Four Ways to Help New Jersey Artists and Arts Groups Without Busting Your Holiday Budget

December 10, 2012

As we near the end of the calendar year, nonprofit arts groups around the state join all types of nonprofits that are bumping up annual appeals for charitable donations.

In the midst of donation requests, many are also writing grant applications and finding ways to replace lost revenue due to Hurricane Sandy.  From FEMA to SBA, to the generous support available through the Dodge Foundation, NYFA, CERF+, and the Andy Warhol and Rauschenberg Foundations, artists and arts groups are not only trying to meet year end fundraising goals, but also working hard to assure that budget losses don’t place their organizations at financial risk.

Please remember that nonprofit organizations, including the arts, rely on the generosity of individuals to assure that admission and ticket prices are affordable and to serve their communities through outreach and educational programs, often offered at reduced rates.  Here are some easy ways you can be “arts friendly” without busting your own holiday budget:

1. Become a Member

Become a member of the visual or performing arts center in your neighborhood.  Believe it when they say that each membership makes a difference!

2. In-Kind Donations

Do you have something of value that may be donated?  In-kind support from retail to professional services cost non-profit arts groups hard earned dollars.  Donations and discounts on items and services ranging from legal and accounting to dry cleaning and office supplies are welcome not only now, but all year round!

3. Buy Local

Support local artists by purchasing handmade (in America and NJ!) items.

4. Stay Informed, Take Action

Keep informed on threats to charitable giving incentives nationwide.  As our nation faces the “fiscal cliff” those incentives are at great risk.  In particular, we are deeply troubled by reports of proposals under consideration that would create an aggregate dollar limit or percentage cap for all itemized deductions as a potential short-term revenue solution during the lame duck session. Visit ArtPride NJ’s home page and the Arts Action Fund website where you can find more info and how to contact your elected officials on this critical issue.

Hurricane Sandy Help from Utrecht Art Supplies

Now for a heartwarming story!  The ArtPride NJ Foundation asked Utrecht Art Supplies, based in Cranbury, NJ to help some of New Jersey’s visual artists who suffered damage or loss due to the hurricane.  Utrecht responded with a generous donation of $1,500 in ArtSmart Gift Cards to help  artists  replace lost or damaged supplies ranging from easels to paint to paper to printmaking and sculpting materials.

St. Rose’s art class entrance after Hurricane Sandy

Judi Jaquith, a Utrecht employee who works in the warehouse outlet store, provided the icing on the cake by donating an amazing amount of supplies on her own.

This photo shows Judi’s generous donation that will go to directly to Art Teacher Linda Devlin’s Room at St. Rose High School in Belmar that lost everything to Sandy’s flood.  We are so very grateful to Joe Gyurcsak, Brand Manager and Resident Artist, Judi, and all the folks at Utrecht for going the extra step to help artists in need.

Happy holidays to all, and best wishes for a creative and art-filled New Year!

(PS—If you need information on your local arts group or are uncertain about the value of your donation, contact us at the ArtPride NJ Foundation, and we will steer you in the right direction).

Ann Marie Miller is the Executive Director of ArtPride, the premier arts advocacy organization in New Jersey, and a regular contributor to the Dodge blog