Arts Grants Awarded From COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announces the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund awarded 39 grants to nonprofit arts agencies and nonprofits providing arts programs and services.  These nonprofit organizations provide services and programs in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union Counties, as well as multiple counties in New Jersey.

Representatives from nonprofit organizations gathered in a virtual meeting with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to discuss the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund's art grant awards.

Nonprofit organizations met with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation to discuss the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund’s arts grant awards.

They also build community engagement for people experiencing isolation.  The grants, totaling $47,000, ranged from $250 to $2,000 to support interactive programming and the development of public art.  Furthermore, the funding use is unrestricted and responds to an increased demand for services and/or decreased funding resulting from the coronavirus.

Arts Grants by County

Bergen.  Art of Motion, Arts Horizons, Encounters in Black Tradition, Metamorphic Entertainment, Palisades Virtuosi, Ridgefield Park Arts Association, Ridgewood Historical Society & Schoolhouse Museum

Essex.  Arts for Kids, Inc., Gallery Aferro Inc., Luna Stage Theatre, Mosaic Dance Theater Company, Newark School of the Arts, Region Nine Housing Corporation, Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, Inc., The Montclair Orchestra, Inc., The Moving Architects, Vanguard Theater Company, West Orange Arts Council, Yendor LLC

Hudson.  Art House Productions, Educational Arts Team, Jersey City Arts Council Inc., Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival, Mile Square Theatre, Nimbus Dance Works, Inc., Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium (Black Maria Film Festival), UNION CITY MUSIC PROJECT, INC.

Passaic.  Action Theatre Conservatory, Inc., Garden State Opera

Union.  Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Choral Art Society of New Jersey, Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Inc., Independent Authors Book Experience, Life Drawing Studio Group, Summit Public Art, The Discovery Orchestra, Inc., The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, The Theater Project

Multi-County.  Si-Yo Music Society Foundation, Inc.

Struggles Continue

Residents in northern New Jersey continue to struggle from reduced or lost income and food and housing insecurity.  They also deal with health expenses and childcare needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.  The NNJCF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund second round of one time only grants supports urgent funding needs of vetted small 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.  In addition, nonprofit arts organizations and nonprofit organizations providing arts programs and services are supported.  Funding in this round also prioritized small nonprofit organizations providing direct services and support to marginalized communities.

This past spring, NNJCF established the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to reach smaller grassroots organizations potentially overlooked by larger funds.  In May, 54 grants totaling nearly $240,000 were awarded in the first round to nonprofit organizations serving Bergen County.  Since its inception, the Fund has provided more than $550,000 in grants. Furthermore, one hundred sixty three nonprofit organizations providing services in northern New Jersey received grant awards.

The community’s needs shifted from emergency PPE to ongoing longer-term necessities.  These include food security and mental health supports. Therefore, the focus of the grant awards changed.  “Immediate action and long-term recovery took into account the disproportionate impact the pandemic has on communities of color.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation also focused on a racial justice lens for this second round of funding.  This addresses the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for ongoing civic dialogue to address the underlying causes of these disparities,” said Mary Blanusa, Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Donations to the NNJCF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund’s came from a range of contributors.  Major funders included Sozosei Foundation, Parkway Toyota, and Valley National Bank, as well as small donors.

For further information about the NNJCF or the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, contact or 201-568-5608.

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