Brookdale Community College and Rockit Live Foundation kicked off their new partnership with rock and roll and art.

Steven Van Zandt and his dog Edie.
Steven Van Zandt, and his dog Edie, in front of his portrait that was on display in the CVA Gallery. Photo Credit Laura Desantis-Olsson.

Held in the Center for Visual Arts (CVA) Gallery at Brookdale, located on the Lincroft campus, attendees at the Rockit and Brookdale launch party on November 9 were treated to musical performances by the Rockit students and had the chance to view artwork from world renowned photographer Mark Weiss and his collaboration with artist, and Fox 5 10pm anchor, Steve Lacy. Attendees included members of Rockit’s Artist Advisory Board including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Brigati with his wife Susan, and Carmine Appice accompanied by Leslie Gold.

“Rockit Academy’s goal is to reach all aspiring artists at every level of economic status with a focus on those less privileged,” said Bruce Gallipani, Rockit’s founder. “We are proud to make this happen in partnership with Brookdale Community College,” he said.

“We were able to bring two programs together that very much have synergy in our missions,” President of Brookdale Community College Dr. David Stout said. “Bruce’s staff of talented educators and board members have made the difference in so many lives in helping young people along the path toward making their aspirations a reality,” said Stout. “Their dedication, mentorship, and community focus complement what we do at Brookdale every day across disciplines.”

A public exhibit of Weiss and Lacy’s art, collectively known as Weissguy n’ Lacy, was shown at the CVA Gallery November 8 through 11. The photographer and artist blend artistic mediums to create signature, one-of-a-kind screen-printed canvas artworks reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s pop art images, drawing upon Weiss’ vast archives of photos from chronicling the careers of leading rock ‘n roll artists. Weiss and Lacy are both members of the Rockit Live Foundation Artist Advisory Board and graciously donated a portion of the proceeds from the art sales to support Rockit’s scholarship fund and the creation of a dedicated space on Brookdale’s Lincroft campus for Rockit’s programs.

“I am very excited to donate our art to Brookdale Community College and the Rockit Academy, and I look forward to seeing the expansion and sharing of music education in our community,” Weiss, a Monmouth County resident, said.

“The very essence of my collaboration with Mark is learning from those who came before you and being generous when it comes to passing your skills to the next generation,” said Lacy. “That’s what makes our affiliation with Rockit Academy and Brookdale Community College such a perfect fit. We couldn’t be more proud to be associated with both of these organizations,” he said.

Created in 2004 by Brooklyn-born drummer Gallipani, Rockit aims to provide reinforcement and guidance for young musicians to hone their skills and craft across music genres. Since its inception, Rockit has worked with more than 1,700 young musicians to jumpstart their careers and to help them navigate their way through the music business and industry. More than 20 percent of Rockit’s students attend classes tuition-free through Rockit’s scholarship program.

Several Rockit alumni have gone on to perform with professional artists such as Steven Van Zandt, The Rascals Eddie Brigati, Jon Bon Jovi, Deborah Harry, and many others. Jacquie Lee, Rockit alumna, starred on NBC TV’s The Voice and has a recording contract with Atlantic Recrods. FLETCHER, also a Rockit alumna, is a Top 50 Billboard artist.

Photo caption: Mark Weiss, Dr. David Stout, Bruce Gallipani, and Steve Lacy in the CVA Gallery. Photo Credit Laura Desantis-Olsson.