New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts is a division of the New Jersey Department of State, created in 1966 by Public Law Chapter 214 and consists of 17 members, all appointed by the Governor for terms of three years, and three ex-officio members. Since its creation, the Council’s volunteer members and professional staff have worked to improve the quality of life in New Jersey through strategic support for the arts.
With annual appropriations from the State Legislature as well as annual federal grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Council designs and carries out a dynamic program of financial and technical support services for New Jersey artists and nonprofit organizations. The Council has priority programs in arts education, artists’ services, community arts development, folk arts, cultural facilities development, community cultural planning and arts marketing.
The Council works with a broad array of partner organizations in carrying out this work, all of which is governed by strategic plans made in the broader context of Arts Plan New Jersey. Among its programs, the Council administers the Arts Inclusion Act through which works of art are commissioned and installed in new state construction as well as the 1987 Cultural Centers Bond Act through which cultural centers are built and improved.
The Council’s programs and services have earned national recognition for excellence, innovation and responsiveness to community needs.

We believe the arts are central to every element we value most in a modern society including: human understanding; cultural and civic pride; strong communities; excellent schools; lifelong learning: Ceramic artist Bennett Bean; creative expression and economic opportunity.

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary this year as an agency within the New Jersey Department of State. It receives funding from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee and through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1966, the Arts Council’s professional staff and volunteer board have worked to improve the quality of life in New Jersey by helping the arts to flourish through a comprehensive roster of programs, service and competitive grants. Public funds invested through the Arts Council continue to have a profound positive impact on communities and individuals statewide.

Annually, support for New Jersey’s arts industry contributes to quality lifetime learning opportunities and increased health and wellness, stimulates $1.2 billion in economic activity, supports 20,000 businesses, sustains more than 80,000 jobs and returns $41 million in state tax revenue. The Council is pleased to co-sponsor the New Jersey Senior Citizens Art Show which recognizes and celebrates the remarkable artistic talent of New Jersey’s older residents.


List of Resources & Tools

Cultural Access Network of New Jersey

The  Cultural Access Network of New Jersey was created in 1992 to assist all cultural arts organizations in making their programs and facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities.  The Cultural Access Network is comprised of individuals with specific knowledge and expertise in areas relating to accessible programming and facilities. Since its inception, the Cultural Access Network has been a resource for New Jersey’s arts community to use as they make structural and programmatic changes in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  All of the Cultural Access Network’s programs and services are made possible by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Alliance for Arts and Health New Jersey

The Alliance for Arts & Health New Jersey connects artists and arts professionals and those who provide health and wellness services in order to educate, advocate, and advance best practices in arts and health.


Creative Aging Point Person

Donald Ehman

Director Artist Services and Access Coordinator