(Trenton, NJ) - The New Jersey State Council on the Arts held its first public meeting of 2022 today, where nearly $1 million was awarded to 85 New Jersey artists through the Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship program.
The Fellowships are competitive awards to New Jersey artists in 12 rotating disciplines granted solely on independent peer panel assessment of work samples. The anonymous process is focused on artistic quality, and awards may be used to help artists produce new work and advance their careers. New Jersey artists applied for awards this year in the categories of digital/electronic, film/video, painting, printmaking/works on paper/book arts, and prose. This program is carried out in partnership with Mid Atlantic Arts.
"I’m proud to work with the State Arts Council to ensure ongoing support for New Jersey artists, especially now" said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. "The State’s historic investment in the arts industry through the Council makes these meaningful – and in some cases, life-changing – awards possible. It is an honor to support and celebrate these artists, who exemplify the artistic excellence found throughout New Jersey.”
Speaking on the importance of this year’s Fellowship awards, the State Arts Council’s Executive Director, Allison Tratner, said: “New Jersey’s arts industry is strong but struggling, and at the heart of it are thousands of individuals putting in the work to shape lives, families, and communities. Today’s record number of Artist Fellowships is exciting – the Council’s largest group in over 30 years – and even more significant given the challenges they face.”
In addition to announcing this year's Artist Fellowships, the meeting also included the swearing-in of the newest member of the Council board, Jeremy Grunin.
"We are thrilled to welcome Jeremy to the State Arts Council," said Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson. "His expertise and dedication to the arts – specifically his thoughtful and important work at The Grunin Foundation - come at a historic time for both the Council and the field, and his insight will be invaluable as we continue to adapt and grow in order to better serve the sector in more equitable and impactful ways.”
“It is an honor for me to join the New Jersey State Council on the Arts,” said Jeremy Grunin. “The Grunin Foundation believes that equitable access to the arts helps to create a vibrant and thriving economic ecosystem. We know the crucial impact the arts have on individuals, from mental health outcomes and helping with social isolation, to providing creative outlets and boosting confidence. I look forward to serving on the Arts Council and working with my fellow Council members to support and facilitate the inclusion of the arts throughout all of New Jersey.”
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 www.artscouncil.nj.gov.