Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council

June 2020  Newsletter  

A message from our President

Given the challenges of COVID-19, I want to give you an interim report on the health and well-being of the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council. As you may know, our Gallery at 133 Spring Street, Newton, was ordered closed by Governor Phillip Murphy, on March 21, 2020, as it was deemed a “non-essential” business.

With the closing of our Gallery, we applied for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program and for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. We were denied the Paycheck Protection Program because our payroll did not meet the minimum threshold. We were recently advised that our EIDL request was being processed.

We are most grateful to our sponsors who have continued to support us; to the Sussex County Freeholders for their continued support; to the support from the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market; and to the New Jersey Council on the Arts and to the New Jersey Historical Commission for their support which we have continued to share with our current Sussex County Art and Historical societies.

Sadly, we had to furlough our paid staff in March, to conserve cash to pay the rent and utilities. We are continuing to make plans for re-opening, with the Governor’s “all-clear” pronouncement.

The Xpose Photography Exhibit hangs in our closed Gallery. With the “all-clear” signal, we hope to resume where plans were halted, with an Xpose reception, and continue with our art exhibits for the remainder of the year. We will keep you posted!

The Gallery is closed. The Xpose exhibition display is still hanging  and all planned workshops are cancelled. Our priorities are protecting our staff, our members, and artists. This means no events where individuals come into proximity.

The New Jersey state senior citizens art exhibition will go ahead – but as a virtual show with images of the entered art displayed online. We will publish the dates and details of the arrangements shortly.

Perry Anderson

Senior Student Arts Awards

The Senior Student Arts Awards ceremony helps us celebrate the special artistic talents of seniors from all the high schools in Sussex County. Awards are given in twelve categories: Crafts, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drama, Fine Arts, Instrumental Music, Photography, Technical Theater, Video, Vocal Music, and Welding. Teachers from each of the eleven high schools nominate students.

During the evening we enjoy entertainment provided by students and groups who performed and were adjudicated at Teen Arts - a day of workshops, critiques, and demonstrations in which middle school and high school students are immersed in art. What a day!

May 6, 2020 was supposed to be the 45th annual Senior Student Art Awards. All arrangements were made to have it held in the Performing Art Center at Sussex County Community College. Unfortunately, this year Teen Arts and the Senior Student Art Awards are both cancelled due to coronavirus.

We will miss being able to celebrate these wonderful, talented students in person this year.

Thank you to all who support and encourage the students to participate in the arts.

                                                                                Maureen Hanifan, Co-chair, and Trustee

Grants to Sussex County Organizations

Every year, the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council provides support to local, nonprofit arts and history organizations through our Arts and History Re-grant Programs. This year 17 groups were awarded a total of $ 54,104 in re-grants. The funding is provided to SCAHC through the NJ State Council on the Arts and the NJ Historical Commission. Triennially, SCAHC completes a rigorous application process to request funding for our programs. In turn, local groups complete an application process to request a grant each year. Funds can be requested for either general operating support or a special project. Among the programs the grant recipients provide to the public are choral and orchestral concerts, theater productions, art workshops for teens, art and history exhibits, historical tours, and museum visits.  

In January 2020, SCAHC was happy to announce re-grants to:

Community Choral Society                        Cornerstone Playhouse                         Harmony in Motion

SCARC                                                      New Sussex Symphony                         Skylands Performing Arts Center    

Sussex County Art Society                         Sussex County Oratorio Society            Teen Arts 

Sussex County Youth Orchestra                No Strings A Cappella                            Luna Parc Atelier Foundation  

DAR Elias Van Bunschooten Museum       Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum      Sparta Historical Society

Sussex County Historical Society              Vernon Historical Society

                                                                        JoAnne Scheidt, Regrant Committee Chair

The 2020 Fall Gala

Looking to the future in these uncertain times, we need to keep our spirits up as well as keeping safe. As Chairperson for the Fall Gala Event this year, we hope to be able to hold this exciting event in the middle of October.

This year’s event will be a Roaring 20’s Themed Party, and yes you may dress the part or wear cocktail attire. During the Roaring 20’s they were celebrating the end of World War 1, when things were beginning to look up country. As we hope to be coming to the end of our own war with the Covid 19 Virus, we too hope to be able to celebrate our own victories. 

Please hold good thoughts in your spirit, say your prayers, and keep your fingers crossed, that things continue to improve. Remember to keep your masks on and practice social distancing because this does seem to help. Before you know it, we will be getting our lives back to normal. We at SCAHC hope you keep your spirits up with a smile on your face and a prayer “song” in your heart.

Linda Swentzel, 2020 Gala Chair  




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