PRESS RELEASE May 6, 2015: NAER granted NEA Collective Impact Grant

DATE:  May 6, 2015

CONTACT: Sanaz Hojreh (973) 643-1625 office; (973) 768-7540

Newark Arts Education Roundtable to Receive Coveted National Endowment for the Arts Collective Impact Grant Award is Among Only Eight Made Nationally

Newark, NJ—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its second round of funding for fiscal year 2015; 1,023 recommended grants totaling $74.3 million were awarded to arts organizations in all 50 states and five jurisdictions. Among those awards are only eight collective impact arts education grants, including a $50,000 grant to the Newark Arts Council for the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER). The NAER initiative deepens the work of 50+ arts organizations, artists and arts funders, public schools and a growing list of community-based organizations dedicated to ensuring that the young people of this diverse and changing city have access to sustained quality arts experiences.

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the NEA promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

Collective impact is a systemic approach to achieving project success that includes cross-sector partnerships; shared goals, strategies, and measurements; an emphasis on data collection; and constant communication. The NEA recently adopted collective impact as a distinct project type available for funding at larger grant amounts.

Beyond the NEA’s application review criteria of artistic excellence and artistic merit, collective impact projects require a significant degree of commitment among diverse participants to work together. Project partners must break through the silos that traditionally separate professions to reach mutual goals that benefit a community.

“The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.  “Funding these new projects, like the one from the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”

NEA Director of Arts Education Ayanna Hudson said, “These projects, like the one led by the Newark Arts Education Roundtable, are changing the possibilities for arts education by moving from many and isolated conversations about specific programs to a shared conversation about how to fundamentally transform an entire school district or an entire community by ensuring all students have access to an arts education.”

“This grant will provide the foundation for the development of a creative Newark,” said Alysia Souder, NAER Leadership Council Chair. “We are delighted to continue to collaborate with artists, arts organizations, schools and community-based organizations to develop a creative collaborative culture and bring quality arts education and experiences to all children of Newark children. This grant would not have been possible without the support and fiscal sponsorship of the Newark Arts Council.”

Linwood Oglesby, Executive Director of the Newark Arts Council, said “The award by the NEA is an important acknowledgement of the work that has been done over the past five years by the NAER to put Newark at the forefront of national efforts recognizing the value of arts education as a component of a child’s development both in-and out-of school.

The NAER initiative builds the arts community’s collective capacity through a series of workshops, inter-visitations and data collection, focusing on: 1) data analysis and review of young people’s access to arts education services in Newark, 2) developing common language around evaluation, and 3) including new voices in conversations about the importance of systemic approaches to providing arts education in Newark.

The NAER is made possible in part by the generous support of the Prudential Foundation, Victoria Foundation and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.  NAER members include: Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.; Anne Englot; Anne Jacobson; Barat Foundation; Caitlin Evans Jones; Central NJ Social Services; City of Newark Division of Arts Cultural Development & Tourism; Clement Price Institute on Culture, Ethnicity, and the Modern Experience; cWOW; Donna Holmes; Educational Arts Team; Geraldine O’Sullivan; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; GlassRoots; The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.; Institute of Music for Children; Jazz House Kids; Jeanette Taylor; Jeff Billingsley; Jeremy V. Johnson; Karen Thomas; Kathryn Peterson; Lincoln Center Education; Margaret El; Middlesex County Vo-Tech School; Montclair Art Museum; Music Ascension; New Jersey Arts Education Partnership; New Jersey Charter Schools Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Newark Arts Council; Newark Museum; Newark Public Schools; Newark School of the Arts; Paper Mill Playhouse; People’s Preparatory Charter School; Playwrights Theatre; Prudential Foundation; Pushcart Players; Rutgers University Department of Arts, Culture, and Media; Rutgers University Paul Robeson Galleries; Schools that Can – Newark; Sharron Miller Dance Studios; University Heights Charter School; Victoria Foundation; WBGO; and Yendor Productions.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to