‘Keep Jersey Arts Alive’ campaign highlights the arts as COVID continues to force shutdowns

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than $30 million of lost revenue for arts venues in New Jersey. In response, ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, an arts services organization, has partnered with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for ‘Keep Jersey Arts Alive’, a digital campaign to support keeping the state’s arts institutions open.

The campaign’s website provides state- and county-wide arts impact data, including $662 million in economic impact. According to the site, the state’s nonprofits arts sector brings 8.3 million people to its downtowns and has fueled 21,984 jobs. It also provides 1.1 million students essential arts skills statewide.

“Arts workers and organizations are valued members of the New Jersey family, and their recovery from the impact of COVID-19 is essential to our shared future in the Garden State,” New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way said. “New Jersey’s arts sector and artists enrich our lives and communities, and I’m thrilled that the Keep Jersey Arts Alive initiative will celebrate our arts industry.”

The federal CARES Act moved about $900,000 into various arts and humanities organizations throughout the state in May and July. ArtPride has also launched a COVID-19 resource page for artists and arts companies. Also, in 2019, nearly $16 million was provided to the arts through state grants.

“A comprehensive recovery is one that positions the arts industry to endure this crisis and continue to provide opportunities for safe and meaningful connection for New Jersey communities, families and individuals,” Allison Tratner, executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, said. “From economic revitalization and jobs, to fostering dialogue and unity in the face of issues of social injustice, the arts are a critical tool for action and change as our state works to rebuild.”

The campaign’s latest video ‘Art and health in the time of COVID’ focuses on how New Jersey’s creative community is working to improve health amid the coronavirus through children’s activities, making PPE and addressing food security.

“The arts contribute greatly to our communities, and, while most physical doors are still closed, cultural groups continue to find creative ways to keep our minds and bodies strong. We look forward to when we can all gather safely, but, until then, we must work together to keep Jersey arts alive,” Adam Perle, CEO and president,  ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, said.