Here at the Newark Arts Council, we don’t believe in starving artists…or starving art programs! That’s why, since 2001, our signature grants program, ArtStart, has been providing critical funding for arts and cultural activities in the state’s largest city. Earmarked for activities that serve youth or address the needs of Newark’s most underserved neighborhoods, ArtStart has awarded more than 150 mini-grants to deserving artists and programs, totaling over $400,000!

We’re proud that every dollar awarded makes a real and tangible difference to Newark residents and the greater Newark community. But don’t take it from us. We asked a few of our most recent ArtStart grantees to tell us how their award is impacting lives through the arts.

Barbara Heisler, GlassRoots

 GlassRoots is using its ArtStart grant to create a moveable glass mosaic representing faces of Newark at its 350th anniversary, in order to facilitate a connection between the residents and members of the Newark community and this historic event. We anticipate creating between 350 and 500 mosaic tiles by the projects end. The project will also be replicated virtually, with an online mosaic – expanding our reach.


Sharron Miller, Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts

Our ArtStart grant helped to fund the expansion of a dance residency in Newark’s Quitman Street Community School. The Dance residency has served K-5 students over the past several years. However, through this grant we were able to provide a dance elective giving 6th, 7th and 8th graders the opportunity to continue participating in a dance program past 5th grade.

Making positive opportunities available to children in underserved communities is essential to their future. Providing such opportunities requires support from funding sources and the community. We are grateful to ArtStart, The Newark Arts Council and the Victoria Foundation for making a K-8 full year dance residency possible.


Susan O’Rourke, Artfront Galleries

Artfront Galleries successfully produced three exhibits in October 2015 that were a part of the Newark Art Council’s Open Doors and one in March 2016. We have displayed 150 works of art by 36 artists, the majority of which live in Newark, with a collective attendance that approached 1,000. For the rest of the year we plan to hold three, 30-day, not-for-profit pop up galleries in both June and October. These galleries will all be produced in the underserved Halsey St. and North Ward areas of the city.


From visual arts and dance to books and film, ArtStart provides direct funding to innovative and essential creative programming. In fact, ArtStart has been designed to act as a catalyst for those specific cultural activities that are either not available at all or have very limited availability within the local community.

So, do you have an exciting cultural program that could you use some funding? Has your creative idea been overlooked by more traditional funding sources? Then the ArtStart grant is just the resource for you! The grant cycle is only open through Friday, April 29 so don’t hesitate. Apply today! Visit https://newarkarts.org/artstart/ for more information and to fill out our online application.