Prudential Foundation awards $815K to N.J. Arts and Culture Renewal Fund

The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund received an $815,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation to continue its work to fill a critical funding gap for smaller nonprofit arts and culture organizations across the state, according to a Wednesday announcement.

The grant will be paid in installments over four years.

The New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund will be able to continue its core grantmaking activities and will have a sustainable future, thanks to the multiyear commitment of support from the Prudential Foundation.

Founded in 2020, the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund is a collaboration between private and public donors.

It has awarded more than $6.7 million grants to 192 organizations in every New Jersey county during four rounds of funding, which began in January 2021. Unrestricted grants of up to $50,000 are awarded, with an average grant size of $23,000.

The fund’s total grantmaking is expected to exceed $9 million by the end of 2023.

“We understand the importance of the arts in the community, and that is one of the reasons why we were a founding donor of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund,” said Shanè Harris, vice president of social responsibility and partnerships and president of the Prudential Foundation.

The fund has also received significant support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Nicole Butler, vice president, community affairs and partnerships, Prudential Financial, sits on the steering committee that guides the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund along with its executive director, Lynne Toye.

Over the past two years, it has become clear that the fund addresses a critical and ongoing need for funding for smaller nonprofits in the sector. It was decided that the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund should continue its work beyond the pandemic. Butler and Tanuja M. Dehne, CEO and president of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, agreed that the Prudential Loan Fund, a collaboration among the Prudential Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey, would reallocate the remaining funds to the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund.

“We are thrilled that these funds will strengthen the sustainability of the New Jersey Arts and Culture Renewal Fund, an important organization that supports the vibrancy of the arts sector across our state,” Dehne said. “As a racial justice funder in New Jersey, we are particularly excited to support the fund’s mission to deploy much-needed resources to BIPOC-led and serving arts organizations. We know that our organization, alone, cannot address the root causes and repair of structural racism in our state, and we are pleased to see the evolution of this innovative partnership to meet the real-time needs of the community.”