On Tuesday, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts doled out $15.8 million in Fiscal Year 2011-12 funding to arts groups at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. The three groups that got the most funding are all based in Newark.
This year, the largest grant in the amount of $1,116,779 went to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, which has historically gotten the lion's share of funds in years past, according to a symphony spokesman.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center got the second largest grant in the amount of $1,065,433.
The Newark Museum received the third largest grant in the amount of $1 million to fund general operating costs. This was the first year that the museum was asked to apply for arts council funding instead of receiving line-item funding from elsewhere in the budget. For the past two years, the budget allocated more than $2 million to the museum.
"Our trustees and staff have been working hard over the last two years on what we consider a virtual paradigm shift in the move from a publicly-funded arts community to essentially what will be a privately funded community, funded by private donors and corporate foundation donors," said the museum's director Mary Sue Price.
John Pietrowski, artistic director of the Playwrights Theater of New Jersey, breathed a sigh of relief at the $165,199 in funding that his organization got. He had feared that the theater would have to make major cuts to its programs.
"This is very good, I think," Pietrowski said. "Better than we expected, I have to say. Life is somewhat beautiful. We'll live to haunt the state another year."
Here's a list of other groups that received over $100,000 grants:
A full list of grantees is available online here.