Hi! I’m Janice Shapiro, and I’ve been a resident of Jersey City for 22 years. My wife is a Jersey City original – born and raised here! We own a 14-foot wide 1850s row house up in the Hilltop section that, despite its small size, is filled with original detail and lots of collectibles. I was born in Newburgh, NY and lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Philadelphia until I moved here. I sang in my church choir as a young adult, in the Girls Glee Club in Jr. High, and played the clarinet for 5 years. Then I went to college and became a dancer. I danced professionally in NYC and traveled around the country dancing and teaching. Dancing is still my passion but it’s pretty much all Disco these days!
After retiring from a career as a dancer, I studied filmmaking and television production while working as Phylicia Rashad’s assistant on The Cosby Show. It was great fun and gave me some much needed time to figure out what I wanted to do next. And what came next, was a career in nonprofit management – after graduate school – focused in arts and culture. I guess you can say that I’ve been in the arts all of my life. Over the past 25 years, I’ve held leadership positions at the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, among others. Today, I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations focused primarily on planning and fundraising. I am also a graduate of iPEC; the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, and have a small life coaching business.
My wife and I have rescued well over 100 cats in and around our neighborhood. Most of them have found forever homes (including a few whose forever home is ours) and some have been TNR’d (trapped, neutered and returned to live outside as community cats). I have always loved to sing, but as an adult, my singing remained underground…or should I say inside my house or car. The thought of auditioning for North River Sing terrified me. But, despite feeling totally out of my comfort zone, I did it; I actually enjoyed it, and I made it in! I’m a new girl on the block and excited to be a part of this community.