TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded more than $28 million in grants to support over 700 arts organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state. The grants were approved earlier today at the Arts Council's 56th Annual Meeting.
“It has been an honor to witness the ongoing dedication and boundless creativity of our state’s arts sector,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “I am proud to work closely with the State Arts Council as they grow and innovate, finding new ways to best serve the artists, arts workers, and organizations that continue to engage and inspire communities throughout the state.
Gratitude for Governor Murphy and the State Legislature was a theme throughout the meeting, as was the recognition that the arts industry is essential in shaping New Jersey communities both as an economic driver and in building quality of life.
Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson noted, “Of the $28.3 million announced today, roughly 70% is to support the general operations of organizations in all 21 counties. As the largest arts funder in the state, we know this is the most challenging type of support for nonprofits to come by, and it’s critical to their success. Operating dollars allow arts businesses to create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs, present hundreds of thousands of events, and attract and serve millions of people year-round.”
In addition to the grants voted on today, nearly $3 million will be granted out later this year through new grant programs for nonprofit organizations and a new professional development initiative for individual artists. Round two of the Council’s Capital Arts Program, which was launched last year with a focus on resiliency, will be released this fall.
Council Executive Director Allison Tratner spoke to the significance of these new programs, “The changes the Council makes – whether it’s the creation of new grant opportunities or services, or adapting current programs or practices – are the direct result of public feedback. The programs the Council launches this year allow us to build on successes and lessons learned, and set us up to serve the sector in meaningful, more equitable ways. We intend to continue to learn and evolve this year as we dive into the development of our next strategic plan.”
The Council shared that it will begin a year-long strategic planning process in the fall, and that public feedback from the broadest possible audiences will be a core component of their planning. Attendees at the meeting were encouraged to sign up for the Council’s mailing list (which can be found at (artscouncil.nj.gov), as the Council will be sharing important details on how to participate in the strategic planning process over the coming months.
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 artscouncil.nj.gov.