The New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund (NJACRF) has awarded $1.3 million in grants to more than 60 nonprofits across the state, as they work to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

This is the second round of grants awarded by NJACRF, which is hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation. Earlier this year, the fund provided $2.6 million in grants to more than 100 other arts, culture and historical nonprofits statewide.

COVID-19 shuttered venues and forced furloughs and layoffs of more than half of the state’s creative workforce. The state’s nonprofit arts industry reported pandemic-related losses of more than $100 million as of December.

In response to the needs of the arts community, NJACRF was established last year with a gift from the Grunin Foundation, based in Toms River. A coalition of funders quickly followed with their support, to ensure the recovery of the industry.

Most recently, Merck became a leadership donor, and the 1772 Foundation and Turrell Fund became major donors to the fund, which has raised a total of over $4.5 million. But the needs of the community across the state are great and fundraising continues.

“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the health and economic wellbeing of many communities in New Jersey,” said Carmen Villar, vice president, Social Business Innovation, Merck.   “We are proud to support the NJACRF’s work to ensure equitable recovery of the vibrant arts and cultural sectors for all communities in our state.”

The Fund is chaired by Jeremy Grunin, President of the Grunin Foundation, and Sharnita C. Johnson, Program Director – Arts, of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and members include Prudential Foundation, Stone 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 Foundation, Amazon and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The IDEA Center for the Arts in Camden was among the grantees.

“The NJ Arts and Culture Recovery funds we received from the Princeton Area Community Foundation will allow us to hire artists who are struggling to maintain their footing but want to continue serving our Camden youth and their families in this extremely uncertain time, many of whom cannot afford to pay for the creative services we offer,” said Cynthia Primas, the President/CEO of the IDEA Center. “We are truly grateful to be able to sustain and maintain our mission to expose the community to the life affirming quality of the arts and we are honored to be recognized by the Princeton Area Community Foundation for the work we do.”

Grants were awarded to:

Atlantic County

Bergen County

Burlington County

Camden County

Cape May County

Cumberland County

Essex County

Gloucester County

Hunterdon County

Hudson County

Mercer County

Middlesex County

Monmouth County

Morris County

Ocean County

Somerset County

Sussex County

Union County

Warren County

For more information visit Make a gift to the fund here.

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 and Dodge Foundations, coalition leadership includes the Prudential Foundation, Stone Foundation of NJ, E. J. Grassmann Trust, NJ State Council on the Arts, and the NJ Historical Commission. Application availability, current grantees, and donation opportunities are available at Visit our Facebook page at