TRENTON, NJ – At a public meeting held today at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts announced the award of 2012 Individual Artist Fellowship grants totaling $182,600 to 22 New Jersey artists selected from more than 300 applicants in the categories of crafts, sculpture, photography, playwriting and poetry. These highly competitive grants are based on independent review of work samples submitted and the anonymous process is focused solely on artistic quality. The grants help artists to produce new work and advance their careers and their impact on society. List of recipients.
During the meeting devoted to the value of artists to New Jersey communities, Arts Council Chair Ofelia Garcia gave an overview of the Council's array of programs and services for artists and congratulated and thanked New Jersey artists for their achievements. "Research has shown that in addition to helping us stay in touch with our humanity, creativity and imagination, the arts are a proven tool for community development and can be the powerful engine that drives the kind of sustainable economic growth New Jersey communities need." She went on to note, "Artists are at the heart of this important work and it is the Council's goal to encourage them, assist them to achieve their highest ambitions and help a wider public understand all that artists do to make New Jersey a better place."
The Arts Council's new executive director, Nicholas Paleologos addressed the Council and the audience, and echoed Ms. Garcia's appreciation for New Jersey's extraordinary artists and arts industry. In his first public presentation Mr. Paleologos took the opportunity to praise the Council and the Administration for their strong support for the arts as both “food for the soul and fuel for the economy.” He called New Jersey the “gold standard”, referring to the Council's standing as a model among state arts agencies nationwide.
In other business, the Council welcomed new member Philip Colicchio, who was officially sworn in by Deputy Attorney General Alan Stephens. “I am honored to work with this dedicated Council in service to the people of New Jersey,” said Mr. Colicchio. “I look forward to applying my skills and experience in the culinary, hospitality and music industries to help extend the Council's reach through additional strategic cross-sector partnerships.” Mr. Colicchio has worked in the hospitality industry since 1998 as both an attorney and a consultant. He is founding member of the Princeton based Taylor, Colicchio & Silverman, LLP, law firm, where his practice includes the representation of award-winning chefs, well-known restaurateurs, investors, international hoteliers and mixed use developers.
Following the business meeting the Arts Council convened more than 150 New Jersey artists for the 15th annual Artists' Roundtable. The free event featured workshops on topics of interest to artists working in all disciplines including marketing and publicity strategies, professional opportunities, and creative solutions for finding work, exhibition and performance space statewide, and concluded with a networking session. For more information about the Council, upcoming events or to join the mailing list, please visit www.artscouncil.nj.gov.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is a division of the NJ Department of State. It receives funding in direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1966, its volunteer members and professional staff have worked to improve the quality of life in New Jersey by helping the arts to flourish. For more information about the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, please visit www.artscouncil.nj.gov. Further information regarding the arts in New Jersey is found on an interactive website, www.jerseyarts.com, and available on a toll-free hotline 1-800-THE ARTS