Press Release: Eleven Schools Awarded Up to $10,000 Each in Artist Residency Grants!


Date: September 22, 2017


Michelle Baxter-Schaffer, Artists in Education Administrator




Eleven Schools Awarded Up to $10,000 Each in Artist Residency Grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania

Grants provide a 20-day artist-in-residence for schools throughout New Jersey

TRENTON, NJ – Eleven schools in New Jersey have been chosen to each receive up to $10,000 for the Artists in Education Residency Grant Program (AIE). The mission of AIE is to make the arts a basic part of a sound, quality education for all students in grades Pre-K through 12, and to provide quality professional development for teachers through long-term residencies with professional teaching artists. The AIE Program is a project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. The program is carried out in partnership with regional partners, including Appel Farm Arts & Music Center.

AIE residencies focus on direct learning about the arts and the processes of creating art, including the skills, techniques and concepts of the art form. Residencies are offered in all disciplines including the visual, literary, and performing arts and at all grade levels. More information about the AIE Program can be found at

The final eleven schools selected are:

  • Bradley Beach Elementary School, Bradley Beach, NJ
  • Broad Street School, Bridgeton, NJ
  • Kellman Brown Academy, Voorhees, NJ
  • Miftaahul Uloom Academy, Union City, NJ
  • Montclair Cooperative School, Montclair, NJ
  • Montgomery Township High School, Skillman, NJ
  • Morris Union Jointure Commission, New Providence, NJ
  • Parsippany Hills High School, Morris Plains, NJ
  • Pennsauken High School, Pennsauken, NJ
  • Sussex Avenue RENEW School, Newark, NJ
  • Woehr Elementary School, New Egypt, NJ


Each school will work with staff from AIE’s partner organizations, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania and Appel Farm Arts & Music Center. Schools will also work with a professional teaching artist to plan high-quality arts programming tailored specifically for their schools’ unique needs. They will receive funding for a variety of initiatives, including:

  • professional artist residency workshops in the classroom
  • professional development to help classroom teachers connect the arts to other learning
  • assistance in creating a community event celebrating students’ work

In addition to the eleven AIE schools, Young Audiences will be identifying a school to join the Bridge to AIE Program, which is supported by generous donors of Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. The Bridge to AIE Program was started by Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania in 2015 to help prepare schools to join the AIE Program.

Winning schools have expressed how proud and excited they are to be a 2017-2018 recipient of an AIE Program grant.

“The Artists in Education Program has had a profound effect on Sussex Avenue Renew students and its surrounding community.  The resident artist, Kit Sailer, has become an integral part of the school by both inspiring students to find the artist within themselves as well as developing rich, loving classrooms.  Experiences like these are critical to help teachers transform their instructional practices and engage more creatively with students.  We would not be the same school without this remarkable experience.” -Darleen Gearhart, Principal, Sussex Avenue RENEW School

Photo Caption: Students from Sussex Avenue RENEW School in Newark pose in front of their outdoor mural, created during an AIE residency led by Resident Artist Kit Sailer.


The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to nearly 700 schools each year. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. The organization annually reaches nearly 500,000 children pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @YANJEPA and on Instagram @young_audiences_njepa.