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The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Announces $5 Million in CARES Act Funds

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts Announces $5 Million in CARES Act Funds

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts will distribute $5 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to help arts organizations throughout the state recoup some of the significant losses they’ve experienced due to the current pandemic. The announcement was made at the Arts Council's public meeting held virtually on December 7th. The $5 million in federal aid was directed to the State Arts Council by the Murphy Administration specifically to support the state’s hard-hit arts sector.

"New Jersey’s arts community is world renowned, attracting extraordinary talent and making a significant economic contribution to cities and towns throughout the state," said Governor Murphy. “These funds will support organizations statewide, allowing them to recover from their losses and keep New Jersey arts alive."

“Arts organizations and artists throughout our state quickly sprang into action earlier this year, making and donating masks and other crucial protective equipment, all while continuing to create and share their art in new ways,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “I am proud to work closely with the Governor and the Council to provide additional support for our state’s arts sector.”

"The Council is incredibly grateful to Governor Murphy and his Administration for recognizing the importance of New Jersey’s arts community,” said Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson. “As organizations have continued keeping safety top of mind by keeping their doors closed or limiting access, the financial need has become staggering. Sadly, the nature of what the arts do best – bring people together – means our sector will likely be one of the last to see a more complete recovery. These funds are coming at a critical moment, allowing these organizations to continue serving their communities during a time when the arts are needed more than ever.”

“As a member of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, I would like to thank Governor Murphy and his Administration for recognizing the significant need for financial support in the arts and culture sector,” said Evelyn McGee Colbert, Member of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission. “While the pandemic required the arts sector to be one of the first to close, the sector’s innovative and collaborative efforts to continue to find ways to share information and support each other has been truly impressive. These grants will help many organizations at a critical moment when they are facing catastrophic losses.” 

The Council has identified 97 nonprofit arts organizations as eligible to receive the CARES Act funds. Per federal directives, funds will be distributed broadly, meaningfully, and quickly. Knowing that this allocation cannot fully mitigate the ongoing and significant financial loss sustained by the arts sector, the Council developed a strategy that will ensure these grants have the intended impact. Awards were determined through a tiered, need-based formula that considered each eligible applicant’s reported losses over the last nine months.