Mayor Fulop Announces First Round of Grants to Quadruple Critical Funds for Local Artists, Arts Organizations, and Educational Programming

“Our local artists and arts organizations define our City as a local destination for arts and culture, and our investments today will have invaluable impacts for generations to come,” said Mayor Fulop.  “The more we support and invest in our burgeoning arts community, the more we can promote and expand wide-ranging opportunities for all of our residents. Our arts community is undergoing a revolutionary transformation that is attracting key investments and revitalization opportunities already stimulating the local economy and cultural activity, with major future advancements underway.”

Jersey City’s Arts and Culture Trust Fund generates four times the amount of what Hudson County receives in total from the State every year – further demonstrating the Fulop Administration’s commitment to local artist groups, organizations, and community partners.

Grant applications are available online as of today.  The funds will support Jersey City artists, educational programming, and arts organizations that expand the impact and inclusiveness of the arts in Jersey City, build community connections through art, and develop creative and economic opportunities for artists.

Applications must include:

  • Direct Public Benefit – Detailed plans to provide a free public benefit through art, unique to each applicant depending on their work and artistic discipline.
  • Diversity Equity Access and Inclusion – Detailed plans for making real and meaningful improvements that address barriers to ensuring all residents can participate in the arts.

“As an artist and Jersey City native, I have experienced waves of arts organizations and other artists come and go, due in part to the lack of financial support available to facilitate our contributions, which have made this City great,” said Nyugen Smith, a Jersey City artist.  “I am excited and encouraged that the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund has been established. It is absolutely in the interest of fostering creativity and puts us on par with other world-class cities that truly support their artists and creative communities.”

“It’s exciting to see Jersey City moving the needle on municipal arts support yet again as it opens the application process for the Arts and Culture Trust Fund.  The Fund continues to be a model for local arts support, and we look forward to learning more about the process and seeing the Fund make a real difference to artists and arts groups throughout Jersey City,” added Ann Marie Miller, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation.

“Mayor Fulop recognized early on the true value and countless benefits that the arts can bring to a community, and due to our efforts, this is the first of many major steps that will further drive our economy, boost local business, elevate mental health, promote beautification, and foster community,” said Christine Goodman, Director of Jersey City’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Mayor Fulop spent two years working closely with the Jersey City Arts Council to lobby State Legislators for the mechanisms that would allow for sustainable, long-term arts funding. Jersey City was first to take action when the State bill was signed into law by the Governor in December 2019, allowing municipalities to implement an Arts and Culture Trust Fund.

“We are thrilled that the Arts and Culture Trust Fund grant applications are launching,” said Heather Warfel Sandler, Chair of the Jersey City Arts Council. “JCAC began advocating for the creation of the trust in 2018 and it has taken years of collaboration between the arts community and local government to get us to this point. JCAC is proud of the influence we’ve had throughout this process, including the establishment of a diverse and deeply thoughtful trust committee, and advocating for an accessible and equitable program for all types of artists. These grants will be an economic driver not just for artists but also for all of Jersey City, and will make the city a more creative, inclusive place. We’re grateful to all those in the community that put so much work into making this a reality.”

In November 2020, Jersey City residents overwhelmingly voted in support of implementing the sustainable funding source with a $.0025 tax levy. The Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee was later established to oversee the Trust Fund and the allocation of all grant funding.

“Our City is nationally known for its diverse population  and Jersey City Arts and Cultural Fund Committee is hoping that through this grant opportunity it will allow for a varied robust artistic and cultural showing for our residents and visitors alike,” added Elizabeth Phillips Lorenzo, Co-chair of the Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee.

Virtual information sessions, eligibility requirements, pre-recorded tutorials, and other tips for applying can be found on the Jersey City Cultural Affairs website.  The application deadline is March 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

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