About the Arts Council
Created as an agency of state government, the Arts Council operates as a division within the Department of State. Its purpose is to encourage and give financial support to artists, arts organizations and projects throughout New Jersey. We are proud that our support is bringing the benefits of the arts to audiences exceeding 18 million annually.
As a result of our grant programs, the Arts Council is the largest single contributor to the arts in New Jersey. We are also an advocate for arts activities and events in our state's communities, schools, hospitality centers and urban entertainment complexes.
The Arts Council receives funding through direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In addition to direct funding to arts organizations and projects, the Arts Council supports activities and events carried out by nonprofit organizations and artists whose combined efforts move nearly a billion dollars through our state's economy every year.
The Arts Council works closely with a growing array of partners involved in arts education, community cultural planning, urban revitalization, communications and broadcasting, transportation, travel and tourism, social services and economic development.
The Council was created in 1966 by Public Law Chapter 214 and consists of 17 members, all appointed by the Governor for terms of three years, and three ex-officio members. The mission of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts is to improve the quality of life in this state, its people and communities by helping the arts to flourish. The programs and services of the Council annually support thousands of public arts events in every corner of the state which reach audiences exceeding 18 million and help stimulate over $1.5 billion in economic activity for New Jersey.
With annual appropriations from the State Legislature as well as annual federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Council designs and carries out a dynamic program of financial and technical support services for New Jersey artists and nonprofit organizations. The Council has priority programs in arts education, artists' services, community arts development, folk arts, cultural facilities development, community cultural planning and arts marketing.
The Council works with a broad array of partner organizations in carrying out this work, all of which is governed by strategic plans made in the broader context of Arts Plan New Jersey. Among its programs, the Council administers the Arts Inclusion Act through which works of art are commissioned and installed in new state construction as well as the 1987 Cultural Centers Bond Act through which cultural centers are built and improved.
The Council's programs and services have earned national recognition for excellence, innovation and responsiveness to community needs.
The mission of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (Arts Council) is to improve the quality of life of this state by helping the arts to flourish. Accordingly, the members and staff of the Arts Council are firmly committed to achieving the following goals:
Establishing artistically, financially and operationally successful arts organizations, institutions and programs that are diverse and accessible to all New Jerseyans;
Supporting a respected and valued community of New Jersey artists encouraged to achieve their best and be broadly connected to community life in ways that make full use of their creativity and talents;
Promoting expanded public participation in and support for the arts;
Maintaining a network of people, businesses, organizations, institutions and communities working in partnership to advance the arts and the arts' contributions to New Jersey community life;
Creating high quality arts education for all New Jerseyans;
Building a state economy whose community and economic development strategies, plans and resource allocations at all jurisdictional levels feature the arts and culture.