New Jersey increases aid to the arts

    After making some cuts last year, New Jersey is increasing grants for arts groups around the state.

    The State Council on the Arts is awarding $15.5 million to support nearly 800 arts programs and projects. That’s up $1.5 million from a year ago.

    Mark Packer, president of ArtPride New Jersey, says the state support is vital to arts groups who’ve been suffering as a result of the economy.

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    “Organizations are now down to bare bones and there are some that I would say are teetering,” he says. “And without this kind of funding we could have expected to see arts organizations in the state close.”

    Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno says the arts funding is a good investment of taxpayer money that will have an economic impact of more than $1 billion and help support 17,000 businesses and 82,000 jobs in New Jersey.

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