All of the programs and services of the Council focus its modest financial and human resources on enabling the cultural community of
New Jersey to create those public values for the benefit of all New Jerseyans, both those that are intrinsic and those that are instrumental such as fostering
quality education, stimulating economic development, bolstering tourism and building NJ pride.
The Council does so in ways that express its own set of public values: equal access, fair decision-making based on independent evaluation,
uniform criteria and funding principles, and full public accountability. A great many of its programs and services are carried out in partnership and collaborations
with literally dozens of other organizations statewide.
The annual grant cycle begins with the distribution of Guidelines in early November, followed by Grant
Workshops, which are held statewide throughout November and December. A Notice of Intent to Apply is required for most grant
applications and is due in December. The full application is due in January. Specific dates vary year-to-year.
Grant applications are read, discussed and evaluated by peer review panels made up of independent experts
in each of the different categories and disciplines of the applicant pool. For example, the applications of all symphonies,
orchestras, choral groups and chamber groups are reviewed by a panel of music and music organization experts. The panels
convene in Trenton throughout the spring and evaluate the applications in strict accordance to the following criteria
as published in the Guidelines. They look for:
High artistic quality in pursuit of a mission that provides/creates public benefit and value
Significant public benefit and broad accessibility based on sound understanding of who is/will be served that is clear, measured and documented
Sound governance, management and operations based on sound strategic planning
Fiscal soundness and accountability with evidence of broad and diverse financial support
Commitment to arts education and to providing opportunities for meaningful arts learning
Commitment to raising public understanding and valuation of the arts, artists and arts education and advocating for their support
Leadership in meeting statewide Council priorities and developing and sharing models and best practices.
The peer review panels provide extensive evaluations that are captured in writing in the form of a consensus report, which is a body of evaluative commentary upon which ALL panelists agree.
They also numerically rank the applications and the rankings are averaged. Once all applications are evaluated by all panels, the consensus comments and rankings are forwarded to the Council's
Grants Committee for deliberation in forming recommendations to the full Council. The Committee bases its work on funding principles it adopts respective of how best to invest public dollars in
organizations and projects that provide high quality programs and great public benefit. The Council holds its Annual Meeting (generally the last Tuesday in July) to vote on and award grants.
Past Grants Awarded
For a listing of the Council recent grants made to organizations, projects and individual artists click on the appropriate heading below: