April 3, 2020

In the ‘City of Arts’ Mayor Baraka adds to fund to protect Newark culture during COVID-19

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In launching a variety programs to help small businesses and their employees, homeowners, renters and commercial landlords negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Ras J. Baraka did not forget about the arts.

“The impact of our arts community is felt in our neighborhoods, our businesses, our institutions, and our households, and contributes to the revitalization that Newark is experiencing,” The Mayor said.

“As a result of the coronavirus, Newark’s artists and creatives, their organizations and those who support and employ them are being negatively impacted,” Mayor Baraka said. “No strategy to help Newark residents and businesses get through the coronavirus crisis is complete without attention to the health of the arts community.”

The Creative Catalyst Fund will provide the Newark arts community with $750,000 in flexible grants.

Applications for the grants are available online at The deadline to apply is Friday, May 1, 2020.

A webinar describing the application process will be held Monday, April 6, at 2 p.m. Participants can register to attend the online information session at Eventbrite:

Prospective applicants can choose between two grant streams, based on eligibility:

• General operating support for which Newark-based non-profit arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets up to $2 million are eligible and with a grant range of $2,500 - $50,000. Grants over $5,000 must be matched by funds raised from other sources.

• Artist Fellowships for which Newark-based individual artists or unincorporated artist collectives working in any artistic discipline are eligible.  The grant range is $1,000 - $10,000. There is no matching requirement.

Mayor Baraka is hoping the public and city businesses will see the value in the arts as he does.

“I appeal to our foundations and individuals to contribute to this fund,” he said.

Contributions can be made through the City’s Department of Economic and Housing Development. Email and please put Creative Catalyst Fund in the subject line.

The funds will be held and distributed by the Newark Arts Council.