The Newark Arts Council supports over 45 arts organizations and serves as the cultural anchor of Newark by providing leadership, direction, and energy to the arts community.  The organization provides technical assistance through partnerships with Newark’s many artists, arts administrators, community organizations, schools, community development corporations, planning groups, economic development agencies, and the general public.

Programs & Services of the NAC include:

Neighborhood Arts Programming:

The NAC ArtStart Grants Program (a re-granting program), funded in part by Prudential, Horizon, and Bank of America, has made 123 grant awards ranging from $500 – $4,000, totaling over $400,000.  The projects stimulate arts and cultural activity in the city’s neighborhoods, local schools, and provide direct funding to individual artists.  These innovative programs take the arts into locations that are often overlooked by traditional programs.

Open Doors:  Open Artists Studios & Available Space Tour:

Since 2001, NAC has hosted the Studio Tour to create awareness of Newark’s burgeoning visual and performing artists’ communities.  The Tour was begun as a means for artists who had been working in isolation to open their studios to the public and to show the tremendous depth and diversity of art being created in this community.

Arts Education

The Newark Arts Council’s arts education initiative supports a vision “where all children receive high quality, sequential instruction in all art forms through both discipline-specific and integrated opportunities, provided by certified school-based practitioners as well as arts organization partners, both in and out of school.  We also envision a city where the arts and creativity are valued for their essential roles in our lives and in developing our community and our economy.”  To support this vision, the NAC spearheaded the creation of the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) in 2008.  This Roundtable is a strategic alliance of arts education stakeholders, including public, charter, and private schools; arts and cultural organizations; youth and community development entities; businesses; funders; and state and local government agencies.  In 2010, the NAER created “Arts Education in Newark: A Strategic Plan” to guide its efforts to ensure the provision of equitable access to high quality, sequential arts education opportunities for all children in grades PK through 12 in the city of Newark.

Arts & Economic Prosperity

The NAC is a leader in production information on the economic impact of the arts in Newark and the state of NJ and in getting that information into the hands of government and business leaders who determine allocation of resources.  The NAC first participated with Americans for the Arts in producing an economic impact study for Newark in 2001, and replicated the study in 2006.  This benchmark data served as a foundation for the third study of the impact of the arts on Newark’s economy in 2011.  The results of the 2011 study show the arts are a major industry in the city of Newark with total expenditures of $127,172,459; support 3,580 fte jobs; and return $5,157,000 in local taxes and $6,117,000 in state taxes!  These data show that far from being a drain on the city’s tax coffers, the arts are a significant contributor to our economic vitality and should be better supported.