New Jersey government freezes $10 million in arts funding

Posted on: December 9, 2009

In Wednesday’s (12/9) Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), Peggy McGlone writes, “Peters Valley Craft Center is furloughing staff because it can’t secure a loan to cover expenses. Weeks shy of season’s end, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey can’t cut any more, so its leaders will try to negotiate with the vendors it already owes. Colonial Symphony leaders are worried they won’t make January’s payroll. Hundreds of theaters, museums, musical groups and other arts organizations learned this week that the state treasury froze the more than $10 million in arts grants approved last summer. … In July, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts approved 229 grants totaling $14.4 million. The council processes the awards in two installments: 85 percent up front, with the balance paid at the end of the fiscal year, after grant recipients file their final reports. But so far this year, only 30 grants totaling $2.6 million were paid to 18 organizations. The 198 other grants remain in fiscal limbo. … The freeze on arts funding is part of a series of moves the Corzine administration is taking to close a projected $1 billion shortfall in this year’s $29 billion budget. Last week, the state’s municipalities learned $20.6 million in payments would not be made this month. Funding to tourism, education and after-school programs are also being held back.”

Posted December 9, 2009