MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Morris Arts is “thrilled” to report that the organization received a grant of more than $118,000 from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The grant is the third year of an extended four-year commitment of support, and represents an increase of $5,000 over last year.
“The Board and staff of Morris Arts is deeply grateful for the increase in support from NJSCA. This funding is critical as we continue to provide programs and support arts organizations that help build vibrant communities throughout Morris County,” said Tom Werder, Executive Director of Morris Arts.
Located in Morristown, Morris Arts is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts. Using the arts to inspire, connect and engage, Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the community and in the schools, creative placemaking, arts advocacy, and support of the Morris Area community of artists and arts organizations.
The grant for $118,388 supports Morris Arts’ many programs, such as Giralda Music and Arts Festival, Arts in Education in programs, the annual Pumpkin Illumination, and doing artistic programming for First Night Morris County. Morris Arts also shares grant money with about 30 arts organizations, such as MPAC, Masterworks Chorus, Arts by the People, Meet Me in Morristown and Art in the Atrium to name a few, according to Werder.
In late October, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts awarded more than $16.3 million in grant funding to support over 700 arts organizations, projects and artists throughout the state. In a press release, the Council explained that the pandemic has created significant challenges for art programs to overcome.
“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,” the Council release stated.
“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. And the work force of artists, technicians, and administrators at the heart of it all have been laid off or furloughed, many without affordable healthcare coverage,” the release added.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts receives funding from the State of New Jersey through the Hotel/Motel Occupancy Fee legislation passed in 2003, which established a dedicated revenue source to support arts, history, and tourism. Additionally, the State Arts Council receives annual competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.