Applications are now open for a third round of grants from the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund.
This round will provide grants to nonprofit organizations acting as intermediaries for artists, teaching artists and history professionals who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to support artists’ and history professionals’ basic living and career-sustaining needs due to the loss of work and earning opportunities.
The fund was established to “ensure the survival, strength and sustainability of the state’s arts, cultural and historical sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” organizers say.
Grant decisions are made by a steering committee of funders and other stakeholders guided by a review panel of arts, arts education, history and philanthropy experts.
New Jersey’s cultural institutions sustained losses of more than $30 million due to pandemic-related closures and cancellations, officials say, forcing layoffs, exhausting reserves and endowments, and increasing debt.
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Nonprofit arts organizations typically generate more than $600 million in economic activity, employ nearly 30,000 workers and engage 9.5 million people per year, while heritage tourism also draws many visitors and dollars.
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The first phase of grant funding closed in January 2021, awarding $2.6 million to 100 New Jersey based non-profits. The second phase closed in May 2021 and awarded $1.3 million to more than 60 nonprofits throughout the state.
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The fund was established with a lead gift from the Grunin Foundation and is hosted by the Princeton Area Community Foundation. Coalition leadership also includes the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, The Prudential Financial Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Historical Commission and Stone Foundation of NJ.
For grant guidelines, more information and to access an application, visit pacf.org/njartsculture. For questions or assistance, contact Lynne Toye, executive director of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, at [email protected], and for updates and announcements, follow facebook.com/NJACRF.
Caissie Levy at Holmdel Theatre Company
Broadway fave Caissie Levy sold out a Broadway at the Barn concert date in record time last week, Holmdel Theatre Company says.
“I am so glad to see everyone loves Caissie as much as we do,” Colleen Cook, executive director of HTC, said.
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Levy is a seven-time Broadway vet, just finishing a run as Rose in “Caroline, Or Change” after originating the role of Elsa in “Frozen.” She has starred as Sheila in “Hair” and Molly in “Ghost” on Broadway and in the West End, re-created Fantine for the Broadway revival of “Les Miserables,” played Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway and on tour, and played Penny in “Hairspray” in her 2006 Broadway debut, following a run in the national tour.
The show will be music directed by Levy’s longtime collaborator Matt Hinkley.
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There’s good news for anyone shut out of the concert.
“There was such an unprecedented demand for this show that we are exploring options of how to get her back to HTC as soon as possible,” Cook said.
To join the waitlist for the Feb. 19 concert, set for 7 p.m., email [email protected]
Visit holmdeltheatrecompany.org for the latest on what’s coming next for HTC.
A Little Shakespeare auditions
Two River Theater in Red Bank is seeking high schoolers for the ninth year of its popular “A Little Shakespeare” program, where students work alongside theater professionals to create an abridged production of one of the Bard’s classics.
They will present “Much Ado About Nothing” from May 6 to 15.
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Students will perform in the show, as well as serve as directing assistant, assistant stage manager, stage crew and costume, lighting and sound assistants.
The show will be directed by Rakesh Palisetty, a theater, film and opera director from New Delhi, India. Select credits include “Kimberly Akimbo” at Atlantic Theater, where he was a directing fellow; “Hedda Gabler” at Lenfest Center for the Arts; “Thirty Six Questions” at Columbia Stages; and “Bedtime Plays” at The Tank.
“’Much Ado About Nothing’ is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies,” Palisetty said. “It promises to be a raucous party full of schemes, tricks, deception, and of course, love.”
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Participation in the program is free, and is sponsored by Zynergy Retirement Planning.
Auditions for actors, as well as the deadline for backstage team submissions, is Feb. 15. For scheduling, audition and interview requirements, and more information, visit tworivertheater.org/a-little-shakespeare.
Tickets for “A Little Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing” are $25, $20 for those under 12. School performances also take place during the run. For more information, visit tworivertheater.org/whats-on/a-little-shakespeare-much-ado-about-nothing.
VFW Post 9503 in Bayville is offering two scholarship programs for students, as part of a national awards program.
The “Young American Patriotic Art Contest” is for grades 9 to 12, and the “Illustrating America” art contest is open to grades 1 to 8.
The local winners will be awarded $500, while the top prize is $35,000 nationally.
Students do not need to be related to a veteran to win. The scholarship deadline is March 31. Contact Commander Bill Dondero at 732-269-2265 or Nancy Seibert at 732-232-5410 for applications.
The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council is seeking submissions for its “Black & White & Monochrome: A Juried Photography Exhibition,” which will run from March 12 to April 16.
“AHArts would like to showcase creative photographers who continue to express their vision with a preference toward the unconventional: black and white and monochrome media,” organizers said.
In an open call, the group is looking for original photos created from film, pinhole and digital cameras and more, with photograms, silver gelatin or inkjet prints, cyanotypes and other prints using alternative processes also eligible.
The entry deadline is Feb. 15. Submissions are $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers, for two entries. For more information, visit aharts.org/open-call.
Trenton world premiere
Seventeen students installed a sculpture called “Helping Hands” in a city-owned lot in Trenton in 2017, a project they had worked on all summer, learning skills and honing their craft.
Four days later, it was removed, after anonymous complaints that it resembled a gang symbol.
Almost five years later, a world premiere based on their true story hits the stage in that same city.
“The OK Trenton Project” is composed by playwrights David Lee White and Richard Bradford, featuring verbatim interviews with the artists, law enforcement, city officials, residents and students involved in the situation. It “explores the role art plays in the community and the consequences faced when it’s taken away,” organizers say.
The world-premiere production presented by Passage Theatre Company comes to the Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton from Feb. 10 to 27.
Tickets are on sale at passagetheatre.org.
Ilana Keller is an award-winning journalist and lifelong New Jersey resident who loves Broadway and really bad puns. She highlights arts advocacy and education, theater fundraisers and more through her column, “Sightlines.” Reach out on Twitter: @ilanakeller or email [email protected]