On October 27, 2020, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded more than $16.3 million in grants to more than 700 arts organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state. The awards were announced at this year’s virtual Arts Council’s 54th Annual Meeting.

“I am in awe of the innovation our arts community has shown in the face of the tremendous struggles of these last several months, and I am incredibly proud of the State Arts Council for their responsive grants and services to help the sector every step of the way,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Today’s awards will support tens of thousands of arts professionals, and hundreds of organizations at work in communities statewide. Especially as we build toward a full recovery, the arts are critical to New Jersey’s economy and overall quality of life.”

According to a recent collaborative study of the arts sector, led by ArtPride NJ, New Jersey nonprofit arts organizations have lost more than $100 million and counting due to pandemic related closures, cancellations, and lost contributed and earned revenue.

“We’re witnessing some of the most innovative and successful adaptations of artistic engagement – necessitated by crisis and fueled by skill and passion,” said Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson. “But passion doesn’t keep the lights on or put food on the table. New Jersey’s creative industries are at risk.”

She continued, “The situation is dire for many, and we are grateful to Governor Murphy and the legislature for recognizing the need for robust public support of the arts right now.”

According to KeepJerseyArtsAlive.org, when the arts sector is open and thriving, it generates more than $660 million in economic activity statewide, employs nearly 22,000 workers and engages more than 8.3 million people who stay in hotels and eat and shop locally.

With $16.3 million of the Council’s $19.6 million FY21 budget was voted on, a remaining $3.3 million will be granted out later this year as part of new COVID-19 critical needs grant programs for artists and organizations. Details about these recovery grants will be shared in the coming weeks.

In line with the Council’s priority to dedicate all available dollars toward helping achieve field-wide stability and recovery, most annual project grants have been suspended, multi-year commitments sustained, and statewide service initiatives increased. To lessen the administrative burden for grantees, requirements have been temporarily amended, as feasible.

The grant program guidelines are shaped by field needs and applications are evaluated by independent panels to eliminate the possibility for conflict of interest. Funding decisions are made through a process designed to assure transparency, fairness and access.

For more information, visit:

View a list of FY21 Grants by County
View a list of FY21 Grants by Category/Discipline