Contact The NJ State Council
on the Arts
Mailing Address:
NJ State Council on the Arts
P.O. Box 306
Trenton, NJ 08625-0306

Office Address:
33 West State Street, 4th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608

Tel: (609) 292-6130
NJ Relay: 711

Grant Opportunities In Arts Education
The Council's Arts Education Program is an expression of its strong, ongoing commitment to the goal of quality arts education for all New Jerseyans and of its unshakeable belief that arts education is fundamental to a sound and complete education for all students.

To achieve this goal the Council works with a broad array of partners and collaborators including the NJ Department of Education and seeks in all that it undertakes to help schools meet the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts as well to bolster curriculum in the literary arts. The Council seeks to achieve these goals through three principal means:

  • A battery of Arts Education Cosponsored Programs carried out in partnership with numerous private nonprofit organizations that place teaching artists in schools and after school settings, support teacher training, artist training, education reform, arts education advocacy and the development of model schools;
  • Grants that include General Operating Support and Special General Program Support in the category of Arts Basic to Education and Arts Education Special Initiative Grants to discipline-specific organizations to encourage their greater involvement with and impact on New Jersey schools;
  • Funding policies and overall grant support that encourage, reward and help underwrite the vast array of arts education programs provided by arts organizations and community groups.
Current Grant Opportunities
Arts Professional Learning Institute (APLI)

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA) is pleased to present the Arts Professional Learning Institute (APLI). APLI is the state’s arts education professional development program for arts specialists, classroom teachers, teaching artists, and school administrators.

The 2019–2020 school year will be the pilot in which selected participants will act as a collaborative cohort participating in professional learning and advising the APLI team as we develop session content, delivery methods, communication strategies, virtual communities, resources, and more. The sharing and feedback process will be in-person, virtual, through e-mail and in post-workshop Zoom calls.

Future Grant Opportunities
Artists in Education (AIE)

Guidelines and Application

AIE is the cornerstone of the Arts Council Arts Education Program and is cosponsored with Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennslyvania. Through this Artists-in-Education Residency grant program practicing professional artists are placed in long-term residencies (20-100 days) in schools across the state. Residencies are offered in all disciplines and at all grade levels. All schools can apply for one-year residencies.
Residency Artists Certification

AIE residency artists are selected through a rigorous peer panel review process administered by the Arts Council. Applicants are evaluated for both the quality of their artwork and their ability to create lively, substantial and sequential arts programs in collaboration with teachers in educational settings. Professional practicing artists who wish to learn more about becoming eligible to conduct AIE residencies.
Arts Education Special Initiative Grants (AESI)

Recipients of GOS or GPS are eligible to apply for this to support new or expanded programs that make substantial contributions to quality arts education in schools. This grant category intends to aid arts organizations in developing their full potential as community resources to educational systems throughout New Jersey and create a stronger infrastructure for arts education statewide.

Arts Education Special Initiative Guidelines

Arts Basic to Education Grants (ABE)

Recipients of GOS or GPS are eligible to apply for this to support new or expanded programs that make substantial contributions to quality arts education in schools. This grant category intends to aid arts organizations in developing their full potential as community resources to educational systems throughout New Jersey and create a stronger infrastructure for arts education statewide.

The Arts Basic to Education (ABE) category supports the operations of nonprofit organizations (not schools) that have a focus on making the arts a basic part of a sound, quality education by providing school-time and school-based arts programs for students in pre-kindergarten to grade 12 that are directly connected to the curriculum and/or to professional development for teachers. Those programs provide direct learning about art, art forms, and the processes of creating and expressing art (not the learning of other subjects through arts) by teaching artists.

While such activities as student assembly programs, one-time or short-term workshops are important, valuable and much-needed supplements to arts education, the ABE category supports and encourages longer-term in-school programs that lead to further development of core curriculum in the arts and help meet school-defined goals.

