Visual Arts Center of New Jersey to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Summit, NJ (July 11, 2022)—The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (VACNJ) has been approved for a $15,000 Grants for Arts Projects award from the National Endowment for the Arts to support Olas Caribenas/Caribbean Waves. This project will support activities showcasing traditional Caribbean arts, in conjunction with VACNJ’s Spring 2023 Main Gallery exhibition. VACNJ’s project is among 1,125 projects across America totaling more than $26.6 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2022 funding.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including VACNJ, providing opportunities for all of us to live artful lives,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

“We are so grateful to the NEA for this funding, which will allow Caribbean heritage bearers to gather at the Art Center and share expressions of their cultures with each other and the wider community,” said Melanie Cohn, VACNJ Executive Director. “We look forward to the wonderful program of Caribbean music and dance that this grant makes possible.”

The purpose of the grant is to support activities showcasing traditional Caribbean arts. An advisory committee led by folklife consultant, Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, will conduct fieldwork to identify and document folk artists and traditions from local Caribbean communities for public programming. The research and presentations will enhance a multimedia exhibition of NJ-based Caribbean visual artists planned for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. The fieldwork, and the resulting public programming, will benefit the Art Center’s general audience as well as the Caribbean immigrant community in the tri-state region of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit