About Us

Mission Statement

The Inner City Ensemble, Inc. is committed to dance and theater training and initiating arts-education programs for the City of Paterson’s most under-served communities, especially its youth.

ICE will establish a Paterson, NJ-based professional, multigenerational performance troupe creating unique community projects for Paterson residents.

In addition, the Inner City Ensemble will create a support network of ICE Alumni, and exhibit ICE archives in a permanent home in Paterson, New Jersey.


Donate to ICE via PayPalIf you would like to make a donation to support the work of the Inner City Ensemble using a credit card or PayPal, please click the donate link here, or send a donation by mail to The Inner City Ensemble, PO Box 3232, Paterson NJ 07509.


Company Background & ICE History
Goals, Timelines & Outcomes

In January 2009, a group of Inner City Ensemble (ICE) alumni, former staff members and Paterson, NJ arts supporters gathered at the home of former ICE Administrative Director and former Executive Director of Dance Compass, Sharon Stephens, to discuss strategies for locating and preserving ICE archives and memorabilia. Several ICE alumni expressed their desire and commitment to start offering arts programming in Paterson, NJ, a town with a rich history that currently lacks an extensive after-school arts training program or performing and outreach opportunities for youth. After two “brainstorming sessions” and an official planning meeting, a decision was reached to form a Board-of-Directors whose purpose would be to incorporate and re-establish the new Inner City Ensemble.

In September 2009, the ICE Board-of-Directors reclaimed the Inner City Ensemble name, and incorporated as a non-profit organization. We have located and secured historic photos, scripts and other ICE documents and memorabilia. One of our primary goals in 2010-2011 was to preserve and exhibit the ICE archives in a permanent location. Some of our other short-term goals include documenting the history of the performance troupe and its founder, Ralph Gomez, who led the organization for close to fifteen years, and ran the theater program and special projects like “Graffiti In Control”. The Board-of-Directors is simultaneously focused on preserving the ICE archives, while considering how to initiate and implement new arts programming in Paterson, NJ—projects that address the needs of the city’s most under-resourced, high-need communities.

Constituency Served, Audiences and Participants

Paterson, NJ has an extremely diverse populations and it is a goal of the ICE Board-of-Directors to offer affordable, quality training to artist-participants of all cultural backgrounds, ages and training levels. Although initially we are seeking to create a model youth arts program, we will also offer workshops, special community projects, and training and performance opportunities to the community at large, including senior citizens. Our long-term goals include establishing a core group of teenage performers, who train and perform locally and regionally. We also intend to form an adult-senior theater company that will serve as a model program for aging populations and the community at large. Primarily we will focus on arts excellence but additionally we will create Community Outreach Projects that speak to the challenges, needs and successes of the most under-served members of the City of Paterson. These particular workshops will not necessarily focus on a performance outcome as much as a creative outlet and alternative programming for potentially at-risk youth. Professional artist collaborations and exchanges have proven successful in producing provocative dance/theater works.