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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Opens Funding Applications for Its Largest Grant Programs

Grants Will Support Organizational General Operating Costs and Projects Serving Artists


Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has released the guidelines for its biggest grant program, opening the application process to arts organizations across the state for the first time in five years. The Council previously extended its three-year grant cycle an additional two years in order to support stability in the arts sector, which was significantly impacted by the pandemic. Recognizing the vital role the arts play in economic growth and community development, Governor Murphy and the Legislature nearly doubled the Council’s state appropriation to $31.9 million dollars starting in Fiscal Year 2022.

“In New Jersey, the arts mean business,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Not only are the arts major economic drivers, they contribute to the very fabric of what makes New Jersey an exciting and innovative place to live, work, and visit. Investing in the arts is an investment in our communities and overall quality of life for all New Jerseyans.”

For several years, the majority of Council funds have supported operating grants for arts nonprofits throughout the state. These grant programs – General Operating Support and General Program Support – are three-year grants which will be open for applications on October 12th.

“As the largest funder of the arts in New Jersey, the Council understands the importance of these multi-year, flexible funds to help arts nonprofits pay for basic operations,” said Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way, who oversees the State Arts Council. “These operating grants – which are often the toughest type of support for a nonprofit to secure – have been especially vital as the state’s arts sector continues facing challenges brought on by the pandemic and works towards greater resiliency and stability moving forward.”

Using their new strategic plan and public feedback as guides, the Council has strengthened its commitment to access and equity in its grantmaking processes, which is reflected in the new grant guidelines.

“Being at the intersection of public service, the arts, and grantmaking, the past few years has been an exceptional learning experience,” said Allison Tratner, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. “Thankfully we have a field receptive to our communication and our invitations to share with us their needs, challenges, and opportunities in a variety of ways, over time. And we have a staff and board willing to listen, not accept the status quo, and make change. Our Fiscal Year 2025 grant guidelines demonstrate that we are a grantmaker that values equity – that centers the ideal that equal does not mean fair, and that we can and should consider as many variables as possible when we make funding decisions.”

Recognizing that artists are at the heart of the field’s work, the Arts Council is also relaunching the Projects Serving Artists grant for Fiscal Year 2025. Projects Serving Artists grants provide support to help eligible organizations cover costs for technical support or services to artists who reside in New Jersey or whose work benefits New Jersey residents.

The Council is offering a breadth of opportunities from now through the application deadline of December 12, 2023 to help organizations navigate the guidelines and application process. A complete list of technical assistance videos and virtual office hours are available on the Council’s website.

Learn more about the FY25 General Operating Support, General Program Support, and Projects Serving Artists grants here.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council believes the arts are central to every element we value most in a modern society including: human understanding; cultural and civic pride; strong communities; excellent schools; lifelong learning; creative expression; and economic opportunity.

To learn more about the Council, please visit


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