Bergen Performing Arts Center

Bergen Performing Arts Center, in the heart of River Edge, New Jersey, is one of the region’s premier performing arts venues. The center has become a popular destination for music, theater, and dance enthusiasts due to its cutting-edge facilities and exceptional programming. In this article, we will delve deeper into Bergen Performing Arts Center’s history, explore its current offerings, and discuss what makes it such a unique cultural gem.


The Bergen Performing Arts Center, or BergenPAC, was established in 2003 with the goal of bringing world-class performances to the region. The center is housed in the historic John Harms Center for the Arts, which first opened its doors as a movie theater in 1926. The theater underwent numerous renovations and name changes over the years, eventually becoming the John Harms Center for the Arts in 1984. The center was in dire financial straits in 2002, and it was on the verge of closing its doors for good. A group of concerned citizens, however, banded together to save the center, forming the Bergen Performing Arts Center as a nonprofit organization to oversee its operations.

Today, the BergenPAC is a thriving institution dedicated to providing the community with diverse cultural experiences. The center features a 1,367-seat theater, a smaller black box theater, and a large lobby with art exhibits and seating for patrons.


The BergenPAC’s exceptional programming is one of its defining features. Throughout the year, the center hosts a variety of performances ranging from Broadway musicals to classical concerts to comedy shows. Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, and Chris Botti are among the notable artists who have performed on the BergenPAC stage.

Aside from performances, the BergenPAC also hosts educational programs aimed at engaging and inspiring young people. The center’s Arts in Education program offers a variety of workshops, residencies, and performances that bring the arts into local schools. In addition, the BergenPAC collaborates with local organizations to provide free programming for underserved populations.

What distinguishes the BergenPAC?

The commitment to community engagement distinguishes the Bergen Performing Arts Center from other performing arts venues. The center is deeply committed to the community and works tirelessly to make its programs available to all. This dedication is reflected in the center’s diverse programming, which includes performances for people of all tastes and interests.

The BergenPAC is also dedicated to developing the next generation of artists and arts patrons. The center offers young people opportunities to explore their creativity and develop their talents through its Arts in Education program and other initiatives. This investment in the future of the arts is crucial for ensuring that the arts continue to thrive in our communities.


The Bergen Performing Arts Center is a cultural gem that enriches the lives of people in the region. Its exceptional programming, cutting-edge facilities, and dedication to community engagement make it a one-of-a-kind and beloved institution. Whether you are a seasoned arts patron or a newcomer, the BergenPAC has something for you. So, the next time you’re looking for a fun night out, consider going to the Bergen Performing Arts Center to see a live performance.

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