Lynne Toye is the inaugural Executive Director of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund. In her role, she oversees the Fund’s grantmaking and leads its fundraising and strategy. The Fund is a public-private collaboration led by Ms. Toye in partnership with the Fund’s Steering Committee. Ms. Toye’s professional experience includes leadership roles in nonprofit administration and higher education. Prior to assuming her role with the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund, she was the Chief Administrative Officer at Harlem School of the Arts. Ms. Toye earned a B.S. degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She is a proud New Jersey resident and has been involved with New Jersey arts and culture organizations for nearly 30 years.
The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund was originally named the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund. It was established in 2020 to ensure the survival, strength and sustainability of the state’s arts, cultural and historical sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund has awarded $6.7 Million to 192 organizations. The first phase of the Fund closed in January 2021, awarding $2.6 million to 100 NJ-based nonprofits statewide. The second phase of grantmaking closed in May 2021, awarding $1.3 million to more than 60 nonprofits throughout the state. The third phase of grantmaking closed in February 2022, awarding nearly $600,000 to 15 nonprofits for regranting to artists, teaching artists, and history professionals. A fourth round of grantmaking closed in July of 2022 and awarded $2.2 Million in unrestricted grants to 97 organizations.
The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund changed its name to The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund on April 1, 2022. The Fund’s Steering Committee opted for this change to more accurately reflect the mission of the Fund and the scope of its work.
The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund will continue to support the arts, cultural, and historical sector through equitable grantmaking to smaller nonprofit organizations most vulnerable to sector disruptions. The Fund offers fast, flexible funding focused on nonprofit organizations whose primary mission is either arts and culture, arts education, or history and whose budgets are $5 million or less.
The name change from “Recovery” to “Renewal” signals the Fund’s Support of a strong comeback for smaller arts and culture organizations and funding for a sustainable future. The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund will provide a “safety net” for the sector as it emerges from the pandemic and fortifies for unknown challenges that lie ahead.
Stabilize the sector with immediate, unrestricted grants to organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 statewide.
Make grants that offset unplanned capital improvement expenses required to comply with new health and safety protocols.
Help arts, cultural and historical organizations maintain essential functions, retain core staff, and restructure as needed.
Support organizations that strategically assist artists and sector professionals in meeting basic, life-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 sustained catastrophic financial losses that threaten irreparable damage. New Jersey’s cultural industry has sustained losses of more than $30 million 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 $600 million in economic activity, employ nearly 30,000 workers, and engage more than 9.5 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 came to a screeching halt, these same arts and history groups, as well as individual artists continued working, many without pay, to offer relief and hope for residents of all ages, including many of our most vulnerable populations. As we emerge from the pandemic, cultural organizations offer opportunities for connection, stress relief, healing, learning, and much needed entertainment. Many also serve as community anchors, capitalizing on strategic partnerships and innovative programs that intersect with vital social services.
The recovery of the creative sector and heritage tourism lags behind the recovery of other sectors in New Jersey, even as restrictions ease. The sector at large has suffered devastating losses, including some permanent closures – and the threat of a pandemic resurgence looms. With support, the sector can thrive and continue to offer connection, resilience and renewal now and into the future.
The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal 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.
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.
A budget template will be included in the Fund Guidelines and in the application to help you provide the information needed for our evaluators to adequately review your financial situation. A sample completed budget will also be provided for additional guidance.