Lawrenceville, October 28, 2021 – The New Jersey Arts & Culture Recovery Fund has hired a longtime nonprofit leader as its executive director.

Lynne Toye, of South Orange, New Jersey, will become the first leader of the fund that has awarded $3.9 million in grants to nonprofit arts, culture and history organizations that have suffered losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lynne as the inaugural executive director of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund,” said Jeremy Grunin, Co-Chair, NJACRF, and the President of the Grunin Foundation. “With her dynamic and diverse experience, Lynne will provide strategic vision and lead NJACRF to its next phase of development. We look forward to continuing to help ensure the survival of the arts, cultural and historical sector in New Jersey with Lynne at the helm.”

The New Jersey Arts & Culture Recovery Fund (NJACRF) was created last year with an initial gift from the Grunin Foundation, based in Toms River. Donations from other foundations in New Jersey quickly followed for the fund, which is hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation.

NJACRF was formed to help stem the losses the pandemic caused for the arts sector. In 2020, the state’s nonprofit arts industry reported losses of more than $100 million, and more than half of its workforce was furloughed or laid off.

“I am thrilled to be able to combine my passion for arts and culture with the outstanding mission of the New Jersey Arts & Culture Recovery Fund,” said Toye. “I’m inspired by the great work the steering committee has already accomplished in supporting arts, cultural, and history organizations across the state. It’s clear there is much more work to do to help the arts & culture sector rebound.  I look forward to collaborating with the NJACRF Steering Committee and making a continued impact.”

Toye has been supporting the arts and culture community for nearly 30 years. She most recently served as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City, where she was on the senior leadership team, managing the Marketing, Communications and Administration functions and created campaigns to support the Programs and Development departments.

Her previous roles include serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Jazz House Kids in Montclair, Director of the Center for Innovation Management at SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Director of the Stern School of Business Executive Education at New York University, and as President & CEO of Chester Mason, Inc. Design Studio in Philadelphia.

She holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has also taught there as an adjunct professor. She’s also an artist who paints oils on canvas and has served as a mentor to emerging artists. She is an advocate for emerging and established artists and enjoys building community around supporting contemporary art.

She will begin her new role on Nov. 8.

“I join Co-Chair Jeremy Grunin and the Steering Committee in welcoming Lynne Toye as the NJACRF’s executive director,” said Sharnita C. Johnson, the Fund’s Co-Chair and the Board Chair-Elect of Grantmakers in the Arts. “Establishing the Fund and providing resources to New Jersey artists, arts, culture and history organizations has been critically important. We believe Lynne will expertly lead the Fund into its next chapter. ”

The next opportunity to apply for funding from the NJACRF will open in January with grants focused on nonprofit organizations that can act as intermediaries to re-grant funds to individual artists, teaching artists, and culture and history workers negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and other recent disasters affecting our state. The Fund will continue to prioritize equity through the support of organizations with a demonstrated commitment to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities, and serving communities most vulnerable to the impacts of systemic bias and/or pursuing social justice work through arts, arts education, or history programming.

NJACRF is chaired by Grunin and Johnson. Members include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Prudential FoundationStone Foundation of NJ, E. J. Grassmann Trust, NJ State Council on the Arts, and the NJ Historical Commission. Other major donors include the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson FoundationAmazon and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Dodge Foundation recently awarded an additional $100,000 grant to the fund.


About the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund.

NJACRF was created by a coalition of public and private funders to ensure the survival and strength of the state’s arts and cultural sector facing economic devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants through the NJACRF aim to catalyze an equitable statewide recovery and build cultural sector resilience. NJACRF is committed to an equity-centered process to ensure that the funds support the most hard-hit populations of New Jersey. The fund was established with a lead gift from the Grunin Foundation and is hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation. Chaired by representatives from the Grunin Foundation and Grantmakers in the Arts, coalition leadership includes the Grunin Foundation, Prudential Foundation, Stone Foundation of NJ, E. J. Grassmann Trust, Dodge Foundation, NJ State Council on the Arts, NJ Historical Commission, and specialists in statewide cultural philanthropy. Application availability, current grantees, and donation opportunities are available at Visit our Facebook page at