New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Kean Moves to Support Jersey-Based Creators & National Funding for the Arts

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Legislation Would Create Artist District Designations; Support the National Endowment for the Arts

The Senate State Government Committee has passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to support artists in New Jersey and across the country.

NJ Senate Committee passes Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation to support artists in New Jersey and across the country. (Pixabay)

The first bill, S-521, would establish a special designation that municipalities can use to promote Jersey-based artists living and working in that community.

“The Garden State is blessed with a number of vibrant downtowns where local artists thrive,” Senator Kean (R-21) said. “Jersey-based artists generate local jobs. Nurturing and promoting active artist districts will stimulate economic growth, create educational opportunities, and help our local tourist destinations become even more widely-known.”

S-521 would give New Jersey municipalities the ability to create an “Artist District” within a town. Under S-512 the New Jersey State Council on the Arts would be charged with establishing the requirements necessary to receive the designation.

The bill would also require the council to partner with the State Division of Travel and Tourism to help advertise and market districts that have received the designation.

Kean, a longtime member of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, also sponsors SR-64, a resolution passed by the committee today that urges the President and Congress to continue funding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.

For more than 50 years, the NEA has fostered artistic expression by awarding more than $5 billion in funds to artists and arts organizations across the country. The NEA has annually awarded New Jersey $800,000 in funding to the State Council on the Arts.

We know that children who have exposure to the arts are more likely to succeed academically. The next generation should have the same access to the arts that our kids have right now,” Kean said. “Dancers, painters, musicians, and all creative folks have earned the chance to showcase their art, right in their hometowns, and families here should be able to experience the gifts they share with us. We must ensure that the NEA continues to have access to the funding they need to support local artists for years to come.”

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