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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State


Porché Hardy

(Trenton, NJ) - Porché Hardy – Program Officer with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts - has been named as the newest member of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Advisory Council. AEP was founded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the US Department of Education and is hosted by the Education Commission of the States. For 25 years, AEP has been the nation's hub for those committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all US students, and the Advisory Council exists to help inform and guide the work and outreach of AEP.

In Ms. Hardy’s role as Program Officer with the State Arts Council, she manages a portfolio of grants representing performing arts presenters and arts education organizations, and also leads the Council’s arts education initiatives. Ms. Hardy’s three-year term marks the first time the Advisory Council will have representation from the state arts agency arts education managers community.

“State Arts Agency (SAA) representation on the AEP's Advisory Council adds an important perspective to the national arts education advocacy conversation,” said Porché Hardy. “SAA Arts Education Managers are a group of life-long learners who have a deep-seated understanding of the intersection between education, the artist, the child, and the community, and the inherent challenges that each group faces. I am especially proud to represent the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the state of New Jersey, a leader in the accessibility of arts education in this country.”

“This is a significant accomplishment, both for Ms. Hardy and for the State of New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “New Jersey was the first state in the nation to institute universal arts education requirements as part of a comprehensive education for all students, and quality arts education is something I have been proud to support. I know Ms. Hardy will represent not only New Jersey’s arts education community, but will be a passionate advocate of arts education for all communities throughout our country.”

“I am proud of the efforts of our State Council on the Arts and its many initiatives to ensure access to arts education opportunities for all New Jerseyans,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way, who oversees the Council within New Jersey’s Department of State. “I have seen firsthand the tremendous work of Ms. Hardy and her Council colleagues, and I know Porché will be an incredible asset to the Advisory Council. We are honored to have her represent New Jersey and impact arts education nationwide.”

“Porché's standout creativity and expertise make her the perfect representative of our agency and our state,” said Allison Tratner, Executive Director of the State Arts Council. “Having a seat at this table is very exciting, and we are truly looking forward to what's to come -- what we will all get to learn and what Porché will contribute to this important work.”

Porché is an alumna of Rutgers University, where she studied sociology and economics, as well as classical music at Mason Gross School of the Arts. She’s also an alumna of the William Esper Studio, the Council of Urban Professionals, the Victoria Page 13 Emerging Leadership Program, and Leadership Newark. She serves as an advisor for the NJ Arts & Culture Administrators of Color Network, and is on the membership committee of the Council of NJ Grantmakers and the steering committee for the National Assembly of State Arts Agenices’ Arts Education Working Group. An active member of her community, Porché served as the president of the Urban League of Essex County Young Professionals.

To learn more about the work of the Arts Education Partnership, visit

About the New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit


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