TRENTON, NJ – Focusing the spotlight on how the arts advance economic activity in the state, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today visited the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. Soon to celebrate its 75th Anniversary, the Paper Mill Playhouse produces and presents high quality theater that draws thousands of visitors to Millburn each year. The visit is the second stop on the Lt. Governor's month-long ““Arts Mean Business” tour across New Jersey to heighten awareness of the role New Jersey’s cultural industry plays to bolster the economic condition of our downtowns and communities.
“Rarely do you find a more perfect fit of art and commerce than the partnership between the Paper Mill Playhouse and Millburn,” said Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. “When the Playhouse marquis is lit, the downtown comes alive with commercial activity.”
Timothy Gordon, Millburn Township’s administrator agreed, “From an economic standpoint, businesses downtown do better when Paper Mill is open. I had one restaurateur tell me they do an extra $5,000 in business each week when Paper Mill is doing a show.”
State funds through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts support Paper Mill’s award-winning performances, programs and services. This year the Paper Mill has again been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the State Arts Council in recognition of their long history of artistic excellence, substantial programming, broad public benefit and superior review through the grants panel process.
In 2008, Millburn purchased the land on which the Playhouse is located and then leased it back to the organization as part of a long-term financial stabilization plan for the Playhouse.
“That investment was one of the best this town has made in helping to ensure a very important component of our economic health,” said Millburn Mayor Sandra Haimoff.
“The Paper Mill Playhouse is a wonderful example of how the arts not only spurs economic activity and creates jobs, but also contributes to an exciting and vibrant downtown,” concluded Lt. Governor Guadagno.
The economic impact of the arts - and New Jersey's cultural industry overall - extends throughout the state. The National Governors Association’s recent report, “New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design,” states “arts, culture, and design can assist states with economic growth because they can provide a fast-growth, dynamic industry cluster; help mature industries become more competitive; provide the critical ingredients for innovative places; catalyze community revitalization; and deliver a better-prepared workforce.” New Jersey was specifically cited in the report for workforce development, which the Paper Mill Playhouse and other arts venues help provide.
Led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state's economy and creating jobs. The PFA is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey's economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, reporting directly to the Lt. Governor and providing the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses' interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state's “bank for business”; and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey.
Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey's Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State's Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.