NJEDA opens application for $2M Arts and Innovation Festival Challenge Grant

Applications for the New Jersey Arts and Innovation Festival Challenge Grant are now being accepted, according to a Monday announcement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The program will provide one grant of up to $2 million to a for-profit or nonprofit entity to support the organization and execution of an arts and innovation festival in 2022 that incorporates live music and art as well as tech demonstrations, panel discussions with innovation economy leaders and other activities related to the creative economy and innovation ecosystem.

“From Edison and Sinatra to Bon Jovi and Queen Latifah, New Jersey has a long, rich history rooted in arts and innovation. As we build upon that legacy, we are excited to partner with Gov. Phil Murphy to provide $2 million in seed funding for the inaugural NJ Arts and Innovation Festival,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “The NJ Arts and Innovation Festival Challenge Grant will advance an event that showcases New Jersey’s creative culture and attracts visitors, new businesses and top talent to our state.”

Applicants to the NJ Arts and Innovation Festival Challenge Grant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Registered for business in New Jersey or holding a valid NJ Charitable Registration;
  • Demonstrated experience in organizing and executing at least one event with an attendance of 5,000 or more in the last seven years;
  • Applicants may add a strategic partner or partners whose experience, knowledge, skills and ability may provide an advantage in the production, management and/or marketing of the festival;
  • Applicants must include fundraising, diversity & inclusion, security and transportation plans, as well as a local participation program that focuses on host community participation;
  • Applicants must be in good standing with New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development; and
  • Applicants will also need to provide a vision statement that outlines how the festival will help grow New Jersey’s place as a premier live/work/play destination for arts and innovation firms, talent and tourism, as well as fundraising plan to close the gap between the $2 million provided by the challenge grant and the total budget for the festival.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Jan. 21. The application can be found here.