WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
Jersey City Arts Treasure Closes
Monday, January 24, 2011
The Jersey City Museum, founded more than 100 years ago and home to more than 20,000 piece art collection, has shuttered its doors following state and city budget cuts and an unsuccessful bid to partner with New Jersey City University.
A non-profit was continuing to keep the lights and heat on in the facility that served 11,000 students and 25,000 visitors annually, according to the museum's Website.
"It was more important as the museum that represented Jersey City where a lot of the contemporary artists in New Jersey live and work," said Dan Bischoff, art critic for The Star Ledger, said the museum was an integral part of a thriving arts scene.
"And the museum provided a showcase in their neighborhood to show their art."
This latest setback for the Jersey arts scene comes as non-profit groups state wide are bracing for continued cut backs as Governor Christie and the legislature try and close a ten billion dollar budget gap.
Bischoff said the museum was not just an integral part of a thriving arts scene but also a key educational resource.
"They had classes for local school children from grade school to high school," Bischoff said. "Not just classes in how to do art but classes on art appreciation, and it was a place where they could learn something about international art not just art from Jersey City."
No one answered the phone at the cultural institution and a call to the Board of Trustees President was not returned.