The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has approved $15.7 million in grants to individuals and organizations involved in the arts in every county.

Council Executive Director Allison Tratner said a portion of the awards go to support folk and traditional arts artists "who are working in some of New Jersey's most amazing, diverse communities, and helping to preserve and pass on the valuable traditions that are practiced through the arts."

"You're going to find arts activity in every corner of the state," she said. "You're going to find it in every discipline that's out there."

For instance, some grants focus on dance "from the American Repertory Ballet to the Atlantic City Ballet," she said.

"Those are some of the most excellent high performing dance organizations there, among a long list. And then you'll also find organizations that are focusing on the performing arts in general," she said.

And then there are the visual arts: "So many of New Jersey's residents engage with the visual arts on a regular basis when they walk into a museum or a gallery or a festival ."

Tratner said there are 19,000 non-profit jobs created by Jersey's arts activity, and a total of 80,000 jobs when you include the for-profit sector.

"These funds also generate more than half a billion dollars in economic impact," she said. "That's a dollar return on every three cents that the state invests in the arts."

She said arts funding has remained at this level for the past 11 years

"I mean, that's that's that's good news and bad news," she said. "It hasn't gone up but it hasn't gone down."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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