County commissioners approve support for local arts groups, activities and events

Special to The Sun
Burlington County Commissioners Dan O’Connell (left) and Tom Pullion (right) marched in the Burlington County St. Patrick’s Day Parade through Mount Holly with County Surrogate Brian Carlin in 2022. The Burlington County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee was one of 19 organizations selected to receive arts grants from Burlington County to support their activities, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other events.

The Burlington County Commissioners approved 19 nonprofit groups to receive a record total of $315,500 in grant funding this year to support arts programs and initiatives in the county.

The Local Arts grant awards were announced after the commissioners voted earlier this month to approve the distribution. They are contingent on the execution of a grant agreement with the New Jersey Arts Council, which provides funding for them. This year, the commissioners added funding to the grants program using $250,000 the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act

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By boosting the funding, the commissioners were able to increase the maximum awards to aid the organizations with their recovery from the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn. 

The grant recipients were selected by the commissioners based on recommendations by a peer panel. They are expected to support a variety of activities and programs, including general operations, advertising, special exhibits, classes and performances.

All 19 organizations that applied for grants will receive funding. Sixteen of the organizations have previously received arts grants from the county. Three organizations – Bordentown Arts, the Roebling Museum and the Timbuctoo Historical Society – were new applicants that received arts grants for the first time.

The following organizations were approved to receive grants:

Bordentown Arts, Bordentown: $9,000 to support the creation of a large mural on the exterior wall of the Woodlin Lodge on East Park Street. The mural will depict people, places and events relevant to Bordentown’s African-American history.

Bridge Players Theater Company, Burlington: $16,000 for general operating support for the Burlington City-based theater group.

Burlington County Saint Patrick’s Parade Committee, Mount Holly: $21,000 to support the organization’s yearly series of arts and cultural events, including the St. Patrick’s Parade through Mount Holly, the Irish Festival, Oktoberfest Celebration, Summer Concert series and Bloomsday Celebration.

Essence of Harmony Choral Society, Moorestown: $27,000 to support operations of inclusive and diverse community choir, including purchasing music, fees for accompanying musicians, public relations materials, travel expenses and Braille programs.

Golden Eagle Community Band, Mount Holly: $4,500 to support general operations of this all-volunteer, nonprofit community band.

Haaf Family Arts Foundation, Beverly: $11,000 to support 3rd annual Beverly Blues Festival highlighting the Blues musicians and the Riverfront Park.

In Fact Inc., Willingboro: $13,000 to support five public events centered on African American folk arts, culture and community empowerment.

Lyceum Studio of Fine and Performing Arts, Burlington: $18,000 for general operating support for the studio’s programming and classes for all ages and abilities.

Medford Arts Center, Medford: $27,000 for general operating support for the community arts studio and gallery, including the community events and workshops.

Mill Race Village Arts & Preservation, Mount Holly: $25,000 to hire artists and entertainers for the annual Mount Holly Fire & Ice Festival featuring ice carvers, musicians, glass blowers, aerialists, costume play performers, culinary artists and dancers.

Moorestown Theater Company. Moorestown: $25,000 for general operating support  for the company’s productions and activities.

Roebling Museum, Florence: $18,000 to support the museum’s plans to create a sustainable artist in residence program to support local artists and draw attention to historic landmarks in Burlington County.

Servicios Latinos de Burlington County, Westampton: $20,000 to support the nonprofit’s Latino Festival and Hispanic Heritage Celebration featuring food, live music, painting folk dancers, children’s activities and health screenings.

South Jersey Pops Orchestra, Evesham: $5,000 to support development of four unique full orchestra concert programs to be performed in 2024.

Timbuctoo Historical Society, Westampton: $12,000 to assist with the development of a children’s book about Timbuctoo, an antebellum free Black community established in Westampton in 1826.

Underground Railroad Museum, Eastampton: $20,000 to support the museum’s African Diaspora Festival and other activities.

West Jersey Chamber Museum Society, Moorestown: $8,000 in general operating support for the Moorestown-based choir and orchestra, including its live-stream concerts and complimentary tickets to low-income individuals and youth-serving organizations.

West Jersey Music Academy, Moorestown: $15,000 to aid the organization’s music instruction program for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Whitesbog Preservation Trust, Pemberton Township: $21,000 to support the group’s 2024 live music performances and arts workshops focused on the Pinelands history, arts, nature and historic Whitesbog Village.

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