Jersey City awards $1M to 88 artists & organization with 2nd round of trust fund grants


The City of Jersey City has awarded $1 million to 88 artists and organization with their second round of Arts and Culture Trust Fund grants.

Photo courtesy of the City of Jersey City.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We are still the first and only municipality in New Jersey to administer an Arts and Culture Trust Fund, and I hope other municipalities will follow suit as they witness the short – and long-term benefits Jersey City experiences as a result of our investment in the arts – from boosting our local economy and improving residents’ well-being to fostering community and driving tourism and revenue to our businesses,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.

“Coupled with the major projects underway in Journal Square and elsewhere throughout our City, the fact that we have now allocated nearly $2 million through this voter-approved Trust Fund is a testament to our efforts and the important progress we are making.”

Of the grants awarded, 68 are for arts programs and organizations, with an average award of over $14,000. The remaining 20 fellowship grants will provide individual artists with $5,000 each.

“We are exceptionally proud to announce our 2023 JCACTF grantees. This year’s grantees spotlight the diversity that makes Jersey City the uniquely special place that it is,” added Arts & Culture Trust Fund Committee Co-Chair Elizabeth Phillips-Lorenzo.

“We love seeing the continued growth and expansion of our impactful arts programming all across the City, and this second round of grants is key to that.”

The second allocation of the Arts and Culture Trust Fund provides grants to organizations and individuals with an emphasis on diversity, equity access, and inclusion that provide direct public benefits in the following categories: Arts Education, Arts and Culture Programming, and Arts and Culture Operational Support.

The grants support a wide range of projects, from theater and music performances to visual arts exhibitions and arts education classes.

“The Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund grant has been incredibly helpful for Riverview Jazz. We run free events for the community all year, but it is often a struggle for us to continuously work year-round to maximize the community benefit,” added Riverview Jazz Executive Director Bryan Beninghove.

“This fund gives us the ability and flexibility to produce more events of quality for our great City. The JC Arts Trust Fund is a game changer!”

An independent review panel of arts professionals evaluated each grant application and they then made their recommendations to the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee.

After Jersey City voters strongly supported implementing the $.0025 tax levy as a sustainable funding source for arts and culture in 2020, the Trust Fund was designed through a year-long public process, with Jersey City’s residents and local artists participating in the visioning.

The fund is led by the Trust Fund Committee and administered by the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs.

In February 2022, the first round of Arts & Culture Trust Fund grants allocated $850,000 to provide meaningful support to help local artists and arts organizations throughout Jersey City grow and thrive.

The full list of grant awardees can be viewed on the Office of Cultural Affairs website.

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