We are an artist driven organization. As artists we look to our communities to both inspire new ideas and to teach how the arts can be used as the most powerful communicative tool to advance the civic conversation. Every month we choose a different theme or topic to guide our regular programs. Each curator decides how this theme will be explored. These conversations develop relationships between artists and communities, and generate some of our best ideas for long term arts projects. Here is a history of the topics we have explored and some ideas for the future. If you have an idea for a theme email us at info@colab-arts.org and tell us about it. Check out the coLAB Blog for deeper reflections and responses on our past themes.

Happening Now


April-June 2016

HOME. A conversation about what Home is and what it means to create a sense of place. We will reflect on our surrounding communities and all the cultures and peoples that inhabit it - from the establishment to the college crowd, to immigrants to non-resident professionals - we will discuss clashes and connectivity and what might be the future of our Home.


January - March 2016

AMERICAN INCARCERATION. An investigation into the American Incarceration epidemic. Using the arts and artists who find inspiration from the stories from the United States Justice System. 

October - December 2015

#LikeAGirl. Last year the #LikeAGirl campaign launched a new wave of mass media response. This Fall we are committing to exploring the identity of girl and womanhood in contemporary culture. We are asking questions about how society, advertising, education, and family play out in societal perceptions of sex. 

July 2015

Urban Development: Changing Skylines. What is the vision for the new face of New Brunswick? How do its growing buildings, economic development, and shifting demographics fit within that vision? Who is shaping that vision and how does it impact the community?

june 2015

Transition: A Discussion of Gender Identity. How does society view transgender individuals, and how are they presented in the media? What cultural forces are defining the conversation?

May 2015

Food: The Ethics of Eating. How does food affect and define our community? Does the public truly understand what "organic" and "GMO" mean? What is being done locally to promote healthy eating?

April 2015

Violence: The Culture of Violence in America. Does violence in entertainment need restrictions? Does violence in art reflect life or vice versa?  What is to be learned from the various NFL and other high profile Domestic Violence incidents. What are communities doing to battle violence?