Newark Mayor Launches a Creative Catalyst Fund for the City's Arts Community

  • NEWARK, New Jersey
  • /
  • April 02, 2020

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Mural by The Nork Project, photo by Chrystofer Davis.

Newark (NJ) Mayor Ras J. Baraka on Thursday launched the Creative Catalyst Fund to provide artists and art groups with flexible grant support during the Coronavirus crisis and beyond. This program is the fourth of his six initiatives announced last week to help adversely affected Newark residents and small businesses.

In January 2020, Mayor Baraka announced a broad vision for the City’s cultural sector to encourage equitable funding for the arts that sustains the creative community and grassroots arts organizations. His arts initiatives included the creation of the City of Newark’s first arts grant program, the Creative Catalyst Fund, to ensure that the arts continue to thrive. In light of the COVID-19 crisis and its future impact on Newark’s creative sector, the City of Newark has streamlined the design of the Fund as much as possible to allow for flexibility in how grantees may use awarded funds.

In collaboration with Newark Arts, the Fund will support the local community of artists as well as smallto-midsize arts and cultural organizations, all of which provide social and economic value to the City of Newark by revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring students, and generally improving the quality of life for city residents. The Fund will provide up to $1 million dollars annually for at least the next three years, beginning with $750,000 provided by the City to seed the initiative.

“Newark is a ‘City of the Arts,’ where access to spoken-word events, musical and dance performances, film, art exhibits, theatre offerings, museums and libraries add exponentially to our economic health,” said Mayor Baraka.

“The impact of our arts community is felt in our neighborhoods, our businesses, our institutions, and our households, and contributes to the revitalization that Newark is experiencing. As a result of the coronavirus, Newark’s artists and creatives, their organizations and thosewho support and employthem are being negatively impacted. No strategy to help Newark residents and businesses get through the cononavirus crisis is complete without attention to the health of the arts community. I appeal to our foundations and individuals to contribute to this fund,” he added.

Contributions can be made through Newark Arts; email info@newarkarts.org with Creative Catalyst Fund in the subject line.

Applications for the grants are now available online until Friday, May 1, 2020.


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