NJ Museums, Historical Organizations Receive $5.2M In Grants

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

Absecon Lighthouse will receive part of the $5.2 million grant. Photo credit: Absecon Lighthouse Facebook page.

SOUTH JERSEY – The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) approved a $5.2 million Fiscal Year 2024 grant to fund 100 historical organizations, museums, historic sites, archives, individuals, and county re-grant agencies across 21 counties. 

The NJHC believes in “advancing the unique and diverse history within New Jersey and addressing essential institutional needs across the state.” 

The NJHS is one of many state agencies in New Jersey. However, NJHS explicitly dedicates its time to advancing public knowledge and preserving New Jersey’s history because they believe that understanding shared heritage is essential to sustaining a cohesive and robust democracy. 

“These awards are vital to nurturing the growth of New Jersey’s history organizations and expanding their capacity and programmatic resources at this critical time,” noted Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “It will also support our ongoing commitment to promoting best practices in inclusive history, fostering civic engagement, and ensuring this funding supports a diverse array of initiatives and audiences across the state.” 

A significant $2.9 million in funding will support the New Jersey Historical Commission’s General Operating Support (GOS) program. The GOS program covers a range of operation expenses for qualified historical organizations, including New Jersey-based historical research, exhibits, programs, and archival work. 

The NJHC funds the County History Partnership Program (CHPP) with a total of $1.5 million, which works to provide all 21 counties in the state with funding for local history groups statewide. 

All the Fiscal Year 2024 grant funding is made possible by a portion of the revenue produced by New Jersey’s Hotel/Motel Tax legislation. The state’s Hotel/Motel Tax legislation is an occupancy tax rate of 5% of rent paid. 

The funding allows for a great return on investments. For example, in Fiscal Year 2022, 44 history organizations across the state were funded $2.8 million in GOS, which leveraged $29 million in overall matching dollars, $24 million in total spending, offered programs to 1.3 million visitors, hosted 11 million website visitors, and supported over 600 full and part-time jobs. 

In addition to large amounts of funding allocated towards GOS and CHPP, the NJHC supports the Inclusive History Grant Program and DEAI training. 

The Inclusive History Grant Program funds the exploration of under-represented narratives in the state’s history, intending to expand inclusive, community-centered interpretation and resources offered by historic sites and history organizations, according to the NJHC. 

According to the NJHC, DEAI resources and training lays the groundwork for the future, as the development and implementation of DEAI will be the future criterion for NJHC funding,” and has a mission to “establish an opportunity for eligible New Jersey history nonprofits to access qualified EAI consultants to inform and train leadership, while promoting best practices for institutional and programmatic diversity.” 

“These grant initiatives will not only go towards sustaining our history nonprofits financially, but also support growth in the field through our Inclusive History Grant Program and DEAI training,” said Sara Cureton, executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. “Ensuring that history sites remain at the forefront of best practices is more important than ever as we plan for the upcoming 250th commemoration through the state’s RevolutionNJ initiative.”

To review a complete list of the Fiscal Year 2024 New Jersey Historical Commission grant recipients, click here for all grantees, here for GOS recipients, here for project and co-sponsored project recipients, and here for CHPP recipients. 

To learn more about the Commission’s grant programs, click here

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