(NEWARK, NJ) -- Newark Arts has announced $100,000 in grants to 33 local arts organizations, designed to drive deeper, more impactful and equitable support for disenfranchised communities, including people of color, artists, and the LGBTQ population. These grants will help to spark economic growth throughout Newark.
“This is by far the largest amount of funding we’ve ever been able to award,” said Newark Arts Executive Director Jeremy Johnson. “It’s the result of incredible support from key partners such as Prudential Financial and other donors who believe in our mission—to power the arts to transform lives,” said Johnson.
Newark Arts will provide 15 organizations with these competitive grants, called “ArtStart.” An additional 18 arts groups will receive special “PARTNER” grants, to support their long-term commitment to Newark area artists.
“The arts are an important element in Newark’s ongoing success,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “These grants to community groups via Newark Arts will give strength to our city’s vibrant arts sector. It’s appropriate that this announcement comes just a few weeks after the administration and the Newark City Council approved $200,000 to stimulate arts and cultural growth in and around Lincoln Park. Taken together, these public-private partnerships are evidence of Newark’s leadership as a City of the Arts.”
The ArtStart grants will support smaller, diverse groups and artists who make up an important part of the city’s cultural landscape and reflect a rich diversity – music lessons for youth in public housing, a dance program for the blind and visually-impaired, and a seniors’ art project among them. Since its inception, the ArtStart program has supported organizations and individuals that have created new music, dance, theatre, film, visual and/or literary art projects to benefit the residents and neighborhoods of Newark.
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“We are thrilled to be working with Newark Arts to sponsor their community-based grant program and seed innovations that grow here in our home city of Newark,” said Shané Harris, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Prudential Financial, Inc., and Executive Director of The Prudential Foundation. “These efforts will provide access to arts and education and give voice to those who may otherwise go unheard, while attracting investments and improving neighborhood vibrancy.”
The PARTNER grant recipients are galleries, studios and other nonprofits across Newark's five wards who form the core of the city’s exciting arts scene. Some grants provide general operating support while others support specific missions like early learning, thanks to funding from the Turrell Fund which has made pre-school learning a priority. “Parents of toddlers will now have more options to stimulate learning through the arts,” said awardee Tamara Remedios of the Cool CAT Parent & Me Pop-Ups program.
Artists and residents of Newark recently participated in a citywide cultural plan, entitled Newark Creates, that called for the creation of a permanent fund that would support smaller, midsized and equity-focused arts groups. “A bona fide fund does not yet exist, but today’s grants can help move us in the right direction,” Johnson added.
A full list of Newark Arts grantees can be found here.
Newark Arts’ mission is to power the arts to transform the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit America’s third oldest city. Newark Arts produces the annual Newark Arts Festival, houses the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, makes grants to artists and community organizations, and partners with institutions and policymakers to strengthen Newark’s standing as a city of the arts. Newark Arts is supported by Prudential, Victoria Foundation, PSEG, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Turrell Fund, Bank of America, M&T Bank, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the City of Newark, and generous corporate, foundation, government and individual supporters.
PHOTO: Executive Director, Jeremy Johnson, and Board Vice President, Marcy Depina with the 2019-2020 ArtStart and PARTNER Grantees. Photo credit: Sindy Snchz