New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund awards $2.2 million in grants to nonprofits

The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund is awarding $2.2 million in grants to 96 nonprofit organizations across the state. 

Since its founding in 2020, the fund has awarded a total of more than $6.7 million in grants to more than 180 nonprofit arts, culture, and history organizations statewide.

The fund recently received a $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support grantmaking. The fund awards grants to organizations that contribute to cultural equity and community well-being, a mission that aligns with the philanthropy goals of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The fund has also received significant support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation, the fund is a collaboration between private and public donors. Established at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has provided needed support for many of the state’s nonprofit organizations in the arts, culture, and history sectors. The fund has prioritized support to small and mid-size organizations, led by or serving people of color that were found to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund started as a recovery fund two years ago to help arts, cultural and historical organizations survive the COVID pandemic. We have now transformed into a renewal fund, focusing on the resiliency and future of the sector as its needs change and evolve,” said Jeremy Grunin, Co-Chair of the fund steering committee. “This sector is essential to our social and emotional well-being, keeping us connected, fostering unity, and improving mental health. Through equitable grantmaking, the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund is helping smaller arts, cultural and historical organizations continue to thrive during challenging times, which in turn, positively impacts the entire New Jersey community.”

An early gift from the Grunin Foundation was a catalyst for other foundations and institutions to join in supporting the fund. In addition to the Grunin Foundation, major institutional supporters include the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, Merck, the Prudential Foundation, Amazon, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.

“In this round of our grantmaking, the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund received $5.8 million in requests, indicating the great need that still exists among arts and culture organizations across the state,” said Sharnita Johnson, vice president of strategy, impact and communications at the Victoria Foundation. “The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund directly addresses inequity and historical disparities in funding and intentionally fills the resource gap.”

In the most recent round of awards, grants ranged in size from $1,500 to $50,000, with an average grant size of $23,000.  Grants are being awarded to:

Mercer County

  • Art Against Racism, Princeton
  • Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton
  • Artworks Trenton Inc, Trenton
  • Capital Singers of Trenton, Trenton
  • Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts Society, Trenton
  • Hopewell Valley Arts of Council, Hopewell
  • James R Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Hamilton
  • Passage Theatre Company, Trenton
  • Storytelling Arts, Inc, Princeton Junction
  • Stretto Youth Chamber Orchestra, Princeton
  • Trent House Association, Trenton
  • Trenton Circus Squad, Trenton
  • Trenton Music Makers, Trenton
  • West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction
  • Westrick Music Academy, Princeton Junction
  • Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, Princeton

Hunterdon County

  • ACME Screening Room, Lambertville
  • Roxey Ballet Company, Frenchtown

Middlesex County

  • American Theater Group, East Brunswick
  • coLAB Arts, New Brunswick
  • Crossroads Theatre Company, New Brunswick
  • Raices Cultural Center, New Brunswick

Somerset County

  • Arts Ed NJ, Warren

Burlington County

  • ArtPride New Jersey, Burlington
  • Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown
  • Roebling Museum, Roebling
  • West Jersey Music Academy, Moorestown

Atlantic County

  • Atlantic City Arts Foundation, Atlantic City
  • Inlet Public Private Association Inc., dba Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City
  • MudGirls Studios, Linwood

Bergen County

  • Arts Horizons, Englewood
  • CavanKerry Press, Fort Lee
  • Epitome of Soul, Ridgewood
  • MarbleJam Kids Inc, Hackensack
  • Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Inc, Fort Lee
  • The Art School at Old Church, Demarest

Camden County

  • Camden FireWorks, Camden
  • IDEA Center for the Arts, Camden
  • Ritz Theatre Company, Inc, Haddon Township
  • Superior Arts Institute, Camden

Cape May County

  • Greater Cape May Historical Society, Cape May

Cumberland County

  • Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Port Norris
  • Levoy Theatre Preservation Society, Millville
  • Millville Development Corporation, Millville
  • Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, Millville
  • Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Millville

Essex County

  • Arts Ed Newark/Newark Arts, Newark
  • Arts for Kids Inc, West Orange
  • Barat Foundation, Newark
  • GlassRoots, Newark
  • Ivy Hill Vailsburg Center for Arts Culture and Community Activism, Newark
  • Jazz House Kids Inc, Montclair
  • Luna Stage, West Orange
  • Montclair Film, Montclair
  • Newark Boys Chorus School, Newark
  • Newark Public Radio, Newark
  • Newark School of the Arts, Newark
  • Project for Empty Space, Newark
  • Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc, Montclair
  • Trilogy an Opera Company, Newark
  • University of Orange, Orange
  • Vanguard Theater Company, Montclair

Hudson County

  • Art House Productions, Jersey City
  • Educational Arts Team, Jersey City
  • Jersey City Arts Council, Jersey City
  • Jersey City Theater Center, Jersey City
  • Kennedy Dancers, Inc., Jersey City
  • Nimbus Dance, Jersey City
  • Riverview Jazz, Jersey City
  • Speranza Theatre Company, Jersey City
  • Surati for Performing Arts, Jersey City
  • The Grace Theatre Workshop, Inc, Union City
  • Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, Hoboken
  • Union City Music Project, Inc, Union City
  • Victory Hall Inc, Jersey City

Monmouth County

  • Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal
  • Jazz Arts Project, Inc., Red Bank
  • New Jersey Theatre Alliance, Allenhurst

Morris County

  • ARTS By The People, Morristown
  • Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
  • The New Jersey Play Lab, Randolph
  • The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Florham Park

Ocean County

  • Barnegat Bay Decoy & Baymen’s Museum, Tuckerton
  • John F Peto Studio Museum, Island Heights

Passaic County

  • Friends of Yogi, Inc, Little Falls
  • Inner City Ensemble, Paterson

Salem County

  • Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, Elmer

Sussex County

  • Peters Valley School of Craft, Layton

Union County

  • Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Union
  • Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit
  • Institute of Music for Children, Elizabeth
  • Keys 2 Success, New Providence
  • People Helping People, Inc, Rahway
  • The Theater Project, Union
  • Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit
  • Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights