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.

The first phase of the Fund closed in January 2021, awarding $2.6 million to 100 NJ-based non-profits statewide. The second phase will begin accepting applications on March 1st with a deadline of April 12, 2021.

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  • Contribute to an equitable recovery for the sector and the State.
  • 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.

Atlantic County

  • Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City
  • Atlantic City Arts Foundation, Atlantic City
  • Atlantic City Ballet, Atlantic City
  • Bay Atlantic Symphony, Atlantic City

Bergen County

  • The Art School at Old Church, Demarest
  • Arts Horizons, Englewood
  • Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Inc., Fort Lee
  • Center for Modern Dance Education, Hackensack

Burlington County

  • Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Browns Mills
  • ArtPride New Jersey, Burlington
  • Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown
  • Moorestown Theater Company, Moorestown
  • Alice Paul Institute, Mount Laurel

Camden County

  • Mainstage Center for the Arts, Blackwood
  • Camden FireWorks, Camden
  • Camden Repertory Theater Community Development, Camden
  • Mighty Writers, Camden

Cape May County

  • Cape May Stage, Cape May
  • Historic Cold Spring Village Foundation, Cape May

Cumberland County

  • Millville Army Airfield Museum, Millville
  • Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Port Norris section of Commercial Township

Essex County

  • Friends of Yogi, Little Falls
  • Jazz House Kids., Montclair
  • Montclair Film Festival, Montclair
  • Music Beyond Measure, Montclair
  • Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Montclair
  • Studio Montclair Gallery, Montclair
  • Vanguard Theater Company, Montclair
  • Arts Ed Newark, Newark
  • Gallery Aferro, Newark
  • Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, Newark
  • Newark Arts, Newark
  • Newark Boys Chorus School, Newark
  • Newark School of the Arts, Newark
  • New Jersey Historical Society, Newark
  • Project for Empty Space, Newark
  • Trilogy: An Opera Company, Newark
  • University of Orange, Orange
  • Luna Stage, West Orange
  • Arts for Kids, West Orange
  • Pushcart Players, Verona

Hudson County        

  • Mile Square Theatre, Hoboken
  • Art House Productions, Jersey City
  • Educational Arts Team, Jersey City
  • Nimbus Dance, Jersey City
  • Jersey City Theater Center, Jersey City
  • Union City Music Project, Union City

Hunterdon County

  • Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton
  • Roxey Ballet Company, Lambertville

Mercer County

  • Trenton Children’s Chorus, Ewing
  • Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton
  • Historic Morven, Princeton
  • The Princeton Festival, Princeton
  • Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, Princeton
  • Artworks Trenton, Trenton
  • Capital Singers of Trenton, Trenton
  • Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts Society, Trenton
  • New Jersey Capital Philharmonic, Trenton
  • Old Barracks Association, Trenton
  • Passage Theatre Company, Trenton
  • Trenton Circus Squad, Trenton
  • Trenton Museum Society, Trenton
  • Trenton Music Makers, Trenton
  • Westrick Music Academy, Princeton Junction section of West Windsor
  • West Windsor Arts Center, West Windsor

Middlesex County

  • American Theater Group, East Brunswick
  • coLAB Arts, New Brunswick
  • Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick
  • Hub City Jazz Festival, New Brunswick
  • Dance New Jersey, Sewaren section of Woodbridge

Monmouth County

  • Asbury Park Music Foundation, Asbury Park
  • Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal
  • New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch
  • Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan
  • Rockit Live Foundation, Middletown
  • Middletown Township Cultural & Arts Council, Middletown
  • Monmouth Arts, Red Bank
  • The Garden State Film Festival, Sea Girt

Morris County

  • New Jersey Ballet Company, Florham Park
  • Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Madison
  • Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, Morris Plains
  • ARTS By The People, Morristown
  • Morris Arts, Morristown
  • New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Morristown
  • The Growing Stage Theatre for Young Audiences, Netcong

Ocean County

  • Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum, Tuckerton

Passaic County

  • Botto House American Labor Museum, Haledon
  • Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, Paterson
  • Inner City Ensemble, Paterson

Salem County

  • Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, Elmer

Somerset County

  • The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster
  • Frontline Arts, Branchburg
  • Arts Ed NJ, Warren

Sussex County

  • Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton

Union County           

  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth
  • Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, Rahway
  • Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble, Roselle
  • Continuo Arts Foundation, Summit
  • Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit
  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Union
  • The Theater Project, Union

Funding Partners To Date

Thank you to all our partners who came together to support the arts, culture and history community with over $4.2 million raised thus far for the NJACRF.

Feb. 23, 2021 update:

The Phase II grant cycle opens on March 1st and the deadline is April 12, 2021. Please see guidelines here and visit our Fund’s Facebook page for any further updates.

There will be two information sessions held for potential applicants. You can register for one of the sessions here:
Thursday, March 4th – 3:30-4:30PM   —  To view a recording of this session, click here.
Friday, March 5th – 10:00-11:00AM

There will also be informal office hours for general inquiries. You can access the office hours during these times here:
Thursday, March 18th – 10:00-11:00AM
Tuesday, March 23rd – 2:00-3:00PM

Frequently Asked Questions

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

NJACRF will provide financial support to catalyze a more equitable statewide recovery and build resilience for arts, cultural and historical organizations facing disruption and loss.

The fund provides grants directly to arts, arts education, cultural, and historical organizations. For detailed information, please see the Fund Guidelines.

A core goal of the fund is to contribute to a more 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, arts education, 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.

Grant decisions will be made by a steering committee comprised of a coalition of funders and stakeholders galvanized around the Fund’s mission to ensure the survival and strength of the arts and culture sector now and into the future. Decisions will be guided by a review panel of arts, arts education, history, and philanthropy experts after a thorough review using this evaluation rubric and follow-up full panel discussion.

A year-round, part-time, paid employee working a minimum of 20 hours per week in an administrative or combined administrative/artistic leadership role. Please note, a part-time solely artistic employee does not meet this eligibility requirement.

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.

Unfortunately, no you cannot apply again during this round.  Please be sure to check back in the Spring/Summer for further information about future funding opportunities.

Yes, you may apply again.  We recommend that you carefully review the panel review rubric to assess your last application and make adjustments that might increase your score.

We have included a budget template that we hope will help you provide the information need for the panel to adequately review your financial situation.  We also provided a sample completed budget as guidance.

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

Rowan University’s College of Performing Arts is supporting the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund. Learn more about the April 16 virtual broadcast with Phillipa Soo: In Concert