Press Release
Senator Tom Kean, Jr. Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21)
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Contact: Brittany O'Neill / 609-847-3600
October 29, 2018
Kean Takes Action to Support Jersey-Based Artists

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

The Senate has passed two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to empower Jersey-based artists to grow and create.

The first bill, S-521, would establish a special designation that municipalities can use to promote artists living and working in New Jersey and across the United States.

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean’s legislation would empower Jersey-based artists to grow and create. (Wikimedia)

Look across New Jersey, and you will see concrete examples on how the arts play an integral role in our ongoing efforts to build vibrant communities,” Senator Kean, a longtime supporter of the arts, said. “Jersey-based creators not only support local jobs, they foster statewide economic growth. We can do much more to empower these job creators to stay in New Jersey.”

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 Senate 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.

“When children are exposed to art, they flourish,” Kean said. “Local art organizations provide a wide variety of educational and community-based outlets for a child to imagine, create, and gain critical thinking skills. By ensuring the NEA continues to receive federal funding, we can give these organizations the support they need to ensure kids have the opportunity to benefit from these programs, for years to come.”

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