Essex County rakes in funding from NJ State Council on the Arts

South Orange Performing Arts Center

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The New Jersey State Council on the Arts recently 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,” Secretary of State Tahesha Way said in a press release. “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 Chairwoman Elizabeth Mattson said, “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. 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.

Of the $15.7 million in grant funding, $5,162,595 was awarded to Essex County organizations and artists. In Bloomfield, New Jersey Tap Ensemble received $16,814 for general operating support. In Cedar Grove, ArtsPower received $49,138 for general operating support. In Livingston, New Jersey Ballet Company received $86,232 for general operating support. In Maplewood, Rachel Asarnow of Jewish Papercuts received $2,875 for a folk arts apprenticeship; and Vanguard Theater Company received $15,000 for arts project support. In Millburn, Paper Mill Playhouse received $719,409 for general operating support.

In Montclair, Dance New Jersey received $9,341 for general operating support; Freespace Dance received $5,000 for general operating support; Jazz House Kids received $30,000 for general operating support; Montclair Art Museum received $298,817 for general operating support and $14,000 for a co-sponsored project; Montclair Film Festival received $30,000 for general operating support; Montclair State University Art Galleries received $12,828 for general program support; and Montclair State University/Arts & Cultural Program received $54,464 for general program support.

In Newark, Barat Foundation received $11,500 for general operating support; Gallery Aferro received $11,897 for general operating support; GlassRoots received $28,899 for general operating support; Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District received $7,266 for general program support; New Jersey Performing Arts Center received $1,000,000 for general operating support; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra received $1,000,000 for general operating support; Newark Arts Council received $30,538 for general operating support; Newark Boys Chorus School received $52,729 for general program support; Newark Public Radio/WBGO-FM received $205,343 for general operating support; Newark School of the Arts received $147,163 for general operating support; Rutgers University/Paul Robeson Art Gallery received $14,701 for general program support; Rutgers University/School of Public Affairs & Administration received $25,000 for a co-sponsored internship program project; and the Newark Museum Association received $1,000,000 for general operating support.

In Orange, Arts Unbound received $26,125 for general operating support. In South Orange, the South Orange Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs received $9,433 for general program support; and the South Orange Performing Arts Center received $33,000 for general operating support. In Verona, the Essex County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received $118,595 for a local arts program and $14,754 for general program support; and Pushcart Players received $28,750 for general operating support. In West Orange, Arts For Kids received $7,000 for general operating support; JCC Metrowest received $28,844 for general program support; and Luna Stage Company received $17,140 for general operating support.

Additionally, 46 organizations and projects that received the highest evaluations were recognized with Citations of Excellence. Citations of Excellence were awarded to Arts Unbound, Dance New Jersey, Jazz House Kids, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair Film Festival, Montclair State University/Arts & Cultural Program, New Jersey Performing Arts Center , New Jersey Symphony Orchestra , Newark Public Radio/WBGO-FM, Paper Mill Playhouse , South Orange Performing Arts Center and The Newark Museum.

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. Recognized as major arts institutions were Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey Ballet Company , New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Newark Public Radio/WBGO-FM, Paper Mill Playhouse and The Newark Museum. Recognizes as major presenting and service organizations were Montclair State University/Arts & Cultural Programming, Newark School of the Arts and New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

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