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Arts Ed NJ has been approved for a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a Grants for Arts Projects award, according to a news release.

The grant will support the collective impact advocacy campaign Arts Ed Now and for ALL, which was recently rebranded as Arts Ed Now and for ALL campaign. The campaign, with its many statewide partners, empowers advocates and informs the public about the need to expand arts education participation in all five state-mandated arts disciplines (music, dance, theatre, visuals arts and media arts) via public awareness and engagement, partnership building and data collection/reporting.

The Arts Ed Now and for ALL campaign is among 1,135 Grants for Arts Projects awards totaling more than $37 million as part of its second round of fiscal year 2024 grants.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the NEA.” said Wendy Liscow, executive director of Arts Ed NJ. “This grant will allow us to engage youth and adults from across the state in ensuring that every child in New Jersey has access to a high-quality, comprehensive arts education. Building on our recent successful Youth Arts Ed Council pilot program and Youth Summit, we will now be able to expand the program to engage more students over a longer period of time and in news ways that will magnify our Arts Ed Now and for ALL campaign.”

“Projects like Arts Ed Now and for ALL campaigns exemplify the creativity and care with which communities are telling their stories, creating connection, and responding to challenges and opportunities in their communities — all through the arts,” said NEA Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson. “So many aspects of our communities such as cultural vitality, health and wellbeing, infrastructure, and the economy are advanced and improved through investments in art and design, and the National Endowment for the Arts is committed to ensuring people across the country benefit.”

The grant will assist with expanding statewide support for arts education by publicly sharing information about arts education and its benefits in New Jersey. Communities will be able to leverage tools like the interactive Arts Education Data Dashboard to understand local arts education participation and review the results of an annual survey about school board candidates’ stance on arts education to make informed decisions.

The Arts Ed Now and for ALL campaign is a collective impact movement to empower advocates to demand high-quality, sequential, equitable preK-12 arts education in New Jersey.

Get more information on other projects included in the NEA grant announcement. 

Arts Ed NJ was founded in 2007 by Robert Morrison, a member of the Watchung Hills Board of Education and a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association’s board of directors. Morrison led Arts Ed NJ until his retirement in 2022.

The organization was instrumental in tracking and encouraging arts education opportunities in the state’s public schools. In 2019, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to offer arts education in every public school. 

Arts Ed NJ organizes an active coalition of statewide partners that works to ensure that all New Jersey PreK-12 students participate in a high quality, sequential, equitable arts education that celebrates diverse lived experiences and artistic expression and prepares the creative leaders of tomorrow. A major component of Arts Ed NJ’s work is the Arts Ed Now campaign, which offers customizable grassroot tools to increase participation in arts education at a local level and garner public support to ensure every New Jersey child receives the quality arts education mandated by the state.