Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund to open 2nd round of grants

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, city council members, and the Arts and Culture Trust
Fund committee will open applications for the second round of Arts and Culture Trust Fund grants to expand arts education and programming citywide.

Following the successful first allocation of grants, totaling $900,000 awarded to 89 artists and arts organizations last year, the city is looking to promote even more applicants from Jersey City’s flourishing arts community with this latest round of funding.

“As the first in the state to implement the Arts and Culture Trust Fund, Jersey City remains ahead of the curve in establishing a critical funding source that has already proven to be highly successful in supporting our local artists and programming to benefit the community at large,” Fulop said. “For this second allocation, we are expanding the application period to encourage even more Jersey City artists and organizations to apply so that we can really maximize the countless opportunities that can be achieved with these grants.”

Jersey City artist Catriona Rubenis-Stevens was able to employ dozens of artists, musicians and technicians using the grant money her organization received last year from the Arts and Culture Trust Fund. She also expanded her biggest event, the Zombie Opera, to make the unique concert more accessible for everyone to enjoy.

“The opera is often inaccessible because it is so expensive. That’s why we created the Zombie Opera during the pandemic. To make sure no one is denied access to the arts. We started with all volunteers, using a stoop as our stage, but, with the grant money from the fund, our concert has quickly grown to attract 4,000 people. Importantly, we can employ local artists and residents now, so we see the money going straight back into the community,” Rubenis-Stevens noted.

Rubenis-Stevens is also the owner of Half-Light Productions and director of the Zombie Opera.

The Fulop administration is committed to making Jersey City a regional destination and the standard bearer for arts and culture in New Jersey, attracting investments, jobs, tourism and businesses. In addition to the Arts and Culture Trust Fund, consistent with this vision is the Centre Pompidou coming to Journal Square, the Loew’s Theatre renovation with the New Jersey Devils, the Liberty Science Center expansion and the Museum of Jersey City History at the Apple Tree House.

Grant applications will be available on the Office of Cultural Affairs website beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, and accepted through 5 p.m. March 3.

Following the grant application process, eligible applicants will be awarded upwards of $25,000 each for general operating support. Program and arts education grants also will be available, with a maximum of $17,500 each. Additionally, the Jersey City Arts Council will administer an individual artist fellowship grant program to award 20 artists $5,000 each in unrestricted funds.

Information on workshops, open office hours and support sessions to help applicants submit proposals is available online here.