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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

Isabel (Izzy) Kasdin Appointed Executive Director of the New Jersey Cultural Trust

Trenton, N.J. – The Board of the New Jersey Cultural Trust (NJCT), a division of the New Jersey Department of State, selected Isabel (Izzy) Kasdin as the NJCT’s next executive director at its March 7, 2022 meeting. The NJCT was established in 2000 as a public/private partnership to help ensure a stable and healthy nonprofit cultural industry in New Jersey. The NJCT provides grants to support capital projects, endowments and institutional and financial stabilization of arts, history and humanities organizations in New Jersey. Funding for the grants comes from interest earned on the Cultural Trust Fund, which is a permanent investment fund. As the NJCT’s executive director, Kasdin will be responsible for promoting responsible stewardship of the NJCT’s invested assets as well as setting long-term strategy for how the NJCT’s grant-making can best impact the State’s cultural sector. Kasdin stepped into her post on April 11, 2022.

Sara Cureton led the NJCT from 2007 to the present, while also serving as executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. “Ms. Kasdin’s appointment presents an enormous opportunity to expand the impact of the NJCT at a critical time for New Jersey’s cultural community,” Ms. Cureton observed. “All of us at the Department of State look forward to working with Ms. Kasdin to strengthen the vital arts, history, and humanities organizations in our state.”

Kasdin served as executive director of the Historical Society of Princeton from May 2016 through early 2022. In this capacity, she helped HSP achieve greater visibility and brand awareness in the local and regional community, built a new interpretive and programming strategy after a headquarters move, completed a large capital campaign and renovation project at HSP’s headquarters site, and increased HSP’s individual and grant fundraising revenues.

“Ms. Kasdin is recognized for her visionary cultural leadership and her ability to work collaboratively with partners and stakeholders,” noted NJCT Board Chair Bette Daniele. “The NJCT Board is delighted that she agreed to take this position.”

“Serving New Jersey’s vibrant cultural community is a priority for the Department of State. The grant program of the New Jersey Cultural Trust is particularly important now as arts, history, and humanities organizations reopen and rebuild,” said Acting Secretary of State Tahesha Way.

“I am honored to have been selected as the New Jersey Cultural Trust’s next leader,” said Kasdin. “As someone who shepherded a NJ nonprofit cultural organization through the COVID19 crisis, I am intimately familiar with the unique challenges facing our state’s cultural institutions. A vibrant arts and culture sector is one of New Jersey’s greatest assets, and I look forward to working with partners across the state to ensure the sector’s long-term sustainability.”

The New Jersey Cultural Trust is a division of the New Jersey Department of State.


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