(SUMMIT, NJ) -- The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) recently received a matching grant of $150,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that will assist in the renovation of VACNJ’s Main and Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Galleries. This grant award was part of the more than $35 million dollars recently awarded by the NEH for 258 humanities projects nationwide.
Funds from the grant will support a series of projects within VACNJ’s overall renovation plan, including:
* repositioning the entrance to the Eisenberg Gallery to improve sightlines and connection to the Main Gallery;
* updating the ceilings in both the Main and Eisenberg Galleries with an energy-efficient, flexible lighting system;
* installing motorized black-out shades on the two Main Gallery windows to allow for improved light control and to better protect artwork, historic documents, and heritage-based items; and updating integrated Main Gallery speakers for use during special events and exhibitions.
"The funds the Art Center will receive as part of this challenge grant are essential for the planned renovations of our museum galleries,” said Melanie Cohn, VACNJ Executive Director. “They will enable us to create an enhanced visitor experience while prioritizing accessibility and ensuring a more inclusive and enriching experience for all. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities for recognizing the critical importance of this project, and we look forward to transforming the VACNJ into an even more vibrant hub for the arts, education, and community engagement."
These improvements will allow for the expansion of humanities-based programs that will serve diverse audiences, including communities of color and others who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized by traditional museums. They will also allow for the innovation of exhibitions with humanities components and improve the overall visitor experience.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.
For 90 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making, and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading non-profit arts organization, the Art Center’s renowned Studio School, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youths, families, seniors, and people with special needs every year.
The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is located at 68 Elm Street in Summit, NJ. Gallery hours: Monday– Thursday, 10:00am - 8:00pm; Friday & Saturday, 10:00am - 5:00pm; and Sunday, 11:00am - 4:00pm. Please call 908.273.9121 to confirm holiday hours.
Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by the Wilf Family Foundations; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; The Estate of Pamela Hauptfleisch; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the Art Center community of supporters.