HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission will receive nearly triple the amount of state grant funding for its FY2022 Local Arts Program that supports local nonprofits and local arts activities that enhance tourism, according to Hunterdon County Commissioner Matt Holt.
Holt, the Board’s Planning and Land Use Department liaison, said, “The county local arts program will receive $200,000 in annual funding for the Local Arts Programs from the state Council on the Arts this year, an increase from $72,000 last year. One reason for the grant increase by the state Council is the recognition of Hunterdon County’s transparent award process and record of effective and diverse arts grants programming support.”
In the past, Hunterdon County has supported programs like the Central Jersey Jazz Festival and Hunterdon Helpline’s Salsa Night, Hunterdon Teen Arts, and interactive music workshops for seniors in nursing and residential homes.
“The increase will not only assist the county in making significant regrants to local nonprofits, it will also enhance support for local arts activities that are so valuable to the County’s tourism economy. According to the 2019 New Jersey Arts Education Annual Summary Report, arts funding in Hunterdon County had an economic accelerator effect of over $5 million in economic impact. Given the larger grant allocated to Hunterdon County this year, we can expect to see an even greater economic effect,” Holt said.
“Congratulations on behalf of the entire Commissioner Board to our Cultural and Heritage Commission, Director Carrie Fellows, and all involved in obtaining the increased grant funding,” Holt said.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, which provided the grant, held its 55th annual meeting virtually on July 27, awarding more than $35.6 million in grants to support more than 700 arts organizations, projects, and artists throughout the state.
According to a 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. For more on the important role the arts play in recovery, visit KeepJerseyArtsAlive.org.
During the 55th Annual meeting, Secretary of State Tahesha Way commended artists and arts organizations for their creativity and resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The arts have been a crucial source of healing and connection throughout the pandemic, and I am proud to work closely with the State Arts Council as they lead the field with responsive grants and services so people can continue to enjoy and engage with New Jersey arts.”