New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund

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The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund was established to ensure the survival and strength of the state’s arts, cultural and historical sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Stabilize the sector with flexible grants to organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 statewide.
  • Offset expenses related to compliance with health and safety protocols and reopening guidance.
  • Help arts, cultural and historical organizations maintain essential functions and retain core staff.
  • Support organizations that strategically assist artists and sector professionals in meeting life and career-sustaining needs.
  • Position New Jersey’s arts, cultural and historical sector to survive the economic crisis and contribute to statewide recovery in the innovative ways the public expects and that only the arts, culture and history can.
  • Contribute to an equitable recovery for the sector and the State as a whole.

Hundreds of nonprofit arts, cultural and historical organizations and thousands of artists and sector workers have experienced catastrophic financial losses that threaten irreparable damage. New Jersey’s cultural industry has sustained millions of dollars of losses due to pandemic related closures and cancelations. Institutions, some of which have been serving New Jersey communities for decades, have exhausted reserves, laid off staff, depleted endowments, and increased debt.

New Jersey’s cultural industries – when open and thriving – are essential components of our state and local economies. Nonprofit arts organizations generate more than $660 million in economic activity, employ nearly 22,000 workers, and engage more than 8.3 million people who stay in hotels, and eat and shop locally, all year round. Millions of dollars are spent through heritage tourism annually, and thousands of jobs are created to accommodate visitors who explore New Jersey’s rich role in history.

While business as it was before COVID-19 has come to a screeching halt, these same organizations, as well as individual artists, have continued working, many without pay, to offer relief and hope for residents of all ages, including some of our most vulnerable populations. Cultural organizations offer opportunities for connection, stress relief, education, and much needed entertainment. Many also serve as community anchors, capitalizing on strategic partnerships and innovative programs that intersect with vital social services.

The arts and culture in New Jersey are already a visible part of pandemic relief. As the sector at large braces for worst case scenarios, including permanent closures, New Jersey and its residents risk losing a necessary component of a complete recovery. With help, the sector can continue to support healing and resilience now and into the future.

NJACRF is hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, and Co-Chaired by Jeremy Grunin of the Grunin Foundation and Sharnita C. Johnson of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. In addition to Grunin and Dodge, the NJACRF’s Steering Committee includes representatives from the Prudential Foundation, Stone Foundation of NJ, and E. J. Grassmann Trust, all contributors to the Fund, as well as the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and New Jersey Historical Commission. The fund is also generously supported by the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and a growing list of donors.

Funding Partners To Date

Thank you to our initial partners who came together to support our community with $1.6 million for NJACRF. Following that initial outpouring of support, our generous community has raised a total of $2.3 million to keep the arts alive in New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions

The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund was established to ensure the survival and strength of the state’s arts, cultural and historical sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

NJACRF will provide financial support to catalyze an equitable statewide recovery and build resilience for arts, cultural and historical organizations facing disruption and loss. Applicants will be asked how funds can assist their transition from recovery to resiliency, with a long-term goal of thriving in a new environment.

Grant guidelines and application information will be released in the coming weeks.

The fund will provide immediate grants directly to arts, cultural and historical organizations, and indirectly to artists and sector workers (through a nonprofit partner) negatively impacted by the COVID crisis.

A core goal of the fund is to contribute to an equitable recovery for the arts and cultural sector and the State as a whole. As such, broad geographic distribution is a priority, as is ensuring access for the individuals and organizations that have historically had unequal access to resources for support, investment, and capitalization.

A comprehensive relief effort is one that positions arts, cultural and historical organizations, as well as individual artists, cultural and historical sector workers statewide to survive the economic crisis and contribute to recovery in the ways the public expects and that only the arts and culture can. From economic revitalization and jobs, to fostering dialogue and unity in the face of issues of social and racial injustice, the arts, culture and history are critical tools for action and change as we work to rebuild.

No. Organizations can apply for up to $50,000 support (if organization budget is under $3M) and up to $50,000 in Intermediary Regranting support in one proposal.

 

Both strategies of giving are critically important for the sector as a whole to endure the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. As a coalition of statewide, local, and regional grantmakers and service providers with broad collective knowledge of the field, NJACRF seeks to nurture dialogue among cultural leaders and stakeholders statewide to build sector strength that leverages the capacities of individual organizations to create a thriving arts and humanities ecosystem.

A robust cultural sector contributes to broader social and economic activity that contributes to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities in every corner of the state. Investing in the survival of the industry increases the chances of long-term, sustainable success, with broad-reaching results that impact employment, real estate values, crime and safety, tourism, health and wellness, education, and overall quality of life in New Jersey.

The fund is a public-private partnership, capitalizing on the resources and expertise available through the government, corporate and private philanthropic sectors. Strategic alignment of these partners ensures a coordinated approach to sector support at all levels, ongoing dialogue with the field and stakeholders, and a true commitment to transparency and best practices in grantmaking.

Data generated from the grants process will provide insight into how the evolving crisis is affecting nonprofits and individuals in the arts, cultural and historical sector, and what funders and investors can best do to respond. We will use this information to shape our own strategic investment as well as to bolster advocacy efforts that guide funders and government to effectively support recovery and resiliency in the years ahead.

For more information or support, please contact:

Michael Nuno
Senior Director, Philanthropy 
Email Michael Nuno for information about donating to the fund

For media inquiries please contact Michelle Sahn, Director of Communications
Email Michelle Sahn