• Library will be closed to public Friday, June 30

    closed signThe Main Library will be closed to the public on Friday, June 30, due to building and computer maintenance. It will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 1. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
  • Summer Reading Program begins June 29

    Steel PierThe Atlantic City Public Library will throw a party on Thursday, June 29, at 2 p.m. to kick off its Summer Reading Program for children and teenagers. This year’s theme is “Build a Better World.” (Download this year's Summer Reading Program brochure). The party is for ages 17 and younger and will include a magic show featuring Chad Juros.  The Steel Pier in Atlantic City is a sponsor of this year’s Summer Reading Program. Click here to read more.
  • Phyllis Chapell & SIORA to play
    Third Thursday Concert Series on July 20

    Phyllis ChapellThe Atlantic City Free Public Library will be bringing free entertainment to the city with its Third Thursday Concert Series. Performances will be held on the third Thursday of each month from May through September. Shows begin at 5 p.m. and will be held at the Main Library. Please call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3112, for more information. Click here to read more.
  • Receive one-on-one assistance
    at weekly Walk-in Job Skills Lab

    job skillsThe Atlantic City Free Public Library offers a free Walk-in Job Skills Labs to library members who need help with job-related tasks. We’ll provide refresher tips for your job search. Beginning in January 2017, the lab will be held Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note the new lab hours. Click here to read more.
  • Library to host monthly Job Corps
    information sessions for individuals ages 16-24

    job corpsThe Atlantic City Free Public Library will host Job Corps orientations on June 21, July 19 and Aug. 16, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  Job Corps is the largest vocational trade school in the country that provides hands-on training in high-demand industries, such as manufacturing, construction, health care, hospitality, information technology and more. The program is open to ages 16-24 that need a High School Diploma. Call Kim Webster at (856) 305-7388 to reserve a seat. Click here to download the flyer.
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Joanna LaSane

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Marker is located on the southwest corner of Hummock Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Marker text:

1935-
An Atlantic City native, LaSane devoted her life to the Arts and was the first African-American Woman appointed to the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. She served as Director of the Atlantic City Children's Theatre and Drama Consultant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Complex, the Center for Early Childhood Education and the Atlantic City Board of Education. Beginning a career as a high fashion model, Joanna was the first Atlantic County female to model internationally. She appeared in Vogue, Redbook, Look, Life, Ebony and Glamour, and was the first black model to do a prime time commercial seen coast to coast. Mrs. LaSane served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Atlantic City Arts Commission. She received numerous awards such as being listed in the Who's Who Among Black Americans, the N.J. State Senate Cultural Arts Award and was inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

Additional information:

Joanna LaSane's performing and modeling career has brought her international acclaim, but not always without resistance. LaSane's mother was a graduate of Madame Sarah Spencer Washington's Apex Beauty School, an institution which promoted an increasingly-dated concept of African-American beauty which included many products to straighten and take out the natural crimping of black hair. Joanna, conversely, preferred to keep her hair looking natural. Her mother asserted that this would be a detriment to her career, but, as advertising agencies began to portray African-Americans in a truer and less stereotypical sense, Joanna's look was exactly what they wanted. Joanna's appearance in a Pepsi advertisement launched her modeling career, but the original passion which she later returned to as a theatre director was dance. LaSane attended the American School of Ballet in New York, and the International School of Dance at Carnegie Hall. She also received training from Lloyd Richards, the Dean of Yale University's School of Drama. LaSane has called dancing "The ultimate in physical fitness," and has stated that "the most important part of education is to tie everything in with the arts." Joanna is married to Karlos LaSane, the first black man to be elected to a public office in Atlantic City.

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:
Johnson, Nelson: The Northside
Atlantic City Press, article from May 9, 1989
"Black History Month 2008: A Title of Respect" Heston Coll. 305.874985

 

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