14 Schools Receive 2021 – 2022 Artists in Education Residency Grant Program


Date: September 13, 2021


Samantha Clarke


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14 Schools Receive 2021 – 2022 Artists in Education Residency Grant Program

AIE provides an artist in residence in 14 schools throughout New Jersey

Caption: Students and faculty at Ocean Road Elementary School stand in front of a collaborative mural created during the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Trenton, NJ. September 13, 2021: The Artists in Education Residency Grant Program (AIE) is pleased to announce that it will be awarding 14 long-term residencies throughout the state of New Jersey. Many of the proposed projects will be held both virtually and in-person. Students will be working with professional teaching artists, exploring themes of social justice, mindfulness, social emotional learning (SEL), and others through art forms such as puppetry, media arts, poetry, photography, and storytelling.

The Artists in Education Residency Grant Program is a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. The program is carried out in partnership with regional partners, including Appel Farm Arts & Music Campus, Count Basie Center for the Arts, and Morris Arts.

AIE grants (in value of $11,000+) place professional teaching artists in classrooms for long-term residencies that can be offered in all arts disciplines and at all grade levels. AIE grants are available to any New Jersey school, Pre-K through 12th grade. The twenty-day (minimum) residency provides professional development in the visual, performing, and literary arts, classroom workshop days with a professional teaching artist, and a community-based culminating event. 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.

The 2021 – 2022 schools who received the grant are:

  • Broad Street School (Bridgeton)
  • Charles C. Polk Elementary School (Roselle)
  • Farmingdale Public School (Farmingdale)
  • Greenwood Elementary School (Hamilton, Mercer County)
  • Hawkins Street School (Newark)
  • Hopewell Elementary School (Hopewell)
  • Jackson Liberty High School (Jackson)
  • Morris-Union Jointure Commission (New Providence)
  • G. Chambers School (Cedar Knolls)
  • Seth Boyden Demonstration School (Maplewood)
  • Toms River High School – Dance Academy (Toms River)
  • Toms River High School – Digital Arts Academy (Toms River)
  • Walter C. Black Elementary School (Hightstown)
  • Washington Avenue School (Pleasantville)

“We are thrilled to embark on a new year of AIE residencies with our partnering schools, artists, teachers, and school leaders,” says Michele Russo, President and CEO of Young Audiences. “When an AIE teaching artist is in collaboration with a school community, students can process what they’ve been experiencing and come together in a creative and fulfilling endeavor. These residencies can be lifesavers for students and the school community. We are grateful that the support of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts makes it possible.”

“Success, teamwork, dedication, inspiration, and unity are words I would use to describe the amazing experience of our Artists in Education grant and what students will continue to feel for years to come when they are exploring our ‘Secret Art Garden,’” said Michelle Ruff, teacher at Walter C. Black Elementary School which received an AIE grant for both the 2020 – 2021 school year and the 2021 – 2022 school year. “Together we created an outdoor space that truly opens a whole new world to learning that incorporates imagination, nature, and creativity.”

“Despite all the unknowns of the 2020 school year and the challenges we faced, our community had an incredible residency with artist Marylin Keating,” said Maraigrace Welsh, teacher at Walter C. Black. “We watched our students and staff come to life during this residency. We saw students and staff strive toward a common goal and step out of their comfort zones to learn and experience new art forms.”

“I discovered that we can work together,” shared a student at Seth Boyden Demonstration School who received a 2020-2021 AIE residency in step, a percussive dance form that originated in Historically Black Greek Life Organizations. “I like being here and interacting with everyone. I don’t want to change anything because it helped me be more social.”

AIE congratulates all of the schools participating in the Artists in Education Residency Grant Program, and we wish them a great school year with their teaching artist.

The application for the 2022 – 2023 Artists in Education Residency Grant Program will be made available to the public on October 1, 2021. Any New Jersey school is eligible to apply. For schools interested in receiving feedback on a completed draft of their application, AIE provides an early bird deadline of February 4, 2022. The final deadline for applications is March 4, 2022. Schools that are interested in applying can go to AIE’s website www.njaie.org to learn more about the grant program, access the application, and connect with resources to assist with the application process.

To keep up to date on AIE, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@NJArtistsinEd).


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About the New Jersey State Council on the Arts

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 www.artscouncil.nj.gov.

About Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing teaching artist-led performances, workshops, residencies, and teacher professional learning programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. Since its founding, the organization has reached over 15 million children in its nearly 50-year history.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Students are the center of our work. Our vision is that every child will have rich and meaningful arts experiences as part of their education. YA continually strives to create spaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive to all students and is committed to providing students of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences with arts education in which their creativity, cultures, abilities, and identities are validated, included, and nurtured.

YA’s 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, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences 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 www.yanjep.org. To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @YAAFLORG.


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