Therefore ABE stresses a direct and usually longer-term relationship between the nonprofit provider of the arts learning experience and the educational institution. An ABE organization's program should be grade and learning level appropriate and taught in a sequential manner. The teaching artists involved should be reviewed for their artistic and education abilities and prepared to collaborate with teachers.
Arts Education Cosponsored Programs

Through the Council's many cosponsored projects in arts education, several important objectives are achieved: the annual placement of scores of professional artists in classrooms everywhere, the professional training of artists and educators to work effectively together, support for arts education advocacy and literacy in the arts, statewide focus on key issues, the creation of model, arts-infused schools and more.
New Jersey Writers Project (NJWP)

The Council's longest standing partnership, the NJWP is cosponsored with Playwrights Theatre of NJ. It places poets, prose writers and playwrights in more than 150 schools and other learning environments in all 21 counties each year. In basic residencies, a writer spends 1 day planning and conducting a teacher-training workshop and 4 days teaching 4 classes in the craft of their genre.

The NJWP also offers 8 and 12 day writing residencies. Many schools are expanding beyond this basic format by adding public readings by students, workshops for parents and other site-specific activities. Special focused residencies are offered for Spanish speaking students, the critical elementary grades, students with special needs, and under-served communities. Visit the Playwrights Theatre website to learn more
Greater Camden Area Artists in Education Program

This program, cosponsored with the Perkins Center for the Arts provides in-school short, medium and long term artist residencies in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties with special emphasis on Camden City.
Arts Creates Excellent Schools (ACES)

Arts Creates Excellent Schools (ACES) supports the development of arts-centered schools and provides technical assistance, leadership and dissemination of information on models of school reform through the arts. ACES is conducted in partnership with the AIE Consortium (Arts Horizons and Young Audiences NJ) and the New Jersey Department of Education.

The ACES models developed by the three ACES pilot sites (Woodrow Wilson School, Union City School District; Logan Township Elementary School, Logan Township School District; and Glen Rock School District) will be available on the ACES homepage to be launched on the Department of Education web site.
New Jersey Arts Education Collective (NJAEC)

The Collective is a partnership of 11 nonprofit organizations whose mission is to provide the highest quality professional development for members of the arts and education community. The vision of the NJAEC is to provide a network of support that strengthens the field of arts education by developing skills and sharing resources through meetings, trainings and seminars. Visit the Collective website.

Professional development topics focus on current issues such as education reform movements, reaching all students, best practices for teaching artists, and building strong partnerships with schools and communities. At the heart of the NJAEC is the belief that Teaching Artists offer a unique contribution to New Jersey's students, teachers and communities by providing essential learning experiences in and through the arts.
New Jersey Arts Education Census Project

The New Jersey Visual and Performing Arts Survey is a statewide school-by-school mandatory survey for the visual and performing arts as part of the New Jersey Arts Education Census Project (NJAECP), a partnership of the Arts Council, the NJ Department of Education, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ Arts Education Partnership, ArtPride NJ Foundation and Quadrant Arts Education Research. The NJACP is a follow up to the 2005/2006 survey and will create a 360-degree view of arts education in New Jersey schools as well as measure any changes over the past five years.

The survey will quantify student enrollment in arts education programs for each school, establish spending patterns over time for arts education, providing a basis for analyses of growth and decline of enrollment relative to other school programs. In addition, economic, demographic, census, school report card and growth forecasts will be linked together to provide context regarding additional factors that impact access to arts education in a community. The final results will be housed in an interactive website housed at the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership. Visit the arts education information and resource center at
New Jersey Arts Education Partnership

The New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP) was established in 2007 and is a cosponsored project of the Council and the ArtPride NJ Foundation with the mission to provide a unified voice for a diverse group of constituents who agree on the educational benefits and impact of the arts, specifically the contribution they make to student achievement and a civilized, sustainable society. The NJAEP carries out this mission by providing a clearinghouse for information and best practices, providing opportunities for people to come together to inform the state of arts education in New Jersey schools. Visit the NJAEP website.
Arts Education Summits

The Arts Council convenes Arts Education Summits each year to bring together the field to discuss issues of importance, share knowledge and best practices, and forge consensus on ways to move forward in making quality arts education available throughout a lifetime of learning for all New Jersey residents.
Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, and implemented by state arts councils across the country. The New Jersey State Council on the Arts sponsors NJ Poetry Out Loud and works closely with a network of partners to maximize the impact of the program. Poetry Out Loud encourages the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance all while gaining public speaking skills, building self-confidence, and learning about their literary heritage. All New Jersey public, charter, private and parochial high schools and New Jersey home school associations are invited to participate. Visit the NJ Poetry Out Loud website to learn more.