November 14, 2022


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Newark, NJ – November 14, 2022 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced the allocation of $750,000 of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to support the third year of the City’s Creative Catalyst Fund, which will provide artists and cultural groups with flexible grant support during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Announced in January 2020 as Newark’s first-ever municipal arts grant program, the inaugural round of Creative Catalyst Fund grants offered much-needed support in the early months of the pandemic that took an enormous financial toll on the creative sector.

“Newark has a long history as a center for arts and culture. That sector is an important part of our economy and focus on equitable development and neighborhood growth,” said Mayor Baraka. “Empowering artists has an impact greater than economics alone – it empowers the creativity of our City.”

The financial support from the Creative Catalyst Fund has bolstered Newark’s creative community, which has vital contributions to civic economy and quality of life. The Fund was launched as a multi-year initiative providing up to $1 million annually for at least three years. In its first two years, the Fund issued a total of $1.6 million for the arts. Last year, the Creative Catalyst Fund awarded grants to 134 artists and organizations for programs that served over 250,000 Newark residents and visitors and paid over 1,000 additional artists for their work supporting these projects. The average award amount was $10,900 for organizations and $3,800 for individual artists and collectives. Grantees used the funds to help pay for operating costs, space rentals, staff, programming costs, supplies and equipment, and COVID-related expenses.

The Creative Catalyst Fund is administered by the City’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs in partnership with Newark Arts, and was designed and facilitated with support from Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono municipal consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Newark Arts is thrilled to partner with the City of Newark for a third year to facilitate Creative Catalyst Fund grants to Newark’s arts community,” said Executive Director of Newark Arts Felicia A. Swoope. “These much-needed resources help small arts organizations and individual artists to thrive as they enrich the city with artistic vibrancy and cultural relevance. Newark Arts’ mission is to help to drive funding, space, and coordination that supports the arts community.”

To apply for the grants, click here. The deadline to apply for the 2022 Creative Catalyst Fund grant is Thursday, December 1, at 11:59 p.m. A selection committee composed of community representatives, city staff, and arts experts will evaluate the submissions. An online public information session about how to apply will be provided on Wednesday, November 16, at 6 p.m. Interested candidates can register at Eventbrite to learn more.

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

●       General Operating Support for Newark-based non-profit arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets up to $2 million. The grant range is $2,500 to $25,000. Grants over $5,000 must be matched by funds raised from other sources.

●       Artist Fellowships for Newark-based individual artists or artist collectives working in any artistic discipline are eligible. The grant range is $1,000 to $5,000. There is no matching requirement.

The arts contribute more than $178 million to Newark’s economy, support roughly 5,000 local jobs and generate $15.5 million in local and state taxes. The Fund will support the local community of artists as well as small-to-midsize arts and cultural organizations, all of which provide immense social and economic value to the City of Newark by revitalizing neighborhoods, inspiring students, and generally improving the quality of life for city residents.

The Fund aligns with Newark Creates, a cultural plan researched and developed by Newark Arts, and made final in 2019. Newark Creates is a collaborative plan on behalf of the City. The plan, funded by Prudential and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, details an 18-month organized initiative of community members, nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental stakeholders working together to advance an equitable foundation for Newark to thrive with arts and culture. More information about resources and opportunities for artists and arts organizations can be found at


For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website

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