Visual Arts Center of New Jersey Receives Grant Award from The Summit Foundation

The Summit Foundation LogoSummit, NJ (July 12, 2023)—The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) was recently awarded a grant from The Summit Foundation in the amount of $13,250 to support five of VACNJ’s community programs. The grant was part of $325,000 awarded to 28 organizations whose work focuses on civic and community needs; health and medical services; arts and culture; education; people with special needs; and older adults. The grant awarded to VACNJ will go toward funding:

  • Art From the Heart at SAGE Eldercare
    • VACNJ’s Art from the Heart program is offered to Summit seniors enrolled in SAGE Eldercare’s Spend-A-Day adult day-care program. These seniors have mild to moderate age-related cognitive disorders, and during 48 weekly sessions, a VACNJ-trained art educator engages approximately SAGE clients in hands-on art-making projects. This sequential program is specifically designed to improve cognitive functions, enhance memory, and improve an overall sense of well-being.
  • Language and Literacy Through Art
    • Language and Literacy Through Art is a partnership between VACNJ and Empowering Kids Organization (EKO) in Summit. EKO creates strategies and programs to empower under-resourced, English-language learners to thrive throughout their educational journey by connecting them and their families with opportunities and resources. The program expands students’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary art by utilizing art viewing and art making to engage and empower English-language learners to build skills in reading, writing, and speaking.
  • Summit PEP at VACNJ
    • Providing Educational Possibilities (PEP) is a college access program that offers academic, social-emotional, and financial support to select, motivated Summit public school students. PEP students visit VACNJ to experience the museum, view current exhibitions, and create their own work based on the contemporary art on display.
  • Art Therapy for Teens
    • Art Therapy for Teens is an after-school enrichment program led by VACNJ art therapist Megan Tuttle with the goal of promoting mental health by providing teens with a way to manage stress and anxiety through art. This powerful program was created in response to a call from parents, teens, and teachers to help today’s teenagers manage the pressures of not only being a young adult but navigating the world after the isolation of the pandemic.
    • VACNJ’s work with the Education, Careers & Lifelong Community (ECLC) PRIDE program works with adults with developmental disabilities making choices for the next steps in their lives, giving the participants the opportunity to come to the Art Center for hands-on artmaking. These programs focus on activities that help in one of four areas: social appropriateness, independent living, work enhancement skills, and community participation.

“For several years, The Summit Foundation has provided meaningful support to the Art Center that has allowed us to serve the Summit community,” said VACNJ Executive Director, Melanie Cohn. “Their continued support in the form of this recent grant award will allow us to continue to grow our community engagement programs and serve the most vulnerable populations in Summit.”

For more information on The Summit Foundation, visit