Jersey City Arts & Culture Trust Fund opening applications to offer over $1M in grants


The Jersey City Arts & Culture Trust Fund is opening applications to offer over $1 million in grants on Monday, January 29th, to support arts education, arts programming, general operations, and Individual Artist Fellowships.

Photo courtesy of the City of Jersey City.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We created the Arts and Culture Trust Fund to give Jersey City artists and arts organizations a lifeline where none existed,” Mayor Steven Fulop, who implemented New Jersey’s first Arts and Culture Trust Fund in 2021 after a successful referendum, said in a statement.

“With this third round of grants, we are increasing the total amount of allocations to more than $1 million, which is a significant amount of support that ultimately benefits our community as a whole.”

Jersey City’s nonprofit arts and culture sector generated $46 million in economic activity in 2022, including 532 jobs supported and over $28 million in personal income to residents, as was recently announced in a nationwide study.

“The Arts Trust grants have supported public art projects and arts education for all residents, supported local artists in securing studio space, and helped to produce free music and dance performances throughout the city for residents,” noted Jersey City Arts Council Executive Director Bryant Small, who administrators the artist fellowships.

“The grants and the Individual Artist Fellowships continue to demonstrate the value of supporting the artists making Jersey City such a vibrant, creative community.”

The first two rounds of grants worth nearly $2 million have provided critical assistance to nearly 200 local artists and arts organizations.

The third phase will distribute over $1 million in the following categories: Program Grant Awards, Arts Education Awards, Operating Grant Awards, and Fellowship Grant Awards.

Roxy Arrojo is the executive director of the Educational Arts Team at Camp Liberty and is one of the many 2023 grant recipients.

“We are grateful for the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund grant. It has created more opportunities for our teaching artists to go into different community centers in Jersey City, building connections with children and their families through the arts and deepening a love for reading,” she stated.

“We are especially excited to be able to expand our reach by offering more workshops in our own backyard throughout Ward A.”

In November 2020, the Arts Trust Funds received strong support from voters to implement the annual tax, which generates approximately $1 million in yearly revenue for arts and cultural programs.

“The average award amount in 2023 was over $20,000 for general operating grants, a 29% increase from our first year. The average program grant also increased by 28%,” noted Jersey City’s Office of Culture Affairs Director Christine Goodman.

We have been able to grow this grant program every year, and every year, we can see the tangible benefits of these critical investments in our arts and culture community.”

Grant applications will be available on the Cultural Affairs website from 9 a.m. on Monday, January 29, through 5 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2024.

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