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Re: NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
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Maybe Hudson County didn't get very much because it didn't make the greatest use of the money in the past? Like that stupid Monopoly mural, painted by someone who had committed acts of vandalism in Jersey City, but still got paid a stipend for the mural courtesy of our tax dollars? Rewarding criminals is not the best use of arts funding.

Posted on: 2016/7/27 14:49
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Re: NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
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Great points, Sam. While it is tempting to leap first to the political - since political gamesmanship, incompetence and/or corruption is at the root of so many things New Jersey - it has always seemed to me that the many disparate and frequently unorganized/poorly conceived entities competing for severely limited and highly contested resources puts Jersey City at a distinct disadvantage. So much noise, so little direction.

Where local government could do a better job is in providing dedicated professional leadership to help work with the arts community and develop a vision of what Jersey City can/should be, rather than short-term, ready/aim/shoot responses like mural programs conceived of and administered by well-meaning folks with no tangible connection to the arts and who are often in over their heads. A sustainable, wide-spread high-quality arts and cultural presence is what ultimately will give the city its definition and sense of place rather than a city in a semi-permanent state of transition.

Posted on: 2016/7/27 14:22
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Re: NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
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[quote]
DanL wrote:

why do we come up so short in the state funding?

is it the christie administration (the essex county executive has endorsed and supported him?)

has union city, because of the mayors support of the governor faired better than JC?

are JC elected officials failing us at the state level (and those pulling their strings?)

the jersey city administration should be concerned and working on getting our fair share.



[quote]

I wish it was so easy as to blame the governor. While I am sure there is increased advocacy that our representatives could be doing at the state level - for example, low funding to South Jersey was addressed several years back when the NJ Arts Council was required to direct 20% of their funding to counties in South NJ. Why not advocate for more funding to Hudson County - these are our tax dollars after all.

But the real issue is that there are almost no arts organizations in Jersey City who are big enough - and organized enough - to put together quality applications to the council for funding. The barrier for entry is high as it includes providing audited financial statements, a strategic plan, and competitive programs and materials.

Once funded, the amount is proportional to the size of the organization - so NJPAC (with a budget of $44 million) receives a huge grant while small Jersey City groups get very little. The system maintains the status quo by rewarding large established groups and makes it very difficult for new blood to break in.

Locally we have failed to build an environment where arts can grow and survive. Our local government, corporations based here, and local residents (especially those with means), largely do not support Jersey City arts organizations. The JCBOE spends dollars elsewhere for arts programming for the district. The few high profile arts events emphasize amateur artists. Lack of decent performance and exhbition space has diminished the quality and perception of local arts. Ultimately, professional arts organizations have not been able to get a foothold.

Posted on: 2016/7/27 14:05
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Re: NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
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why do we come up so short in the state funding?

is it the christie administration (the essex county executive has endorsed and supported him?)

has union city, because of the mayors support of the governor faired better than JC?

are JC elected officials failing us at the state level (and those pulling their strings?)

the jersey city administration should be concerned and working on getting our fair share.



Quote:

smpott wrote:
The NJ State Arts Council announced funding today for their new fiscal year at the annual meeting at the State House in Trenton. What was already an very disproportionately small amount of grants to Hudson County arts organizations in last year's allocations remained abysmally small. Hudson County arts non-profits received a total of $149K - compared to Essex County at over $5.5million - and Mercer and Middlesex got over $1million each. That's $.26/person in Hudson County compared to almost $7/person in Essex. And if every arts council dollar spent generates $8 in the local economy... Do the math.

At least we got a few thousand more than Gloucester County...

Maybe if Jersey City took a hard look at what government policies and civic climate is needed to build a truly sustainable arts sector - rather then get distracted by mundane monopoly murals or other art endevours high on publicity but low on professionalism, we might begin to move towards the notion we have of Jersey City as an artistic, cultural community.

If the NJ Arts Council's grant funding is one indication of where excellence in the arts is happening in NJ, and which regions of our state are investing and building an environment for arts to grow, then Hudson County is far, far behind.

Samuel Pott
Artistic Director
Nimbus Dance Works

Posted on: 2016/7/27 12:23
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NJ Arts Council funding abysmal for Hudson County once again
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The NJ State Arts Council announced funding today for their new fiscal year at the annual meeting at the State House in Trenton. What was already an very disproportionately small amount of grants to Hudson County arts organizations in last year's allocations remained abysmally small. Hudson County arts non-profits received a total of $149K - compared to Essex County at over $5.5million - and Mercer and Middlesex got over $1million each. That's $.26/person in Hudson County compared to almost $7/person in Essex. And if every arts council dollar spent generates $8 in the local economy... Do the math.

At least we got a few thousand more than Gloucester County...

Maybe if Jersey City took a hard look at what government policies and civic climate is needed to build a truly sustainable arts sector - rather then get distracted by mundane monopoly murals or other art endevours high on publicity but low on professionalism, we might begin to move towards the notion we have of Jersey City as an artistic, cultural community.

If the NJ Arts Council's grant funding is one indication of where excellence in the arts is happening in NJ, and which regions of our state are investing and building an environment for arts to grow, then Hudson County is far, far behind.

Samuel Pott
Artistic Director
Nimbus Dance Works

Posted on: 2016/7/27 1:55

Edited by smpott on 2016/7/27 2:21:36
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