in Canada dubbed the True North trilogy.
Smith also executive produces Masters of the Universe: Revelation for Netflix and last year released the highly anticipated Clerks III from Lionsgate which also included a 50+ city theater screening and Q&A tour.
Smith owns Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank, New Jersey, a comic bookstore which became the setting for the reality television show Comic Book Men (2012—2018). Last year, he expanded his business empire by opening Smodcastle Cinemas, a movie theater in New Jersey.
As a podcaster, Smith co-hosts several shows on his SModcast Podcast Network, including SModcast, Fatman Beyond, and the live show Hollywood Babble-On. He is known for participating in long, humorous Q&A sessions that are often filmed for DVD release, beginning with An Evening with Kevin Smith.
Artistic Achievement Award - Journalism
Pat Battle is the co-anchor for NBC 4 New York’s “Weekend Today in New York” which airs Saturday mornings between 6:00 A.M. – 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. and on Sunday mornings between 6:00 A.M. – 8:30 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. Battle also serves as the station’s senior New Jersey correspondent. As part of NBC 4’s team-coverage of Hurricane Sandy, she won a National Emmy® and Edward R. Murrow award.
Battle’s reporting and anchoring was also a key component of NBC 4 New York’s award-winning COVID-19 coverage, honored in January, 2021 with the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for “creat(ing) a 360 view in real time of the coronavirus pandemic, with courageous and thorough reporting on the virus’s explosion in New York City.” The duPont has long been recognized as the broadcast, documentary and on-line equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, also awarded by Columbia University.
Pat joined NBC 4 New York in April 1996 from WCBS-TV, where for three and a half years, she was a general assignment reporter handling breaking news stories in the tri-state area. Her work earned her recognition as one of the best live reporters in the region.
Her efforts have been recognized by dozens of organizations -- from the Jackie Robinson Cultural Center to the Girl Scouts of America. Among other honors, Battle has won two New York Emmy awards for her work in television news. She was recognized in 2008 by the McDonald’s Corporation as a Broadcast Legend in the fast food company's Faces of Black History Campaign.
In the fall of 2010, Pat was diagnosed with breast cancer -- ductal carcinoma in situ -- and underwent surgery to remove the malignant cells from her right breast. She documented her personal journey, and in yet another public service, broadcast her story on "News 4 New York" at the close of Breast Cancer Awareness Month that October. Her story, and an hour-long special, "Talk for a Cure," aired the following day on "Weekend Today in New York," earned two New York Emmy nominations.
Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, Battle graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism in College Park. She is married and has three children.
Ming Chen is a podcaster, graphic designer, entrepreneur and reality TV cast member most known for the AMC TV show Comic Book Men. While in college at the University of Michigan, he met filmmaker Kevin Smith when he developed a fan website based on the movie Clerks. Smith, who appreciated Chen’s work, reached out and asked him to create the Web site for his production company, View Askew Productions. Twenty-Six years later, Chen continues to work on many of Smith’s online projects and ventured into several other areas within the Kevin Smith empire, most recently hosting a weekly podcast called I Sell Comics! on Smith’s podcast network, SModCo.
During his free time, Chen serves on the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County and the Garden State Film Festival board. He also co-owns a podcast studio called “A Shared Universe” and is a partner in a coffee, gaming and comics café called “Coral Sword” in Houston, Texas, with former major league ballplayer Hunter Pence. Chen has been married to his wife Debbie for 20 years and has two children, Lillian and Harrison, a dog named Joy and a cat named Scallion.
business leadership award
Debbie DeLisa, a native of the Jersey Shore, is well-known in the Asbury Park community for managing the iconic Wonder Bar for twenty years. Her friendly demeanor has made her a beloved figure in the area. Her experiences as a flight attendant and studying abroad inspired her to believe in the power of people to make a difference in their communities. Along with the support of her former boyfriend Lance Larson, a musical legend in Asbury Park, together they purchased the abandoned Wonder Bar building in 2002 and re-opened it that same year.
Several years later, Lance and Debbie sold Wonder Bar and Debbie remained on as the manager. The Wonder Bar, known for its live music and colorful paint job, is all about having fun. As the acting manager of Wonder Bar, Debbie has brought talented musicians to the intimate stage including longtime friend and legendary musician Bruce Springsteen. In addition to Bruce, many other wonderful musicians and actors have performed at The Wonder Bar but one of her favorites is Vincent Pastore, past recipient of Monmouth Arts Artistic Achievement Award and fellow advocate for animal rescue centers and veterans.
Thanks to the generosity of Madison Marquette, who encourages her to use the club for benefits, she has been recognized for numerous charitable endeavors for people and animals. Wonder Bar is not only known for its tunes and tiki bar but also the world-famous Yappy Hour which was founded 16 years ago. Debbie's vision was and still is to raise money for dog rescue charities and also create a safe, and social place to bring your dog.
