(BASKING RIDGE, NJ) -- Light Opera of New Jersey (LONJ) has announced it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive a Challenge America award of $10,000. This grant will support LONJ’s new initiative to provide 10% of their total tickets at no cost to traditionally underserved communities in Central and Northern New Jersey.
The grant will enable them to diversify their audience with a dedicated effort to remove the price barrier for those who may otherwise be unable to attend. They are well-poised to offer this solution addressing disparities in income and access in our region. This grant is one of 262 Challenge America awards totaling $2.62 million that were announced by the NEA as part of its first round of fiscal year 2023 grants.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “Projects such as this one with Light Opera of New Jersey strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”
“Light Opera of New Jersey is thrilled to receive this grant and launch our Opera for All initiative. This funding will allow us to reach underserved audiences in rural and low-income communities in New Jersey,” said Board Chairman Heath Weisberg.
LONJ’s primary programming in 2023 includes the fully staged opera, Don Giovanni, presented at the Sieminski Theater in Basking Ridge on February 24 and 26; and a fully staged version of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, presented at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange on July 14, 16, 21 and 23. Additionally, in October, a concert-style production will be presented.
Agencies or individuals interested in qualifying as recipients of this grant for the production of Don Giovanni should complete this form.
Light Opera of New Jersey (LONJ) is a premier regional musical theater company bringing numerous genres to life including musical theater, opera and operetta. They offer innovative and reimagined productions led by exceptional singer actors and orchestral musicians. They aim to inspire audiences with accessible and entertaining productions that enrich the cultural life of our region. They also partner with schools to bring arts education to students throughout New Jersey.