SOPAC Not Among State Arts Grant Winners
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts reduced grant awards by 25 percent from last year.
The state arts funding was cut by 25 percent from last year, and there were only four new awardees, while eight organizations lost their funding altogether. Despite the challenging economic climate, SOPAC had been cautiously optimistic about the grant, and it was discussed in a June 22 presentation to the South Orange Board of Trustees on the organization's financial outlook. According to Executive Director Ondine Landa Abramson, who was in Trenton for the announcement, the outcome is disappointing but not altogether unexpected.
"This is our first year of eligibility for some of these large grants, and it's the most difficult year to enter a cycle of funding," she said.
While $80,000 had been slotted in this year's budget for the grant, Landa Abramson said that SOPAC is still projected to break even without it. She says SOPAC will reapply next year—when the funding, available on a three-year cycle, will only be available to organizations that were denied this year—and intends to apply for other upcoming grants, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts later this year.
She says she was encouraged by feedback on Tuesday in Trenton that SOPAC had submitted a good application. "They know we're on the map," she said.