Tim Donnelly got his start in music in 1991, working on the inaugural Lollapalooza festival for the Surfrider Foundation. As a writer, he worked for MTV, Surfing Magazine, and Relix Magazine, which led to working with his pal Danny Clinch on several music documentaries, including films on Pearl Jam and Bonnaroo.
A move to Asbury Park 13 years ago led to producing events on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, including a pop-up gallery featuring local bands and surfing-related artists, he called Sea.Hear.Now.
After Superstorm Sandy, he rebuilt the dunes on the north and south end of Asbury Park and co-produced a relief concert called “On The Beach” to get Jersey Shore families back into their homes. He’s been the Producer of the Asbury Park Music + Film Festival since its inception and is a founding partner of one of the world’s most unique surfing contests, "The Cold War."
He and his partners HM Wollman and Clinch formed Between The Sets and teamed with C3 Presents to take Sea.Hear.Now from a boardwalk bash to an international music and arts festival on the Asbury Park beach. Their formula of having old and new friends play music, make art, and surf for a September weekend has struck a chord with fans and the industry alike.
Since the festival's launch, Sea.Hear.Now has been nominated for a mid-sized festival of the year and named the most environmentally sustainable festival in the United States; more importantly, it has been a positive impact on the Asbury Park community, helping community-based non-profits.
Impact 100 Jersey Coast
community service award
Impact 100 Jersey Coast is an all-volunteer women's collective that funds high-impact grants to strengthen nonprofits addressing the unmet needs of underserved populations in Monmouth County. The giving circle includes women of different ages and backgrounds who combine their charitable dollars, experience, and energy to make a tangible difference in their community. Part of a rapidly growing network of Impact 100 chapters throughout the world, Impact 100 Jersey Coast was founded in 2015 and has since awarded more than $2.4 million in funding to 28 local nonprofits. This unique grantmaking collaborative continues to diversify its membership to ensure that it encompasses the richness of ideas, perspectives, and the participation of women representative of the broad diversity of our community; to provide a forum that helps raise awareness of the needs of underserved populations, as well as the systemic inequities so often at the root of those needs, and actively pursue ways to best support and partner with nonprofit organizations, while empowering its members to improve lives through philanthropy. To learn more about Impact 100 Jersey Coast, visit their website: www.impact100jerseycoast.org.
MEET THE PRESENTERS
Hailed as one of the most innovative illusionists in the world today and has staged hundreds of sold-out and standing-room-only performances for Fortune 500 companies, theaters and universities. Andrews presented her first magic performance at age four, was paid to do her first magic show at age six, began running her business that day, and has never had another job since. She is now internationally recognized as a pioneer in her field. Andrews uses sensory anomalies, art and scientific anecdotes to create luxurious experiences that bridge everyday life to a special, heightened world. She loves creating experiences for audiences to engage with the impossible in fun, insightful, and generous ways. Illusion is Ms. Andrews’ life’s work and her performances have been praised by the Chicago Tribune, PBS, and the New York Times.
Magician & Pickpocket
Known by many of his peers as the "Magician's Magician," Brandon Williams has made a name for himself as a performer, consultant, and creator of magic. Brandon has been practicing and performing magic since the age of four. He has worked and consulted for some of the largest names in magic and entertainment. He has garnered worldwide recognition amongst fellow magicians, A-list actors and Fortune 500 companies. Brandon has gained a deep understanding of the art with well over fifty original effects, including his famous Tear Change (voted "Best Trick" at Magic Live 2018); Brandon's audiences have the pleasure of seeing magic that is fresh and one-of-a-kind.
Video DJ & Filmmaker
A Monmouth County native, a Dj who has spent the last ten years DJ’ing in Asbury Park via Dj residencies at Porta, the Asbury Hotel, House of Independents, and the Asbury Park Yacht Club, among many others. Atom has contributed to the recent resurgence in popularity of his hometown of Asbury Park. His unique style of ‘visual turntablism’ combines a live visual element with traditional music mixing. At the same time, Atom is also an accomplished filmmaker. Atom has won 5 New York Emmys, creating video content for networks and brands, among 14 nominations. He’s won in the categories of Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, & Outstanding Video Journalism. Atom has directed documentary films on insulin affordability, Superstorm Sandy, and 9/11 and created content for A&E, MSNBC, and more.
Singer & Songwriter
Pamela Flores is an acclaimed singer-songwriter from Asbury Park, known for her soulful melodies and introspective lyrics. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings and personal experiences, her heartfelt compositions resonate deeply with listeners. Pamela has made a mark in the music scene, captivating audiences with her enchanting vocals and memorable performances. Collaborating with renowned producers and musicians, she continues to refine her sound, capturing hearts with her captivating records. Pamela Flores invites listeners into her world, offering solace, inspiration, and a soundtrack to life's most poignant moments. Stay tuned as she leaves her mark on the music industry with her distinct voice and evocative storytelling.