Jersey City accepting applications for $850K in artist grants

Funding for Jersey City artists is one step closer to reality after city officials announced Tuesday that applications for grants are now being accepted.

Mayor Steve Fulop, the City Council and the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund Committee said $850,000 in tax-generated funding will be distributed to successful applicants for the first allocation of the funding. The $850,000 includes $100,000 in Artist Fellowships distributed by the Jersey City Arts Council.

“Our local artists and arts organizations define our city as a local destination for arts and culture, and our investments today will have invaluable impacts for generations to come,” Fulop said. “The more we support and invest in our burgeoning arts community, the more we can promote and expand wide-ranging opportunities for all of our residents.

“Our arts community is undergoing a revolutionary transformation that is attracting key investments and revitalization opportunities already stimulating the local economy and cultural activity, with major future advancements underway.”

Voters approved the arts fund tax in a referendum in November 2020. The application process had been slowed twice, first while the committee was formed, and second, when the ordinance regulating the tax needed to be amended. Fulop said he spent two years working closely with the Jersey City Arts Council to lobby state legislators a bill allow for sustainable, long-term arts funding was signed into law in December 2019.

City officials say the city’s Arts and Culture Trust Fund generates four times the amount of what Hudson County receives in total from the state every year.

Grant applications are available online as of today. The funds will support Jersey City artists, educational programming, and arts organizations that expand the impact and inclusiveness of the arts in Jersey City, build community connections through art, and develop creative and economic opportunities for artists.

Applications must provide detailed plans to provide a free public benefit through art, unique to each applicant depending on their work and artistic discipline; and detailed plans for making real and meaningful improvements that address barriers to ensuring all residents can participate in the arts.

“As an artist and Jersey City native, I have experienced waves of arts organizations and other artists come and go, due in part to the lack of financial support available to facilitate our contributions, which have made this city great,” said Nyugen Smith, a Jersey City artist. “I am excited and encouraged that the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund has been established. It is absolutely in the interest of fostering creativity and puts us on par with other world-class cities that truly support their artists and creative communities.”

Virtual information sessions, eligibility requirements, pre-recorded tutorials, and other tips for applying can be found on the Jersey City Cultural Affairs website. The application deadline is March 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

“It’s exciting to see Jersey City moving the needle on municipal arts support yet again as it opens the application process for the Arts and Culture Trust Fund,” said Ann Marie Miller, director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation. “The fund continues to be a model for local arts support, and we look forward to learning more about the process and seeing the fund make a real difference to artists and arts groups throughout Jersey City.”

You may also like...