NJ State Arts Council Approves Creative Aging Grants, Announces Update to Longstanding Arts Education Program

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey State Council on the Arts held a public meeting today, during which 30 New Jersey organizations received grants through the Council’s Creative Aging Initiative grant program. This investment is the key component of the Council’s focus on lifelong learning, providing $10,000 grants to arts organizations, libraries, veterans homes, and senior and community centers to cover costs for artist-led residencies for New Jersey adults aged 55 and over.

Speaking on the importance of this program, Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way said, “Abundant evidence shows that artmaking and arts participation improves a number of health and well-being factors as we age. I’m honored to work closely with the Council to help ensure New Jerseyans of all ages have opportunities to have a better, overall quality of life.”


Reflecting on the impact of the grant, Council Chair Elizabeth Mattson said, “Supporting quality arts experiences for people of all ages has long been a priority for the Council. I was fortunate to see firsthand the impact of this program earlier this year during a visit to a Creative Aging Initiative session at an adult day center. Hearing the participants speak to the importance and value of being able to express themselves and share their life experiences in new and engaging ways is a powerful reminder of why the Council invests in this work.”


See the complete list of the FY24 Creative Aging Initiative Grant recipients.


The meeting also included an important update regarding the Arts Council’s Artists in Education Residency Grant program (AIE), which is currently co-sponsored with Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA (YA). For decades, the Council and YA, in collaboration with nonprofit partners, educators, and teaching artists, have provided long-term artist residencies in schools, fostering engaging arts learning for young people, as well as key professional development for educators.


Starting in fall 2024, AIE will be rolled into YA’s Arts Lab programming. Long-term residency work remains a priority for the partners, and Arts Lab will be open to any New Jersey school, arts education nonprofit organization, and teaching artist to apply. The Arts Lab application will be open on January 22, 2024 at www.yanjep.org. In addition to continued funding for residencies through YA’s Arts Lab, the Council will support artist residencies through nonprofit arts organizations statewide.


With these combined strategies, it is the Council’s goal to meet the changing needs in the field – keeping in mind the unique challenges and opportunities within the arts, arts education, and education sectors as a whole.


About the New Jersey State Council on the Arts
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 www.artscouncil.nj.gov.
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