History / Mission

ICE History and Goals

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 year, 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.


ICE Highlights

  • Incorporated ICE as a 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt, Non-Profit Charitable Organization
  • Elected Charter Board Members, Officers, and Appointed an Advisory Board
  • Formed an Events Planning Committee.
  • Elected an Artistic Director
  • Created a Mission Statement & By-Laws
  • Secured Existing Archives
  • Initiated Cultivation Events involving ICE Alumni & Professional Performers
  • Entered into a Partnership with the Paterson Museum & Mounted a Major Fundraising Exhibit at the Paterson Museum
  • Secured Regional Grants
  • Graduated First ICE Students

Services Offered

  • Youth Dance Training for ages 13-17
  • Youth Performing Company
  • ICE After-School Outreach Program for ages 4-5
  • Summer Dance & Theater Intensive
  • Local Artist Collaborations & Installations
  • Alumni Dance & Theater Performances