NJ arts funding no longer blocked

The grant money that had been promised by the end of the year will be paid out.

State grants payments in New Jersey have been un-frozen. While Trenton prepares for the transition to the Chris Christie administration, Governor Corzine had blocked payments promised to municipalities, schools, and arts organizations.

Arts organizations in particular were worried. They heard last July that they would be receiving money from the state by the end of the year, so by November many had already spent that money. Some of the smaller groups would have faced bankruptcy if those payments were not made in a timely manner.

Pam Brant of Symphony in C in Camden says it has begun staging performances with one third the number of musicians because of unreliable state support.

Brant: We have got to diversify and let go of our reliance on the state. We are looking into increase our education programs, because it’s typically easier to get funding from corporate sources.

The New Jersey Department of State says it is trying to process grant payments as quickly as possible. State law mandates that 40% of a hotel tax must be distributed to arts organizations.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.