TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded more than $15.7 million in grant funding to support 700 arts organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state. The awards were announced at the Arts Council's 52nd Annual Meeting held at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
“The New Jersey State Council on the Arts continues to build on its unwavering commitment to award grants to the arts community and support the partnerships we have seen here today,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “The arts challenge us to be creative and learn new skills, all of which help keep the mind astute and boost confidence. We congratulate and remain extremely grateful to today's award winners for their contribution and dedication to preserving a vital resource in their communities that directly improves the quality of life for everyone.”
Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson remarked, “Every year my colleagues and I marvel at what we discover about New Jersey's arts industry, and I am very proud of the work we do. In every corner of our state, you can find a thriving and tenacious creative community.”
The Council receives funding from the State of New Jersey through the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee legislation passed in 2003, which established a dedicated revenue source to support arts, history, and tourism. Additionally, the Arts Council receives annual competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Funding decisions are made through a transparent, merit-based, and rigorous grants process that assures access and equity. Independent peer panels evaluate grant applications to eliminate the possibility for conflict of interest.
Last year, Council grantees spent $275 million in New Jersey; employed an estimated 25,000 workers; and attracted nearly 7.5 million patrons who spent an additional $232 million in the state. The bottom line: New Jersey artists and arts organizations produced a dollar of local economic activity for every three cents they received from the State Arts Council.
Additionally, 46 organizations and projects that received the highest evaluations were recognized with Citations of Excellence. Thirty-four groups were designated as Major Arts, Presenting, or Service organizations in recognition of their history of excellence, the breadth of their impact, and their longstanding leadership.